Talkin' Tools #3: Speed Square

Tuesday, September 10, 2013 -

Hi everyone! This week, for Talkin' Tools I'm going to cover one of my most valuable, albeit simple tools, the Speed Square (sometimes called a "rafter square").

When I first started building, my husband handed me a speed square and said "You're going to need this." He is a professional framer and keeps one in his pocket at all times. His gets used countless times a day. Although I am not putting up walls or finding the pitch of a roof (usually), I still consider my speed square invaluable.

The best part of all... They are dirt cheap! I think I got mine at Harbor Freight on sale for $1.

Time for an anatomy lesson:

The whole thing is shaped like an equilateral triangle and has one side with a flat edge, like a "T".

It has lots of numbers on it. On the 2 adjacent sides, there are ruler markings (very handy) used to measure length. On the edge of the hypotenuse are angles in degrees.

And on the inner rail, there are a bunch of dashes and numbers. These are to find the pitch of a roof (4/12, 6/12, etc). 

*On that note, living in Arizona and our sea of 3/12 and 4/12 roofs, I'm so jealous of the rest of you with your stately 6/12 pitches! 

Although a speed square can be tremendously helpful in finding and ascribing angles, I typically reserve finding angles for my combination square.

90% of the time I use my speed square to mark lengths from an edge, giving me a way to draw a perfectly perpendicular line.

Or, to check if two boards are "square" with each other.

Plan on building or repairing a piece of furniture soon? I would highly recommend shelling out the $1 to get yourself a speed square. It will help you avoid stuck drawer boxes and wobbly legs.

Do you have a speed square? Are you constantly using yours?

Linking at:
Liz Marie Blog ThePinJunkie The Shabby Nest  photo grabbutton1_zps655117c3.png Shine on Friday Link Party Craft Dictator Fidlin' Fridays Link Party DIY blog Classy Clutter ..Twigg studios


  1. Okay...My husband has one of these, so now I have a new toy to steal and play with. I'm pretty sure he got his at Harbor Freight too. And we have a 7:12 roof...weep away. :P You're still way cooler than me though. =D


  2. I want to nominate you for the Liebster Award. You are probably asking what a Liebster Award is? It is a blogger to blogger award, when you receive it you have to nominate 11 bloggers with less than 200 Followers
    Come on over to,
    there are some questions to answer and then you can put the badge on a post and nominate 3-5 people too!

  3. Yes! My husband has one of these in the garage, and we use it all the time!!! I never knew how much I needed this tool until I saw him using it one day. Amazing what you discover when you back away and watch... :-)
    <3 Kim


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