Think you know how to use a tape measure? These four little-known tips will surprise you 9



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Using a tape measure seems pretty straight forward but did you know these tricks? Your measurements could be out without realising!

So if you’re doing some DIY this weekend or simply want to know for next time, here’s 4 new tricks:

  1. See that little hole in the metal hook of the tape measure? That’s for giving you extra grip on a nail or screw!
  2. The serrated edge on the metal hook isn’t just for grabbing, it’s to scribe. If you don’t have a pencil handy, simply rub the end back and forth to make a mark.
  3. Your tape measure is short by the thickness of the metal hook. When you want to measure something on an edge, make sure your making room or consideration for that.
  4. Your tape measure tells you the length of its base – that’s right, it can be used as a measure too! It’s written on the bottom and is handy to know instead of bending the tape and getting an incorrect measurement.

Check out this video below for more information. Did this help you?


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  1. Sorry, but tip No3 just makes no sense.

    4 REPLY
    • Just remember the hook on the end moves back and forth so that for an outside measurement it slides out and for an inside measurement it slides in to give the right measurement.

      Also 1 mm is the same as 5/128ths of an inch and most old tape showed the smallest measurement as 1/16th inch. B|

    • Bruce Mahony Thanks, but “Your tape measure’s first……”. First what? Then there is the possessive “your” which threw me right off.

    • Nobody mentioned the big problem with tape measures. You can own a swag full of them, but try to bag one – just one and what are you chances? They come with an invisibility cloak.

    • Well let me know when you want one, Leone. Hubby has about 5. I keep finding all over the place, but never in the spot they are supposed to be.

  2. I didn’t realise the preciseness of measuring this way – but I’ve always managed somehow. What I am amazed at, is that when nearly every man in my life goes to measure & uses the length-out-stride for as far as they think is necessary! Then they use the hand along the wall measure & finally tap along the wall to ‘find’ the studs – has never worked!! They should have a little Ikea measure in their handbag like me!

  3. Went to get my tape measure to check and it’s not where it should be. No I have to go on a mission to find it.

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