Six inches, or half of a foot, is regularly used to estimate the lengths or heights of small objects.
However, although a foot may be a bit easier to picture, it can be difficult to imagine, and therefore estimate with any accuracy, what 6 inches looks like.
Comparing 6 inches to a few common objects can help you get a better idea of just how long the measurement is.
The Palm of Your Hand
Most adults’ hands are about 4 inches across at the top of the palm.
This hand’s width measurement was widely used before more standardized measurements, such as inches or centimeters, were solidified.
Today, using your hand to measure is still an easy way to estimate length in a pinch.
For this example, your hand will be about 2 inches shorter, or 1/3 shorter, than 6 inches.
Other body parts can also be used to compare to 6 inches.
Most adults’ thumbs, for example, are about 1 inch long from the tip of the thumb to the top knuckle.
This makes them 1/6 of 6 inches.
Most people have a book in their home or office, so it’s a great object to use to get an idea for a particular length.
However, books are available in a few different sizes.
Mass market paperbacks, for example, are the most common and also the smallest books.
They measure 4.25 inches wide by 6.87 inches long.
This means that if you look at the length of a mass-market paperback, it’ll only be less than an inch longer than 6 inches.
Trade paperbacks and hardcover books are a bit larger.
They can range from 5 to 8 inches wide and from 8 to 10 inches long.
This means that looking at the width of a smaller trade paperback or hardcover will show you a measurement of just 1 inch less than 6 inches.
Looking at the length of a small hardcover or the width of a large hardcover, on the other hand, will give you a measurement that’s 2 inches more than 6 inches.
A Cell Phone
Cell phones are made in a wide range of sizes, so each phone will measure a little bit differently.
However, on average, most smartphones are about 6 inches long.
Imagining your phone, or remembering how it feels to hold in your hand, can help you easily estimate what 6 inches looks and feels like.
Most goldfish grow to between 2 and 6 inches in the home aquarium.
This means that, if you can picture a large goldfish, you can easily visualize 6 inches.
If you’ve ever seen or owned a small goldfish, it was probably about 1/3 or 1/2 of 6 inches.
In the wild, goldfish can grow much larger, and they often reach lengths of 12 to 15 inches.
A Dollar Bill
A United States dollar note, of any denomination, is an excellent way to estimate 6 inches.
US dollar bills all measure exactly 2.61 inches wide and 6.14 inches long.
This means that a dollar bill is only a tiny bit longer than 6 inches, so it’s the perfect item for comparing the measurement to.
A standard toothbrush is nearly perfect for comparing to 6 inches.
This is because most toothbrushes are about 7 inches long, making them only 1 inch longer than 6 inches.
However, the brush part of the toothbrush is about half of an inch long, so if you measure only from the bottom of the brush to the end of the handle, the length is only about half of an inch more than 6 inches, which gives a good comparison.
Electric toothbrushes tend to be a bit longer than non-electric brushes.
A medium-sized or standard paper clip is almost exactly 1 inch long.
This makes paper clips a great measuring tool when you don’t have a ruler handy.
Picturing a paper clip, which is 1/6 of 6 inches, can help you visualize what 6 inches would look like.
You can also lay out 6 paper clips to see exactly how long 6 inches is.
Large paper clips measure between 2.5 and just under 3 inches.
Visualizing or laying out 2 jumbo-sized paper clips, then, will bring you to within 1 inch of 6 inches.
A pencil is another great tool for measuring in a pinch.
An unsharpened pencil with a full, unused eraser is almost always right around 7 inches long.
If the pencil has been sharpened and used a bit, it will be closer to 6 inches long.
Smaller golf pencils are also great for estimating lengths.
Unused golf pencils are about 3.5 inches long, while used ones will be a bit shorter.
This is just over 1/2 of 6 inches, and two used golf pencils, lined up end to end, should be very close to 6 inches.