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4 Ways You're Using Your Tape Measure Wrong

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Jacqueline PaumierGuest Blogger
July 24, 2016 · 1.1k Views

We’ve got some news for you, you’ve been using a measuring tape all wrong. Don’t worry, most people do. Measuring tapes are clunky, awkward, and rarely come with an instruction manual, but perhaps its time that they do. We think your life could be made just a bit easier if you knew all the ways to use this tool, so we’ve shared a few tips below. By the time you’re done reading this article, you’ll be searching for an excuse to measure something.

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1. The Width of the Base

Source: The Sweet Home

It’s easy to find out how long your measuring tape is, but what about the width of it. Check the base and you will find it tells you exactly how long the width is. This makes it easy to do angled or inside measurements since you can use the base as a source of analysis.

2. Nail and Screw Grab

Source: DIY House Help

When you pull out your measuring tape you will find a small hole or slot; it’s not there purely for decoration. That hole is intended to help hold nails and screw into an object so you can keep the measuring tape in place. This is particularly helpful if you are measuring a long distance by yourself and don’t have anyone to help hold the opposite side down.

3. Scribing

Source: Answers

Ever notice how the bottom of the hook on your measuring tape is sharp or serrated? This is a scribing tool to help you mark your place in case you don’t have a pencil to mark your spot. How thoughtful of them!

4. Extra Measuring Space

Source: Tool Reporter

The hook on your measuring tape is exactly 1/16th of an inch; this isn’t an accident. The hook was made this width because the first inch of the measuring tape is just a tad shorter than an inch, adding in the width of the hook makes your measurement start at a full inch.


jacquelinebuch profile picture
Jacqueline is a modern day gypsy, who has lived in several countries and has traveled to over 20. A sucker for all things pleasing to the senses; her world revolves around food (any and all food), foreign indie films, and salsa music. The first to jump off a waterfall and the last to say no to sushi, she has been described as a bit of an “extremist”. In her perfect world, no one ever spells “cool” as “kool” and Ryan Gosling has more tattoos. She enjoys spending her free time in her New Orleans home with her Cubano guitarist husband and 1-year-old son.

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