bobcrosley

PEC Tools 4" Double Square

Recommended Posts

After discovering how horribly not-square my 12" combo square from the home center was, I went in search of a new one. Of course, having the love I do for high quality hand tools, I went immediately to Starrett.

 

Love I have, budget I don't.

 

So, I needed  a square that was high quality, but didn't break the bank. I also decided that I would start with a 4", because I often found myself needing a smaller square. And I figured in a pinch, I could use the 4" to make sure the 12" was square if I needed it.

 

I happened to find a review of combo squares in the December, 2012 Fine Woodworking. They named PEC best value. They also noted that PEC appeared to make the offerings from Lee Valley and other brands. (Different colored enamel, but identical and in the same blue and white box.) If it was good enough for Lee Valley, it was certainly good enough for me.

 

I ordered this square from Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/PEC-Tools-7104-404-Double-Square/dp/B000E0K4TS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1390566406&sr=8-1&keywords=pec+4+double+square and have been blown away by the quality for the price.

 

The square is very solid. The blade is high quality, very clearly marked and very precise. The head is well machined. The enamel is high quality and the lock nut is easy to use. The most important part of a square is, of course, that it's square. And this one is very much so. Even if I extended the blade out fully and put some lateral pressure on it to bring it out of square, as soon as I tightened the lock nut, it went right back into line. In fact, shortly after getting it, I knocked it off the bench and onto the concrete floor. My thought was, "So much for that." But I picked it up, checked it again and it was still perfect.

 

While I have no doubt that, with use, I could find differences in quality between it and a more expensive brand like Starrett. However, considering you can purchase this 4" and the PEC 12" for just a few dollars more than you would pay for a Starrett 4", this is an outstanding value. I'll be buying the PEC 12" square soon, so I can throw that other 12" square in the trash.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only problem I have with ordering a square with a moving handle is that they all seem to vary with the ease of locking and unlocking, even from the same manufacturer, and hanging on the same peg in a store.  I wish the 4" squares had a blade 3/4" exactly, but all I've seen so far have a wider blade.  An exact width 3/4 would be handy to have sometimes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only problem I have with ordering a square with a moving handle is that they all seem to vary with the ease of locking and unlocking, even from the same manufacturer, and hanging on the same peg in a store.  I wish the 4" squares had a blade 3/4" exactly, but all I've seen so far have a wider blade.  An exact width 3/4 would be handy to have sometimes.

 

Interesting point I hadn't considered Tom, about the blade. I just checked mine with my calipers and the PEC appears to be 23/32'nds of an inch. Just shy of a full 3/4.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That would be useful for checking inside of 3/4" mortises.  The cheap ones I've seen in stores have the blade a little wider than 3/4.  I think I'll order one and see how it goes. Thanks for posting this.  I may order 3 and send 2 back to insure that I get one that locks and unlocks easily.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have you actually ordered from them?  Any issues?

Yes, please let us know. Those prices are great. They show a sample picture that looks flawless, but that doesn't mean it's representative of the actual product.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a 6", 12" , and 24" combination squares plus an extra 24" blade all from Epstien. Great service ,great prices and other than the logo being blurred out no problems with accuracy .The blades are a satin chrome with very easy to read engraved markings, some of the blemish is less than perfectly black filling the engraving, a few are not filled completely . Compared it to my Starrett with a jewelers magnifier and see no difference. The Starrett blade is just steel, no chrome. The heads are nicely milled cast iron with enamel.

I ordered extra nuts and bolts(what do you call the tightening thing?) for some spares and to fit other squares I have. Should have ordered extra scribe pins.

I will set a square for each measurement on a project and label it on a piece of blue tape, then leave it set for the entire build. (3) 24" blades and about (7) 12" blades has covered all the settings needed recently.

I know I paid around a $100 for the Starrett 24" blade years ago and I think the PEC 24" blade was $15 ,And made in the USA as well !

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I drank the kool-aid and ordered a 6" double this morning. If I like it, I will get a 4" double and 12" combo next. 

 

Can you feel the pressure Wdwerker?  :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No pressure here, I have made 3 orders and all were good stuff .

 

Awesome!  I'm looking forward to getting them!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So I post a product review and it costs me money! Thanks for the tip on Epsteins. Got the 6" double and the 12" combo for less than the cost of the 12" new via Amazon.

And how awesome is that old-style receipt it shows when you complete your purchase?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm going take a side note and say how cool their website is. If i had an online store, thats how i would roll. Especially after you add something to the cart!!!

Sent from my thumbs

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So I post a product review and it costs me money! Thanks for the tip on Epsteins. Got the 6" double and the 12" combo for less than the cost of the 12" new via Amazon.

And how awesome is that old-style receipt it shows when you complete your purchase?

 

 

I'm going take a side note and say how cool their website is. If i had an online store, thats how i would roll. Especially after you add something to the cart!!!

Sent from my thumbs

 

Absolutely!  I really liked their site and the experience.  They were a bit slow with my confirmation email but, that's certainly not a deal breaker!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have quite a few pieces from Products Engineering ! I found a place that sells blemished seconds, square and accurate but blemished for great prices!

http://store.harryepstein.com/c/ProductsEngineering.html

I ordered a 4" and 12"  from there based upon wdwerker's recommendation awhile back.  They are flawless.  I can't find anything wrong with them.  

 

Great Squares!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Got mine today. Looks great and locks and unlocks very well. No sticking. Won't have a chance to check for square until weekend thaw. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also got my 6" and 12" today. Laughed because when I took them out of the package they were freezing cold. I guess the short time they were in Florida wasn't enough to counter the Midwestern freeze.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also ordered the 12" combo and 4" double squares from Harry Epstein. The "seconds" weren't that noticeable and definitely don't effect performance.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I got my squares and they are awesome!  Dead on square with no issues.  Great company to work with as well!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.