Ultimate Guide How to Use Tape Measures

Using a tape measure is basically easy. Things that you need to consider are the hook and the tape. On this page, we are going to discuss how to use the hook and read the tape. If you know how to use it and read the marks properly, that’s good, whereas if you are still a newbie in terms of using it, then this post is right for you.

How to Use the Hook

In general, measuring with a tape measure is similar to measuring with a ruler. Put your mark 0 at the object’s side you want to measure from, then the measurement result is where the mark touches the side you measure to.

However, measuring with tape measures is slightly different yet significantly affected. What a tape measure can do is actually much more than a ruler can. Especially its gappy loose hook, it is very useful in certain situations where a ruler absolutely a suck choice.

This feature lets you perform inside and outside measurement. The small gap at the hook can be used to hook the tape onto a nail or screw which is very helpful to let you work alone, create a circle, and measure vertically. Moreover, the hook is quite sharp to make a mark so you don’t need to carry a pencil every time.

So, what can you clearly do with that hook?

1. Inside and outside measurement

Commonly, a tape measure is equipped with a loose gap which its major function is to measure inside and outside. Inside measurement is where you hook the tape and pull it to make a measurement. Then the hook will slightly slide out. Outside measurement is where you push the tape against something. The hook touches the material you push and the loose hook will slightly move in.

This feature is very useful whenever you want to measure an object’s length but nothing to hook, you do pushing/outside measurement. Similarly, when you have something where the tape can hook, you do pulling/inside measurement.

If you analyze it carefully, you will realize the reason why the hook slides in and out. Whereas if you do pulling measurement, right at the inside hook will be the mark 0, you do pushing measurement, the outside hook will be.

2. Case Length Notification

At the back side, usually, you’ll find a notification about the length of the case. Along with this, you are supposed not to bend or fold the tape again in order to measure around hard spaces. Simply put the case to the point you measure to, and the hook to the point you measure from, then you can count the distance of them now.

3. Hold your Tape Strongly

A slot at the tape measure hook
A slot at the tape measure hook

If you have nothing to hook, you can drive a nail or screw on a certain spot you want, and use the slot feature to hook your tape. This slot can be found at the hook and mostly tape measures have it.

Simply, put them in such a way where the nail acts as a latch. Put the nail’s broadened flat head onto the slot until a half part of it gets into the slot. Then you can pull your tape and feel the nail holds the hook securely.

After knowing this feature, you’ll realize how useful it is to use to work alone especially when you need someone to hold the hook but no one would.

4. Creating Circle

You can mark a circle with this. After driving a nail or screw and hook your tape onto it, simply get your tape measure around along with a marker or pencil is sticking on it.

5. To Measure Vertically

Not only can your tape measure make a circle, but also the slot is helpful in performing a vertical measurement. When there is nothing to hook your tape on a wall, you can set a nail over there and use it to latch your tape.

6. For Marking

The bottom of the hook is pretty sharp to be used to make a mark. Some tape measures even design shredded pattern at the bottom of it. If you have no a pencil or pen to mark, you can use it to scratch a simple mark on the material you are working on.

7. Magnetic Hook

Some types of hooks are manufactured with a magnetic property or even totally magnetic. Whenever you want to work alone but realize nothing to be to hook, you can use this as an alternative to using nails or screws. Simply, set a magnetic item where the measurement spot starts and stick out your magnetic hook there. This magnetic will prevent the hook from moving during measurement.

Consider whether this feature is what you need or not. You can find this kind of feature on this one Milwaukee 48-22-7125 and this one Kutir 56-7525.

How to Read the Tape Measure

In terms of reading the tape, all you have to do is knowing the measurement system that your tape meter has and some special marks that are intentionally printed on it. Reading the marks should be very easy because they have been designed to be clearly colored yellow and sometimes white.

1. Imperial and Metric System

For the U.S., many tape measure generally uses imperial such as inches, foot, and yard. But, if you are familiar with the metric such as millimeter, centimeter, and meter, then you should have the metric one. You could also buy a double one where metric and imperial units are embedded together in the tape. If you are looking for this, you can find it on our best tape measure reviews.

2. 16-inch Mark for Framing Job

This feature on the tape is designed to help you work on framing activities. In the U.S. standard framing distance is 16 inches. It would very overwhelming except you use a tape measure with this kind of marking (tape measure for framing) because there will be a mark embedded there every 16-inch distance.

3. Start from Mark 0

You will never see the mark 0 on the tape because it’s the place where the hook to be. If you do pulling measurement, then right the inside hook is the mark 0. Conversely, the outside hook is the mark 0 if you do pushing measurement. Always start measurements from mark 0. If you start from mark 1, then you have to always reduce the result by 1.

Most tape measures nowadays have been manufactured very well to fulfill our expectations. Moreover, there’s also no certain skill to use them. By reading this article, you are supposed to know comprehensively how to use tape measures. The slotted, loose, and magnetic hook are features that will ease you in measuring without losing accuracy.

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