Whether you’re an artist, an architect, or carpenter, a T square is an essential tool for your work arsenal. Like an upgraded straightedge, this drawing instrument help you draw accurate, properly placed lines with ease. As its name implies, a T square consists of a long ruler attached at a 90-degree angle to a wide, straight-edged head. It helps ensure that your work is always aligned with the edges of your drawing surface, and it also lets you draw parallel lines in little time. Improve your drafting with one of our picks below.
1. Alvin Stainless Steel Professional Graduated T-Square
Made entirely of metal, Alvin’s T square is our top pick for its sturdiness and reliability. Its tempered stainless steel body is firmly attached to an aluminum head, meeting at a perfect right angle. The head, slightly offset, can be rested against the edge of your working surface to ensure proper alignment every time. This tool comes at a premium price, but it’s worth it: While cheaper T squares can loosen over time or even warp, Alvin’s will maintain its accuracy even with frequent use. We also like how the measurements are marked on the ruler: Both large and small increments are labeled, with the major markings printed in a larger font for immediate visibility.
2. Mr. Pen T Square
Mr. Pen’s T square offers a good balance of economy, function, and accuracy. It comes with a sophisticated black finish, which makes the white, laser-printed measurements very clear to read—although every quarter-inch is labeled, presenting a lot of visual noise. Like Alvin’s product, it is made of metal, which gives it a good weight and enables its edges to be thin for better accessibility when drawing. However, this T square is perfectly flat, with no overhang at the crosspiece, so you won’t be able to engage it against the edge of your work surface.
3. Westcott Junior T Square
If price is more important to you than longevity or aesthetics, we recommend Westcott’s T square, which is a straightforward, unfussy tool to measure and draw straight lines. Its transparent plastic body makes it extra easy to place markings exactly where you want them. It also has a subtle lip that allows it to slide easily against the side of your drawing surface. Because it’s plastic, however, this is quite flexible and flimsy, and it could snap if handled with too much pressure. The measurements also have a tendency to wear off with frequent use.
4. Ludwig Precision Standard T-Square
The crosspiece of Ludwig’s T square has a good lip that allows you to keep it flush against your working surface and smoothly reposition it as needed. Featuring a large plastic head and thin aluminum body, it is lightweight and a little bendy, but it will serve you well if you take care of it. The increments—in both inches and centimeters—are clear and marked in a way that makes them easy to read without too much clutter.
5. Alvin Transparent Edge T Square
We’re drawn to the classic, handsome look of this T square from Alvin, a great option for drafting. Set perfectly square into a black wood head, the straightedge features a light wood body with see-through acrylic edges for improved visibility, and the edges are slightly raised above the surface for smudge-free results. Unlike our other picks, this one doesn’t have any measurements, but it’s a straightforward tool for drawing clean lines exactly where you want them.