There is no guesswork. The flat metal hook attached to the tape at the end with rivets is meant to grab onto the end of an item so that you can extend the tape. How to Properly Read Tape Measures. This section deals with how to use the two most common styles of tape measure. This article has been viewed 2,909,813 times. By using The Spruce, you accept our, Tape Measure 1/8-Inch and 1/16-Inch Marks, How to Build a Temporary Wall Inside Your Home, How to Hang Vintage Textiles on the Walls, How to Make a DIY Coat Hook for Your Home. "I've sent this to my sons who are just starting in the construction business. The top portion of a standard tape measure is feet, inches and fractions of inches. Every day at wikiHow, we work hard to give you access to instructions and information that will help you live a better life, whether it's keeping you safer, healthier, or improving your well-being. If you need help, see our article on how to, If you have a measuring tape longer than one metre (100 centimetres), usually, the metre(s) will receive a special marking as well — often in a different color than the rest of the markings. Try to keep the tape straight as you do this — if you let it sag (which is easy to do if you're measuring long distances), the results you get will be skewed. I've been in it for over 30 years, "These examples on how to read a tape measure really helped me refresh my memory on how to make accurate, "I've always taught that using a measuring tape was difficult because of all the minuscule lines on the tape, but, "Your article shows the exact points on making reading a ruler so easy. Most tape measures tell you where each foot mark is located, along with the whole inch designation. Unless you are dealing with wall studs or joists, you can ignore this marker. Square meters is a unit of measure for area - that is bi-dimensional spaces - whereas feet are used to measure distance, so there's no possible equivalence. That counts as 12/16th or 3/4. Example: Measure a space on your wall. Remember - 12 inches is equivalent to one (1) foot. These numbers usually continue for the entire length of the tape measure. The ½ inch is marked with a yet longer hash, and then each inch is marked with a hash that runs across the width of the measure, and a number. They usually come in lengths from 6 feet to 35 feet long. Its pressure-controlled auto locking system allows you to control the retraction speed which can help prevent tape breakage and possible injury. Each number equates to 1 inch, and 12 inches equal 1 foot. A tape measure is an essential tool for both dressmakers and woodworkers. Similar to reading rulers, the large numbers on a standard tape measure are the inch marks.That number is usually in bold, black type, easy to read and refers to the longest of the markings along the edge.Reading 1/2-inch measurements is the same principle as reading 1/2-inch measurements is the same principle as reading COVID-19 Update to Customers Customers can shop with us in-store or online with our Click & Deliver or Drive & Collect services. Although inches and centimeters are common on both, it is possible to get measuring tapes in "tenths," which measure tenths of a foot and are often used in building and construction. {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/b\/b6\/Read-a-Measuring-Tape-Step-1-Version-6.jpg\/v4-460px-Read-a-Measuring-Tape-Step-1-Version-6.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/b\/b6\/Read-a-Measuring-Tape-Step-1-Version-6.jpg\/aid4365-v4-728px-Read-a-Measuring-Tape-Step-1-Version-6.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":259,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"410","licensing":"

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Fixed the official spelling of the SI unit.\n<\/p>

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Fixed the name of the official SI unit.\n<\/p>

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Updated version of Step 9 with the proper SI spelling of units and the proper formatting of unit symbols as per SI rules.\n<\/p>

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\n<\/p><\/div>"}. Now I'm good. Place the front of the tape at the start point and extend it until after you reach the stop point. The one I like is a Dewalt 25′ Tape Measure.There are hashmarks every 1/16″ with longer hashmarks for every 1/8″, 1/4″, and 1/2″ … A prime (apostrophe) is used for feet, while a double prime (quotation mark) is used for inches. The pictures made it really easy to follow and, "The uncomplicated layout of the measuring tape, indicating the number range, was very helpful. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. Lee has over two decades of hands-on experience remodeling, fixing, and improving homes, and has been providing home improvement advice for over 12 years. Note that lines marking a quarter of an inch sometimes aren't any different in size from eighth-inch marks. We know ads can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free. This a common layout measurement for various items used in building homes and other structures. Once you break it down into a few basics, a tape measure is actually very easy to read. Learning how to read tape measure markings is not really that hard. Amid the current public health and economic crises, when the world is shifting dramatically and we are all learning and adapting to changes in daily life, people need wikiHow more than ever. An easy read tape measure has the most dimension details on the tape, making the reading of your measurement easier to recognize and quite possibly quicker. Its design allows for a measure of great length to be easily carried in pocket or toolkit and permits one to measure around curves or corners. Different types of measuring tapes used in sewing 1 The regular measuring tape. Like rulers, measuring tapes come in a wide variety of different calibrations. To find our measurement, we need to add: Since there are two eighth-inches in a quarter-inch, we can rewrite this as: Adding fractions like 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, and so on can be tricky. Quickly seeing which of two objects is bigger, Seeing whether something will fit through a certain space, Keeping the tape available for multiple quick measurements, Keeping a certain distance "handy" to avoid having to re-measure. Often, this little hook is uncooperative about sliding as it should. Many are 3". But now, the 1/8-inch mark and the 1/16-inch mark come along and make things a bit more confusing. 1 inch = 2.54 centimeters; therefore, "n" centimeters = n x 2.54. It is very easy to explain to the trainees. But when it comes to the smaller, more precise measurements. Draw the line from beginning of the measuring tape and stop at 2 feet, continue on and count 5 of the 1/8th inch marks or 10 of the 16th inch marks. Part of the problem with manual tape measures is that they're most useful for measuring only short differences because you have to be able to hold the zero end in place while you move the other end into position. 1 soot = 25.4 / 8 = 3.175 mm. If, for instance, it's three 1/8 inch marks past 24 inches, it is 24 3/8 inches wide. To learn about the differences between the imperial system and the metric system, read on! If the tape measure stretches exactly halfway between the 27 and 28 inch markings, this means that your arm is 27.5 inches long. In this case, keep in mind that two eighths of an inch make a quarter. If the sizes are different, then find shoes that fit the larger size. ", after reading this article, I realized how easy it is to use a tape.". Please consider making a contribution to wikiHow today. Unfortunately, the movement on the hook isn't accurate on all tapes, and it can lose accuracy over time. ", "I was wondering about the little lines and now I know! For instance, let's say you hold one end of a tape measure in the tips of your fingers and stretch the other end all the way to the crook of your armpit to determine how long your arm is. If you are remodeling or building a home, reading a tape measure accurately is essential. ", "Helps me in reading imperial tape measurements.". The initials FT or ft mean "foot" or "feet". As we know, 12 inches make up a … Reading it used to be a problem for me. Use the same pattern for recognizing these miniscule measurements. You are going to trace an outline of your foot to measure, so avoid doing this on carpet or any other surface that will be difficult to write on. But, sometimes your measurement ends up falling on one of those little lines with no number markings. On a standard tape measure, the biggest marking is the inch mark (which generally has the... As the increments decrease, so does the length of the mark. Let's say that we measure past the 33 centimetre mark to the sixth millimetre marking. Note that, starting with half-inch marks, not all lines may be labeled with numbers. Best Extra-Long: DeWalt 300-Foot Measuring Tape. For example, ½" has a bigger mark than ¼" which has a bigger... Read 1 inch. To create this article, 60 people, some anonymous, worked to edit and improve it over time. You can also try putting a kink in the tape, then lining up this kink with the edge of what you're measuring. Tips. For example, the half-inch mark between inches three and four stands for 3 1/2 inches, even though it's not labeled. A tape measure with both inches and centimeters usually has the imperial measurements in red on the top of the blade, while the metric measurements are in black on the bottom of the blade. If you really can’t stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. Also remember to have your feet sized each time you purchase shoes. Knowing how to use and read both a retractable measure and a traditional ribbon-style tape measure can be a major asset to anyone working with his or her hands, so learn today and start measuring! The measurement is technically taken at the center of the mark; however, if you need measurements to that precision, I would recommend using something a bit more accurate, such as calipers. That's why these bodies are carefully designed and marked to a certain width. You get 120 inch long measuring tapes in shops as well, which is useful for measuring those curtains and quilts and other home decor stuff. In this case, you need to use the markings on either side to guide you. Once you get past the whole inch marks, the numbers are usually not stated on the tape. This way, for example, you do not need to calculate 36 inches as equaling 3 feet. Use a tape measure — ideally a metal one that will remain straight — to measure the distance from the floor to the mark on the wall. Each inch will then have eight 1/8th of an inch and sixteen 1/16th of an inch marks. In this case, we can find our distance in centimetres like this: If we wanted our distance in something other than centimetres, however, we would need to shift the decimal place to compensate. "This helped me how to read about tape measuring.". The large numbers are the units you're measuring, like inches or centimeters, and the markings between the large numbers correspond to fractions of that unit. 3- I recommend a steel bodied tape measure, not plastic. And there aren’t many jobs that require 1/32″ anyway. This article has 17 testimonials from our readers, earning it our reader-approved status. For fractions of an inch, simply put the fraction after the whole number for inches. If you're looking for how to read the markings on your tape measure, click here. Your support helps wikiHow to create more in-depth illustrated articles and videos and to share our trusted brand of instructional content with millions of people all over the world. A tape measure or measuring tape is a flexible ruler used to measure size or distance.. How to Read a Tape Measure Find/read the markings. If it's in inches, there are big marks for inches and smaller marks for parts of an inch. The tape measure's 1/2-inch mark is the second-shortest mark, and the 1/4-inch mark is the next-shortest. % of people told us that this article helped them. In addition to its length, the 1/2-inch mark is fairly easy to locate because it is exactly halfway between any two whole-inch numerals. Typical tape measures are … You might have to do it a few times to make sure you’re not changing your gait wildly each time. It is also a common divisor for materials such as plywood (4' x 8'), ceiling heights, and common lumber lengths. These are longer again, and 2/8ths, 4/8ths, and 6/8ths are marked as quarter inches. Foot markers are the longest lines on the tape measure and sometimes extend the entire width of the tape. Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series, The Spruce Gardening & Plant Care Review Board, The Spruce Renovations and Repair Review Board. Lay the tape on the floor and hook the end into one corner of the room. Tape measures usually have a red mark every 16 inches. Every inch is divided into two halves. This means that you line up the end of the item you're measuring with the 1-inch mark on the tape. References Yet when it is stretched out, a tape measure is a jumble of numbers, marks, diamonds, and other confusing symbols. Thanks. If you really need an accurate measurement and you believe that the hook is not moving properly, you can do a simple technique called "burning an inch." wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. It is a common measuring tool. For the purposes of this post, I’ll be talking about a good old American Imperial measurement tape. Remember that every inch is divided into four quarters. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. When it comes to construction and craftsmanship, taking accurate measurements can be the difference between a great finished product and a subpar one. With contractor measuring tapes, used for measuring large areas, you often cannot get a measurement using just the tape, as the body or case of the measuring tape gets in the way. Many tape measures will have 12-inch foot marks designated, eliminating the need to convert inches to feet yourself. For example, let's say that we want the answer above in metres. Thank you, wikiHow. After the number 17, count four lines, noticing that you stop on the third longest line. 2. You can get tape measures in Metric and Imperial measurements depending on your needs and you can find different specialty tape measures as well. As you may know it, there are two main systems for measuring length – the Imperial System of Measurements where things are measured in yards, feet and inches and the Metric System of Measurement which uses meters, centimeters and millimeters.. Even smaller marks then denote 1/8ths and 1/16ths (marked in red) of an inch. Step Four: Measure the Other Foot. in the inches column of the tape? wikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. Let's say that we've measured past the one-inch mark, past one quarter-inch mark, and past one eighth-inch mark. When measuring your stride in advance, lay a measuring tape on the floor and have someone else watch you walk at a normal, natural pace. Thus, most manual tapes won't be much longer than the human arm span. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. A tape that has 31 markings between the whole numbers is a 1/32″ tape and can be confusing when learning how to read a tape measure. Understand the Numbers - You need to first familiarize yourself with the tape measure markings, starting with the numbers. To create this article, 60 people, some anonymous, worked to edit and improve it over time. As the length of the marks progressively shortens, the measurements shorten, as well. ", "Read this in math class, it really helped! This is marked in red on many tape measures. Now let’s do 2 feet and 5/8th of an inch. To read a tape measure, think about moving from long marks down to short marks. The whole inch, or 1-inch, mark on a tape measure is the longest and easiest to see. Visit us today for the widest range of Measuring Tools products. When you take the measurement, just subtract that extra inch that you added. I'm really glad that there are websites like this to help people all around the world. Exactly where is the measurement taken? It also has a durable blade, a handy write-on label, and a non-marring base. This is handy in certain situations, like for instance, when you're measuring into a tight corner. This hook is meant to slide back and forth. Since it is common to have different sized feet, it is important to fully measure both feet with the Brannock Device. Some marks are black and some are red. Whether hooking the tape or butting it, make sure you do so firmly. 2 Place your foot firmly on top of the piece of paper. On a tape measure that uses imperial units – as opposed to the metric system – the most prominent markings are typically the inch marks, designated by long, thin lines and larger numbers. Look on the case body for the width indicator. Typically a measuring tape for measuring the body is 60 inches long which is about 1.5 meters (152 cms). and I believe that this is the best outline on how to read a tape measure. Check out our range of Measuring Tape products at your local Bunnings Warehouse. For example, "Three and one half inches (or 3 1/2")" or "2 feet, 3 1/2". Tape measures may have measurements in imperial and metric, imperial-only, or metric-only. It is also the first line that you will encounter after or before a whole-inch mark. How to read a tape measure with metric markings, in millimetres, centimetres and metres. The Spruce uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. Try to keep the tape straight to ensure an accurate measurement! Most work tends to stop at this point, though in some cases you will need to measure down to the 1/16-inch mark. To learn about the differences between the imperial system and the metric system, read on! Take a close look at step 3 and 4 in the picture above. For example, if you want to find the distance around your wrist, place the zero end of the tape measure on top of your wrist, wrap the slack around and underneath, then line it up with the zero end on top. Figuring out your shoe size at home isn't difficult. ", "Specific steps helped. Stretch out the tape measure. If your measuring tape doesn't have 0.5 centimetre markings, the fifth millimetre after each centimetre marks the 0.5 centimetre. Last Updated: September 3, 2020 Up to this point, it has been easy to read the tape measure. You can see that we identified that the closest marking to the object we were measuring was a 1/8" marking. You just have to remember to subtract that inch. Moasure might not be compatible with all smartphones out there, but we think it’s one of the nicer tape measure apps on… The 1/8-inch mark is located between any two 1/4-inch marks. For another thing, there are so many of these marks that they can get lost in the thicket of other marks. It consists of a ribbon of cloth, plastic, fibre glass, or metal strip with linear-measurement markings. You will see a foot designation marked every 12 inches (sometimes in a box as in the picture, or sometimes the number will be shown in red). It depends on the tape measure itself, they come in different lengths. The bottom portion of the measuring tape device stands for centimeters and millimeters. How to read a sewing measuring tape. The whole inch mark is the easiest to read on the tape measure because the number … Note that the line next to the number marks each inch, not the number itself. Lay the tape on the floor and hook the end into one corner of the room. Look at the tape and see the last number before the stop point, for example, 17. 1. How To Read Tape Measure In Feet and Inches I know many of you are familiar with how to read the larger parts of the tape measure, as in 1/2 inch or 3/4 inch. ", "We can use it for training purposes. Thank you! Get daily tips and tricks for making your best home. The longest mark indicates one inch. Completely different to an imperial tape measure, it is arguably easier to read a tape measure in metric than imperial; Each small increment is 1mm and there are 10mm that make up one centimetre. To measure a room from one corner to the other: All tip submissions are carefully reviewed before being published. I'm really glad that y'all have that, thank you. For example, if you are measuring across the front of your dresser and the edge of the dresser lines up right after the 24 inch marking, this means that your dresser is between 24 and 25 inches wide. To read a measuring tape, line the zero mark up at the edge of the item you're measuring, then stretch the tape all the way across the item. If you need to measure beyond your reach, you can try keeping the zero end of your tape measure in place with a weight or getting a friend to help. Reading a ​tape measure is more about combining basic fractions with an understanding of how marks work on today's tape measures. Your foot: With this one it helps to know your European shoe size: 35 = 9′, 40 = 10″ and 45 = 11″. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 2,909,813 times. Thanks. Pull out the tape along the floor. When you reach the other corner push the butt of the tape case into the corner (the butt or back of the case has been flattened for this purpose). By using our site, you agree to our. The 1/4-inch mark is exactly halfway between any two 1/2-inch marks. A 16ft tape measure, for example, will have sixteen one-foot marks along its length and 192 one-inch marks (12 inches per foot). Foot or 1’: The foot measurement shows up on the 12th inch and is written as 1F. Most tape measures tell you where each foot mark is located, along with the whole inch designation. If it is, for instance, six inches at this point, then your wrist has a circumference of about six inches. In this case, since there are 100 centimetres in one metre, we could use a conversion factor like this: In general, to go from centimetres to metres, shift the decimal two places to the left, and to go from metres to centimetres, shift it two places to the right. To measure the diameter of a tree, the diameter tape (diameter side facing user) is wrapped around the tree, in the plane perpendicular to the axis of the trunk at 4.5 feet (1.4 m) above ground (or 4.27 feet (1.30 m), depending on the location) . Reading a Tape Measure. Tape a piece of paper down to the floor.

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