best t square

Best T-Square for Professional Engineers and Beginners

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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T-squares are essential tools for working professionals and drafting students alike. It is a versatile tool that can be used to draw perfect parallel lines and, with other straight edges, to draw perpendicular lines. You must have the best T-square to achieve perfect lines as a professional or a student.

When buying this tool, you must ensure it is as accurate and versatile as possible. Therefore, besides the best T-squares, we shall also look at the features to look for when buying one.

In this guide, we shall look at some of the best T-squares and the buying guide to use when you need one. Westcott Junior T-square takes the lead in this list as it features a transparent design, making it easy to see as you work, preventing errors.

Secondly, we have ALVIN ALT36 T-square, which provides accuracy, admirable strength, and sturdiness as it is constructed with grade A aluminum. This feature gives it stability and makes it an ideal option for working with as a group.

In position three, we have Mr. Pen's T-square T-ruler, which offers top-notch priority due to the heavy-duty carbon steel used to make it. It is also versatile and can be used to carry out different activities.

What is a T-Square?

A T-square, also known as a folding square, is a piece of equipment used in technical graphics. It is used to draw horizontal lines on the drawing sheet. It can also be used as a guide when drawing angled or straight lines. It is named T-square due to its resemblance to the letter T. Like architectural scale rulers, T-square is among the most important architectural drawing tools.

Image source: youtube.com

When drawing horizontal lines, the tool acts as a guide for the pencil. You can use your left hand to hold the T-square in place. On the other hand, to draw vertical lines, you will use the edge of the triangle as a guide.

A T-square consists of two components: the blade, which is the long shaft, and the stock or head, which is the shorter shaft. For accuracy when using the T-square, ensure you keep the edge of the T-square against the edge of the drawing board for support.

Best T-Square

1. Westcott Junior T Square

Westcott ‎JR-12 Small Plastic T-Square for Drawing,...
  • T-Square for Crafting: Ideal for office and home use, this small...
  • Inch and Metric Calibrations: This professional T-square features...
  • Easy To Use: This T-square ruler boasts a durable plastic body...
  • Versatile: Ideal for inking, drawing, drafting, home improvement...
  • Premium Quality: Westcott craft supplies & materials for drafting...

Are you on a budget but still want the best T-square for your projects? Wescott Junior T-square is the solution. It is plastic and features a transparent design that makes it easy to see through even when drawing your lines.

The transparent plastic body made it easy to underline notes and check the layout of my paperwork without removing the square every time. The nature of its material also ensured I used it easily during my assignments.

Image source: amazon.com

If you want versatility, Westcott understands that perfectly. This T-square is a highly versatile tool that you can use for drafting, drawing, and inking.

One important thing to note is that just because it is plastic does not make it weak. It is durable and can last for years if not carelessly handled.

Although I enjoyed working with this T-square, I wished it was longer than its current size. That would have made it even more functional.

Pros:

  • Versatile
  • Lightweight
  • Transparent for ease of use
  • Inexpensive

Cons:

  • It may not be suitable for groups
  • I wish it was longer

2. ALVIN ALT36 Aluminum Graduated T-Square

ALVIN ALT36 Aluminum Graduated T-Square, Drawing and...
  • Graduated with 16ths on both sides: No more struggles with...
  • Designed for accuracy and longevity: Ensures precise...
  • High contrast visibility: The 1/16ths white on the head molding...
  • Grade A materials: The blade is constructed from Grade A...
  • A professional's choice: Alvin has been the professional's choice...

Whether you are a professional or a beginner, ALVIN ALT36 is a T-square suitable for carrying out projects that need accuracy. I got accurate measurements while doing my assignments with this T-square, as it is graduate with 16ths on both sides, so I could easily take measurements from all angles and sides.

ALVIN ALT36 is designed to last long as it is constructed with a grade A aluminum thickness of 1.6mm. This assures any user that the tool is tough, sturdy, and reliable, even for working with it as a group.

Image source: mark, amazon.com

It features high-contrast visibility that provides accurate measurement while working with it. This characteristic gave me confidence as I took measurements because I did not have to strain to see the numbers.

Although this is what I wanted, it was a little longer and needed a larger bag, but I loved every other aspect.

Pros:

  • Accurate
  • Budget-friendly
  • Easy to use

Cons:

  • It is riveted and may lose alignment and accuracy in case it falls down

3. Mr. Pen T-Square, T-Ruler

Mr. Pen - T Square, T Ruler, 18 inch Metal Ruler, T...
  • Black T ruler (18in), perfect for architects, engineers and...
  • Made from high impact carbon steel for durability
  • T-ruler is largely and accurately laser printed on both sides....
  • Can be used as T square, L square, L ruler
  • 12inch/30cm calibrated T head

Mr. Pen is another brand offering quality products that professionals and learners can use. This T-square is made of high-impact carbon steel, ensuring durability is top-notch. So, if durability is your top priority, this is the best T-square for you.

Mr.Pen T-square is a versatile tool that architects, artists, and engineers can use. I used mine for different purposes, including a T-ruler, T-square, and L-ruler. This was one of my favorites as it was all-purpose.

The calibrations are another thing to love. The ruler is laser printed with accuracy on both sides, in centimeter and inch measurements, to make it easy to read. Mr. Pen T-square also makes a perfect gift for architects, designers, and engineers.

Image source: tlb, amazon.com

This tool is slightly heavier for its size, but the heaviness is more of an advantage than a disadvantage, as it helps when cutting lightweight items like photos or paper. The main problem I encountered with this T-square is that it does not have a ridge for aligning. The two sides are flat, making it move slightly if you are not careful.

Pros:

  • Sturdy
  • Easy to use
  • Accurate

Cons:

  • Does not have a ridge for aligning

4. Helix Plastic T-Square, 12-Inch

Helix Plastic T-Square 12 inch / 30cm (20002)
  • Beveled Blade For Drawing
  • Ruler With Both Inch And Metric Graduations
  • 12 Inch T-square
  • Helix Is A Leading Manufacturer Of A Wide Range Of Products...

Helix is one of the most reliable brands to check out if you are looking for the best T-squares or any other drawing instruments. This 12-inch T-square is a great option for those who need the tool but are on a tight budget.

Helix Plastic T-square is lightweight and features exceptional sturdiness, making it a reliable choice. Its transparent blade made work easier on my end as I could easily take measurements and readings without a hassle. Reading the measurements was also easier because the tool is graduated with inch and metric scales.

Image source: ebay.com

Its beveled blade also made inking easy, ensuring no smudges remained while I worked with it. You can use this 12-inch or the 18-inch variant if you want something longer.

Pros:

  • Beveled bade make drawing easy
  • Convenient hang hole
  • Dual-sided ruler graduated in metric and inch
  • Inexpensive

Cons:

  • It is not the best for kids as it could scratch when handled carelessly

5. ALVIN Wood T-Square

ALVIN Wood T-Square 18" Transparent Edge Model C18 for...
  • Precision Design - Hardwood blade for strength and straightness....
  • Value for Price - Top-quality build and lightweight design...
  • Easy to Use - Streamlined and lightweight design and a smooth...
  • Multipurpose Tool - Designed for professionals, students, and...
  • Ideal Drafting and Framing Tool - Made with a premium select...

ALVIN Wood T-square is also a good option when looking for the best T-square. It features a precision design with a blade made of hardwood for straightness and strength. The sides feature an elevated see-through acrylic that enabled me to work smudge-free, leading to clean work.

Its lightweight and streamlined design, as well as a smooth surface, leads to professional quality work that keeps your work admirable. Its lightweight nature makes it easy to maneuver and work with hassle-freely.

Image source: lillie,amazon.com

ALVIN is a tool designed with people like you and me in mind. It is ideal for students, professionals, and hobbyists, ensuring everyone can do something they like.

Pros:

  • Sturdy
  • Easy to use

Cons:

  • Does not have a ruler

Types of T-Squares

You can use different types of T-squares when a project involves drawing straight lines. Here, we will look at some of these types.

a) Adjustable Drafting T-Square

This is a T-shaped ruler that is primarily used in mechanical drawing. It has a short crosspiece sliding along the edge of the drawing board to guide the perpendicular longer section in making right angles and parallel lines.

Adjustable drafting T-square

Image source: floridacenter.com

b) English T-Square

An English T-square is used for drawing straight lines. It has a narrowing blade bottom, making it look as though it is not perpendicular.

English T-square

Image source: oldschooltools.com

c) Fixed Triangular Head T-Square

You can draw long, parallel lines with a fixed triangular head T-square. The head should be a long contact surface with the age of the board. It needs enough width to hold the blade stiffly.

fixed triangular head T-square

Image source: etc.edu

d) Adjustable Head T-square with a Ruler

This is an adjustable T-square used to create straight lines at different angles. It features a ruler at the head to help.

adjustable head T-square

Image source: floridacenter.com

What to Consider When Buying the Best T-Square

a) Graduations

Ensure the markings and graduations on the T-square you purchase are of the highest caliber. Your designs and drawings can suffer from incorrect calibrations, throwing even the smallest dimensional calculations out of balance.

Get a T-square with clear markings for easy reading

Image source: blickartmaterials.com

The ideal T-square will feature clear bevels that reduce parallax mistakes and clear graduations that let you take accurate measurements. You can avoid lots of hassles by considering these factors when buying.

b) Material

The T-square’s construction material is among the most crucial factors to take into account when purchasing one. Typically, T-Squares are made of wood, steel, aluminum, or plastic. Each has benefits of its own. Aluminum, for instance, is lightweight, flexible, and rust-resistant. It is, therefore, ideal for regular use.

Choose a T-square according its material depending on what you'll use the tool for

Image source: senecawoodwrking.com

However, steel might be a preferable option in industrial and construction environments. Steel is a great material to use as a basis if you’re a professional because it’s more resilient than aluminum and more long-lasting than wood. Plastic or wood may be a better option for students due to their lightweight construction and adaptability.

c) The Squareness

It is named a T-square for a reason. The square’s scale must be affixed to the T-head precisely perpendicularly. You can’t draw parallel and perpendicular lines well until the main scale and the T-head are at right angles.

ensure the T-head is firmly attached to the primary base

Image source: toolerable.com

Therefore, examine the tool’s squareness before purchasing the T-square. This is crucial to its usability. It’s better to purchase an instrument with a firmly attached T-head to the primary blade.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Best T-Square

1. What is the most accurate T-square?

Accuracy is key when doing some projects. Therefore, you may need the most accurate T-square, like ALVIN ALT36. It is one of the most accurate T-squares, and you’re guaranteed the best results when you use it.

2. What is the most preferred T-square?

Westcott Junior T-square is the most preferred because of its affordability and accuracy. It s transparent, and this makes using it easier and more accurate.

3. Do architects use T-square?

Yes, architects work with drawings and need to make straight lines. Therefore, they use T-squares to draw straight lines and ensure accuracy.

4. What are the three parts of a T-square?

The T-square consists of two main parts; the blade and the head. The blade is also known as the straight edge. The head is fixed to the blade, keeping it firmly held. Some T-squares come with adjustable blades and protractor heads.

5. What is the size of a standard T-square?

T-squares vary in size; the most common sizes are 18 inches, 24 inches, 30 inches, 36 inches, and 42 inches. With this huge range in sizes, it is always easier for everyone to get the right size of what they want.

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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