Tape Measure Accuracy

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While a tape measure is a simple measurement tool known to most if not all people, there are certainly a few things you probably don’t know about your trusty measuring aid. We will discuss tape measure accuracy.

Tape Measure Accuracy

Almost all the tape measures do have a loose hook. Which is actually a good thing and doesn’t affect tape measure accuracy.

Before you pick a hammer to fix that darn hook that keeps moving about whenever you’re taking a reading, know that this is not a flaw but a special design feature.

The thickness of the hook is exactly the same as the length of the slot along which the hook runs. Whether you’re measuring the inside or outside of something, the hook will adjust towards either end so that the edge of whatever you’re measuring is exactly at the end of the tape.

If you’ve nailed the loose hook firmly, you’re probably not getting accurate readings. However, you can remedy this by simply starting measurements at some reference marking, say 1 inch, and then accounting for it in the final reading

Full speed retraction ruins the tape measure

I know a lot of you are guilty of just letting the tape run back in full force after taking a reading. While this is a common practice even among professionals, it actually erases the markings meaning you need to do a lot of recalibrations.

Moreover, constant full speed retraction wears down the tape measure because of the force with which the hook keeps hitting the case. To prevent this, you could be putting a soft obstacle in between the two when rolling back the tape. Your finger can also do the trick.

Wider is better

A narrow tape measure is one you would want to avoid especially if you take measurements regularly as this is often an indication of poor quality. Moreover, they usually have short life spans. On the other hand, apart from durability, wider tape measures can also easily get to those hard to reach areas like the ceiling or high counter tops without any need of some sort of elevation.

You’ve probably not been using it right.

It seems like a pretty straightforward procedure; just roll out the tape take the reading and pull it back right? Well, there is more to it than meets the eye and here are few pointers:

  • Ensure the tape is taut before taking a reading otherwise you’ll lose about a sixteenth of an inch on tape measure accuracy.
  • The length of the base is usually indicated on it so you can include it in readings and account for it later on. This is particularly useful for taking measurements around bends where you’d need to take two or more separate readings.

Tape measure accuracy is important for professionals, as well as DIY people. It can ruin beautiful projects for mismeasurement. Hope now you can find out if your measuring tape is giving you an accurate result or not.

You can also see our list of best tape measures.

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