Square: What is the best in 2021?
Today’s text deals with the square, the tool that is on the basic list of many manual activities, from carpentry to carpentry, from architecture to engineering, from the production of parts to the installation of electrical networks.
With a couple of angles and a few inches or centimeters markings, the square is capable of doing a lot. It is a template for measurement, the reference of an entire work, a ruler for drawing, among other utilities, all easily executed, provided the correct way.
Its multifunctionality – whether in the different areas of activity or in the “tools within the tool” – is due to its simplicity, tradition and enormous variety of types and models. In this Guide, we will go through all these steps, so that in the end you can choose the right square for you and your projects.
First, the most important
- Despite the versatility of the square, it is important that you have an idea of what activity you intend to use it on. Each model has a more suitable purpose.
- It is of utmost importance that your square, well, is on the square. Always try to check if the angle and measurements of the chosen model are accurate.
- Due to the large number of different models and materials, prices vary widely. You can find simple squares for R $ 30, as well as professionals for around R $ 1,000.
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Ranking: The 3 best square models
Below, you will see what we consider to be the best square models on the market. We built this list based on the cost-benefit of the model, as well as its material and features.
The work, the construction, the manual production, in short, has one of its most faithful and old companions in the square, even after successive technological revolutions. This is because the tool works with the most basic (and necessary): angulation and measurement. And the best, in a simple way.
But today’s square is not necessarily the same as that of humanity’s first projects. It incorporated different functionalities, while maintaining its usual premise. In this Buying Guide, we go deeper into these innovations, the disadvantages and advantages that surround the product, among other tips and valuable information.
What is the square?
The square is fundamentally a drawing tool, both in the playful sense of the word, as a blueprint of a building or a furniture project, for example, as in the technical sense, when guiding, via drawn lines, works and any other activities that need of metric-visual references.
With a shape of a triangle – a complete triangle, with three edges, or a virtual one, with two and the third “virtual”, in the shape of the letter “L” -, its function is to measure distances and angles.
These triangles, complete or not, are usually of the isosceles type, yielding angles of 45º and 90º, or scalene rectangles, with angles of 30º, 60º and 90º.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of the square?
The fact that it is a simple to use tool includes certain advantages to the square, while working with measures add some other disadvantages. Let’s look at both sides, so you have a complete view of the product.
Starting with the advantages, of course, the first is its practicality. Just a pencil and a stable surface is enough to operate the traditional object.
The second is its versatility. With a square, you can measure distances, angles, draw, in short, go from planning to execution with the same tool – apart from the other extra features that some products have, such as checking levels, for example.
Consequently, the square is “multidisciplinary”, that is, it can operate in a wide range of activities, from the simplest carpentry to the most complex engineering project, which is another great advantage.
On the other side of the coin are inconsistencies with the measures, a certain disadvantage. The most noticeable are the differences in measurements between squares from different manufacturers, which is not exclusive to this product, but a consequence of uses of references other than something “immaterial” like distance.
Another problem is the common cases of “squares outside the square”. Due to manufacturing defects, reference errors or just poor quality, some models may not have exactly the promised angles, which can cause problems in an entire project.
These situations can also happen for reasons of durability. A metal that warps slightly, dusted wood, all of this can take the accuracy of the measurement and the angle of the product over time, making the square, in many cases, a product with an expiration date.
Simple, combined, speed or universal square?
Well, let’s go to the so-called varieties of the square. First of all, know that there is, in fact, an even greater diversity of models, but that add specific characteristics to their end and are almost unique tools, in addition to models with different names, due to their popular apprehension, such as, for example, the “Carpenter’s square”.
The most common square types on the shelves, physical or virtual, are: simple, combined, speed and universal.
The simple square , also called carpenter’s square, is shaped like an “L”, with a longer plate, usually of metal, with the measurement template, and a smaller handle, forming an angle of 90º.
The combined square has this name because it combines different functionalities within a main square. The “normal” is that it is together with a centering square (which helps to find the center of circumferences) and a protractor, in addition to its cable being movable, which allows the model to be used as a clip.
The only “complete” triangle on this list – a right-angled triangle, in this case – the speed , or rigid, square is widely used in joinery and carpentry, with outstanding performance in solid wood. Its functional differential lies in the precise measurement of angle and the ease of making parallel markings.
The universal square , another in the shape of an “L”, is characterized by its built-in protractor, the fourth circle that “connects” the two edges beyond their common vertex.
It is perhaps the most versatile among areas and functions, especially in the markings it adds, such as angular lines, hinge points, among others, which can vary from model to model.
The price fluctuation of tools is always great, due to the low cost on the one hand, with the indiscriminate use of plastics and acrylics, and the adhesion of technologies to increase functionality, on the other.
It is no different with the square. Without considering squares of school supplies, which can cost R $ 5, the most basic models are found at around R $ 30, while professionals for up to R $ 1,000, in some cases.
Where to buy?
The ideal places to research and buy your square are the large networks of building materials, among others. In addition to variety, they have specialized salespeople ready to show you the best model.
If, however, you want to avoid the huge aisles of these megastores, enjoy the comfort of your home and still find an even greater variety of prices, brands, and models, sites like Amazon, are the most suitable for you.
Purchasing criteria: Factors for comparing square types
Faithful to our mission to help you choose the ideal square, we have created a very useful list, containing criteria to be noted at the time of purchase. They were designed based on the characteristics of the models and other elements of their use.
Next, we will explain each of the items, so that your choice is the best informed, and your purchase, thus, is the best possible.
As we have highlighted and reiterated throughout this Guide, one of the great advantages of the square is its aptitude for different areas of manual work. At the same time, it is the source of some confusion at the time of purchase.
Thus, it is recommended that you have a clear idea of the use you intend to give to your square, even if it is “just” to complete your general toolbox. For this use, for example, a simple square is the most suitable, for doing the necessary without complications.
For carpentry, a more robust, combined square is a good fit. For the more delicate joinery, the details of the speed square can be more useful, as well as for design, an activity in which the universal square can also be very productive.
An essential factor in deciding the ideal square is its precision, especially the angles. In addition to avoiding very cheap and / or crooked models, you can do a super quick test to check if it is “in the square”.
It consists of “mirroring” the model: drawing a straight line with the aid of the largest edge, turning the face of the model and drawing another straight line, next to the first. An accurate square will result in two parallel lines.
The idea here is a kind of cost-benefit. The more features your model adds, for the chosen price range, the better. This ensures that you will be choosing the most versatile and complete model at your fingertips.
One of the features is the possibility to measure the level. Analyze what you use most and try to find a square that combines elements to meet all your needs.
One of the big questions of the square is the possibility of it losing its accuracy over time, due to the natural wear and tear of its materials. So, look for the model with the longest durability, that is, whose material best resists the weather.
So, prefer steel, aluminum or wood models, and look at the quality of the finishes, such as the cable and the fixation between the edges.