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How to read a tape measure

Accurate measurement is the most important factor for construction or craftsmanship works. For this job, you just need to take the help of the tape.

If you are a woodworker, you have an idea on how to read the tape. But identifying the accurate measurement of the several types of tape will essential tools.

Using tape, you can know the right information about your projects and can complete your jobs of measurement with the correct size easily and quickly.

But for this, you have to know how to read a tape measure. You also learn how to use the measurement in your work projects.

So, learn now and start instantly with us.

How to read a tape measure

You can read the tape using two ways: imperial units & metrics units. Let’s know about both of them.

First: Imperial Units

Use big numbered marking

To read the tape measurement, you can use the big numbered marking for inches. On the tape measurement label, you can see imperial units. The prominent marks are the one-inch marks. They are typically characterized by a long and thin line with a more significant number.

Every 12-inch will often the foot marking. It is different in color than another mark. They may red color or black color marks. After every foot marking, the next number goes for inch again.

Use more significant mark for ½-inch

If you need to mark half-inch, you can use the bigger trademark, and they stay between 2-inch marks. ½-inch always centered between any two 1-inch marks, and it is the second one longest streak.


Use smaller lines to mark a quarter inch

If you want to use a quarter-inch, you have to find out a smaller line between the half-inches. Half-inch marker is bigger than a quarter-inch marker. But between both of the tags has a few spaces, and you can notice them seriously.

Mark 1/8-inch using a small mark

In the craftsmanship or any construction project, 1/8-inch will be needed. If you also want to read that is the 1/8-inch mark, you can mark the small dot that is a standard mark. This small mark is even lower than the quarter-inch target.

Mark 16-inch using the tiny mark

The smaller and the shorter line of the measuring tape mark the 16-inch. Those marks will be so tiny and densely –packed marks.

Second: Metric Units

Mark centimeters using a big mark

Most of the measuring tape of metric unit centimeters is the outstanding mark. Centimeters are normally labeled with long lines. With inch, each line marks each centimeter but not any numbers.

Smaller mark for 0.5 centimeters

There are a few metric measuring tapes that maintain medium-sized marks between every centimeter marks. These medium-size marks will mark the half-centimeters. But they aren't labeled with any number.

Use small mark to get the millimeter

To use millimeter, you have to mark small and densely packed marks that used to mark the millimeter. They stay between centimeters marks, and you will find the small, tight, and so narrow lines. Those lines will show you millimeters, which means 1/10 centimeters.

Third: Retractable tape

Read the retractable tape

If you want to use retractable tape to measure any size, you should read it correctly so that you can use it easily and quickly. Note that each retractable tape comes with a small metal notch that marked for noticed zero.

This type of tape is advantageous to hold the tape into the right place when you measure any things. It is very easy to use than other types of tape.

Enlarge the tape

This tape will allow enlarging it according to your objects. Place the tape from the zero marks from where you need to start measuring. Then pull the tape more and more to out at your destination. To use it you don't need any helper. You can handle it with yourself. After measuring the objects, slowly go to the back and close the tape simply. But when you will go to use the tape, try to keep the tape straight and don’t try to hurry because it’ll risk for you.

Read the tape directly

Now at the central point where your tape meets at the finishing line of the objects are measuring it. The closest number of the finished space is the right number of the unit that you are marking for measuring between the numbers.  

For instance, if you now measure the front side of the dresser and the leading edge of it is remain in 22-inch marking, you have to mind it that your furniture is staying between 21 and 23 –inch wide. So it is so easy to measure and the tape quickly.  

Fourth: Manual Tape

Measure the distance holding zero

The manual tape actually works just like the retractable tape. The features both they are the same, and their option to work is also similar. If you know, you can use it proper technique. To start, your measurement grabs the zero and line up with the start of the required objects.

There a few issues for this tape. For example, when you will go to measure an object, you have to hold it from zero and also have to place it to the right point. If the required end will short, it is right for you. But when the required places will length, you have to take help from others to hold the zero point.

Extend the tap as your distance

You can use this tape as the retractable tape. When you have to enlarge the tape for the largest distance measurement, you can expand it smoothly. In this case, you have to take others to help to measure and hold tape with you.

But when you start the measurement of the objects, first of all, hold the zero line tightly so that the tape will straight, and you can get the correct measurement of the project's place. And you can do it because this type of tape will so flexible and easy to use.

Read the tape directly

There has no various option that will confuse you to measure any project; you can read the tape directly and can understand the right points what you need. Hold the tape from the zero points at the finished line of the objects and measure it taking the help of others.

Measure the around objects

The real advantage of the manual tape is that it will be able to measure any round shape objects so easily and quickly. This is the main difference between the retractable tape and the manual tape. Using retractable tape, you can't be able to measure any round objects, and it'll be more difficult for you. On the other hand, the manual tape is very flexible, and you can measure any shape of objects simply. 

Final thoughts

How to read tape for measure? We hope that you have got your searching answer from those various options where we have shared several types of a tape measure and also inform how to read them into your projects.