Every inch is divided into two halves. Here is a step-by-step guide that will teach you all the basics on deciphering the tape measure markings on the English system side.. For example, "Three and one half inches (or 3 1/2")" or "2 feet, 3 1/2". Reading a Tape Measure. 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. Thanks. The whole inch mark is the easiest to read on the tape measure because the number is clearly stated on the tape. If your measuring tape doesn't have 0.5 centimetre markings, the fifth millimetre after each centimetre marks the 0.5 centimetre. 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. And there aren’t many jobs that require 1/32″ anyway. 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. Most people still find this a fairly easy mark to read, as the line is relatively long. For the purposes of this post, I’ll be talking about a good old American Imperial measurement tape. The 1/8-inch mark is located between any two 1/4-inch marks. Since it is common to have different sized feet, it is important to fully measure both feet with the Brannock Device. % of people told us that this article helped them. Foot markers are the longest lines on the tape measure and sometimes extend the entire width of the tape. Each number equates to 1 inch, and 12 inches equal 1 foot. Reading it used to be a problem for me. 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. Yet when it is stretched out, a tape measure is a jumble of numbers, marks, diamonds, and other confusing symbols. Place the front of the tape at the start point and extend it until after you reach the stop point. How do I write in feet, inches, and fractions of an inch? This a common layout measurement for various items used in building homes and other structures. They usually come in lengths from 6 feet to 35 feet long. ", "Helps me in reading imperial tape measurements.". The Spruce uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. 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. Why is there an arrow marking on 16, 32, 48, etc. wikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. 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. 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. But when it comes to the smaller, more precise measurements. This article has been viewed 2,909,813 times. 2. Lay the tape on the floor and hook the end into one corner of the room. Many are 3". ", measurements. ", "Specific steps helped. Tape measure markings represent the fractions of an inch. 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.. Try to keep the tape straight to ensure an accurate measurement! Most tape measures tell you where each foot mark is located, along with the whole inch designation. The whole inch, or 1-inch, mark on a tape measure is the longest and easiest to see. The 1/16-inch mark is the absolute shortest line on the tape measure. 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″ … But, sometimes your measurement ends up falling on one of those little lines with no number markings. 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. ", "My son needed to know how to read a measuring tape for a school project. Moasure might not be compatible with all smartphones out there, but we think it’s one of the nicer tape measure apps on… Tape measures are commonly used in construction, architecture, building, home projects, crafts, and woodworking. To create this article, 60 people, some anonymous, worked to edit and improve it over time. 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. How to Read a Tape Measure Find/read the markings. Take your measurement from the tape and then add the 3" for the complete width. This eliminates any inaccuracy from the hook. 1. This type of tape measure has the whole inch numbers labeled, as well as the eighths and quarters of an inch labeled, like 1/8, 1/4, 3/8, etc, which makes reading a tape measure much easier. 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. COVID-19 Update to Customers Customers can shop with us in-store or online with our Click & Deliver or Drive & Collect services. If the sizes are different, then find shoes that fit the larger size. 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 Marks range from 1 inch down to 1/16 inch on most tape measures. 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. We know ads can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free. 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. But now, the 1/8-inch mark and the 1/16-inch mark come along and make things a bit more confusing. 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). After the number 17, count four lines, noticing that you stop on the third longest line. It is very easy to explain to the trainees. For a 12 inch measurement, do I mark the left edge of the 12" gradation, the center, or the right edge? Measuring tapes in the United States and Canada usually have both metric and imperial measurement … ", "I was wondering about the little lines and now I know! By using our site, you agree to our. To read a tape measure, think about moving from long marks down to short marks. Approved. The tape measure's 1/2-inch mark is the second-shortest mark, and the 1/4-inch mark is the next-shortest. 1 soot = 25.4 / 8 = 3.175 mm. This is marked in red on many tape measures. Special Notes for How to Read a Tape Measure The typical length between studs in a wall is 16 inches on center. 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. This article has 17 testimonials from our readers, earning it our reader-approved status. You Don't Need a Brannock Device. It is also the first line that you will encounter after or before a whole-inch mark. 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. Once you break it down into a few basics, a tape measure is actually very easy to read. In this case, keep in mind that two eighths of an inch make a quarter. Step Four: Measure the Other Foot. For example, let's say that we want the answer above in metres. If you are remodeling or building a home, reading a tape measure accurately is essential. "This helped me how to read about tape measuring.". Note that the line next to the number marks each inch, not the number itself. Even smaller marks then denote 1/8ths and 1/16ths (marked in red) of an inch. Deane Biermeier is a contractor with 27 years experience in home repair, maintenance, and remodeling. Most tape measures tell you where each foot mark is located, along with the whole inch designation. Often, this little hook is uncooperative about sliding as it should. That counts as 12/16th or 3/4. 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 prime (apostrophe) is used for feet, while a double prime (quotation mark) is used for inches. Unfortunately, the movement on the hook isn't accurate on all tapes, and it can lose accuracy over time. Most work tends to stop at this point, though in some cases you will need to measure down to the 1/16-inch mark. The pictures made it really easy to follow and, "The uncomplicated layout of the measuring tape, indicating the number range, was very helpful. How to read a tape measure with metric markings, in millimetres, centimetres and metres. Luckily, with the proper approach, using a tape measure can be a quick, easy way to get you the information you need about your project. Queries are not only How to read a measuring tape also arise What is soot in measuring tap, How many mm in one Soot, How many feet in one inch, How many soot in one inch, But these are also the common, simple and most important questions for general knowledge and practice because we always use in daily life. 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). Note that, starting with half-inch marks, not all lines may be labeled with numbers. 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. Whether hooking the tape or butting it, make sure you do so firmly. This measurement is normally in a black box with a small triangle or … wikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. For another thing, there are so many of these marks that they can get lost in the thicket of other marks. That's why these bodies are carefully designed and marked to a certain width. Unless you are dealing with wall studs or joists, you can ignore this marker. 3- I recommend a steel bodied tape measure, not plastic. 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). This has made me feel confident in doing the tasks at home that I have avoided, "Thank you for the methods of measurement, it really helped me. Learning how to read tape measure markings is not really that hard. Reading a ​tape measure is more about combining basic fractions with an understanding of how marks work on today's tape measures. For example, if you wanted to write five feet, one and a half inches, you would write it like this: 5'1 1/2". Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker. Check out our range of Measuring Tape products at your local Bunnings Warehouse. 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. Tape measures usually have a red mark every 16 inches. If, for instance, it's three 1/8 inch marks past 24 inches, it is 24 3/8 inches wide. Now I'm good. 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. The bottom portion of the measuring tape device stands for centimeters and millimeters. If the tape measure stretches exactly halfway between the 27 and 28 inch markings, this means that your arm is 27.5 inches long. Each inch will then have eight 1/8th of an inch and sixteen 1/16th of an inch marks. 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! Typically a measuring tape for measuring the body is 60 inches long which is about 1.5 meters (152 cms). If you're looking for how to read the markings on your tape measure, click here. I'm really glad that y'all have that, thank you. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. Many tape measures will have 12-inch foot marks designated, eliminating the need to convert inches to feet yourself. Remember that every inch is divided into four quarters. Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series, The Spruce Gardening & Plant Care Review Board, The Spruce Renovations and Repair Review Board. The initials FT or ft mean "foot" or "feet". Remember: you want to read from the biggest measurement to the smallest. 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. If it is, for instance, six inches at this point, then your wrist has a circumference of about six inches. References Remember - 12 inches is equivalent to one (1) foot. You just have to remember to subtract that inch. In fact, it's very … Note that lines marking a quarter of an inch sometimes aren't any different in size from eighth-inch marks. ", "Read this in math class, it really helped! Please consider making a contribution to wikiHow today. How to Properly Read Tape Measures. As the length of the marks progressively shortens, the measurements shorten, as well. These numbers usually continue for the entire length of the tape measure. A 16ft tape measure, for example, will have sixteen one-foot marks along its length and 192 one-inch marks (12 inches per foot). Thank you, wikiHow. That would make the total measured space 17 and 1/4 inches. The top portion of a standard tape measure is feet, inches and fractions of inches. 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. Tape measures may have measurements in imperial and metric, imperial-only, or metric-only. For one thing, both are very short marks. Please consider making a contribution to wikiHow today. 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. For fractions of an inch, simply put the fraction after the whole number for inches. This way, for example, you do not need to calculate 36 inches as equaling 3 feet. STANLEY® LEVERLOCK® Tape Measures are designed for performance and versatility at home or on the jobsite and this 25 ft. model is no exception. Best Extra-Long: DeWalt 300-Foot Measuring Tape. 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. To learn about the differences between the imperial system and the metric system, read on! Understand the Numbers - You need to first familiarize yourself with the tape measure markings, starting with the numbers. In the United States, the imperial measurement system is normally used on a tape measure, though some models may have both the imperial and the metric system. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. Then, look at the point where the tape meets the end of the item you're measuring and read the nearest large number. This makes it convenient to mark off wall studs or joists, which typically are 16 inches apart. When it comes to construction and craftsmanship, taking accurate measurements can be the difference between a great finished product and a subpar one. It's important to know how to read a tape measure. Count to the second eighth-inch marking after the inch marking — this is the quarter-inch (and the line in the same spot on the other side of the half-inch mark is the three-quarter inch.). Even if math was not your strongest subject in school, you may be comforted to learn that this has little to do with mathematical calculations. If you really can’t stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. Stretch out the tape measure. There is no guesswork. It also has a durable blade, a handy write-on label, and a non-marring base. Thanks. When you take the measurement, just subtract that extra inch that you added. After each metre, the centimetre markings may, The metric system is in base ten, which makes it much easier to work with decimals compared to imperial measurements. 1 foot = 12 inches. 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. 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. You can get tape measures in Metric and Imperial measurements depending on your needs and you can find different specialty tape measures as well. This section deals with how to use the two most common styles of tape measure. 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. Also remember to have your feet sized each time you purchase shoes. 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) . 3. Typical tape measures are … Look at the tape and see the last number before the stop point, for example, 17. You might have to do it a few times to make sure you’re not changing your gait wildly each time. and I believe that this is the best outline on how to read a tape measure. Tape a piece of paper down to the floor. http://www.johnsonlevel.com/News/TapeMeasure, https://www.ustape.com/blog/accurately-reading-a-tape-measure/, https://sewguide.com/sewing-tape-measure/, https://www.ck12.org/measurement/tools-for-measurement-of-customary-and-metric-lengths/lesson/Appropriate-Measurement-Tools-MSM6/, https://www.mathsisfun.com/measure/metric-length.html, https://sciencing.com/read-metric-tape-measure-4472324.html, http://thesweethome.com/reviews/the-best-tape-measure/, https://www.constructionprotips.com/tools-materials/ultimate-tape-measure-guide/, consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow, Every 12 inches, there will often (but not always) be a.
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