3 Tips for Using a Retractable Tape Measure

Most people know how to use a retractable tape measure. It seems simple enough, open the tape measure and measure your project, right? Well it can be that simple but it could also mean the difference between an accurate and an inaccurate measurement.

Tip 1 – Subtracting an Inch

Some tips suggest that the metal hook on the tip of the tape measure is a hindrance and the first inch marker should be ignored. Many professional builders and decorators operate this method and deduct one inch from the measurements. The way to do this is to start from the first inch marker and measure to the end of your project dimension. You will then have a more accurate marker.

Tip 2 – Marking Centers

The good thing about a retractable tape measure is that it can also lock in the open position. Once you have obtained an accurate measurement you can lock the tape open where it sits and leave it there while you work around it. Or you can use it to mark the center point of a table by measuring across the diagonals. Even circular tables can be measured easily by dissecting three lines across from the diameter.

Tip 3 – Plumb Bob

If you hold the tape measure and hang it from a point you wish to measure you can let it hang there and it will also act as a plumb bob for a perpendicular measurement.