7 Hidden Features Of Measuring Tapes

7 Hidden Features Of Measuring Tapes

Measuring tapes are some of the most commonly overlooked pieces of equipment that can help with a range of DIY and construction projects. They are essential tools that can be found in any toolbox.

However, there are a range of fascinating features that many people are unaware of.

Whether you want to make the most out of your measuring tape or take steps to get accurate results, here are seven hidden features that you may not have known about before.

Because of the range of uses that many tape measures can have, it is worth knowing about these unique features so that you can carry out your next project accurately and efficiently.

By getting a precise measurement, it can prevent material from being wasted and allow you to make the most out of everything that is used in a construction, renovation, or DIY project.

Scribe Tool

A frequently overlooked feature that can be found in most standard measuring tapes is a serrated metal edge. This can be used as a scribing tool to make small indents in the wall, wood, or other material when there is no marker or pencil available. 

Consider the serrated edge to mark your desired points or measurements when you are measuring something that is harder to reach. The scribe tool has been made to help make difficult measurements much easier. 

Because of this, it is easier to get an accurate indication of where to cut or screw on the first attempt. This can allow you to save a considerable amount of time and energy when it comes to carefully and accurately measuring things. 

Tape Housing Measurement

Tape Housing Measurement

Do you know the purpose of the digits on the side of the tape measure housing? It can help to measure difficult sections including corners. The measurement is the size of the housing, which is the distance between the back and where the tape comes out on the other side. 

The tape housing can be used for measuring corners easier, because it eliminates the need for measuring difficult corners.

Rather than bending the tape to check the length within the corner, you can place the housing into the corner and add the length of the housing on top of the overall units. 

This is particularly useful if you need to use a tape measure against a window frame to get an accurate measurement.

A more accurate measure is done by adding the measurement of the tape housing onto the total length of an item if necessary. 

Architectural Scale

There is a scale on the back of most measuring tapes which can be used for architectural purposes. This can make it much easier to set up a scale and stick to it when it comes to detailed architectural drawings or plans. 

If you are someone who struggles with creating architectural plans and making them relate to everyday life, then it is worth keeping a measuring tape close by and looking at the other side. 

Architectural drawings can be made much more accurate, and it is far easier for construction workers to follow a plan with accuracy when it comes to using a reliable scale and conversion on the back of a measuring tape.

This can allow a range of laborers which are responsible for a different service to work efficiently together on larger projects. 

Adjustable End

Have you ever wondered why the end of most tape measures is so loose? This isn’t a design flaw, but actually it is another unique feature. They are typically 1/16 inch short at the first inch, which is the length of the metal tip.

This is to account for the length when it is being used to measure things that the tip hooks onto on one end, such as the inside or outside edge of the surface. 

As a result, it is easy to get accurate measurements using the metal tip of a tape measure every time.

Make sure you are pressing the tape measure against a surface to see the movement which the tip can create, and so that you are making the most out of the range of features. 

When measuring by hooking the tip onto something, the metal will feel loose. This is because of the 1/16 inch allowance that is made. You can press the tip into a corner, against a wall, or hook it onto the other edge if the project allows it. 

Nail Notch

There is even a section to hold nails or screws at the tip of the measuring tape if you are worried about losing them and want to keep them in place. This can be a great way of keeping track of each screw or nail when needed. 

Using the nail notch is ideal for larger projects that have more screws and nails which are easy to lose track of.

Likewise, this feature can help people to monitor what stage of progression they are at in a certain project. This is because the screw used can indicate the particular part which they are working on, and ensure that it does not get lost. 

Measure From Above

Measure From Above

If your measuring tape has a hook shape on the metal attachment tip, then it can be used for helping take measurements from above. The tape measure hook can help people to measure vertically as well as horizontally, which provides even more dimensions for coverage.

Because of this, measuring tapes can be used for even more home DIY projects. Not only that, but the different types of tip shapes can help with construction work, renovations, and developing certain skills like flipping furniture and carrying out home repairs.

Measuring from above allows you to easily understand the complete range of dimensions for a particular project. In turn, this can help you to ensure you are getting the right amount of materials without getting too much of anything in particular.

It can also help you to decide what types of materials can be used, and the amount of additional support that is necessary. By getting a more thorough measurement in this way, many DIY projects can be made smoother in the future.

Black Diamonds

If you have experience building roofs, then you will be familiar with the black diamonds seen on measuring tapes. However, these can be confusing to an untrained eye. Most measuring tapes will have small black diamonds around nineteen inches apart.

This is done to show construction workers the standard spacing for trusses, which are needed to build a roof.

Trusses are an essential part of any roof because it provides protection from the elements, and ensures that the home or building is both watertight and weatherproof. 


Any high quality measuring tape is likely to have some or all of the interesting features above. Hopefully, some of them can make your next construction project much easier in the future.

There are a range of interesting uses that can help with any form of DIY or home renovation. Consider using them to your advantage in the future when you want to gain accurate measurements.

Overall, there are many unique features that most standard measuring tapes have. Because of this, it is worth using one to complete a project in an accurate and efficient way.

Measuring tape can be used in conjunction with other measuring methods. These include digital and laser tools for measurement.


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