Categories: How to

How to ensure accurate readings from a measuring tape

Having accurate measurements is crucial when you need something to fit an exact space. Whether you are cutting boards to build a cupboard, measuring up for carpet, or wanting to add drawers inside a wardrobe your measuring technique and abilities are going to make or break the job. So, we are going to look at how you can ensure you get accurate readings from your measuring tape.


If your measuring tape is inaccurate, then so will your readings. It might be fine if you are only ever using your incorrect tape but if your job incorporates any other measurements then they won’t match. So, check you measuring tape against another tape, ruler, or something you know is correct.

End piece

The metal clip on the end of the measuring tape is loose so the tape will automatically align itself with inside or outside measuring, compensating for the thickness of the clip. Many measuring tapes also indicate the length of the case end so you can accurately measure the insides of cupboards by putting both ends flush with the inside. Take the reading, add the case length, and then you have the correct measurement.


If it is possible to have someone with you then having them hold the clip end against a wall will ensure the measuring tape stays flush and still. However, if you’re on your own then you can use a nail to attach the clip and be your extra hands. When you are unable to reach a wall by getting close to it, you need your measuring tape to span the gap by itself. The best assistance in this case is to buy a tape with a wider blade making it more stable and less prone to bending.


The lines on your measuring tapes indicate the increments, either metric, imperial, or both. Larger lines show the whole number, and the shorter lines point out the fractions of the number. Purchasing a measuring tape that is only marked in the measuring system you use makes it much easier to mark your surface on both sides of the measuring tape if the readings on both sides correspond.


As with most things, if you use an inferior product then your result is likely to be inferior too. So, make sure you start off with a quality measuring tape. There are several brands available and a reputable dealer like RS have a great range of quality products. They can also help you with any of your questions and get the right measuring tapes in your hands sooner.

By utilising the information we have given you here: use quality measuring tapes, check their accuracy, use them correctly, and understand how to read them then you will be taking accurate readings from a measuring tape each and every time. No longer will you boards be too short, your drawers too long, or your carpets not fit. Between this article and the team at RS you’ll be measuring like a pro.


Founder/ Director of LTR Magazine - Tech Blog For Reviews.

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