Tips for Accurately Reading a Tape Measure
Accurate and reliable measurements are critical to any successful project. Whether you’re constructing an entire building or a piece of unique DIY furniture for your home, the numbers make for a quality finished product. However, while using measuring tools might seem straightforward, it’s typical for crafting beginners to struggle with the different lines, numbers, and symbols found on a tape measure. We’ve compiled a list of tips for accurately reading a tape measure so that you can go into your next project with the confidence that you’re getting it right.
Familiarize Yourself With the Line Markers
One of the first things you should do is take some time to identify and familiarize yourself with the different line markers. Tape measures utilize a series of lines to notate varying fractional measurements within an inch. Inch markers are long, solid lines that have a number label. The next longest line is the half-inch marker, followed by the quarter-inch, and then the eighth-inch. Finally, the shortest series of lines mark every sixteenth of an inch. In committing these markings to memory, you’re well on your way to taking more accurate measurements.
Stabilize the Tape’s End on the Material
When you use your measuring tape, you’ll want to ensure that you secure the tape’s end cap. This could mean hooking it over the side of a board, attaching it to a stable nail, or pushing it against the surface of a flat wall. No matter how you do it, securing the cap will help you get the most accurate measurement possible. Finding a stabilizing surface makes it easier to pull the tape out as needed and mark your lengths without accidentally moving the end of the tape.
Foot Markers Use a Large Arrow
In addition to line markers, there are several other types of symbols to know to read your tape measure best. This next tip is to learn about foot markers. Often taking the form of a large arrow, these labels demonstrate the length of each foot along your tape measure. Watching for the foot markers allows you to quantify measurements better to suit your needs. For instance, if you’re measuring something that is a foot and a half, you can read it as one foot and six inches or just a simple 18 inches.
Red Boxes Show Distance Between Studs
Have you ever noticed those red, boxed numbers as you read your measuring tape? Per most building codes, wall studs should measure 16 inches apart. Because of this standard, measuring tapes distinguish these numbers so that you can locate them quickly. So, look for the red numbers if you’re putting up a wall.
If you’re in the market for an easy-to-read and accurate tape measure, The Perfect Measuring Tape Company has the selection for you. We carry many different types of measuring tapes so you can get the exact numbers you need every time.