If you are an architect, a draftsman, a woodworker, or an artist, you will already know the value of a good T-square.
For anyone working in the technical field, the T-square is one of those essential drawing instruments.
If you are a student, in training for these professions, you will most certainly require a T-square which you will probably use on a daily basis.
After researching the numerous options, and looking at their features and the reviews, my top choice of T-square is the Westcott 12 inch / 30 cm Junior T-square. It’s made of high-quality plastic, doesn’t bend easily, and is easy to read as well as being budget-friendly.
But T-squares are available in a variety of materials, sizes, and prices so it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the various options that are available and look for the product which will best suit your purposes and your pocket.
I have done some of the leg work for you, so keep reading!
|Best T-square for drawing||Image|
|Best overall T-square: Westcott 12”/30cm Junior|
|Best T-square for precision work: Ludwig Precision 24” Standard|
|Best T-square for durability: Alvin Aluminum Graduated 30 inches|
|Most versatile T-square for drawing: Mr. Pen 12 inch Metal Ruler|
|Best T-square for drawing and framing: Alvin transparent edge 24 inches|
|Best budget T-square: Helix plastic 12 inch|
In this post we'll cover:
- Best T-square buyer’s guide
- Best T-squares reviewed
- Best overall T-square: Westcott 12”/30cm Junior
- Best T-square for precision work: Ludwig Precision 24” Standard
- Best T-square for durability: Alvin Aluminum Graduated 30 inches
- Most versatile T-square for drawing: Mr. Pen 12 inch Metal Ruler
- Best T-square for drawing and framing: Alvin transparent edge 24 inches
- Best budget T-square: Helix plastic 12 inch
- Frequently Asked Questions about T-squares
Best T-square buyer’s guide
Over the years, I’ve learned that there are a few key things to watch out for when narrowing down your choices for online purchases.
When you can’t see the physical item in a store, it’s important to narrow down exactly what you’re looking for and set your filters to find products with those features.
These are the 3 features to check when purchasing a T-square – always keeping in mind what your specific needs are.
The body should be strong and made of durable material. The edges should be smooth, for the even and accurate drawing of lines.
A transparent body is useful to make it easier to underline notes, draw columns or check the layout of work. The length of the body can vary, so it is important to choose the right length for your needs.
The head needs to be securely attached to the body at a perfect 90 -degree angle. It may sometimes have graduations.
If the T-square is used for measuring purposes, it needs to have clear and easy-to-read graduations, preferably in both imperial and metric measurements.
Did you know there are different types of squares besides t-squares? Find all about squares explained here
Best T-squares reviewed
And now I’ll show you the best T-squares available and explain why these made it to my top list.
Best overall T-square: Westcott 12”/30cm Junior
If you are looking for a lightweight, transparent T-square and want to avoid the heaviness of wood and metal, the Westcott Junior T-Square is a perfect choice.
Made of high-quality plastic that doesn’t break or bend easily, the see-through design of the instrument is one of the major points in its favor.
Ideal for students, as well as for crafting and creative work. It is lightweight, flexible, and very well priced.
The clear plastic makes it easy to see through in order to underline notes, draw columns or check the layout of work. The transparent edges make it ideal for inking.
It has both imperial and metric calibrations which make for easy reading and versatility.
The hang hole at the bottom of the body is useful for storage and easy location in a workshop or next to a drawing table.
It’s perfect for home use, but if you’re looking for something that can withstand hard industrial wear, rather check out the Alvin Aluminum Graduated T-square 30 inches below.
- Body: Made of high-quality plastic, it is lightweight and transparent. Has a hang hole for easy storage.
- Head: Securely attached at 90 degrees.
- Graduations: Has both metric and imperial calibrations.
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Best T-square for precision work: Ludwig Precision 24” Standard
The Ludwig Precision Aluminum T-Square is an excellent option for architects, as it is robust enough to withstand the wear and tear that comes with continuous use.
When drafting for industrial, professional, or academic purposes, the Ludwig Precision 24-inch standard T-square is recommended for accurate precision work.
It has reliable calibrations and is perfect for crucial drafting jobs that allow no margin for error.
This T-square features an extra-thick, 24-inch-long aluminum blade with a highly durable plastic head. The calibrations on the blade, both in imperial and metric, offer great flexibility.
The numbers are larger than normal, easy to read, and are designed to last without fading. The plastic head is also calibrated on both sides.
The hole in the bottom edge is useful for hanging the tool on the wall, near a desk or workbench.
- Body: Has a 24-inch-long, thick aluminum blade, which makes it robust and durable.
- Head: The plastic head is calibrated on both sides.
- Graduations: Calibrations are in both metric and imperial measurements, are larger than average, making them easy to read and very reliable.
Best T-square for durability: Alvin Aluminum Graduated 30 inches
Made entirely of metal, Alvin’s aluminum T-Square is sturdy and durable but also lightweight. It is the ideal choice for professionals who use the instrument on a daily basis.
Because it is made of high-quality aluminum, it is heavier on the pocket but is designed to last. It will not loosen or warp and will maintain its accuracy even with frequent use.
Its stainless-steel body is 1.6 mm thick and is firmly attached to the ABS plastic molded head, meeting at a perfect right angle. The head can be rested against the edge of your work surface to ensure accurate alignment.
The gradations show both large and small increments, with the major markings printed in a larger font for easy visibility.
- Body: Made of stainless steel, the 1,6mm thick body will maintain its rigidity even with frequent use.
- Head: Made of ABS plastic, an ideal material for structural applications when impact resistance, strength, and stiffness are required.
- Graduations: The gradations show both large and small increments, with the major markings printed in a larger font for easy visibility.
Most versatile T-square for drawing: Mr. Pen 12 inch Metal Ruler
This is not just a T-square; it can also be used as a T-ruler or an L-ruler, so it is a very versatile instrument that offers great value for money.
Made from high-impact carbon steel, for durability, the Mr. Pen T-Square is laser printed on both sides of the blade with both imperial and metric measurements, which gives it great flexibility of use.
The white-on-black coloring and the large numbering make for easy and accurate reading and the laser-printing technique ensures that they will not wear off with time and use.
- Body: Made of high-impact carbon steel.
- Head: Has an 8 inch / 20 cm calibrated head
- Graduations: Imperial and metric measurements are laser-printed on both sides of the blade. The white-on-black coloring makes for easy reading.
Best T-square for drawing and framing: Alvin transparent edge 24 inches
More expensive than plastic T-squares, the Alvin transparent edge T-square offers an alternative to the plastic or metal T-square but retains many of the advantages of the plastic T-square.
The blade is made from hardwood, which make it strong and rigid, but the acrylic edges of the blade are transparent, allowing you to see measurements and pen strokes easily.
The edges are elevated to prevent smudging and to prevent friction between the ruler and the drawing surface. This slightly elevated design makes it easy to use against raised table edges.
The blade is attached to the smooth wood head with five rust-resistant screws which make this instrument durable. This T-square has no graduations or markings, so it cannot be used for measuring.
- Body: Hardwood body with transparent acrylic edges.
- Head: Smooth wooden head, attached to the blade with five rust-resistant screws.
- Graduations: No calibrations so cannot be used for measurements.
Best budget T-square: Helix plastic 12 inch
“Nothing fancy, but it does the job!” If you are looking for a no-frills, basic T-square, which is budget-friendly, the Helix plastic T-Square is your best choice.
The transparent blue blade is great for taking accurate measurements and it has graduations in both the metric and the imperial scale.
The beveled blade provides for easy inking and ensures that drawings remain smudge-free and clean. There is also a larger, 18-inch variant.
Both come with a hang-hole for easy storage on a wall near a drawing board.
If you travel with a drawing board and need a compact T -square to fit your board, this is the ideal choice. At just 12 inches long, it is compact but long enough to go across most paper sizes.
While the quality doesn’t match the metal T-squares, it will be perfectly adequate for students learning to use the tool.
- Body: Made of lightweight, blue plastic, allows you to see through the material. The beveled blade makes for easy inking and ensures that drawings remain smudge-free.
- Head: Flat top that can be aligned with the paper or paper pad.
- Graduations: Both metric and imperial graduations.
Frequently Asked Questions about T-squares
What is a T-square?
A T-square is a technical drawing instrument used by draftsmen primarily as a guide for drawing horizontal lines on a drafting table.
It may also be used to guide a set square to draw vertical or diagonal lines.
Its name is derived from its resemblance to the letter ‘T’. It consists of a long ruler attached at a 90-degree angle to a wide straight-edged head.
Need a straight line on a larger surface? Use a chalk line for that
Who uses a T-square?
A T-square is used by carpenters, architects, draftsmen, and machinists for checking the correctness of right angles, and as a guide when drawing lines on materials before cutting.
How to use a T-square?
Set the T-square at right angles along the edges of the drawing board.
A T-square has a straight edge that can be moved, and which is used 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.
Fasten the T- square to prevent it from sliding sideways across the paper’s surface.
The T- square is usually attached to a system of pulleys or sliders on the top edge of a slanted drafting table, or it can be connected to both the top and bottom edges.
There is a screw on the top and bottom mounts that can be turned to stop the movement of the T- square.
To draw vertical lines, use the T- square. To draw parallel horizontal lines or angles, place the triangles and squares beside the T- square and calculate the desired lines and angles precisely.
How do you maintain a T- square?
- Take care not to damage the ruling edge of the T-square. Dents will make it unusable
- Always clean the T-square before use
- Don’t use the T-square as a hammer – or an axe!
- Don’t let the T-square fall on the floor
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Can I make or measure an angle with a T-square?
You can only make and measure the 90-degree angle with a T-square.
You can make various types of angles if you have a drywall T-square.
Is it possible to measure depth with a T-square?
Yes, you can measure depth as well as width with a T-square.
What wood is used for wooden T-squares?
A wooden T-square usually has a broad blade made of steel that is riveted into a stable, dense tropical hardwood stock, often ebony or rosewood.
The inside of the wooden stock usually has a brass strip fixed to it to reduce wear.
Do architects use T-squares?
The T-square is a classic tool that’s perfect for drawing straight lines, and it can be used by both architectural and drafting professionals.
Many architects and engineers still prefer to use the T-square for hand-drawing blueprints and designs.
Whether you’re a student or a practicing architect, there’s an ideal T-square for you.
Now that you are familiar with the different T-square options that are available on the market, you are in a position to purchase the T-square which will best suit your purposes and your pocket.
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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.