A tape measure wouldn’t quite work the same if any of these pieces were missing. Each part is designed to bring you accuracy and functionality!
Most tape measures have a serrated edge. You can use this to scratch a mark into a surface if you don’t have a pencil handy.
You’ll see a black diamond on some measuring tapes. These are spaced a little more than 19 inches apart and are meant for construction workers as they mark the standard spacing of trusses when building a roof.
You will sometimes see Roman numerals on a tape measure. These refer to different classes, with I indicating a more accurate measurement and III being the least. Most tape measures are designed as Class 1 or 2.
In some cases, it might be more practical to measure from above instead. That’s the beauty of the flipped hook on the end of most tape measures!
Go ahead and ignore that M number at the bottom of your tape. It’s simply listing the year that particular tape measure was manufactured.
Arrows or Stud
Every 16 inches, you may see a double arrow, a number marked in red, or the word “STUD.” This helps you locate every stud that may run across a wall once you’ve located the first one.
Does your tape measure feature a “CE” mark? That means it conforms to European Union regulations. It’s not really an indicator of quality, but more so of the measurements set forth at a national level in Europe.
This four digit number, which is usually 0126, relates to the agency responsible for certifying the tape measure – the National Weights & Measures Laboratory in Middlesex.
Tortoise Destroys Zoo
Employees at the Los Angeles Zoo fumbled on the size of a 95-year-old Galapagos tortoise named Clarence. As a result, he ended up being much too big for his enclosure, destroyed everything inside, and escaped until he was discovered on campus at Moorpark College.
Columbus Goes to the Bahamas
Christopher Columbus, the famous seafarer, miscalculated the circumference of the Earth when he sailed the ocean blue in 1492. This led him to unexpectedly end up in the Bahamas, although he assumed he was in Asia.
French Trains Too Wide
A railway in France discovered that about 2,000 new trains were too wide for their station platforms. This was an expensive error that ended up costing the railway about $68.4 million.
Olympians Take it Easy
Athletes at the Sochi Winter Olympics didn’t exactly “go the distance.” Since the loop for the biathlon track was about 130 feet shorter than it needed to be, the track had to be repaired hours before the grand opening.
Are you a professional contractor or do you work for a construction company? Tape measures make excellent personalized business products, whether they’re on your team’s toolbelts or are used as free giveaways at trade shows. You get the peace of mind knowing everything will always measure up for your company!
The Bottom Line
Now you know a little bit more about how that tape measure works and why it matters. This tool is often overlooked, but just as important as that hammer and drill. Give it a little bit of appreciation during your next project!
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