Speed Square – Best in 2020

The ‘Speed Square’ or as it is sometimes called the ‘Roofers Square’ or ‘Rafter Square’ is a underated tool and seems to be used predominately on the building site. The simple robust construction of the Speed square lends itself to site work hence the accuracy of the tool is not generally affected by being dropped or knocked.

Who invented the Speed Square?

The Speed square was invented by Albert J Swanson in 1925. Originally desinged as a layout tool it was soon adopted by carpenters in the USA as a practical roofing square.

Who was Albert J. Swanson?

Albert J. Swanson Founded the Swanson tool company, inc. The ‘Swanson Tool Company ‘ located in Frankfort, Illinois and like Frederick Stanley produced carpentry tools. The tool name Swanson like Stanley is still available today and considered good value and of good quality.

speed square for roofing carpenters

About the Speed Square

The Speed Square calculator book

Speed squares should come with calculator books for truss and rafter angles, if a book is not included a link to a calculator website will be.

Speed Square common uses

The speed square is also known as  a “Try Square, Miter Square, Protractor, Line Scriber, & Saw Guide” has many uses.

  • Angle Marking
  • Marking 90° Square
  • Marking Mitres
  • Rafter
  • Hip
  • Valley
  • Valley Jack Refters
  • Stair String Layout

The Swanson 7″ Speed Square

It would NOT be natural not to include the most common 7 ” SPEED SQUARE by Swanson tool company. I own this tool and frankly i have had it years and looking at new versions on the tool store shelve it is basically identical. If it has not broke why change it?

The large 12″ Swanson framing speed square

It is obvious that the LARGER SPEED SQUARE is an asset when constructly large timber framed buildings or crosscutting wide timber. I admit i do not own this tool but is basically the same as the 7″ version.

Twin Set of Swanson Tools Speed Squares – 7″ & 12″ roofer squares

Why not save some cashg and buy both the 7″ and the 12 ” Speed Square? The SWANSON TOOLS SPEED SQUARE TWIN SET AND BLUE CALCULATOR BOOK is a practical choice as you get both squares for a substantial saving.

The Dewalt DWHT4603 Rafter Speed Square

Top quality tool for the price and full of little gadgets as you would expect from dewalt with clear easy to read markings. This DEWALT RAFTER SQUARE as they call it is a great square which is made out of metal so it is very durable and has all common pitch conversions.

Stanley Tools Adjustable Speed Square

A robust and handy square. The ADJUSTABLE STANLEY SPEED SQUARE  is a lovely square, with clear markings, and useful for a lot more than just roofing.

By Marcus Kett, Woodworking since 1989

head wood malcolm kett memorial

Malcolm the Boat ‘RIP’

Woodworking for me is in my blood as a son of a traditional boatbuilder. My Father Malcolm Kett was highly skilled and inventive individual often referred to as ‘Malcolm The Boat’.

selfie with mortar board

Marcus Kett and my Mortar!

Although I have spent a considerable portion of my life seeking further education and gaining qualifications in woodworking, electrical installations, bricklaying and to top it a degree in photography.

Yes, it is a medley of possible career choices but the one that I felt truly at home with was Woodworking. Woodworking has been my staple career choice that has given my family stability.

Why do I write these guides?

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Well that’s Me

We started to write these guides to help our customers. The idea was to provide the information needed to install our made to measure wooden products that we sell on this website and directly to our local customers.

We soon received feedback from people abroad and interested readers not local to us. I like to help people and I am excited that fellow woodworkers or keen DIYers found guidance in my articles. I intend to carry on writing and producing youtube videos for the purpose of providing useful content. Please share our blog with your friends and anyone that could find interest in the magic of working with wood.


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About Wallybois

wallybois mascot christmas

Wally is the middle one

We have lived and worked here in the Limousin Nouvelle Aquitaine since 2010, building window shutters and external doors. Our Volet manufacturing business is based at our home property as a ‘Cottage Industry’. We are a small business operating partly (60%) off the grid and try our best to practice our woodworking ethically.

How did we come up with the trading name ‘Wallybois’? Well, it is simple really, my best buddy ‘Wally’ and the fact that ‘Bois’ is French for wood and we live in France.

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Thank You for visiting

By Marcus Kett, Woodworking since 1989

Based in the Nouvelle Aquitaine of France