How to Use a Speed Square – Make the Most out of this DIY Tool

When it comes to DIY tools at home, one that most people tend to ignore, despite the fact that it can be useful in more ways than one, is a speed square. Also known as rafter square, it is actually triangular in shape. It is a multi-tool that is used primarily for making measurements. It is made from plastic, aluminum, or steel. A common tool for carpenters, it is used for marking angles and guiding cuts, among other things.

If you are interested to know how to use a speed square, keep on reading the rest of this post and we’ll share with you some of its basic applications. Once you are done reading, you will realize that this is indeed something that you should have at home, especially if you have a penchant for DIY tasks.

Marking Square Lines

Among others, the most common application of a speed square is the marking of square lines at an angle of 90 degrees. You will find it beneficial in situations wherein you will need to make repetitive markings. The lipped fence on the right angle of the speed square will make it easy for you to hold the tool on one side. Hold the speed square firmly on the edge of the board. Draw a line along the desired angle or where you want to write a mark. You can do this for locating studs and laying out floor joists, among others.

Marking Square Lines

Guiding Saw Cuts

In using a best circular saw, a speed square will also prove to be a useful tool. To use it in guiding a circular saw, position the speed square on the wood that you will cut. Insert the shoe and cut along the edges of the square, which will mark 40 and 90-degree angles. It is better to choose a plastic speed square than a metal one for this application. Plastic is a thicker material, and hence, there is a lesser likelihood that it will ride on the top of the speed square.

Guiding Saw Cuts width=

Scribing Lines

A speed square will also be useful as a line scriber, although this is something that most people tend to ignore. There are notches with markings and spaced half an inch apart. There is another row that is spaced at ¼-inch apart. If you want to create a parallel line, press the speed square firmly on the board and position the tip of the pencil on the notch. Slide the speed square on the board. While doing this, see to it that the pencil stays on the notch and that the fence is on the edge. After this, you will be able to create a perfectly parallel line on the edge of the board. You can use this for making lines to be cut in plywood.

Scribing Lines


If you need a protractor, a speed square will also prove to be an excellent alternative. You can use it for reading and marking angles. If you want to mark an angle using the speed square, all that you have to do is to press the pivot point against the board. Adjust the speed square until it reaches the degree that you desire. Draw a line across the diagonal edges of the square. Once you are done with the markings, you are now ready to cut the board.

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