Did you know that a simple tape measure has a world of untapped potential? Yes, it looks like a humble tool, but you might be surprised by the multitude of tasks a tape measure can tackle and the myriad ways it can simplify your life and your projects.
Like most tools, the key to unlocking a tape measure’s full potential is simply knowing what you’re working with, which is why we’re revealing a treasure trove of tips and tricks to help you use your tape measure with maximize efficiency. Here’s how to harness the full potential of this small, but mighty tool.
Tips and tricks: How to use a tape measure
Choose the Right Tape: Tape measures are designed with various markings to suit specific tasks like fractions or foot measurements. Ensure you select the one that aligns with your specific project.
Markings Matter: Some tape measures feature visible fractions, while others emphasize foot measurement marks. Familiarize yourself with these markings to make precise measurements.
Leverage the Nail Notch: The nail notch at the tape's end is a valuable feature. It securely anchors the tape in place on nails. If nails aren't part of your project, a pushpin can also be used with the nail notch.
Avoid Tape Bends: Taking measurements with a bent tape can lead to inaccuracies. Instead, ensure the housing is flush against the corner and add the tape measure’s length, which is listed on the side of the tape measure’s housing, to your measurement for precision.
Furniture Shopping: When shopping for furniture in-store, bring your own tape measure to confirm it fits your space perfectly.
Precision Marking: Use a “V” or carrot symbol when marking measurements to enhance precision when nailing or drilling.
Mark Two Points: Marking two points when measuring with a tape measure is a technique used to ensure accuracy, especially when measuring longer distances or when precision is crucial.
Pencil for Corrections: Use a pencil for marking measurements, allowing for easy adjustments if needed.
Sticky Note Convenience: Attach a small sticky note to the tape measure to quickly jot down measurements as you go.
Digital Assistance: For added convenience, open your phone's Notes app and use dictation to verbally record measurements when your hands are otherwise occupied.
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: How to read a tape measure: Tips to make the tool work for you