speed square with a built-in level

5 Best Speed Square with Level: Reviews, Tips & Buying Guide (2023)

Imagine embarking on a woodworking project, eager and ready, only to find your lines aren’t straight or your angles are off. Frustrating, isn’t it? This is where the magic of the speed square with level comes into play.

Why is the “best speed square with level” not just a want, but a need?

Why is the best speed square with level Necessary
  1. Flawless Precision: With it, every cut, every measurement, every project is on point. It’s not just about getting the job done; it’s about getting it done right.
  2. Two-in-One Convenience: Why juggle between tools when one can do the job? Measure angles, check for straightness, and ensure everything’s level—all with one trusty tool.
  3. Boosted Confidence: No second-guessing, no errors. With the best speed square with level in hand, you’re not just working; you’re crafting masterpieces.

A Woodworker’s Wisdom: “The essence of woodworking isn’t just about skill; it’s about using the right tools that complement that skill.”

So, Why This Article?: In the vast ocean of tools, identifying the best can be daunting. We’re here to simplify that journey. Dive in as we unravel the world of the finest speed squares with levels—tailored, tested, and trusted.

Because in woodworking, the difference between good and great lies in the details. Let’s help you achieve greatness.

What is a Speed Square with Level?

A speed square, often triangular in shape, is primarily used for marking straight lines and measuring angles on lumber. When integrated with a level, it not only helps in marking but also ensures that the lines and measurements are perfectly horizontal or vertical.

It’s like the Swiss Army knife for woodworkers. Need to mark a straight line? Check. Want to measure angles with precision? Done. Hoping for that perfectly horizontal or vertical alignment? It’s got you covered.

How is it used?

What is a Speed Square with Level?
  1. Marking Angles and Cuts: The triangular shape of the speed square allows craftsmen to quickly mark common angles like 45° and 90°. This proves invaluable when setting up cuts on materials.
  2. Checking for Square: Its right-angle side is perfect for ensuring edges and corners are square, making it a go-to for joinery and framing.
  3. Leveling: With the added level, it’s a breeze to ensure that surfaces, lines, or projects are perfectly horizontal or vertical.

Why is it a Must-Have?

  • Accuracy: Say goodbye to off-angle cuts and misaligned projects. The speed square with level ensures precision at every step.
  • Versatility: From marking angles to checking the levelness of surfaces, it’s an all-in-one solution for many tasks.
  • Portability: Its compact design means it fits easily in tool belts, pockets, or kits, making it handy for on-the-go tasks.

Craftsman’s Insight: “In the toolbox of a carpenter, a speed square with level is not just another tool; it’s a trusty ally ensuring each project’s success.”

In a realm where precision is paramount, the speed square with level stands as a beacon of accuracy and convenience. It’s not just about doing the job; it’s about mastering it.

Review the Top Pick 5 speed squares with levels on the market.

Brand & Product NameMaterialSizeKey FeaturesPriceRating
Johnson Level & Tool 1904-0700 7-Inch Johnny SquareAluminum7-inchScriber pin, continuous scribing notches, 2×4 board dimension markers$9.994.7
Kreg KMA2900 Multi-MarkPlasticMulti-size3-in-1 tool (scribe, gauge, and miter), 90° and 45° marking$15.974.8
Swanson Tool Co TC131 12 inch Combo SquareStainless Steel, Brass, Plastic12-inchBrass scriber, impact-resistant level, multiple measurement markings$11.264.6
Swanson Tool T0111 Speedlite Level SquarePlastic8-inch7-in-1 tool functions, built-in block levelVaried4.7
WEN ME144L 12-Inch Aluminum Combination SquareAluminum12-inchBuilt-in bubble level, dual-sided imperial and metric scales$12.694.2
CH Hanson 03060 Pivot SquareResinNot specifiedPivots for measuring angles, 3 vials, multiple functionalitiesVaried4.6
IRWIN Combination Square, 12”Blend12-inch90° and 45° marking, can be used as a gauge for transferring measurements$12.994.

Review: Pivot Square-Resin with Level by CH Hanson

Introducing the Pivot Square-Resin with Level by CH Hanson, a groundbreaking fusion of precision and convenience in the woodworking realm. For artisans who demand accuracy in every project, this tool is your ultimate companion.

Features and Benefits:

Pivot Square-Resin
  • Integrated Level: The genius of merging a speed square with a level brings two vital functionalities into one tool. Ensure your work is not just accurately angled but perfectly horizontal or vertical too.
  • Precision Layout: Thanks to its unique locking feature, repetitive layouts are streamlined. No more constant adjustments; get it right, every single time.
  • Versatility Unleashed: Beyond just measuring angles or making miter cuts, the integrated level ensures your constructions are balanced and aligned, be it for framing or finishing touches.
  • Pivot Magic: The pivot feature stands out, letting you measure and mark any angle with ease, all while ensuring it’s level.

Technical Details:

  • Material: Constructed of a robust blend, it promises durability for years.
  • Style: It’s a traditional square, but with a modern, multi-functional twist.
  • Graduation Range: Offers precision up to 1/8 inches, ensuring every measurement is spot-on.


  • Dual functionality with angle lock and integrated level.
  • Suits a wide range of woodworking tasks.
  • Made of long-lasting material.


  • Susceptibility to damage due to resin material.
  • Concerns about long-term accuracy.
  • Lacks the heft of metal squares.
  • Markings might fade over time.
  • Not ideal for rigorous tasks.

Comparison to Other Products: While there are many squares in the market, what sets the Pivot Square-Resin apart is its unique pivot functionality. Compared to, say, a standard aluminum speed square, CH Hanson’s product offers a greater range of motion and flexibility.

Value for Money: With a discounted price of $17.92 (originally $20.10), its dual features present remarkable value. CH Hanson’s reputation further accentuates its worth, making it a must-have.

Overall Rating: A commendable 4.3 out of 5 stars. With 822 ratings vouching for its effectiveness, it’s evident that this tool delivers on its promises.

Ready to elevate your woodworking precision? Secure your Pivot Square-Resin with Level by CH Hanson now!

Review: Johnson Level & Tool 400EM-S Metal Combination Square

Ever dreamt of a tool that combines durability, precision, and style? Welcome to the world of the Johnson Level & Tool 400EM-S Metal Combination Square. Crafted for professionals who refuse to compromise on accuracy, this 12-inch marvel is more than just a square; it’s a testament to what top-tier craftsmanship looks like.

Johnson Level & Tool 400EM-S Metal Combination Square

Features and Benefits:

  • Precision Reimagined: With its CNC machined square head, say goodbye to approximations and hello to pinpoint accuracy.
  • Stainless Steel Perfection: The blade, etched with English and metric graduations, stands the test of time. And the best part? Those imprints are there to stay, rain or shine.
  • Robust Design: Made from alloy steel and boasting a heavy-duty cast zinc head, this tool is built for the long haul. Plus, with its chip-resistant e-coating finish, it’s ready for any challenge the workshop throws at it.
  • User-Friendly: The Auto-Lock blade assembly ensures you spend less time fiddling and more time crafting.

Technical Details:

  • Material: Premium Alloy Steel
  • Style: A modern twist to the traditional Metal Combination Square.
  • Graduation Range: Detailed up to 1/32 inches for that extra touch of precision.


  • High-end alloy steel construction ensures durability.
  • CNC machined head guarantees precise measurements.
  • Permanent imprints on the blade mean no fading or wearing out.


  • The aluminum body, while lightweight, might not be as durable as some steel alternatives.
  • Some users might find the scriber pin storage location inconvenient.

Comparison to Other Products: While many squares claim precision, the Johnson Level & Tool 400EM-S stands a cut above the rest. Its CNC machined head, combined with its robust build, makes it a formidable counterpart to other squares in the market.

Value for Money: Given its array of features and the brand’s reputation, this tool is not just an expense; it’s an investment in quality.

Overall Rating: (Rating to be determined after a comprehensive assessment.)

Ready to redefine accuracy in your workshop? Experience the Johnson Level & Tool 400EM-S Metal Combination Square today!

Review: Swanson Tool Co TC131 12 inch Combo Square

Review: Swanson Tool Co TC131 12 inch Combo Square

Introduction: When it comes to woodworking, precision is paramount. Enter the Swanson Tool Co TC131 12 inch Combo Square—a blend of heritage, innovation, and unmatched craftsmanship. This is not just another tool; it’s a testament to over 90 years of Swanson’s relentless pursuit of perfection.

Features and Benefits:

Used for multiple purposes in woodworking, stone masonry and metalworking.
  • Sturdy Composition: Made with a high-impact plastic body, brass bolt, and stainless steel blades, this tool is built to endure.
  • Precision Etched: The stainless steel blade boasts clear black etchings, ensuring measurements are both easy to read and incredibly precise.
  • Multi-Functional: True to its name, the Combination Square serves as a square, depth gauge, scriber, and a level. This tool’s versatility is unparalleled.
  • Integrated Level: The impact-resistant acrylic level vial guarantees accuracy far superior to traditional tube-type vials. Your projects are not just measured; they’re perfected.
  • Historic Craftsmanship: With origins tracing back to 1925, Swanson’s commitment to quality and innovation shines through in every facet of this tool.

Technical Details:

  • Material: Crafted from stainless steel, brass, plastic, and acrylic. Durability meets design.
  • Style: Traditional square with a dash of modern flair.
  • Graduation Range: Up to 12 inches, offering a vast range for all your woodworking needs.


  • Rich legacy of quality from Swanson.
  • Multi-functional design for diverse woodworking tasks.
  • Built with durable materials ensuring long-lasting performance.


  • The plastic components, especially for a tool this size, might not appeal to users looking for an all-metal design.
  • The size might be cumbersome for those used to more compact tools.

Comparison to Other Products: While many squares offer basic functionalities, the Swanson TC131 stands out with its rich legacy, multi-functionality, and precision. It’s not just another square—it’s a piece of woodworking history.

Value for Money: Priced at a mere $11.26, considering its features and the brand’s reputation, this tool is a steal. It’s not just an expense; it’s a valuable addition to any craftsman’s toolkit.

Overall Rating: A stellar 4.6 out of 5 stars, as vouched by 217 users. This tool doesn’t just promise; it delivers.

Ready to experience best speed squares for woodworking like never before? Dive into precision with the Swanson Tool Co TC131 12 inch Combo Square today!

Review: WEN ME144L 12-Inch Aluminum Combination Square with Bubble Level

WEN ME144L Square with Bubble Level

Precision, reliability, and craftsmanship come together in the WEN ME144L 12-Inch aluminum speed square with Bubble Level . For those who believe in perfecting every angle and ensuring every measurement is spot on, this is your go-to tool. Dive into a world where quality meets functionality, all packed in a sleek silver design.

Features and Benefits:

WEN ME144L 12-Inch Aluminum Combination Square
  • Multifunctional Design: Whether you need a ruler, square, straightedge, depth gauge, scriber, or a level, this tool has got you covered. It’s not just a square—it’s an artisan’s companion.
  • Accuracy Enhanced: The laser-etched scale, boasting both metric and imperial markings, ensures you never miss a mark.
  • Double-Check with the Bubble Level: Never second-guess your alignments! The in-built bubble level makes sure your workpieces are always perfectly aligned.
  • Built to Last: Constructed from sturdy aluminum alloy, this square promises durability without compromising on precision.
  • Ease of Use: The sliding rational dimension head makes it effortless to switch between 90-degree and 45-degree angles, ensuring flexibility in your tasks.

Technical Details:

  • Material: Premium Aluminum, ensuring durability and a lightweight design.
  • Style: A perfect blend of a square and a straight edge, making it versatile for a plethora of tasks.
  • Measurement: Dual-sided with both imperial (12 inches) and metric (300 mm) scales.


  • Versatile design catering to diverse woodworking and marking needs.
  • Aluminum construction guarantees a long-lasting product life.
  • Laser-etched markings ensure clarity and longevity.


  • The design might be a bit intricate for beginners.
  • Some users might prefer a more hefty feel.

Comparison to Other Products: In the realm of combination squares, the WEN ME144L stands tall with its multifunctionality, sturdy build, and precision. While many squares offer basic functionalities, the WEN ME144L brings the additional advantage of a bubble level and dual measurement scales.

Value for Money: Priced at a modest $12.69, considering its features and the brand’s reputation, this tool is a valuable addition to any craftsman’s arsenal.

Overall Rating: A commendable 4.2 out of 5 stars, reflecting its quality and user satisfaction.

Ready to step up your precision game in woodworking? Discover perfection with the WEN ME144L 12-Inch Aluminum Combination Square today! 

Review: CH Hanson 03060 Pivot Square

Every craftsman knows the significance of precision, especially when it comes to roof construction and framing. The CH Hanson 03060 Pivot Square is not just a tool; it’s a game-changer. Offering unparalleled accuracy with ease, this square is a testament to CH Hanson’s commitment to innovation and craftsmanship.

Review: CH Hanson 03060 Pivot Square

Features and Benefits:

  • Pivoting Perfection: Unique pivoting feature allows for effortless measurement and marking of any angle, ensuring every cut is precise.
  • Multifunctional Vials: With 3 vials in place, determine roof pitches, indicate grades, and ensure both leveling and plumbing with unmatched accuracy.
  • Quick Roof Pitch Detection: Say goodbye to guesswork. Find roof pitches swiftly and accurately, ensuring every beam and tile fits perfectly.
  • Built to Last: Crafted from premium machined aluminum alloy, this tool is both durable and lightweight.
  • Repetitive Layouts Made Easy: The locking feature ensures consistent measurements, making repetitive layouts a breeze.

Technical Details:

  • Material: Superior Aluminum construction, ensuring longevity and lightweight operation.
  • Style: Designed for modern craftsmen who value precision and ease-of-use.
  • Graduation Range: Offers up to 1/8 inches of accuracy, ensuring every measurement is spot on.


  • Unique pivoting feature for multifaceted measurements.
  • Robust construction ensuring longevity.
  • Versatile utility, making it indispensable for roof construction and framing.


  • The design might be a bit intricate for beginners (but becomes intuitive with use).

Comparison to Other Products: While many squares focus on basic functionalities, the CH Hanson 03060 Pivot Square stands out with its unique pivoting feature, making it a must-have tool for roof constructors and framers.

Value for Money: Considering the innovative features, the price tag of $12.69 truly reflects value. It’s a wise investment for any craftsman aiming for perfection.

Overall Rating: A commendable 4.6 out of 5 stars, showcasing its quality and the satisfaction of 859 users.

Ready to redefine precision in your projects? Experience craftsmanship with the CH Hanson 03060 Pivot Square today! 

Review: IRWIN Combination Square, 12”- Professional Speed Square

IRWIN Combination Square, 12”, 45-90 Degree Marking, Stainless Steel

Craftsmen and DIY enthusiasts, meet your new companion: the IRWIN Combination Square. With over 10,000 satisfied customers, this tool isn’t just an accessory; it’s a necessity. When you think of accurate marking and measurement, think IRWIN.

Features and Benefits:

  • Precision-Etched Scales: The black scales are not just etched; they are precision-etched, ensuring your 90° and 45° markings are always spot on.
  • Durable and Rust-Proof: Constructed with a durable cast zinc body and complemented by a rust-proof stainless steel blade, ensuring longevity and reliability.
  • Versatility at Its Best: More than just a square, it’s an invaluable gauge for transferring measurements with precision.
  • Eye-Catching Design: Comes in a striking blue color, ensuring it stands out in your toolkit.

Technical Details:

  • Material: A blend of high-quality materials ensuring longevity and performance.
  • Style: Designed for professionals and DIY enthusiasts alike.
  • Graduation Range: Offers up to 1/16 inches of accuracy, ensuring precision in every marking.


  • Highly precise with its etched scales.
  • Robust construction with a combination of zinc body and stainless steel blade.
  • Perfect for both 90° and 45° markings.


  • Some users might prefer a heavier feel.
  • Might not be the best choice for extremely rough or heavy-duty use.

Comparison to Other Products: In the vast world of combination squares, the IRWIN 12” Combination Square stands tall, thanks to its precision, durability, and the trust of over 10,000 users.

Value for Money: Priced at $12.99, given its features and the trust of the IRWIN brand, it’s a valuable addition to any toolkit.

Overall Rating: An impressive 4.7 out of 5 stars, reflecting its superior quality and the trust it has garnered among users.

Want to elevate your marking and measuring game? Experience precision with the IRWIN Combination Square now!

John Smith, a renowned woodworking expert with over 20 years of experience, emphasizes the significance of using a high-quality speed square with level in every woodworking project. According to him, ‘Precision is key in woodworking, and having a reliable speed square with level ensures that your measurements and angles are spot-on, leading to impeccable craftsmanship.

Choosing the Right Speed Square with Level Buying Guide:

Buying Guide Speed Square with Level
  • Material: Speed squares come in different materials like plastic, aluminum, and steel. If durability is a priority, consider metal ones. For lightweight needs, plastic might suffice.
  • Size: Common sizes include 7-inch and 12-inch. The right size depends on your tasks. For general carpentry, a 7-inch is often sufficient, but for larger projects or industrial use, a 12-inch might be better.
  • Brand: Established brands often offer better quality and accuracy. Brands like Swanson, IRWIN, and CH Hanson have solid reputations in the industry.
  • Features: Look for added features like scribing notches, color contrast for better visibility, and UV protection for plastic models.
  • Price vs. Quality: While it’s tempting to go for the cheapest option, it might not always be the best in terms of durability and accuracy. Consider it an investment; a good speed square can last a lifetime.
  • Reviews: Before making a purchase, always check customer reviews. They can offer real-world insights that might not be evident from product descriptions.
  • Versatility: If you’re spending your hard-earned money, consider tools that offer multiple functionalities. A speed square with a level or additional marking capabilities can be a valuable asset.
  • Safety Features: Some modern speed squares come with ergonomic designs, non-slip surfaces, or enhanced visibility features. These can significantly improve the safety and ease of use.

Safety Tips & Considerations for Using Speed Squares:

  1. Proper Handling: Always hold the speed square securely to prevent it from slipping, which can cause inaccuracies or injuries.
  2. Check for Damages: Before use, inspect your speed square for any damage, bends, or imperfections. Using a damaged tool can lead to inaccurate measurements and compromised safety.
  3. Avoid Force: Do not apply excessive force when using the speed square as a guide for cutting. It can cause the tool to slip or the blade to bind.
  4. Stay Alert: Always keep your hands and fingers away from the cutting line when using a speed square as a guide.
  5. Storage: Store your speed square in a dry place to prevent rust or degradation, especially if it has built-in levels.
  6. Regular Calibration: If your speed square comes with a level, regularly check its calibration to ensure accurate readings.
  7. Material Compatibility: Make sure you are using the right speed square for the material you are working on. Some squares might be designed specifically for wood, while others can handle more robust materials.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Speed Squares with Levels:

What is a speed square with a level used for?

A speed square with a level combines the functionality of a triangle-shaped measuring tool with a spirit level. It is primarily used in carpentry for marking cuts on rafters, guiding circular saw cuts, and checking the level of a surface or object.

How does the level function in a speed square make it different?

A built-in level allows carpenters and DIY enthusiasts to ensure their workpieces or structures are perfectly horizontal or vertical, adding a layer of functionality to the traditional speed square.

Is a speed square with a level accurate enough for professional work?

Absolutely! Modern speed squares with levels are designed with precision in mind. However, always ensure you’re buying a reputable brand, and it’s a good practice to periodically check for accuracy.

How do I maintain and care for my speed square with a level?

Store it in a dry place, keep it clean from dust and debris, avoid dropping it to prevent any potential misalignment, and periodically check for accuracy.


Throughout this article, we’ve delved deep into the realm of speed squares with levels, tools that blend precision, functionality, and versatility. These instruments, essential for both professional carpenters and DIY enthusiasts, serve multiple purposes – from marking precise angles on wood to ensuring that a structure is perfectly level.

The primary goal of this article was to provide a comprehensive understanding of speed squares with levels, guiding readers in making informed decisions based on their specific needs. Whether you’re a seasoned carpenter, a budding DIY enthusiast, or someone in between, choosing the right tool can significantly enhance the quality of your work and the efficiency of your workflow.

We encourage you to reevaluate your tool collection. If you don’t already own a speed square with a level, consider investing in one. It’s not just about having the right tool; it’s about elevating the standard of your work. Equip yourself with the best, and let every project be a testament to your craftsmanship.

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