Regular readers of HomeFixated may have noticed that I have a soft spot for tools that are made in the good ol’ U.S. of A. I especially love products from small, indie companies and entrepreneurs. I’m often willing to give them a little slack when it comes to early iterations of a new product, just because I love to see them develop, improve and succeed. It gives me renewed faith in “American ingenuity.” The Omnisquare is one such product.
It’s a new approach to the bevel square that combines the locked-in settings at 90º and 45º, along with the full adjustability of a bevel square, plus it acts as a slick little circle-guide. It does all of this by using little internal detent balls made of high-density nylon that can click in at 90 and 45, or be compressed at any other angle with the brass thumb screw. It is made of blue, anodized aluminum and has common angles clearly marked on the outside. It’s a deceptively simple little tool, and amazingly accurate.
The blade is 1 1/2” wide, making it ideal for laying out studs, and I think on-site carpentry is really where this little baby excels. Setting reveals, copying odd angles, and so forth. It isn’t a machine square, and I wouldn’t set my table saw blade with it, but I wouldn’t do that with my Starret combo square either. It is a good, all-purpose square.
My first fear, that the detent balls might come out and get lost, seems to be unfounded. Countless times, I have found my traditional combo square in pieces in a tool bag after riding around in the back of my truck. Apparently, the sympathetic vibration of the truck loosens the screw, allowing the blade to fall out. The Omnisquare hasn’t exhibited that proclivity, at least not yet. I suspect that the nylon balls maintain a certain amount of pressure that resists the vibration, and they have wisely added a lock nut to keep the user from accidentally loosening it too far. With that fear dismissed, my only criticism of the Omnisquare is that I wish they made another, slightly longer model. With tighter angles, the throw of the blade gets pretty short. A longer blade would make this a great tool for laying out stairs.
There isn’t a whole lot of information about the company on the OmniToolWorks website, but the company is based in Los Angeles and is owned an operated by Larry Braddock. Larry is an active participant in several of the carpentry and woodworking forums around the interwebs, and appears to be a man on a mission. I have to tip my hat to Larry for a job well done, and we wish him the best of luck going forward. I look forward to the possibility of future iterations of the OmniSquare, as well as other new products. Keep up the good work! You can pick up an OmniSquare yourself for a meager $20 directly from the maker.