How to use a straight edge tool

How to use a straight edge tool

14th May 2021

How do you draw a straight line?

With the right tools, is the answer.

But how do you use a straight edge tool, and for what sort of job? Well in this blog, you’ll find out. Because the experts at Maun are on hand to help.

What jobs are straight edges used for?

Straight edge tools are used for any job that demands accuracy. Whether you’re measuring a length that’s accurate to 0.1mm per metre. Or drawing, scoring, and cutting to a perfectly straight line.

That’s why they’re popular with people who take pride in their work. From decorators hanging wallpaper, to flooring fitters cutting materials to size. From upholsterers and crafters working with textiles and leather, to DIYers seeking a professional finish. Whatever the task at hand, good straight edges are a perfectionist’s dream.

This broad variety of uses means that there’s also a surprisingly wide range of straight edges available. So how do you go about choosing the right one?

Choosing the right tool for the job

The first step is to choose the right size for the task. At Maun, our expertly crafted straight edges range from 30cm to 3m, and are available in both metric and imperial sizes, accurate to less than 0.1mm per metre.

Naturally, a three metre straight edge would not be practical for small-scale craft work – nor a 12-inch tool for cutting sheet glass. So it’s important to make the right choice at this stage.

Next, you need to choose between steel straight edges and aluminium straight edges.

All Maun steel straight edges are built to last, made from high-quality carbon steel and case hardened to HRC 57. Exquisite to handle and beautifully accurate, their thickness ensures safety when using a metal scriber, while the bevelled edge is designed for unobstructed vision. It’s an all-round tool for all sorts of jobs.

Our aluminium straight edges are equally hard-wearing and long-lasting, but designed with even more safety in mind. With a non-slip backing and recessed area to keep fingers out of the way, it’s ideal if you’re using your straight edge as a guide for cutting.

Simple straight edge instructions

So, now you’ve got the right tool for the job, it’s time to put it to work.

For marking and cutting straight lines, here’s how to get a straight edge, every time:

1.Lay your material down in front of you.

2.Measure along one edge of the material and mark your desired length.

3.Then, move to the opposite edge of your piece of material, and mark the same measurement on that side (assuming you want to make a straight, rather than angled cut).

4.Line up your straight edge tool, then run a pencil along the bevelled edge of the tool to draw a clear, straight line between your two marks.

5.You now have a perfectly straight line to cut along.

If you’re working with wallpaper, you can use scissors to cut along the line you’ve drawn.

For a cleaner finish on other materials (such as vinyl floor covering) line up your straight edge tool along your pencil line again. You can then use the tool as a guide to lean against, as you cut along the line with a Stanley knife, scalpel or other craft blade. This will also help to protect your fingers.

For cutting glass, you should leave the straight edge tool in place and score the required line first using a glass cutter.

You can also use Maun straight edges to check the flatness of a surface. By laying the bevelled edge along the surface, and placing a light behind it to highlight any unevenness.

Get a perfect straight line every time with Maun

So there you have it. How to choose the perfect tool for the perfect straight line, every time.

For more information on these versatile implements, read our straight edge guide here.

Or shop the full range of Maun Straight Edges and Rules now.