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How To Use a Tape Measure

We like this article by Timothy Dale, created under Bob Vila ™ “How To’s and Quick Tips.” The beginning line: “Master this simple yet crucial tool to ensure precision for your projects,” truly embodies what we are here for at Home Planet Gear. We find it very informative, concise and beautifully written for DIYers and professionals alike.

Tape measure article picture

Timothy goes on to discuss the parts of a tape measure and its technical (mathematical) aspects, specifically, its marks along the tape both in imperial and metric. He describes the usual symbols used to indicate the fractions or abbreviations of the units. 

The rest of the article describes principles on how to use the tape measure itself starting off with the general instructions on how to use it. Following it, he writes why the tang is loose and how it accounts for the “missing” 1/16th of an inch. 


What do you do when the line or edge of the object is not exactly on a mark on the tape measure? Which mark should you write down on your plan – the shorter or longer mark? The article has stated the reason to choose the longer mark… and that is not for accuracy. “At worst, you will need to measure and cut again, but that is far better than wasting a piece of material that’s 1/16 of an inch too short for your needs.”

We get more subtitled principles with the description of the use of the housing of the tape measure for measurement and the use of the serration of the edge of the tang, as well as the hole of the tang.

The link to the complete article is found here.

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