2 Easy Ways How to Read a Ruler?

Knowing how to read a ruler is essential for exact measurements, not just for schools but also for daily life. Because familiarity with non-standard units makes it easy to understand standard units. For example, if you are going to make something out of construction on paper. You will require a ruler to measure the material you need. 

Rulers come in different versions with the same purpose of measurement. Some specific people use specific rulers such as physics, architecture, and engineering. Some rulers have multiple scales, but all the rulers are standardized markings. So that anyone familiar with the measurement system can use them efficiently. 

A ruler is a strip of wood/metal having a straight edge and is marked off in inches, centimeters & millimeters. The ruler shows both imperial and metric, imperial-only, or metric-only measurements. The imperial side of the ruler is 12 inches long, and the metric side of the ruler is 30 centimeters. 

How to read a ruler:

There are some instructions for you to quickly understand the measurement of inches and centimeters over the ruler. 

Read an Imperial(inch) Ruler

Imperial Ruler

The Imperial ruler system is the primary system in America and a smattering of other countries. It is challenging to read inch rulers because it deals with fractions that are more difficult to learn. Let’s start with how to read an imperial ruler, which is better than a metric ruler. This ruler uses 12 inches which is equal to afoot.

Read a ruler in steps:

An inch contains 16 most minor lines, which means that the space between each line is 1/16 inch which is the most petite length you can measure with a ruler. The most famous lines on the ruler represent inches which is the biggest unit of measurement. 

The second-biggest line represents the second-largest unit on the ruler, which is ½. It is the center mark located midway between every inch of the ruler. There are 24 of these lines on an inch ruler.

The next and third-biggest mark on the imperial ruler is ¼ inches. In an inch, these lines will mark ¼, ½, which is equal to 2/4, ¾, and one. It appears midway between ½ inch and whole-inch lines; 48 of these lines appear on the ruler. 

The next unit on the ruler is the second smallest line which is ⅛ inch on the ruler that appears midway between each ¼ inch mark. There are marks between 0 & 1 that indicate ⅛, ¼, ⅜, ½, ⅝, ¾, ⅞, & one appears 96 of these lines on the ruler.

The final & smallest unit on an imperial ruler is 1/16, which is found between ⅛ inch to represent 1/16 lines of an inch. There are 192 marks of these lines totally on the ruler.

Read a Metric Ruler

Metric Rulers

Metric rulers are easy to read because they deal with only centimeters and millimeters; there is no fraction among lines. It is helpful for those people who don’t prefer fractions and like to work with other units. 

The metric ruler contains 30 largest lines, the area between these lines is called a centimeter. There are shorter and longer lines on the metric ruler like an imperial ruler. The midline represents 0.5cm, the tiniest lines represent millimeters equal to 0.1cm, and one cm contains ten lines; as a whole, there are three different lengths marked on the metric ruler. 

You can read three units on the metric ruler: the first is centimeter, the second is ½(0.5) centimeter, and the third is millimeter. Metric is specific for studying science because it measures minor units like cm and mm.

How to read a ruler in cm
Read a ruler in mm
How to read a ruler in inches


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