If you are in the construction industry or simply enjoy doing your own DIY, you will certainly have worked with drywalling at some time.
If it is something you do regularly, then you will know that when it comes to cutting and installing drywall panels, accurate measurements are essential for a successful outcome.
The key to accurate measurement is having the right tools and this is where the drywall T-square comes into its own.
If you work with drywalling, even occasionally, this simple tool is one you can’t afford to be without.
After researching and comparing the various drywall T-squares on the market, and looking at their various features, my top pick is the Johnson Level and Tool JTS48 48-Inch Aluminum Drywall T-Square. It is affordable, does the job effectively, and is a reliable tool that can be used by both professionals and DIYers.
I’ll review this one more extensively further below, together with some other great options.
|Best drywall T-square||Image|
|Best overall drywall T-square: Johnson Level & Tool JTS1200 Aluminum Metric|
|Best adjustable drywall T-square for heavy-duty use: Empire Level 419-48 Adjustable|
|Best hands-free drywall T-square: OX Tools 48” Adjustable|
|Best fixed drywall T-square for small-scale projects: Johnson Level & Tool RTS24 RockRipper 24-Inch|
In this post we'll cover:
- Buyer’s guide: what features to look for in a drywall T-square
- Best drywall T-squares reviewed
- Best overall drywall T-square: Johnson Level & Tool JTS1200 Aluminum Metric
- Best adjustable drywall T-square for heavy-duty use: Empire Level 419-48 Adjustable
- Best hands-free drywall T-square: OX Tools 48” Adjustable
- Best fixed drywall T-square for small-scale projects: Johnson Level & Tool RTS24 RockRipper 24-Inch
- Frequently Asked Questions
- What is a drywall T-square?
- What different types of drywall T-squares are there?
- What is a drywall T-square used for?
- How to use a drywall T-square
- Are all drywall T-squares the same size?
- What is the difference between sheetrock and drywall?
- Can I cut drywall with a utility knife?
- How do you hold a T-square when using it?
Buyer’s guide: what features to look for in a drywall T-square
There are loads of options on the market when it comes to drywall T-squares, so making the right decision for the type of tool that you really need may seem a little bit daunting.
To help you narrow down the ones that would be right for you, here are the top features you should look for in a drywall T-square
A quality drywall T-square should be lightweight yet durable. It needs to be strong enough not to bend under pressure.
Steel is extremely durable, it is also heavy and prone to rusting. Generally, aluminum is the best-suited material for plasterboard and drywall T-squares.
The head should not be too large or too small. It should be securely attached to the body so that it will not flip.
Adjustable / fixed
Nowadays adjustable T-squares are becoming popular because they can be used for marking and cutting a variety of angles. It is important for an adjustable T-square to have a good locking system.
The benefit of a fixed drywall T-square is that it’s always set up for perfect 90-degree angles and easy to work with.
Accuracy is essential with this tool.
The head needs to hold a square shape if it is a fixed T-square, and an adjustable T-square needs a good locking system to hold the various angles with accuracy.
Gradations must be clear and easy to read.
Also check out my review of the 7 best drywall screw guns
Best drywall T-squares reviewed
Let’s look at my top 4 drywall T-squares now and see what makes them so great.
Best overall drywall T-square: Johnson Level & Tool JTS1200 Aluminum Metric
If you are looking for a drywall T-square that is durable, affordable, and accurate, then the Johnson 48-inch aluminum T-Square is the one for you.
It has all the features one looks for in a fixed T-square and you can rely on it to get the job done easily and accurately. And it is easy on the pocket.
The defining feature of this T-square is the unique rivet assembly that permanently holds the head and the blade.
This means that it will remain square for the lifetime of the tool and will ensure that your measurements are always 100 percent correct.
It is made of lightweight aluminum, which makes it is comfortable and easy to work with. The clear protective anodized coating protects it from rust or corrosion and makes it extremely durable.
The bold, black markings, printed with thermal technology, make for easy reading and won’t wear off.
- Body: Made of rust-resistant, lightweight aluminum.
- Head: The unique rivet assembly locks the head and the blade permanently, to ensure it remains square for the lifetime of the tool.
- Adjustable/fixed: This is a fixed T-dquare
- Accuracy: The bold black markings are printed with thermal technology, making them hard-wearing and easy to read.
Best adjustable drywall T-square for heavy-duty use: Empire Level 419-48 Adjustable
If you work with drywalling daily and are looking for a tough, super heavy-duty adjustable drywall T-square, the Empire level 419-48 adjustable heavy-duty T-Square is an excellent option.
Being adjustable, it is heavier on the pocket, but its versatility and durability make it the ideal T-square for carpentry professionals.
Made of heavy-duty extruded aluminum, it is heavier and thicker than other models (it weighs just over 3 pounds) which means it will not easily bend or get damaged.
It is fully adjustable and the head and blade lock together very firmly for perfect 30, 45, 60, 75, and 90-degree angles. It gives you the option of adjusting to any angle quickly, without disassembly.
The blade is 1/4-inch thick and marked in black with easy-to-read graduations in 1/8 and 1/16-inch and the angle numbers are engraved rather than painted for added durability.
It has a clear, anodized coating which protects it from scratches and is easy to clean. A useful feature is that it folds flat, for easy transport and storage.
- Material: Made of heavy-duty extruded aluminum, which makes it a little heavier than other T-squares but also ensures that it will not bend easily. Has a clear anodized coating which protects it from being scratched and damaged.
- Head: The head and blade lock together very firmly for perfect 30, 45, 60, 75, and 90-degree angles. Folds flat for easy transport.
- Adjustable/fixed: It is fully adjustable and gives you the option of changing angles easily, without disassembly.
- Accuracy: The blade is 1/4-inch thick and marked in black with easy-to-read graduations in 1/8 and 1/16-inch and the angle numbers are engraved rather than painted for added durability.
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Best hands-free drywall T-square: OX Tools 48” Adjustable
The OX Tools 48″ adjustable drywall T-square is similar to the previous product, but it has a unique feature that any carpentry professional will appreciate.
Clearly designed with tradesmen in mind, it features ABS end caps with a ledge that provides a hands-free hold and also keeps the T- square from flipping during use.
This T-square features a sliding head that adjusts to any angle. The strong screw lock keeps the desired angle in place for steady and accurate operation.
The tough anodized aluminum profile with a durable printed scale ensures that this T-square will last. It folds up for easy transportation and storage.
- Material: Made of tough anodized aluminum.
- Head: The sliding head adjusts to any angle.
- Adjustable/fixed: Features a sliding head that adjusts to any angle, and which is kept in place by a strong screw lock.
- Accuracy: The strong screw lock ensures the accuracy of the angles, and the gradations are easy to read and wont easily fade.
Best fixed drywall T-square for small-scale projects: Johnson Level & Tool RTS24 RockRipper 24-Inch
The Johnson level & tool RTS24 RockRipper drywall scoring square is a little different in character from the previous tools discussed here.
It is a simple practical construction tool, useful for a variety of applications, not just measurement.
This is a compact drywall scoring T-square and the ideal fixed T-square for architects, engineers, or carpenters. But, because of its smaller size, it is limited to small-scale projects.
At 24-inches in length, this drywall scoring square is half the size of the previous models and has a fixed head. Its compact size makes it easy to handle and it is useful for small-scale projects.
It is bright neon orange in color for easy on-the-job spotting and the 20-inch foam molded head glides along with the drywall with stabilizing fins that ensure a quick, straight score.
The large, bold 1/16-inch graduations are easy to read and ensure accuracy and error-free readings.
In the center of the blade, amidst the measurement markings, there are tiny, engraved notches that assist with marking and measuring.
This carpentry square is perfect for making cut lines on sheets of plywood, OSB, drywall, and other materials. It can be easily positioned on the drafting table and used to draw horizontal or vertical lines.
- Material: Made from lightweight aluminum, it has a bright orange finish for easy on-the-job spotting.
- Head: The 20-inch foam molded head glides along with the drywall with stabilizing fins that ensure a quick, straight score.
- Adjustable/fixed: Fixed head, ideal for drawing squares.
- Accuracy: The large, bold 1/16-inch graduations are easy to read and ensure accuracy and error-free readings. In the center of the blade, amidst the measurement markings, there are tiny, engraved notches that also assist with accurate marking and measuring.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a drywall T-square?
Sometimes referred to as a plaster square, a drywall T-square is larger than the normal T-square used in draughting.
It is normally 48 inches long to suit the width of a sheet of plasterboard. There is also a larger 54-inch version available on the market.
The drywall T-square is made of two pieces of metal connected at right angles to one another. The ‘blade’ is the longer shaft, and the shorter shaft is the ‘stock’ or the ‘head.’
The two pieces of metal create a 90-degree angle just below the crossbar of the T-shape.
This 90° angle is essential to ensure that the cut edge (butt joint) is exactly 90° from the bound edge (drywall seam) when cutting drywall panels.
What different types of drywall T-squares are there?
There are two main types of drywall T-squares.
Fixed drywall T-square
Comprised of two rulers held together in a fixed position by rivets, with the smaller rule behind it so that it can rest on the edge of the board.
Adjustable drywall T-square
This is the more expensive option, but it is also more versatile. The top ruler can be turned 360 degrees.
This allows the user to mark and cut the plasterboard at any angle – especially useful for sloping ceilings or arched doorways.
Most adjustable T-squares have 4 fixed positions which usually include 45- and 90-degree angles.
Having one of each type gives the user the option of adjustable angles, while always having a fixed square to hand.
What is a drywall T-square used for?
A drywall T-square is used to accurately measure a sheet of plasterboard / drywalling and to guide a knife when cutting the sheet to size.
How to use a drywall T-square
Place the square on the drywall or plasterboard surface and then set up the square by aligning the head of the tool with the edge of the surface.
After that, measure at which point you want to cut or draw a line and mark the point using a marker, along the blade.
If you want to cut the material, hold the square and use its line as a string layout. If you want to draw a line, then draw the line on the edge of the tool.
Are all drywall T-squares the same size?
Since most drywall panels are 48 inches tall, standard size T-squares are 48 inches from top to bottom, though other lengths can be found.
What is the difference between sheetrock and drywall?
Drywall is a flat panel made of gypsum plaster sandwiched between two sheets of thick paper. It adheres to metal or wood studs using nails or screws.
Sheetrock is a specific brand of drywall sheeting. These terms are often used interchangeably.
Can I cut drywall with a utility knife?
With a sharp utility knife or another cutting tool, follow the pencil line and lightly cut through the paper layer of drywall.
How do you hold a T-square when using it?
Put the T-square at right angles along the edges of the drawing board.
A T-square has a straight edge that can be moved that is utilized to hold other technical tools like triangles and squares.
The T-square can be slid across the drawing table surface to the area where one wants to draw.
Now that your questions about drywall T-squares have been answered, I’m sure you now feel more informed about the various products on the market.
This should put you in a position to make the right choice for your needs when you make your purchase.
I'm Joost Nusselder, the founder of Tools Doctor, content marketer, and dad. I love trying out new equipment, and together with my team I've been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with tools & crafting tips.