Canadian Woodworking

Kinex precision try squares

Accurate, reliable, durable and affordable.


Accurate, reliable, durable and affordable.

Author: Carl Duguay

Furniture and cabinet making is all about accuracy. Repeatable, accurate measurements are one of the keys to producing quality work and making efficient use of your time. This is achieved by having accurate measuring and marking tools.

Kinex Precision Try Square
MSRP: $44 (150mm × 100mm), $62 (60mm × 40mm)

Over the past couple of months, I’ve been using two Kinex try squares – a 150 × 100 mm all-steel and a 60 × 40 mm made of titanium and carbon fibre. The squares are manufactured in the Czech Republic by a small company that specializes in measuring tools for use on high-pre­cision machinery. The larger one is square to +/- 0.008 mm (0.00031″) along the entire length of the blade while the smaller is a remarkable 0.007 mm (0.00028″). In comparison, both my Engineer’s and Starrett squares are rated at 0.0254 mm (0.001″).

I’ve been using the larger square for marking and checking right angles, laying out joints and all manner of machinery setup. With a 7.8 mm thick blade and weighing 400 grams, it’s hefty enough to stay in place during use but light enough to carry around in a shop apron. The surface grinding is superb and all edges are nicely eased. I also like that it resists scoring from a marking knife, which I use to define layout lines.

The smaller square is a beauty to look at as well as to use. At only 11 grams and with a 3 mm thick blade, it’s best suited for smaller scale, detailed use. For example, it’s ideal for marking tail boards when laying out dovetails.

Both squares come with a limited lifetime warranty. The 150 × 100 mm represents outstanding value in an everyday square. The 60 × 40 mm ultralight square comes in a nifty aluminum storage box and is likely to put a smile on your face every time you pick it up.

Last modified: September 29, 2023

Carl Duguay - [email protected]

Carl is a Victoria-based furniture maker and the web editor at Canadian Woodworking & Home Improvement.

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