The local dealer where I've been doing my shopping has a penchant for
carrying absolutely the best hand tools available, no matter what the cost.
My combination square disappeared when we moved overseas last year and I
need to get a new one. So, Lowe's carry's Johnson models for $9-$12 each.
I decided to see what my favorite woodworking store carried. They have
brands like Inca and Starrett. The 12" Starrett combination square sells
for $69.95!!!! Good grief! At that price, it ought to cook breakfast for
What meaningful, measurable difference would I get in a Starrett brand vs.
the Johnson? I believe in paying for quality I can use, but not for just a
famous brand name.
With moderate care, you'll never have to buy another such square: the
Starretts' are that good. The metallurgy is up to snuff in the Starrett,
whereas I have had numerous other squares tightening/sliding widget wear
out in less than a year. That tells you something about how "square"
these others are in short order.
You're paying (mostly) for accuracy, a little for name. Depending on
your woodworking, a Starrett could be overkill. It's designed for
metalworking which tends to have much closer tolerances than
woodworking needs. If all you do is frame houses, it's probably not
needed. If you do tight intricate furniture and custom work, it could
be. It would also serve as a nice standard to measure all of your
other squares against.
On Sun, 28 Sep 2003 05:29:07 GMT, "Bob Davis"
1. It's not probably the best square around. It IS the best sqaure around.
2. Your engineer's square (I have one as well) is probably accurate enough for
any woodworking, as it is with mine.
3. The Starrett is accurate based on the latest standards of measurment and
accuaracy. All other squares are tested by comparign to a Starret. Really.
I had a crappy try square years ago. I've had the Starret for over a decade,
and it is still perfect. It not only measures square, inside and out (as well
as 45), the rule is a Starrett, the easiest to read, and is also accurate.
The slide mechanism is perfect, even after years of use. Not misuse. You get
on, besides the cost, you don't want to misuse it. I have Norris planes, Knight
planes, Two Cherries Chisels, a MiniMax bandsaw, a Unisaw. The Starret is my
The Starrett is a tool that will last for several lifetimes if cared for. I
have one that is at least 50 years old and I use it daily. Having owned some
cheap "squares" I can tell you to check them carefully and often. They
usually are not square.
To check a square hold it to the edge of a straight board and scribe a line,
then flip the square over and, using the same edge, check the line you
scribed. The tool is out of square by 1/2 the amount of error you see.
R & B ENTERPRISES
"Don't take this life too seriously.......nobody
gets out alive" (Unknown)
Remove "no" to reply
Of course, that's only as accurate as the straightness of the edge
of the "straight" board you're using. You may be measuring the
curve of the edge of the board (times 2, of course). Which then
begs the question "how do I test an edge for straightness" :-)
As a machinist, I've used my Starrett squares in the trade for more than 20
years and they are still holding up well. I also use them in my woodshop. Of
course I live in Athol, Ma., the home of Starrett, so I wouldn't use anything
else, plus, I get my tools at a very reduced rate
Bob Davis wrote:
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