This article will show you how big an inch is and includes some visuals to make it easier to reference the size of 1 inch.
An inch is somewhat of a small measurement and is commonly used to measure the length of various items.
It can be difficult to visualize the size of 1 inch unless you have a measuring tape or ruler on hand.
One of the best ways to get a sense of how big an inch is would be to reference that size with the size of other items in comparison.
How big is 1 inch?
1 inch is a unit of length measurement and equals 2.54 centimeters or 25.4 millimeters.
An inch can easily be seen on a common ruler or measuring tape.
There are several other items that you can use to get a sense of how big 1 inch is.
½ diameter of a soda can
Soda cans are not all the same size and the diameter of each can may vary.
For this example, let’s consider the 12-ounce soda can as these sizes are easily available and most people are familiar with them.
The diameter of a circle, or in this case a can, is the length across the top of the can through the center from side to side.
The diameter of a 12-ounce soda can is 2.13 inches.
Therefore 1 inch is just under ½ of the diameter.
If you measure halfway across the can, it will be close to measuring an inch long.
⅓ size of a post-it note
Post-it notes are very popular and come in a variety of sizes and colors.
A 3×3 post-it note is commonly used around the house or in offices and is generally used to post notes on a bulletin board.
One of the more common sizes of a post-it note is 3 inches wide and 3 inches tall or 3×3.
If you are looking to get an idea of how long an inch is, use 1/3rd of a post-it note.
If you were to cut a 3×3 post-it note into 3 equal parts, each one would equal an inch long.
¼ size of an iPhone 5S screen
The iPhone 5S is not used as often these days as newer models are coming out all the time.
The iPhone 5S was introduced in September 2013 and quickly became very popular.
Many people are familiar with the size of the iPhone 5S.
They are 4.87 inches long and 2.31 inches wide with a screen size of 4 inches.
Referencing the screen size of the iPhone 5S, one inch is equal to ¼ of that size.
5 grains of rice
A grain of rice is small in size and can be difficult to measure.
A medium-sized grain of rice can vary in length between 5 – 6 mm or 0.19 – 0.25 inches long.
Long grain rice will generally be over 6 mm long.
In order to visualize how long 1 inch is, you would need 5 medium-sized rice grains lined up together in a row.
5 grains of rice = 1 inch long.
2 x diameter of a Bic pen
The very popular Bic pen was introduced in 1950 and over 100 Billion of them have been sold around the world.
Most people are familiar with the size of these pens and they are a great item to use when referencing the size of other things.
The diameter of these pens is 0.5 inches. That means that the diameter of 2 pens will equal 1 inch. 2 pens placed side by side will equal 1 inch across.
You can also use the length of the Bic pen as a reference.
They are just under 6 inches long, so 1 inch would equal ⅙ of the size.
If you cut a Bic pen into 6 equal parts, each part would equal 1 inch long.
1.25 times the diameter of a penny
Coins are another useful item when referencing the size of other items.
The USA penny coin is 0.75 inches in diameter which is ¾ the size of an inch.
1 inch is 1.25 times longer than the diameter of a penny.
How big is an inch on your finger?
If you are looking for a fast and simple way to measure an inch, just use your finger as a reference.
Of course, not all fingers are the same size and not all people have the same sized fingers.
But to get an idea of how long an inch is, use your index finger and notice the length of the fingertip to the first knuckle.
This will be close to an inch long.