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tdale51@yahoo.com

double squares

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I have a Starrett double square and love it, but you might want to consider PEC as an alternative if you're on a budget. It's sometimes thought of as the next best compared to Starrett. Phil Lowe recently did a "tool test" of combo squares for FWW and ranked the PEC as the best value. They also found that "...double square models sold under the brand names PEC, Lee Valley, Brown & Sharpe, Pinnacle, and Mitutoyo all appear[ed] to have been made by PEC" with PEC usually being the cheapest of the lot.

Here's a 4" PEC double square for about $27 on Amazon - http://www.amazon.co...53640732&sr=1-3

Or even a better price at $22 at wttool.com - http://www.wttool.com/index/page/product/product_id/17789/category_id/17557/product_name/Double+Head+Square+Sets+%28PEC+Tools%29

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I have both the 4" and 6" versions , I use the 4 more only because I keep it in my apron pocket . That's a good price for the pair , I'm happy with them .

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I own a few Starrett squares, as well as the Lee Valley 4" double. The LV (PEC) is a nicely made tool.

I saw the FWW article about the various PEC iterations. One thing to be aware of is variation. My local woodworking school has a bunch of the different PEC color and brand variations. The owner has mentioned varying quality within PEC "brands" and colors, with all but the Lee Valley examples.

That said, you might want to choose a source where you can easily return it for another, if necessary, or to check it before purchase. Combo squares aren't difficult to tune, but if I'm buying new, I expect a tool to perform as advertised.

As long as you get one that is perfect, any of the PEC examples are far better than squares with shiny blades and stamped markings sold in home centers, and nearly as nice to use as a Starrett.

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I have a Starrett 6" and bought an iGaging 4" (from Rockler) so that I'd be able to keep 2 measurements simultaneously.

This is what I noticed:

  • Starrett lettering is etched much deeper than the iGaging
  • When the Starrett is adjusted, the 2 pieces slide smoothly and not rock (ever so slightly) with iGaging

    Those things are really minor, and I only noted them by comparing them next to each other.

    Other things to note:

    • which ever you get, get the satin finish. It won't reflect and is easier to read.
    • for the 4" or smaller get the T shaped one and not the combo 90/45 degree version. The 45 degree head uses up a substantial portion of the ruler.

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