The traditional framing square serves its purpose well, but a few things could be improved. You can’t fit your square into your toolbox — unless we’re talking a large job box or a truck box, it ain’t happening. How about laying out repeatable angles? Yeah, it can be done, but it takes a bit of practice. Swanson designed their $30 Framing Wizard layout tool not only to address these issues but also to replace five tools:
- Framing square
- Try square
- Miter gauge
- Angle Finder
- Saw Guide
Swanson machines the Framing Wizard from high-grade aluminum, anodizes it with a bright blue hard coat, and laser-etches the markings. They hinge the legs of the square so you can set it to angles from 0 to 90˚. If the hinge mechanism ever gets out of square, you can bring it back into alignment with the set screw. A detachable sliding tab lets you set up repeatable measurements and angles.
Of course, if you want to learn how to use the Framing Wizard you’ll have to read the instructions, but that’s not so bad — you probably didn’t learn how to utilize all the functions of a framing square the first time you picked it up either.