Tape measurements are one of the most useful inventions of man. Think about it – where would we actually be without them? Some would go so far as to say that we should thank them for the literal creation of modern society as we know it.
Despite their contributions to our development (and of course our home decor ideas) no matter how long you spend with this DIY tool, you probably won’t be able to handle all of its jobs. Yes, it’s all about the name when it comes to its basic functionality, but did you know that there are many hidden hacks hiding inside this humble and compact tool?
If you’ve ever wondered about those black diamond markings along the length of your measuring tape, look no further. We’ve got an answer to that annoying question (plus more) to make future home improvement projects easier than ever.
Lilith is an expert at following news and trends in the interior design world. She is committed to helping readers make the best choices in their own home by writing practical tips and guides to help meet all of their DIY needs. For this article, I spoke with a home improvement expert about the best tape measure hacks.
What is the purpose of the black diamond on the measuring tape?
The last time you were measuring a piece of furniture for your DIY weekend project, you might have noticed tiny black diamonds at regular intervals along the blade marks. But what is its purpose?
In fact they have a very useful purpose. Stephen Hill, founder of DIY newspaper (Opens in a new tab). The small lines between each mark are called tick marks, and they help you make more accurate measurements.
Perhaps the sharpest among you have realized that these marks, sometimes appearing as dots instead of diamonds, appear every 16 inches on one edge of the blade as well as every 19.2 inches on the other edge. why? Because these marks are actually known as stud or jack marks and are used to space engineered floor joists or “timbers” in construction.
So there you are – you learn something new every day. Although this specific use may not be of any use to you at all, we are sure that you will find other tape measure hack tools useful.
Tape Measure Hacks
Some of us are familiar with the function of the little metal hook at the end of a measuring blade, but if not, we’re here to shed some light on things.
When it comes to modern decor ideas, this clever set of tools is incredibly easy to use. It’s called a blade stop and is used to hold the blade in place when you’re not using a tape measure, says Steve. You can also use it to take measurements from hard-to-reach places, such as the top of a high cabinet.
2. Use the serrated edge of the hook to make marks
Many tape gauges also have a serrated edge on the hook of the blade. Most of us don’t even notice it’s there, and even those who do are probably left wondering why it is on Earth.
Well, the jagged metal tip is actually known as a writing instrument. It is intended to be used when you need to make a measuring mark, but do not have a pencil or chalk on hand. The serrated edge will make a small mark if you run back and forth on the wood.
According to Stephen, it serves a multifunctional purpose as well. “The serrated hook is there to help you get an accurate measurement when you are measuring something that has already been cut,” he says. To use it, simply hang the serrated tip over the edge of the material you are measuring and extend the blade until it reaches the other side. The serrated teeth will grip the material and give you a more accurate measurement.
3. Use the small hole on the hook to hold the screws
If you thought that this small part of your measuring tape could have no other uses, you would be wrong. Perhaps most noticeably, we have noticed a small hole on the end hook.
Well, it’s there to grab the end of a nail or screw when you don’t have an edge to attach the blade to. This way, if you’re measuring a flat surface and you don’t have anyone holding the other end of the tape, you just need to drive a nail or insert a nail and attach the end of the tape to it to get a clear and accurate measurement,” says Stephen.
4. Use true zero for accurate measurements
True zero may sound like a technical mathematical term, but it’s really easy to understand (although very clever).
The small metal tip at the end of the blade adjusts itself to ensure an accurate measurement every time, whether you’re measuring the inside or outside of the surface. As Stephen explains: “A true zero means the blade is calibrated to start from exactly zero inches so you can get accurate measurements right from the start of the blade.”
The first inch of tape is short 1/16th of an inch, which is the exact size of the metal at the end of the blade. If you shake the metal tip, you will see that it moves a little bit to leave a small gap between the end of the measuring tape which is also 1/16 of an inch.
If you were measuring the outside of a surface and attaching the metal tip to the edge, that metal tip would offset and create a gap that you wouldn’t count in the measurement, promising accurate measurements every time.
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