Learn how to read a tape measure so you can quickly conquer your DIY projects
Learning the proper way to read a tape measure is a crucial skill for anyone taking on DIY projects. This video will teach you the basics of using tape measures as well as a few tricks you may be surprised to learn.
Anatomy of a Tape Measure
- Thumb lock – press the thumb lock down to hold the tape measure at the length it’s extended and prevent it from retracting into the case
- Hook slot – a hole at the end of the tape that allows you to latch onto an anchor point
- Tape – the ruler part of the tape measure that identifies measurements
- Belt clip – allows you to hook your tape measure conveniently onto a belt, tool belt or pocket
Case length – the square-shaped case around the tape, usually around three inches in length
How to Read a Tape Measure
- The typical length between studs in a wall is 16 inches. This is marked in red on most tape measures.
- When measuring a length that backs you into a corner, add the length of the tape measure case to the tape measure’s reading – most tape measures have a 3-inch case.
- An anchor point is a screw or nail that allows you to anchor the end of your tape measure.
Draw a perfect circle by anchoring the tape measure’s hook slot onto an anchor nail or screw, engaging the thumb lock, and holding a pencil down flush with your tape measure as you pull it in a circle around the anchor point.
- Now that you know how to use a tape measure, let’s tackle some projects: