Framing Square Vs. Speed Square

The other square models that are interesting to learn how they are comparable are the framing square and speed square. These two models are significantly different in several points such as shape, applications, how we use them, features, and the ability to check outside right angle. Meanwhile, they have several similarities such as material, ability to check inside right angle, and function.

Framing and speed squares are prone to be the carpentry and woodworking tools that provide agility and ease of operation and ensure accurate results. Both squares have their limitations and plus points. Some of the operations can be performed by using both of them and for some operations, we have to choose one of them.

On this page, we will break them down and explained them in more detail in the discussion below.

1. Shape

Framing square also known as steel square or carpenter’s square has an L-shaped body and is used to accurately measure right angles and layout markings. It consists of two arms that meet at the right angle (90 degrees). One arm is longer and wider and the other is short and narrow. The long arm is two inches wide and is called the blade, the short arm is one and a half inches wide and is called the tongue.

Speed square, also called triangle square and rafter square is a right triangle. On one of the equal sides, there is a fence that is used as a guide while making markings and measurements.

2. Material

Both framing and speed squares are made of a resistant anti-rust material like aluminum or stainless steel. Speed squares are also available in plastic material which is inexpensive, and light-weighted but less durable.

The material of the framing square has high strength and scratch resistance so that the arms do not disorientate, and markings do not fade away over time.

3. Inside Perpendicular Angle

Both tools are lightweight, handy, easy, and very quick to use. When it comes to measuring an inside perpendicular angle, speed and framing squares are both very good. A framing square is at par with the speed square in ease of access and use.

If we go a little deep in comparison, then speed square is better cause of its compact design and small size which increases its range of applications. One more advantage of speed square is that you can establish different angles ranging from 0 to 90 degrees.

4. Outside Perpendicular Angle

The framing square can check and assure outside 90-degree angles. Its shape allows it to be placed on the outer edge of an object but speed square on the other hand has a big limitation that it cannot ensure an outside angle.

5. Working

Framing square comes with tables that help you read the scale to mark and measure lengths. Working of framing square is easy to understand for example to mark a cut line, place the square on the workpiece and draw a line using the blade as a guide per your requirements. Similarly, to check an inside or outside angle place the framing square respectively.

Working of speed square is simpler, to take any measurement or check any angle press the fence side against the workpiece edge and take measurements or assure angles. Using the fence as a guide increases the accuracy of the measurement.

6. Application

A framing square is used for marking, measuring, and establishing perpendicular angles (both inside and outside). Since some of its products come with rafter tables marked (etched, embossed, etc) on the body surface, the framing squares are very helpful to use in carpentry projects such as the applications that include stair and roof framing. Thus, a framing square is also called a carpenter’s square.

On the other hand, a speed square is known for its agility and can be used for almost every task but for checking outside angles. It can be used as layout tool. The scribing guide hole lets you scribe parallel lines accurately and faster. Scribing perpendicular and a 45-degree line are simple and accurate due to its T-shaped fence. Another advantage of using speed square is that it can establish angles ranging from 0 to 90 degrees with 1-degree resolution. That said, if you want to cut the wood at a certain angle, these angle markings (0 – 90 degrees), can help you put the mark and then cut.

These advantages of speed square make them suitable for carpentry and woodworking projects. However, in terms of carpentry when dealing with roofing, the framing square is superior due to its long blade and rafter table charts.