Reading a measuring tapes seems like a simple thing to do, but you’d be surprised to find out how many people get it wrong. There is a correct process and the ability to read from both sides of the tape creates smarter measurements. Better measurements result in better jobs and that’s what we all want. This goes for professionals and DIYers alike.
Why it’s important to learn how to read a tape measure
Reading a tape measure is like reading between the lines of a book: it’s not always easy to figure out what’s going on, but once you get the hang of it, you can use your newfound knowledge to impress people with how well-read you are.
So, how do you read a tape measure? Well, it depends on what kind of tape measure you have. If it’s the kind with a little arrow at one end and an inch mark at the other end, then all you have to do is line up those two points so that they’re in line with each other and then read off whatever number appears between them.
How to read a tape measure
Reading a tape measure is a simple process, but it might be confusing if you haven’t done it before. When you use a tape measure to measure a wall, you’ll see two lines of numbers. The first line is the inches of the measurement and the second line is for feet.
To read your tape measure correctly, place one end of the tape measure on the wall where you want to start measuring. Hold the other end in your hand and pull it out until it reaches your desired length. Then look at both lines of numbers and determine which one will give you the best measurement for your wall. For example, if you need more than 5 feet but less than 6 feet, then choose 4’8″. If no option works for you, consider adding or subtracting 1/8″ from your selection until one does work for your needs!
How to read a tape measure in different fractions of inches
Reading a tape measure in different fractions of inches can be tricky, but it’s not impossible.
First, you need to understand that the tape measure is divided into 16ths, eighths, quarters, and sixteenths of an inch. Each mark on the tape represents one of these fractional measurements.
So if you want to read a measurement that’s 2 inches and 4 sixteenths long, you would look for two marks past 16 inches (it would be at 20″). Then you’d count four marks from there (two more than 16!”) to get your final measurement.
Using “reduction” on tape measures
Tape measures are used to measure the length of an object. The measurement is given in inches or centimeters. There is also a little gap in between each number on the tape measure, which allows you to add or subtract one inch from your total measurement. This process is called “reduction.”
Learning how to read a measuring tape will help you with lots of things around the house.
When working with measuring tapes, always remember that there is more than one way to interpret the numbers. If you have a multiple of five, it can be difficult to figure out which way to set the second five. Quickly eyeballing the two outside numbers may help you decide which way to go. Using this knowledge can make all the difference when things get tight and there is not much room for error.