# How to Read a Ruler

The ruler is a basic measurement tool. It is quite common for people and homes to have a ruler around. It comes in handy whenever a measurement of something is needed.

Basically, a ruler is made of solid materials such as plastic, wood, or metal. The most common rulers are sized at 12 inches (1ft/30.48cm) long. However, it may come in varying lengths and thickness as well. The markings of measurements are found on the sides. Some rulers have two measurement systems on each sides or on each face.

It is very easy to read a ruler. But that is only if we are talking about the whole numbers (of inches and centimeters). It is a different thing altogether if you are to read 1-1/16 of an inch or anything like that. In this article, we will give you the tips and tricks on how to read a ruler the easiest and most accurate way. Here are some points to remember:

* As mentioned earlier, most rulers bear two different measurement systems – English (inches) and metric (centimeters). If the sides are not labeled, you can tell which side is in inches and which is in centimeters by looking closely on the distance between lines. A centimeter is smaller than an inch — an inch is equal to 2.54 centimeters – so naturally, you will find that the distance between lines is shorter on the centimeter side.

* The nine lines in between each centimeter represents one millimeter. 10 millimeters are equal to a centimeter. You will find this useful in case you are using the metric system.

* In case of the face of the ruler where the measurement is in inches, you will find seven lines in between each number. The lines represent 1/8 of an inch or .125 of an inch.

* When reading a ruler, the first thing to consider is in what measurement system you would like it to be. If it is in the metric system, use the centimeters side of the ruler; if it is in the English system, use the inches side of the ruler.

* Put the ruler on top of anything that you are measuring. Make sure that it is straight and flat from end-to-end. Take note of the point where the ruler starts and the point where your measurement ends. The number you will see on the latter reveals the measure you are looking for.

* If the point where your measurement lands is not on a whole number but on a line, count on which line the marking lies. If you are measuring in centimeters and the endpoint lands on the fifth line after the number 3, your measurement reads 3.5 centimeters or 3 centimeters and 5 millimeters. If you are measuring in inches and the endpoint lands on the second line after the number 5, your measurement reads 5.25 inches.