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Thread: New Combination Squares

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Tokyo Japan

    New Combination Squares

    I have both a 30cm and a 15 cm combination squares made by Starrett, they are really, really nice, and I keep them handy in the workshop.

    For my onsite toolbag, I'm not really comfortable bringing my Starrett squares, they could get damaged or go for a walk, so to speak.

    The Starrett squares cost me about $120 and $90 respectively.

    I went looking around and I found these two combo squares by a company called Empire, they are about $25 and $28 each.

    The Starretts on the right and the Empire on the left.

    Did the double line check with both 15cm squares, they were both right on the money

    The Starrett 30cm square was bang on, but the Empire was off a bit, you can see the line on the far left.
    I then took the rule out and used the very end corner of the rule to scrape the lans (I think they are called that) that the rules rest on.
    after three adjustments the Empire was also bang on.

    Both of the 30 cm squares are cast iron, and have steel rules, so I weighed them.....

    The Empire is just a bit lighter.

    The Starrett is heavier, so I guess there is more metal

    The 15cm Empire square has an aluminium body, with a steel rule.

    The Starrett 15 cm square is all steel

    On both of the Empire squares the lines are very, very slightly etched into the rules, on the Starrets the the lines are much deeper etchings.

    On the 30 cm Starret quare the parts that hold the rule in are all steel, look nicely machined too.

    The small Empire square has a cast aluminum blade lock, the knobs on the Empire are fine, but they are smaller, and aluminium.

    The 15cm Starrett is also all steel with a machined hold down

    The Empire 30 cm square is steel, looks machined but not as nicely as the Starrett.

    Overall, I'm impressed with the Empire squares, are they as nice as the Starretts? Of course not, but for a traveling set, they are just fine, and for the price, yeah, you can't beat them.

    I'd recommend them for sure, you might have to adjust the squareness on them, but is was very easy to do and took moments.

    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Constantine, MI
    You can purchase the Empire square readily here at HD and, I think, Lowes. I remember reading a review on these in some magazine several years ago and they rated the Empires as the best and most accurate in the economical category. Like you said, not as good as the Starrett, but a bargain considering the heft and accuracy.
    Host of the 2017 Family Woodworking Gathering - Sunken Wood

    “We all die. The goal isn't to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” - Chuck Palahniuk

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