How to measure just about anything

Just about any job you care to mention, requires careful and accurate measurements, so nobody should be without the correct tools for the job. Here are a few tools that will help you to measure just about anything…

Tape measures

Unless you want to go measuring vast distances or microscopic objects, a tape measure allows you to gauge the size of just about anything. From the size of your TV to the size of your house; you can measure most things.

For any measurements that are likely to be under 10 metres, you will only need a short tape. These tend to be metal tapes that automatically retract into a closed case. The whole thing can usually fit in your toolbox or clip onto your belt, making them easy to carry anywhere.

Longer measurements will require a long tape, which is sometimes known as Surveyor's Tape. These are often a flexible, fibreglass tape that is manually wound back into an open case. This open case means that any debris is likely to fall out of the tape measure, which is handy if the tape has been laid across the ground.

On a smaller tape, the hook at the end of the blade should allow a small amount of movement. This is to allow the hook (or a 'floating tang' as it is sometimes known) to be placed either outside or within the object that needs to be measured, while still giving an accurate reading whichever way you choose to use it. When the hook is inside the area, the gap between the hook and the tape measure will compress, making for an accurate measurement. When the hook is placed outside the area that is to be measured, the gap between the hook and the tape extends to allow the object (as long as it is small enough) to fit in-between. This means that your measurement won't include the hook itself, which ensures a greater degree of accuracy visit The Tape Store for more information on this on this.

On a longer tape, there will often be an 'anchor' that allows the end of the tape to be securely fastened to the ground or other objects. This means that you can use a long tape, even if you are on your own. This is ideal for anybody who is using the tape outdoors.

Other essential measuring tools

If you are building anything, particularly from wood, then a square is an essential tool. Carpenters will never work without one, so you should make sure that you have one if you are planning to work with wood.

A square is how you make sure that you cut a perfect right angle. Some squares will also incorporate sliders to enable measurements for 45 degree angles too. There are even variations that can move through a variety of angles and use a spirit level too. For most people, a basic square would suffice.

Speaking of spirit levels; these are another essential tool. From hanging a picture on the wall to building the wall itself, a spirit level will ensure that all your measurements stay straight and true 

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