How to Use a Tape Measure Like a Pro

By  //  March 14, 2023

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Do you want to learn how to quickly and accurately measure wood, walls, and other items? If so, then you’ve come to the right place!

Knowing how to use a tape measure like a pro is an essential skill that everyone should have. Not only will it help in DIY home improvement projects or construction work, but also in everyday situations ranging from baking and crafts to decorating your home. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at some tips for using a tape measure as well as common mistakes that even experienced users make. So if you’re ready, grab your tape measure, and let’s get started!

What Is a Tape Measure?

If you are thinking about doing DIY work for the first time, you are most likely trying to learn as much as you can about using a tape measure. The best place to start would be to understand what a tape measure is. 

The simplest definition of a tape measure is that it is a tool that is used to measure distances between points. In addition to this, it is also commonly used to measure the size of an object, for example, the height, length, and width of an object, or even the object’s thickness. Newer tape measures have retractable tape that extends from their housing. 

The Various Parts of a Tape Measure

Now that you have a better idea of what a tape measure is, it’s time to take a look at what a tape measure consists of. Most newer tape measures consist of the tape, the housing, the hook, the lock, and the belt clip. 

As you can imagine, the housing of the tape measure is where the tape is held and protected; the housing is also often commonly referred to as the case. The length of the tape in question can usually be found on the housing. The hook is what you place on objects to hold the tape in place when measuring, and the lock is used to lock the tape measure when you have taken your measurement. 

Remember to Convert

One of the most important things you are most likely going to do at some point when using a tape measure is convert from the imperial system to the metric system, or vice versa, especially when following a guide online. The good news is that most tape measures have both units of measurement. 

However, this isn’t always the case, so it’s good to know how to convert. You could use a website or Google to do this, but sometimes it won’t be possible. The easiest way to remember the conversion is that 1 inch is equal to 2.54 cm. 

Reading a Tape Measure

If this is your first time looking at a tape measure, it can be a bit confusing, especially when using the imperial system. However, it is pretty easy. The largest marking on the tape measure is either the inch mark or the centimeter mark. In inches, the second largest marking is 1/2″, the third longest is 1/4”, the second shortest is 1/8”, and the shortest line is 1/16”. 

The metric tape measures are the easiest to read, since every centimeter is marked, and every 100 centimeters is a meter, and that is marked too. The metric tape measure also shows millimeters, which are marked between the centimeters, and every 10 millimeters is a centimeter. 

Terms for Measuring

If you have never measured anything before, there are a few terms that you are going to need to learn. For example, the height of something, width of something, the length of something, and the thickness of something. 

The height of something would be how tall it is, and the thickness of something would naturally be how thick it is. The length is how long something is, and the width is how wide something is. When writing down these measurements, or reading the measurements, it’s important to know that they have a specific order.

The order to write or read them would be the length, then width, then height, or length x width x height.