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Crescent Extendable Layout Tool

Crescent 2 in 1 Extendable Layout Tool Review

By Ralph Mroz

If you look at the picture of this new layout tool from Crescent, it’s pretty much self-explanatory.  (Crescent calls it Crescent Extendable Layout Tool a “layout tool” because “speed square”, which is what we all call it, is actually a trademark of another company.)  It’s obvious what it is, what it does, and how it works.  Now, when I first saw it I had two thoughts:

1) That’s brilliant!, and

2) Why did it take so long to come to market?  I can’t answer #2, but I am glad it’s here now.

Crescent 2 in 1 Extendable Layout Tool Specifications

Here’s the basic specs:

Crescent 7-Inch Speed Square

A 7-inch “speed square” is a tool that almost every one of us has with him all the time, and it’s probably one of the most used tools in our pouch or bag.  But even if you don’t do timber framing, you still need a larger 12-inch square for material wider than a 2×6.  Of course you can simply flip the smaller square over and make two marks if both sides of the work piece are square and straight.  However, there’s other things that demand the larger square: a not straight edge to reference the second mark off of, using the square as a saw guide for wider pieces, using the square as a straight edge for longer spans, and so on.  The result is that we all have a 7-inch and a 12-inch square nearby most of the day.

Crescent 2 in 1 Speed Square

And we’ve all made that arrangement work…out of necessity.  Having to carry or manage two squares can get to be a hassle though, in some circumstances such as working at height.  In the cities some guys and gals even carry their tools on public transportation to the worksite or their jobs, and the fewer tools the better.  In fact, in general, the fewer tools we have to keep nearby or on our belt, the better, no matter where we work or how we get there.

I said that this layout tool’s function and operation is clear.  Yet I know that you have the same questions I had.  Is the extension wobbly?  Answer: no — not at all, not at all.  Is the extension’s outside edge flush with the body’s edge?  Answer: yes, completely.  Is the closure secure?  Answer: yes, the three ball detents do a very good job of securing the arm shut (the arm is released by pushing it out through an intuitive finger hole).  Why is the arm orange?  Answer: I have no idea, but it looks cool.

Crescent 2 in 1 Extendable Arm

Note that this is a 6-inch x 7-inch square (shut), not the traditional 7-inch x 7-inch.  I don’t see that making any difference on anything that I’ve done, and in fact it’s an advantage in so far as a seven-inch square fit is kinda clumsily in many tool pouches.  Some have wondered if the arm’s hinge causes the extended arm to not lay flat on one side.  In fact it does a tiny bit, but it has no effect on the ability to mark a straight line or guide a saw.  It’s a non-issue.

Scribe Notches

One thing that I really like about this tool is the almost full-length scribe notches along the edge of the square that incorporates the arm…and along the length of the arm too!  Many such squares have these notches only along a couple inches, which is a serious shortcoming, in my opinion.  With the Crescent layout tool you can scribe almost any distance from the lipped edge, from 1-inch to 11.5-inches.  All of the normal rafter layout scales are laser-etched into the tool.  The lip is slightly wider at 1-inch than many similar squares I’ve used, and that’s an advantage.  It comes with a lifetime warranty.

I describe the extendable arm on this tool as “functionally free”.  That is, you give up nothing — absolutely nothing — to have it, and you gain significant functionality.  There’s no drawbacks, no trade-offs, no giving up something to gain something.  Everybody likes free.

In fact, what’s not to like?

How Much and Where To Buy?

The Crescent 2 in 1 Extendable layout tool is available on line here Crescent-Lufkin-Extendable-Layout-Tool  for approximately $26.00


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