A T-square is a type of square tool to scribe a perpendicular line on a working surface (wood, paper, etc) that starts from the working surface edge (not the corner).
Although it’s a square tool, its main purpose is not for checking the workpiece’s corner like the try square or speed square does. This tool is applied to help draw lines that are accurately perpendicular or shaping 90 degrees toward the edge.
There are many types of T squares. The T-square for architects is different from T-square for carpenters, especially in terms of size and functions. Other various jobs that require this tool are woodworkers, engineers, draftsmen, etc.
Like other squares, its body parts consist of the head and the blade. However, what makes T-square different from other squares is where the conjunction locates. You can find the head is locked by some rivets at the center of the head.
The head is generally shorter than the blade. It functions to hook the blade on the workpiece (drywall board, board sketching, etc). The blade, on the other hand, is where the majority of the action takes place. It normally comes with a long straight ruler. Guide holes, angle holes, and scales are put on the blade. These features can be a great advantage for measuring, marking, scribing, and even cutting.
T-squares are available in a variety of blade lengths. On the market, we find them in the range of 6″ to 54″. If you do a lot of drywall cutting, the 54″ model excels for that purpose. The 6″ model is an ideal choice for technical drawing on a piece of paper.
These are our work that grabs the top 10 best T squares extracted from the market. They are ranging from the 54″ model to the 6″ one.
Top 10 Best T Square Reviews 2023
1. Johnson JTS54HD T-Square [54″] – Best Drywall T Square
When it comes to large drywall board cutting and you are looking for the best 54″ blade length, Johnson JTS54HD is the choice.
This drywall T-square employs 4 permanent rivets to join the head and blade.
Both the blade and head are 3/16″ in thickness, made from extruded aluminum, and anodized. Besides, the graduations are thermally bonded.
This tool’s blade graduations range from 0-54 inches up and down, while graduation on the head ranges from 0 to 16 inches on one side and 0-6 inches on the other.
- A great choice for drywall board cutting and other larger projects due to its larger size which is 54″
- Employing 4 rivets to bond the head and the blade.
- Both the head and blade are made of extruded aluminum which means lightweight
- The anodized finish will protect from corrosion and rusting.
- Thermally bonded graduations
- Graduations aren’t laser engraved hence they may not last as long.
2. Kapro 317-48-A Adjustable T Square [48″] – Second Best for Drywall Projects
There are some advantages this Kapro T square offer to you:
- Adjustable head
- Angle marking
- End caps on the head
- Easy to carry because of foldable blade and head
The adjustable head allows sliding. That means you can adjust the blade length to fit your workpiece surface. You could also adjust the head to a certain angle degree toward the blade with the help of angle marking. Simply, do that by unscrewing the lock, adjusting, and then screwing the lock. Besides, the end caps help the head stay in position while drawing lines.
For size, the blade length is 48″ which means great to use for large projects such as drawing lines on plywood, OSB, drywall, and other board materials.
Other information to know about this product is its anodized aluminum finish which is great to prevent rusting and corroding.
The disadvantages may come because of:
It comes with pleasure for working, however, its printed graduations can be your future issue. Fortunately, the angle markings are etched which is better than the printed. Anytime you change the angle of the head toward the blade, you should check its accuracy using an angle block. If you don’t check it, the chance of inaccuracy is present. Doing the checking of several angles may take time. If you only check for a certain angle, this tool is helpful.
- Adjustable head
- Come with angle markings (the 30°, 45°, 60°, and 75° etched markings are available); can be your protractor to check corners.
- Large size up to 48″ in length
- Its printed graduation won’t last as long as etched graduation.
3. Johnson ADS48 T-Square [48″] – Third Best for Drywall Projects
Like the Kapro above, Johnson ADS48 heavy duty T-square is great to use for drywall framing installation as the 48″ blade should fit the drywall panel height. Aside from that, the head can be set up at any angle and any point on the blade. The angle markings are The head and blade are constructed with 1/4″ extruded aluminum which is thick and heavy. Also, it employs an anodized finish.
The differences between Johnson ADS48 and Kapro 317-48-A are the graduations. This Johnson model makes use of thermal bonded method to put the numbers and scales on the surface. And the graduations are in 1/8″ and 1/16″. End caps are not available in this T square.
Another Johnson T-square product you may want to check out is JTS1200. It comes in metric graduation with a blade length is 1,2 meters.
- Adjustable head to any angle and position
- Heavy (the thickness of blade and head is 1/4″)
- Thermal bonded numbers and scales
- Easy to fold
- Setting the head to a certain angle should be followed by checking the accuracy of that angle
- Due to heavy 1/4″ thickness, it may not easy to carry
4. Woodpeckers TS-32-2 T-Square 32″ for Large Cabinet Parts
If you often work with large sheet goods, this Woodpeckers T square is best to use. Carpenters would thank the maker of this tool.
Machined in the USA, it comes with a 34″ blade length that is made of aluminum, white-on-red laser engraved graduations, guide hole featured, and bevel edge shape.
For construction, the head and blade are joined by 6 screws. It’s important to check this part to know how strong the bonding is. And the edge of the blade is 30-degree beveled. This bevel edge lets you more accurately mark points or lines.
The most important feature of this tool is its 1-mm diameter holes for easy, accurate, and precise line scribing using either a mechanical or standard pencil. And many holes are available. There is a hole for every 1/16″ graduations; while its graduations itself is 1/32″. This feature allows you to scribe a straight line separated with 1/16″ set apart.
You may like the equipment for mounting that comes together with this tool. It functions for easy storage purposes.
- Better constructed with 6 screws for the junction
- Features guide holes for scribing quickly, repeatedly, and precisely
- Laser engraved graduations
- Bevel edge shape
- For large cabinet making; comes with the appropriate blade length for large sheet goods
- It is not adjustable
- The line-markings are so close and only a number marking for every 1″.
5. Johnson Level & Tool RTS24 RockRipper T-Square [Best 24″]
The Johnson RTS24 is a great option for medium to small-scale projects. What makes this model stand out from the crowd is its head.
- The head is not screwed or riveted but permanently molded
- Its material (Structo-cast) will not scratch your workpiece surface
The molded head means there should be no loosening. It will keep 90°; increasing the accuracy and precision of work. Working on a painted and smooth surface is worry-free as the head will not scratch it.
Another great feature is the holes that are not only suitable for pencils but also for knives. That means you can save time by directly cutting the workpiece through the hole. The holes are present for every 1/16″ graduations.
This made-in-USA tool has a blade made from extruded aluminum with thermal bonded graduations. It’s available in the black and yellow version. You may like the yellow model because it’s brighter to use in a dimmer environment.
- The non-conductive head will not scratch
- Head and blade are joined by molded technic
- Features guide holes either for pencils and knife; allowing you for direct cut with knives
- Its thermal bonded graduations may not be as long-lasting as the engraved ones
6. Incra T-Rule18 T-Ruler [Best 18″]
Looking for the hybrid model of T square and ruler? Incra T-Rule18 is the answer.
Not only does it help you mark perpendicular lines but also parallel lines. You can accurately and precisely scribe lines because of the very small guide holes that are available for every 1/64″ graduation. That means, by using a sharpened pencil, you can draw two parallel lines separated only 1/64″. How close it is.
Incra Precision T-Rule300M T-Rule (the Metric Version)
The metric version of Incra T-Rule18 is Incra T-Rule300M. You can get the same advantages as it can draw perpendicular and parallel lines using a single tool. It also provides small holes to lead your pencil accurately scribe marks or points or lines.
Its head interlocks with an indexing lip on the blade, and two knobs properly hold it together at 90 degrees.
- Guide holes for 1/64″ graduation; you can scribe lines with higher resolution (very close to each other)
- Stainless steel material
- A hybrid model of square and ruler
- Inch graduation
- Thin blade
7. Woodpeckers TS-12-2 T-Square [Best 12″]
What is the best 12″ T square for solid lumber work and other small parts? We will suggest Woodpeckers TS-12-2.
Its blade which is 12″ in length will be ideal for medium to small workpieces.
To support you for quick layout marking and scribing, the blades are drilled with 1-mm diameter holes for every 1/16″ graduations. In terms of accuracy, the head has 4 screw offsets for better locking and the blade design is 30-degree bevel edge for less parallax error.
Its smallest reading is 1/32″ and overall graduations have a white-on-red color design for good visibility and contrast.
It comes with a piece of auxiliary equipment that is a rack that you can install on the wall to hang this tool after work.
- A great choice for 12″ T square
- Supports quick layout scribing due to its small holes
- Bevel edge and contrast graduations
- Pretty expensive
8. Alvin ALT12 T Square [12″ ]
Alvin ALT12 is a simple T square that comes in a 12″ blade length size. This is the best choice for drafting and drawing works on canvas or paper.
Its plastic head is an advantage to prevent scratches when getting in contact with drafting canvas or paper. Don’t miss that the head has also a scale of 1/16″ graduation which will be helpful to mark some points. For secureness of the blade and head, the head is united to the blade using 4 rivets.
In terms of the blade, the grade A aluminum material of the blade with 1.6 mm thickness will be lightweight but not easily break; an appropriate choice to accompany your drafting and drawing works. On the blade surface, the etched and painted graduations of 1/16″ make it decent for visibility.
- For drafting and drawing on canvas
- Won’t scratch your canvas
- Not for carpenter or woodworking
9. Woodpeckers Saddle SDLT0619 T-Square [Best 6″]
Woodpeckers Saddle SDLT0619 is a perfect choice for layout work that requires high precision. Its small dimension with 6″ blade length will suit the job. It comes with guide holes for each 1/32″ graduation that lets your mechanical pencils mark and scribe in an accurate and precise way.
Its one-body construction will not wobble for sure. Made of high-grade aluminum, beveled edge shape, and laser-engraved white-on-red graduations for contrast reading are the other things make this choice a great choice for its class.
For accuracy, the tolerance of Woodpecker squares including this one is within .001″/foot (.0085°).
- High accuracy
- Won’t wobble due to one-body construction
- Laser engraved and contrast graduations
- Guide holes
- Pretty expensive
10. Staedtler 661-A3-ST Drawing Board for Drawing On Paper
If you are looking for drafting T square, this choice can save your time and effort.
T-squares are used not only by woodworkers and carpenters who work directly with wood but also by engineers and draftsmen who must first prepare blueprints for what they wish to build before building it.
Staedler ST661-A3 is a comprehensive drawing board for technical drawings, such as those required by engineers and architects. By means of this product, you don’t need a T square anymore for a perpendicular line drawing. The two rulers will do it for you. Even painters can take advantage of this product.
This Staedtler drafting machine drawing board is 20.5 inches x 14.9 inches by 0.9 inches (A3 size). This drawing board allows you to fasten your paper to it while you design plans, elevations, and other types of drawings.
Things to Consider Before Buying T Square
1. The Use of the T-square (Blade Length)
There are a variety of blade lengths indicating that they will excel in different areas.
Longer T-squares are better for working on sheet woods, larger cabinet components, large drawing tables, and bookshelves, while smaller T-squares are better for working on solid timber, smaller drawing tables, and smaller cabinet parts.
The T-square should not extend beyond the actual surface you’re working on as a general rule.
There are also adjustable T squares such as Johnson ADS48 and Kapro 317-48-A.
They come in handy when you don’t know exactly the size of T-square you’ll need or when you need T-squares of various sizes. You just simply purchase this model, then lower or raise the size as needed based on the project at hand.
A selected high-grade aluminum is a durable material for T-squares. You’ll discover that they’re best suited for tough usage and will last a long time regardless of their working condition. Aluminum does not corrode easily, this material is easy to find, thus it comes with an affordable price.
The Incra t-rule 18 and the Incra t-rule 300 are the two T-squares manufactured from this material. The material used in these two T-squares is incredibly flexible, so they bend readily under pressure but return to their initial position when released. They are dent and scratch-resistant. For a longer blade, you should probably go with the aluminum T-square because it is less expensive and more suited to rough use.
Plastic squares will not suit to use in the workshop as well as in carpentry. It’s better to use for drafting on paper. The only plastic T square on our list is the Staedtler drafting machine drawing board.
The ability of the blade to draw lines perpendicularly to the workpiece edge lies on where the head is hooking on originate from the fact that the head can clamp well. If the head isn’t thick enough to clamp, it will fail.
T-squares with a thickness of 1/8″ or 1/4″ are acceptable, and anything less may not provide adequate grip. But, things may be different for canvas or paper in which thin heads may be more useful.
The head should also provide an ability to easily slide when you need to draw lines. Aside from that, in some cases, a head that won’t scratch is a favorite when dealing with a smooth workpiece.
4. Rigidity of the Head-Blade Joint
The T-square’s precision is determined by how stiff the joint between the head and blade is. There’s a probability the T-square won’t be at 90 degrees if the joint isn’t solid.
The single monolithic woodpecker saddle 6-inch T-square is the best among the T-squares we evaluated for our list of best T-squares since it has no joint. Therefore, it stays flawless as it was designed without any changes for losing its initial accuracy.
Others feature rivets, molded, screws, and knobs. Surely, these methods may loosen in some cases.
On the other hand, the adjustable T-squares are extremely adaptable. But anytime you need to change the angle and head position, you should check the angle accuracy using a precision square or protractor or angle blocks. The machinist square composes one body construction, and its accuracy remains more stable. To use machinist square for this case, use the preferred grade. You could use either the 90 degree of mechanical or digital protractor as well, but make sure the 90 degree reading of your protactor has been checked with machinist square as well. Angle blocks are square and manufactured in 90 degree edge in which can be a reference for your squares but actually its main function is for length calibration.
5. Graduation Visibility and Durability
There are some choices about how the graduations are put on the blade surface: engraved, painted, etched, and thermal bonding.
In terms of durability, the best one should be etched while the worst one is painted. Engraved and thermal bonding should be decent.
Contrast graduation is also important for visibility during the work. The graduations should have bright colors and be put on a darker surface. For example, white graduations on a dark red surface.
After this voyage through the best T-squares list, we hope you have been well-informed enough to pick the best T-square option. We’ve broken down the list of best T-squares into the numerous categories in which they excel so that you can see what makes them unique and why they’re the best option.
Also, we have included the shopping guide that calls your attention down to small elements that you may overlook but are critical.
All in all, the best T-squares are respectively ordered according to its blade length are:
- Johnson JTS54HD (54″),
- Kapro 317-48-A (48″),
- Woodpeckers TS-32-2 (32″),
- Johnson RTS24 (24″),
- Incra T-Rule18 (18″),
- Woodpeckers TS-12-2 (12″),
- Woodpeckers SDLT0619 (6″)