Reading Measure Tape

How To Read Measure Tape | Reading A Tape Measure | Measuring Tape Reading5 min read

What Is Measure Tape?

A Measure Tape is a tool used for dimension measurement. The measure tape is widely used to measure length, width and height and it is made up of materials like metal, plastic, fibreglass and cloth.

How To Read Measure Tape | Reading A Tape Measure | Measuring Tape Reading
Measure Tape

They are a common measuring tool used in both professional trades and simply around the home.

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Marking On Measuring Tape

The Measure tape is marked with a different unit such as centimetres, inches and feet.


Parts of A Tape Measure

There are different parts of measure tape and each has its own importance.

How To Read Measure Tape | Reading A Tape Measure | Measuring Tape Reading
Parts of A Tape Measure

Case: The case is used to cover tape. This is also responsible for making tape durable and long-lasting for use. The case is made from metal, plastic and other rubber materials.

Case Length: On the back of the tape measure, you will find the case length. It is essentially the length of the case but is a great addition to your tape. It comes in handy when you want to measure around corners. Use the housing for inside measurements instead of bending the tape.

Thumb Lock: The thumb lock is designed to keep your tape in place at your desired length. It stops your tape from automatically retracting back into its housing when carrying out measurements. Simply release the thumb lock to put the tape measure back in its case.

Blade/Tape: The most important part of your tape measure, the blade is what gives you your measurements. Imperial units are usually on the top row and metrics on the bottom. More on the tape itself later…

Hook: The hook, located at the end of the tape comes in handy when measuring hard surfaces such as tables. You may notice that the hook is loose; this is intentional to ensure accuracy. If the hook has a hole in it, this is so it can grip onto screws.

Belt Clip: Does what it says on the tin. The belt clip simply allows the measuring tape to be hooked onto your belt so you can always have it to hand.

Read More: 23 Surveying Instruments and Their Uses | Instruments Used In Surveying | Surveying Equipment and Their Uses [Pdf]


How To Read Measure Tape

Everyone should learn to use a measure tape because sometimes we need to measure. That’s why it’s so important to learn how to measure with a measuring tape.

First, we will see how the marking is done on measuring tape,

How To Read Measure Tape | Reading A Tape Measure | Measuring Tape Reading
How To Read Measure Tape

The measuring tape is divided into two parts horizontal TOP Part and the BOTTOM Part.


Top Part Measuring Tape

The top part of the measuring tape was fractioned with inches. It means you can read dimensions in feet on the top part of the tape.

Each Part is equal to 1 Inch.

Again, This part is divided into 16 parts.

  • 2nd Black line is equal to 1/8th of inch
  • 4th Black line is equal to 1/4th of inch
  • 6th Black line is equal to 3/8th of inch
  • 8th Black line is equal to 1/2nd of inch
  • 10th Black line is equal to 5/8th of inch
  • 12th Black line is equal to 3/4th of inch
  • 14th Black line is equal to 7/8th of inch

There is a number written on the top part of the measuring tape like 1 inch, 2 inch, 3 inch and so on.

As we know 12 inches = 1 feet

Therefore, at every 12th-inch foot marking is done.

12″ = 1 ft

24″ = 2 ft

36″ = 3 ft

48″ = 4 ft so on.


Bottom Part Measuring Tape

The bottom part of the measuring tape was fractioned by centimetres. It means you can read dimensions in millimetres, centimetres, and meters on the top part of the tape.

A centimetre is also divided into 10 parts and each part is equal to 1 millimetre.

10 mm = 1 cm

100 cm = 1 m

Here, the smallest division reading can be written on the bottom part is 1 mm and the largest division reading can be written on tape is 1 m.


Example: How to Read Measure Tape

Let’s understand measuring tape reading with some practical examples,

1. How To Read A Measuring Tape In Inches and Feet

How To Read Measure Tape | Reading A Tape Measure | Measuring Tape Reading
Reading Measuring Tape

2. How To Read A Measuring Tape In mm, cm & meter

How To Read Measure Tape | Reading A Tape Measure | Measuring Tape Reading
Reading Measuring Tape

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