Swanson Tool T0118 Speedlite Carpentry Square

Last updated date: July 30, 2021

DWYM Score

9.1

Swanson Tool T0118 Speedlite Carpentry Square

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We looked at the top Carpentry Squares and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Carpentry Square you should buy.

Update as August 24, 2021:
Checkout The Best Carpentry Squares for a detailed review of all the top carpentry squares.

Overall Take


In our analysis, the Swanson Tool Swanson Tool T0118 Speedlite Carpentry Square placed 5th when we looked at the top 6 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

From The Manufacturer

8-Inch size is great for siding. Center line (C/L) guide for locating center of round stock. Beveled edge for ease of reading. 1/8-Inch spaced notches to use for scribing lines. Constructed of lightweight high-impact structural composite material. Winner of the Popular Mechanics Editor's Choice Award and the retailers' choice award of distinction, the Speedlite square is an all-around crowd pleaser. This square is an 8 in. lightweight version of the Swanson speed square, first developed by company founder Albert Swanson in 1925. The innovative Speedlite square is everything you know and love about the speed square, but it’s especially great for use with siding and other delicate materials, since it won’t mar soft finishes. This innovative tool combines 5 tools into 1: 1. Try Square, 2. Miter square, 3. Saw guide, 4. Line scriber, & 5. protractor. This model is constructed of lightweight, high-impact composite and is available in gray and high-visibility orange, and high-visibility yellow. The Speedlite square also includes markings for using the Swanson one-number method of rafter layout. The Swanson Speed Square is our most popular product and remains the most trusted square of its kind. Look for the Diamond cutout for genuine Swanson products.

An Overview On Carpentry Squares

Carpentry squares are a great tool for anyone who needs to lay out and mark patterns in frames, stairways and roofs. They can also be used as straightedges to determine how linear and flat surfaces are.

These tools are also referred to as rafter squares, roofing squares and flat squares. You can find carpentry squares that are designed to fit in your pocket and ones that are made to work with different surfaces such as wood or brick.

They are generally made from aluminum or steel and are shaped like the letter “L.” Though the standard size is 24 inches by 16 inches, they can also be found in other sizes. The longer part is called the blade, and the shorter part is the tongue; these join at the heel.

You’ll find many different types of squares, often specialized for certain jobs. A combination square, for example, can mark lines at 45 degrees, 90 degrees and 135 degrees and includes an adjustable slide ruler. Tri-squares do not have the adjustable rule, so they look like flat steel blades that are riveted at 90° to wooden handles. Drywall squares, speed squares, and many others also exist.

The measuring dimensions are stamped onto the surface and vary by the purpose the tool is designed for. Most carpentry squares are calibrated in inches and fractions of inches; look for ones that are clearly stamped and easy to read.

The Carpentry Square Buying Guide

  • If you work outside, shop for carpentry squares with anti-glare coatings.
  • Aluminum is water-resistant and does not rust like steel.
  • Some of these squares come with accessories, like manuals that can instruct you on how to use them properly.
  • Some squares are multi-use tools that include the square along with many other useful parts. These can be very convenient and save you money.