A tape measure is an important tool that you’ll find in almost every toolbox across the country. If you’re just starting out on your career path and want to know the specifics of using a measuring tape to get accurate results, read through the steps below. You’ll be measuring like a pro in no time at all!
Understand the Markings on a Measuring Tape
Tape measures are available with both metric and imperial units, or with metric units only. Both types feature breakdowns of the units to provide the most accurate readings possible. Specialized variations are also available that can measure out stud intervals for contractors and truss lengths for roofers.
If you are measuring with metric units you’ll see that the tape markings reflect metres, centimetres and metres. The size of the lines correspond with the size of the measurement units. Larger units of measurement have longer lines while shorter marking lines have smaller increments. For example, a centimetre line is longer than a millimetre line. The same holds true for imperial markings on the measuring tape. If you will be making imperial measurements you’ll see that the inch lines are longer than the half-inch lines and progressively move down in size when indicating 1/4″ and 1/8″ measurements.
Consider the Length of the Case
Most measuring tapes leave it up to the worker to take the case (also known as the housing), length into account. If you have to take internal measurements, such as the width between window frames, you’ll need to factor in the length of the case. If, for example, the window measures 100 cm and the case measures 7 cm, you’ll end up with a total length of 107 cm.
To measure the window interior you would start by placing the end of the tape blade flush against one side of the window frame. You would then stretch the tape along the length of the window and butt the end of the case to the frame at the other side. This allows you to take an exact measurement without having to bend the tape, which would not provide an accurate reading.
Simple Steps for Measuring with Accuracy
Follow the steps below to get the most accurate results from your measuring tape:
1. Remove any obstructions to get clear access to what you are measuring.
2. Secure a starting point for the tape measure.
3. Extend the tape ensuring it remains smooth and flat against the surface.
4. Use the lock feature and record the measurement according to the line appearing at the top of the case.
5. If taking an interior measurement, add the length of the case to the value determined in step #4.
Measuring accurately is crucial to ensure that your work meets the necessary specifications and fits properly. With practice and attention to detail, you’ll soon be able to use your measuring tape with confidence and precision, making your work more efficient and professional.