How to Read a Tape Measure

Learn how to read a tape measure through our easy guide. Many of you must be aware of the reading techniques, but there’s a vast majority of people still finding it troublesome to read a tape measure. “How to read a tape measure?” is a question we are frequently asked. As a result of our countless queries, we’ve created this basic explanation that explains exactly that!

Ways to read a tape measure

There are two ways of how to read a tape measure:

1. Metric Measurements

2. Imperial Measurements

How to read a tape measure – Metric Measurements

The metric measurements are in centimeters and millimeters. In the above diagram, the measurements towards the bottom of the diagram are metric. The millimeter readings are not mentioned in the tape to make it easier to read the centimeter readings. The majority of the tapes will show a 100 cm mark reading while a very few will show a ‘1m’ mark to depict 1 meter on the tape. Each centimeter is 10mm long (as indicated by the ten spaces between each cm) and each meter is 100cm long. If you look at the above diagram, the first little mark after the 4cm point on the image above shows a measurement of 41mm. The following little mark in line would be 42mm, then 43mm, and so on. Although 41mm can also be written as 4.1cm (0.041m), the majority of tradespeople in the UK prefer to use millimeters.

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How to read a tape measure – Imperial Measurements

The technical, engineering, or construction community has already begun using the metric way but our nation is still perplexed to choose between both. We are so confused that we measure height in feet and inches, our weight in stones and pounds, and our speed in miles per hour. Considering the use of both measurement methods, manufacturers across the world have started to place both measurements on the tape.
In the diagram above, the measurements towards the top of the diagram are imperial. Each long vertical line marks a number as 1,2,3,4 and so on, this represents an inch. For example, 1= 1”, 2=2” and so on. The tiny lines between those numbers represent a fraction of an inch. The mark in the center of the inch signifies a measurement of 1/2″, while the markings on either side of it suggest 1/4″ and 3/4″ measurements, respectively.
How to read a tape measure –Quiz

It was easy to learn how to read a tape measure, right? Here is a quiz for you to judge how much you have learned.

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