I have a confession!! I struggle (or struggled until recently) to read a tape measure. In my defense I had never been taught what all the “little lines” meant. I knew the the basics…1/4, 1/2, 3/4 and inches, but the other lines were always a mystery. If I had to measure something that didn’t fall within one of those marks I would just mark the tape measure with a pencil or count the lines…you know it might be 32″ and 3 little lines. (Pretty embarrassing, right!)
My guess is that many of you are in the same boat as me. So, I thought we could do a little: How To Read a Tape Measure 101.
(For all of you mathematically inclined people, please ignore my simplistic break down of an already basic tape! You can just skip ahead to another project! 😉 )
This is what helped me, seeing it broken down…I’m a visual learner. Every single line on the tape measure can be broken down into 16ths. This little bit of knowledge is what I was missing.
The 16ths can be reduced into 8ths, like the picture above. Makes sense right? And those 8ths can be broken down even more, until you get to 4ths and a 1/2.
If you look at the picture below you can see how this all makes sense. Shortest lines are the 16ths, going up in length to 8ths, 4ths, 1/2 and inch.
I realize this is simple once you break it down, but in order to be able to measure something and spout off the CORRECT measurement without counting the lines every time (maybe it’s just me) I need it to be broken down.
Now it’s just a memorization game. Before long, it will come natural but until then you can reference this diagram. 🙂
(Click on the image to download and print.)
Since we are on the subject, I though you might like to know about this particular QuickDraw Self-Marking Tape Measure! It makes marking off cuts a piece of cake (or so they claim)!!! I ordered one but it’s on back order so as soon as I get it, I’ll share my findings.
**This post contains and affiliate link.**