When you are a beginner, everything about construction seems an overwhelming and puzzling. Even if you know the theoretical side of building like the back of her hand, the handy side might still overwhelm you.

You are watching: What do you use to measure length

In such scenarios, it always helps if you have knowledge that the straightforward things the drive the whole complicated process forward.

And, the distance measure up tools space the most straightforward and important contents of construction.

Below space the optimal 5 renowned tools to measure street in construction, also as advantages and flaw of every tool.

1. Ruler/Straight sheet Rule

Commonly called, ruler, it is termed as a right edge ascendancy by engineers and also builders.

It derives straight edge surname from its design that has an edge cost-free from curves, or slant. The leaf of this measurement leader is calibrated through markings to develop a standardized scale.

Woodpeckers SERXL-24 straight Edge Rule, 24-Inch

ProsCheapReadily AvailablePlenty of choices in terms of material, size and markingsServes dual purpose – measurement and also checking straightness
ConsCan’t be provided for measuring long distancesNot an extremely precise. Not better than 1.5 mm or 1/16-inch


The size of straight edge rulers can vary native 12 inches/30 centimeter to a preferably of 96-inch/240 cm

When to Use?

The straight leaf rule is usually used to examine straight line, symmetry and measurement over small distances.

You need to ensure that your leader is as long as what you are measuring. If you have to move leader along, the dimensions can quickly get inaccurate.

This measurement device is share in accordance v the type the material provided to manufacture it and also the measure up unit marked on the edge.

Metal rulers space the most wanted by professionals

In terms of materials, there room three common types of rulers – plastic, wood and also metal. The end of this three, steel rulers room most preferred by experienced specialists because:

It is an ext precise, i m sorry is largely down to the production methods used.It is also much more durable. Friend don’t need to worry about someone snapping it into two.

Empire Level 4003 Aluminum straight Edge, 36-Inch

Metric or inch? The measure up unit the matters

The other method of classification is the unit of measure up used. There room two main categories in this classification, one provides metric mechanism for calibration whereas the other provides inches.

Plus, there is a matter of accuracy in classification. Clearly, utilizing an inch-calibrated ruler would be unsuitable once you require accuracy down to the millimeters.

Linear marking or Zero marking?

Apart native the rulers with direct marking, there room rulers with zero marking placed in the middle and also numbers on both sides. Together rulers are called center recognize rulers. This helps in detect the center allude of any kind of flat object.

Place that in such a manner the the measurement on either next of zero is identical and you have actually the center at the zero.

INCRA CENTER12 Centering dominion 12-Inch


2. Ice Measure

The tape measure up is an additional widely used building and construction measuring tool. Come the bare basics, it is a steel ruler the rolls out and also can be carried along, clipped to your belt.

This measuring maker has a plastic body and metal dominion which becomes rigid on extension, making it possible to press along a surface ar or wall surfaces to make measurements.

You have to go for broader tape steps as lock are most stable when extended and also makes it much easier to measure up over long distances.

Stanley 33-425 Powerlock 25-Foot by 1-Inch measuring Tape

ProsSingle person have the right to use because that measuringRemains compact when measuring room scale distancesCan it is in easily brought aroundIt can bend to measure up curved edges and also space


The shortest ice cream measure deserve to measure distance approximately 6-ft while the longest one can measure distance as much as 33-ft

How Does that Work?

The tape measure has actually a bent tab at the finish which could be hooked approximately one surface ar to for sure the tape and get precise markings and also measurement.

Also, the finish hook tab has a small slot in the middle. You deserve to secure this slot over a screw or nail and eliminate the need of someone holding the other side down to obtain accurate measurements.

Plus, the end tab of the tape is serrated, which means you have the right to use it together a marking tool.


3. Measuring ice cream Reel/Long Tape

The old-fashioned measuring ice cream reel is a must-have because that every expert builder or contractor. Basically, the is a lengthy tape measuring an ext than 100 feet encased or wound in a plastic body.

Johnson Level and Tool 1808-0300 300-Foot JobSite open Reel Fiberglass Tape

When to Use?

While this ice doesn’t offer the compactness guarantee by a steel tape measure, the is handy once you want to measure long distances. Now, you might argue the measuring wheel is better for lengthy distances.

But, what if the terrain is also rocky or uneven? then the ice cream reel deserve to be a far better choice.

Closed instance Tape vs open Reel Tape

This measuring tool is subdivided into 2 categories:

Closed case tapes have actually measuring tape secured in a plastic body. Closed situation tapes deserve to measure distance approximately 100 feet.

Starrett 530-100 3/8\" x 100\" closed Reel

Open reel tapes room for much longer distance approximately 300 feet. The measuring tape isn’t totally covered v a plastic body. It has a manage at the top and a sharp stake in ~ the bottom come secure it on ground because that measurements.

Komelon 6633 open Reel Fiberglass 300-Feet

Other features Of tape Reel

The tape reel have the right to be make of fiberglass or nylon material.

The an excellent quality long tapes have actually measuring blade printed on both sides through fractional/decimal, metric/English formats for versatility.

The end hook has a small opening, which can be supplied to for sure it as soon as taking measurements.

4. Measuring Wheel

This building and construction measuring tool is also known as surveyor’s wheel or distance calculation wheels. This an equipment has a calibrated wheel attached to the handle.

All you need to do is role it from starting point to the end point and review the number on the counter to read the measure up of the distance traversed by the wheel.

Calculated sectors 6540 Wheel grasp Pro 12 measure up Wheel

Rolatape RT312 12-inch measuring Wheel


The measure up wheel can measure distance as much as 10,000 feet.

When to Use?

The measuring wheel is perfect once you desire to measure long distances. They room perfect for measuring structure lot sizes, perimeter the the garden, fence estimation and pavement. And, usage is fairly straight forward.

It additionally is perfect when the distance to be measured is not linear. For example, to measure up the perimeter that a lot through the tape measure up you will have actually to obtain the length and also breadth first.

And, if the plot is crooked, you will certainly need four measures and also then will have to include it increase to gain the answer. Plus, girlfriend will require someone’s aid for that.

However, through the measure wheel, all you need to do is role along the perimeter by starting from one point and finishing at the exact same point.

Which types Of measuring Wheel come Buy?

There isn’t a certain classification of this measuring tool as clear variants aren’t available. However, changes are made to the base version to make it fine suited for the details job.

These modifications can variety from size of the wheel to the respond to units used.

The dimension of the wheel varies with the terrain you space measuring. The larger wheel because that rougher terrain and also smaller one because that the smoother terrain.Also, over there is a instance of manual and also automatic counters supplied in measure wheels. The mechanical counters are perfect because that those who rely on only one type of measure units.Whereas, the electronic ones are well suited because that those who work with multiple varieties of unit dimensions (inches, feet, metric or yards).


5. Laser ice cream Measure

Last however not least we have actually on our list is laser ice cream measure, i m sorry is the newest entrant in the street measurement niche.

It is specific and an accurate alternative to the traditional measuring tapes. This measure tool uses optics and laser physics to offer accurate measurements.

It functions on phase change principle, in i beg your pardon the enjoy of the outbound laser beam and also the time the takes to it is registered the reflected pulse is supplied to measure the street laser beam has actually traversed.

Bosch GLM 40 Laser Measure, 135 Feet


Laser ice cream measure can measure length from 2 inches as much as 300 feet (0.05 to 100 meters)

How To use Laser ice cream Measure?

The intake of laser tape measure up is also relatively simple. You need to place the machine at the starting point that the distance you desire to measure and aim the laser beam at the object in the end. It deserve to be wall, pole or anything.

In case, there isn’t anything current at the finish point, you deserve to place any object come hit laser beam on. When you have actually placed the device at the ideal point, just hit the button and the machine will flash calculation on the screen.

Bosch GLM 80 Laser distance Measurer

Laser Tape measure up - A functional Laser Layout Tool

Depending on exactly how much money you have paid, the laser measure can display measurement in solitary or multiple units.

Also, part laser ice measures permit you to measure multiple distances and also it automatically adds them together to display final result.

This street measurement tool is specific from +/- 1/8 customs (3 mm) come +/- 1/16 customs (1.5 mm).

Also, it can save multiple dimensions in the interior memory, so girlfriend don’t have to bother around writing it down.

When to Use?

Laser tape measures are perfect when you want to take indoor measurements. Girlfriend can check ceiling height or breadth that the room in ~ a minute.

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And, the best component is you don’t need to rely top top someone’s assist or look out for areas to for sure the end of the tape.