Questions about metal and plastic tapes
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A tape measure from China factory, or measuring tape is a type of hand tool typically used to measure distance or size. It is like a much longer flexible ruler consisting of a case, thumb lock, blade/tape, hook, and sometimes a belt clip. A tape measure will have imperial readings, metric readings, or both. They are a common measuring tool used in both professional trades and simply around the home.
Case: The case is where the tape/blade is housed. This often determines how durable the tape is as a whole. Some tape measure houses are made from metal, some from plastic, and others from a robust rubber which has been drop tested to withstand the impacts of the job site.
Case Length: On the back of the fiberglass tape measure from China factory, you will find the case length. It is essentially the length of the case but is a great addition to your tape. It comes in handy when you want to measure around corners. Use the housing for inside measurements instead of bending the tape.
Thumb Lock: The thumb lock is designed to keep your tape in place at your desired length. It stops your tape from automatically retracting back into its housing when carrying out measurements. Simply release the thumb lock to put the tape measure back in its case.
Blade/Tape: The most important part of your tape measure, the blade is what gives you your measurements. Imperial units are usually on the top row and metrics on the bottom. More on the tape itself later...
Hook: The hook, located at the end of the tape comes in handy when measuring hard surfaces such as tables. You may notice that the hook is loose; this is intentional to ensure accuracy. If the hook has a hole in it, this is so it can grip onto screws.
Belt Clip: Does what it says on the tin. The belt clip simply allows the measuring tape to be hooked onto your belt so you can always have it to hand.
To ensure the precision of your projects, follow our tips and tricks below. The motto to live by is 'measure twice, cut once.
Metric measurements on a measuring tape are displayed in Millimeters, Centimeters, and Meters whereas Imperial measurements are in Feet, Inches, and fractions of Inches. Metric readings are most commonly used in the UK, however, this is purely down to personal preference. Imperial measurements are usually found in red on the top of the blade, whilst metric measurements are in black on the bottom.
Imperial tape measures from the China factory:
- On a standard tape measure, the biggest marking is the inch mark. It is written as a large number sitting to the left of the line. So 1=1".
- The foot measurement shows up on the 12th inch and is written as 1F
- 1/2" is the second largest line
- 1/4" is the third longest/shortest line
- 1/8" is the second shortest line
- 1/16" is the shortest line on the imperial measurement and indicates a 16th of an inch
Metric Tape Measures:
- The 1-meter marking is located at the 100th centimeter and is indicated by 1m
- The centimeter is the longest line on the metric side of the blade and is indicated by a large number. It is found at every 10th millimeter marking. 1=1cm
- The millimeter is the smallest metric measurement on the blade indicated by the smallest line rather than a number or fraction. Every fifth-millimeter line is slightly longer to indicate the halfway point between centimeters.
You may have noticed that there are black diamonds on the tape. These are stud and joist marks. Although they don't appear on all tape measures, they are a great addition to those that they do. The stud marks appear at 16” intervals whilst the joist marks appear at 19 3/16” intervals.
The black diamond joist marks are designed for spacing I-beam timbers.
Every 16 inches, you may see a double arrow or a number marked in red. This helps you to locate every stud running across the wall once you’ve located the first one without needing to use a stud finder.
Did you know that the first inch on a tape measure is actually short by 1/16 of an inch? This is why the end hook is loose, as it measures exactly 1/16 of an inch to provide accurate results.