Learning how to properly use a ruler is an important skill set needed for acquiring accurate measurements or cutting in a straight line.
Rulers come in handy for many tasks. They can be used to measure items for basic household tasks or to measure items for more complex tasks, such as building cabinetry. It's true that that most people learned how to use a ruler in elementary school, but you would be surprised how many times mistakes are made! The measurements need to be exact to accurately perform many everyday tasks. If a ruler is inaccurately read or used, then the results could potentially ruin a project.
The first step of reading a ruler is understanding the symbols that appear on it. For instance, on an American ruler (where inches and feet are a part of the standard unit of measurement) each equally-spaced number on the ruler represents an inch, and twelve inches represents a foot. Most rulers have tiny lines between numbers, and there will often be a slightly larger line in the middle of the other lines between numbers. This line is made slightly larger as a way of identifying it as half of an inch. The other smaller lines represent smaller fractions of an inch, such as one-sixteenth of an inch if there are sixteen lines total between two numbers, or even one-eighth of an inch if there are only eight lines between two numbers.
Many rulers also feature two types of measurements, such as an American standard on one edge of the ruler and a metric standard on the other. Therefore, it’s important to determine which type of measurement you prefer before placing it next to the item being measured.
Next, by placing a ruler parallel to what is being measured and aligning the lowest point on the ruler with the edge of the object, you can then read the numbers that correspond with the length of the object in order to determine its exact measurement. If the measurement falls between two of the lines that represent a fraction of an inch, a decision has to be made; you can either round up the measurement or round down the measurement to the nearest fraction of an inch.
Besides being useful for acquiring measurements, a ruler can also be used as a straightedge to draw a straight line when accuracy matters. This line can either start or stop at a random point or you may prefer to measure the line with an exact starting and stopping point in mind by using the numbers along the ruler’s edge. This can also be a useful way to cut a straight line.
There are different types of rulers that can be used to acquire different types of measurements. The fractional rule, the decimal rule, and even the metric rule are a few of the types available to help you learn how to read and properly use a ruler. Though rulers come in many different sizes and styles (especially when they are used as promotional products), they are important tools that can be very useful when correctly used.
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