caliper measuring tool

13 Types Of Measuring Tools And What They Are Used For

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Last updated on November 28th, 2023 at 04:13 pm

Having the right measuring tools in the cupboard or tool shed can make current projects easier and expand your capabilities in the future. Knowing the names and functions of tools can also help you ask the right questions as you expand both your skillset and your project list.

As your tools improve, make sure you protect them effectively. Many of the tools below can be damaged by rough handling or careless storage.

  • Digital caliper
  • Laser Level
  • Measuring tape
  • Digital angle finder
  • Digital scale
  • Multi-angle measuring ruler
  • Pressure gauge
  • Measuring cups for cooking
  • Laser distance meter
  • Measuring wheel
  • Surveyors tape
  • iPhone measuring app
  • Digital thermometer

Digital caliper

A caliper measures dimensions by wrapping around and gently clamping down on the object to be measured. Within the jaw structure of a caliper is a ruler that will give you the exact thickness. A digital caliper makes the process simpler by providing you with a readout of the space between the jaws.

digital caliper measuring a 25mm washer

Laser Level

A level allows you to check the level or flatness of a surface. You can also check an upright member for plumb or level by applying a level to a fence or deck post. A laser level allows you to stretch out that distance.

If you tend to work alone, it’s a good idea to also invest in a stand for your laser level to hold it steady while you work down the line. A laser level will shine a light that you can use to refer to.

If you’re putting up a picture rail or a shelf around the perimeter of a room, you can use your laser level to set the best height for the whole space before you make one hole in the wall.

Man hands measuring with laser level gage

Measuring tape

A measuring tape comes with a hooked end that you can use to measure a distance or measure the length of a board so you can mark it to be cut. Sadly, measuring tapes are often the first thing to be lost when you’re working on a project.

If you only have one, make sure you always hook it on your belt or you will spend the day looking for it.

trio of measuring tapes

Digital angle finder

A digital angle finder will help you determine the angle between two surfaces. For example, if you’ve recently added sheetrock to a space and need to install baseboards, getting the exact angle where the walls meet and where the wall meets the floor will help you create a cleaner corner.

It would be nice to think that the angle is 90 degrees, but very few corners, even in a new house, are actually 90 degrees. You can also find angling tools that open to the exact angle you’re trying to fit. These are commonly called digital protractors.

digital angle finder

Digital scale for food

A digital scale for food can help you create the proper portion size if you’re on a special diet. It can also be used for exact ingredient measurements for some recipes.

For example, unsifted flour and sifted flour can change in volume but the weight will be consistent. Many digital food scales also let you zero out the weight, so you can weigh your plate or measuring cup, add your food or ingredients, and easily measure the weight of the product only.

digital scale with tomatoes

Check out the Measuring Stuff shop for more measuring tools!

Multi-angle measuring ruler

Once you have set your starting point, a multi-angle measuring ruler can be of great help on many projects. For example, you may need to cut a piece of sheetrock or tile board to fit around a fixture such as a gas pipe.

You don’t want to be cutting close to the gas pipe, so you need an accurate hole installed far away from the installation site. You can measure the gap on the wall and lock in the angles on your multi-angle measuring ruler.

Next, simply place the tool on the new piece of material and you’ll know exactly where the hole should go. Store these carefully! If they get bent or start to corrode, they will be very hard to use.

16 Side Multi Angle Measuring Ruler with Opening Locator,16 Fold Angle Finder Tool Ceramic Tile Hole Punch Locator,Aluminum Alloy Angle Measuring Ruler for Craftsmen Handymen Builders Carpenters
  • DURABLE ALUMINUM ALLOY METAL MATERIAL:This multi angle measuring ruler is made of 5mm premium aluminum alloy, won’t break from bending or rusting, more durable and sturdier than the plastic one. Say no to your fragile template tool
  • UPGRADED ANGLE MEASURING RULER : This angle ruler has 16-piece ruler with metal knobs and drilling locator, you can adjust the 16 metal knobs to create the desired shape accurately and then find the position to drill the correct hole. With folding 16 sides, users can easily create and measure special angles or shapes by the angle finder tool to improve work efficiency.
  • ACCURATE ANGLE MEASUREMENT TOOL: This corner angle finder is Laser engraved markings(inches & centimeters) perfect for precise and accurate angle measurements.With the 16-part angle tile tool you can adjust the drilling position to mark tiles exactly. Metal protractor angle finder is an ideal measuring tool and integrated hole positioning.
  • EASY TO USE:1.Find the hole position, tight all the knobs. 2.Move the ruler onto the tile and mark the hole. 3.Drill a hole at the place you marked. 4.Put the tile onto the wall.
  • WIDELY USED:It is very suitable for woodworking, brick, ceramic tile, wood, glass, stone, laminate, construction and engineering projects! It can also replace angle ruler and ruler, widely used in different fields.

Pressure gauge

Pressure gauges are used to check the amount of gas pressure in a vessel. If your well has a lift tank, you can protect your pump from running constantly by checking the tank to make sure it’s pressured.

CHECK OUT  Common Measuring Tools For Dry Ingredients

A pressure gauge is often installed on a propane tank so you can check the pressure when you open the valve. You can also use a pressure gauge for checking the air pressure in your vehicle or bike tires.

pressure gauge on white background

Measuring cups for cooking

It’s a good idea to have at least 2 styles of measuring cups for cooking: a wet measuring cup and a set of dry measuring cups. Wet measuring cups are generally glass and have a spout.

When you’ve measured out the amount of milk, water, or oil that you need, you can pour it right into the mixing bowl. Dry measuring cups are either metal or plastic and hold exactly the amount printed on the handle so you can flatten the contents before you add them to the mixing bowl.

If you like to bake with peanut butter, molasses, or honey, consider getting a plunge-style measuring cup. You set the volume for the amount of sticky stuff you need, fill the cup, and push the plunger to empty the cup. These measuring tools will save a lot of washing up.

metal measuring cups

Laser distance meter/golf range finder tool

A laser distance meter will give you the distance between the reading tool and the object you’re focused on. Initially, these were used by the military, but you can also use them to see how far away a bird is before you try to take a photo.

Of course, you can also use it to determine how far you just hit that golf ball. If you’re interested in improving your photography with the use of a laser distance meter, make sure you practice before you get into the wild.

Depending on the distance you’re studying, focusing with these tools can be a challenge. You don’t want to ruin your shot because you’re adjusting the sight.

The golfer accurately measures the distance to the flag in a golf course with the laser rangefinder. In the background the forest.

Measuring wheel

A measuring wheel is used to determine a distance while walking. They’re often used after a traffic accident to determine the length of a skid before impact. Contractors often use them to mark out the early stages of a job site.

For example, if you’re planning a new garage or garden shed and need to put down a concrete slab, you might use a measuring wheel to make sure that your slab is not too close to a property line. Most measuring wheels have a manual counter for each revolution of the wheel.

You can also get a measuring wheel with a digital readout.

using a measuring wheel on concrete

Surveyors tape

A surveyor’s tape is a very long measuring tape with a hand crank to help you roll it up neatly. Most of these are made of fiberglass; as a measuring tape can offer more than 100 feet of tape, a metal tape could be uncomfortably heavy.

Fiberglass tapes can also tolerate moisture better than a metal measuring tape. These tapes come rolled up onto a plastic handle that is quite easy to carry and hang up for storage.

Land Open Reel Fiberglass Tape Measure – 330FT/100M by 1/2-Inch, Inch/Metric Scale, Heavy Duty Tape for Runway and Engineer Survey (330FT)
  • 【Fiberglass Tape】The blade is made of PVC fiberglass with reliable strength and flexibility,not easy to stretch or fracture.
  • 【Double-Sided Scale】Double sided printing reads in feet and metric,measures up to 330 feet(100 meters).
  • 【Double-Throat Rollers】 Guide the blade return and prevent the tape from twisting.
  • 【Quick Recovery】Differential gear helps you turn the joystick to take back the tape quickly.
  • 【ABS Shell】Impact-resistant ABS frame with high strength and super wear resistance.If our product has any quality problems, please feel free to contact us via Amazon, and we will provide you with satisfactory after-sales service.

iPhone measuring app

The iPhone measuring app is connected to the camera and will allow you to set a fixed point on an object, then scan across the object to the other edge and set another point so you know the total distance.

Do be aware that this tool can only give you distance; if you’re trying to measure the outer edge of a round object, such as a bowl or basket, you will only get the distance as read on the image by the camera.

However, this tool can be a quick way to get a basic measurement in the midst of a project as long as your phone is up to date.

Digital thermometer

There are digital thermometers that you can point at someone’s forehead to see if they have a fever, digital thermometers that you can use to make candy, and digital thermometers you can use to check the internal temperature of meat.

These thermometers are all handy and should never be used for any purpose other than what they were designed for. A digital candy thermometer, which you can use when making divinity or homemade caramel, is one of those tools that you don’t realize you need until you’re ready to use it.

Buy one and store it with the instructions so you have it for the next holiday season! Digital meat thermometers should be disinfected after each use and stored out of the elements.

digital thermometer showing 37.0 degrees

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