6 Types of Length Measuring Tools and Their Functions

There are many measuring tools created with many variations, which are adjusted to the needs of measurement. Some are created to measure the thickness of paper, some are used to measure the diameter of bottles, and some are used to measure distance.

With so many different needs, various forms of measuring tools are needed that are adjusted to the level of accuracy, shape, and materials used.

To make it easier to understand, we present to you several types of length measuring instrument according to the following characteristics.

1. Ruler


This type of measuring instrument is probably the most common type and the type that you will often encounter first.

This tool is usually made with an accuracy of up to 1 millimeter. And have sizes ranging from 30 cm to one meter. Usually used to measure objects in two-dimensional images on paper.

The materials used to make the ruler are usually hard objects such as mica, aluminum, and plastic. There are many types of rulers which shape is adjusted to the needs.

2. Roll Meter

roll meter
Roll Meter

Roll meters are usually referred to by the term meter or handyman meter. The meter is also one of the building tools that must exist.

These measuring instruments are usually made of thin, flexible metal that can be rolled up. Usually roll meters are equipped with two units of measurement, namely centimeters and inches.

At the end of the roll meter is equipped with a hook so that it can be attached to a wooden corner or other angle that requires measurement. The length of the roll meter can reach 15-30 meters with an accuracy of 1 millimeter.

3. Measuring Tape

measuring tape

Is a tape that contains a unit of length that is usually used by tailors to measure parts of the consumer’s body.

Made of flexible and smooth material to be able to reach hidden body parts. It is almost impossible for a tailor to work optimally without this tool.

4. Caliper


This measuring tool is used to measure the thickness of paper, steel plate, or other metal plates. Called caliper because of its use which is pushed on the measuring head.

The most important part of the caliper is the measuring scale and the fixed scale. The measuring scale is a part that can be moved to adjust the scale and thickness of the measuring object.

While the fixed scale is the part that is static in nature and is used as a reference when carrying out measurement activities.

This measuring instrument is usually made of iron and has a high accuracy of up to 0.1 millimeters. The caliper was an invention of the French scientist Pierre Vernier, which is why the name Vernier became the name of the scale on the caliper.

How to use calipers:

  • The first thing you do is prepare a measuring object, for example a pipe, a coin, or a marble.
  • Then open the caliper on the sliding jaw and insert the object to be measured.
  • Then close the sliding jaws to get a precise measurement result. Notice the first line on the main scale. Then look at the nonius scale. The numbers obtained are then added up and the measurement results you are looking for have been found.

5. Micrometer Screw

micrometer screw
Screw Micrometer

This tool has a very high measuring accuracy which reaches 0.01 millimeters. This measuring instrument has three main parts, namely the main casing which serves to show the results of measuring activities.

Then a nonius scale that can be shifted to position the thread casing. And the last is a threaded sheath that is useful for adjusting the object being measured.

The screw micrometer is used to measure objects with microscopic sizes. Even though the measuring object is a micro-sized object, using a screw micrometer it will be easier to measure it.

This object can measure with accuracy ten times more detail than a caliper.

In the screw micrometer there are several parts that play a role in producing precise measurements, including the thimble, which is a part that can be moved so that users can see the scale more clearly.

Shaped like a round tube with numbers as a scale. Then a ratchet that functions as a sliding shaft. Then there is also a thimble that functions as a clamp for measuring objects.

6. Digital Meter

digital meter
Digital Meter

Slightly different from the manual measuring tools described above. This digital meter is used to measure the distance of an object using a digital mechanism. This object will emit sound waves which will later bounce back towards this tool.

The reflected wave will be captured, then the distance will be displayed on the LCD monitor. The distance obtained is the quotient of the wave travel time divided by two and then multiplied by the wave speed.

Besides being able to provide more practical and accurate measurement results, this tool is also equipped with an automatic feature that can be used to measure the volume of an object in cubic units.

This tool is usually used by engineers and experts when working on a development project because of its reliable level of accuracy.

It’s just that this tool is less effective when used on glass surfaces or water surfaces that have poor wave reflective abilities.

This tool is also less effective on materials with a porous surface because waves cannot be reflected from the surface. Lasers do not provide accurate measurements on glass or water, shiny metals or porous materials.