Tape Measure Tips

Posted on 21 September 2010


Have you just begun do-it-yourself projects? If so, tape measure reading tips is a quick resource to get you started and to make your projects just a bit easier.

Choosing The Proper Tape Measure for the Job

The most popular tape measure is a metal, retractable tape that is great for measuring basic distances around the home. These are popular because they are portable, and include locking devices to keep the tape from retracting while you are recording the measurement. Carpenters often prefer the foldable “zigzag” type that is usually made of wood or metal. This gives you the advantage of being able to draw a straight line for cutting materials. If you need to measure a longer distance with accuracy, you will need to invest in a laser or digital tape measure. The laser measuring tool will allow you to simply point at the target and get a reading as precise as 1/16″ increments. Digital tape measures are also available and have built in calculators and memory for estimating or when you need to add or subtract distances.

Hints for Properly Measuring

Now that you have a good quality tape measure, there are a few tricks on how to read a tape measure correctly. Tape measures are divided into increments as small as 1/16″ for accuracy. You will need to pay attention to these increments when you are measuring, whether to hang a picture on a wall or to prepare for cutting materials. Also, if you are using a metal retractable tape measure, make certain you have not loosed or bent the end of the tape. This small tip can be damaged with use, making precise measuring virtually impossible. There are several ways to mark the measurement and with a little practice, you will determine the best way for your application. You can find other information for how to read a tape measure here.

Don’t forget that marking your measurements can be as important as the measure itself. Marking tools may include a pencil, a chalk line, a scratch awl, or a mortise gauge. Finding the best marking tool is dependent on the item you are measuring.

No matter which type of measuring device you choose, it will need to be treated with care. The metal retractable tape measures should be wiped regularly to prevent the markings from wearing away and to ensure they are working properly. If you are using a wooden “zigzag” to measure, be aware that they will wear out and the connections will become loose and flimsy. This may affect their accuracy.

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