Linear Measurement Tools- A Beginners Guide to Know Your Tools Better

Linear Measurement Tools

No matter what we end up doing all day long, we’re almost bound to come across some linear measurement tool. Be that may measuring your bed with a tape measure, using a micrometer to determine the thickness of a metal sheet, or unknowingly using an odometer to check the mileage count on your vehicle. Today we’ll introduce you to the most widely used linear measurement tools.

This article will give you a general introduction to linear measurement and talk about the world’s most prominent 10 linear measurement tools. So let’s start right away.


What Is Linear Measurement

Linear measurement is the measurement of the direct distance between two given points. We can break down the measurement into 3 parts as we can only observe 3 dimensions. They are length, width, and height. Height can be described as “the distance between the top and the bottom of an object. Similarly, width and length are the distance from one side of the object to the other side.

The linear measurement is the measurement of one of those three dimensions. There is a multitude of tools available that can help you get precise measurements. While some of them help in our everyday lives, most others are critical in modern civilization’s research and development sector.


Some Linear Measurement Tools

Now let’s have a look at some of the most prominent linear measurement tools that can give you accurate measurement and are being widely used across the globe.



They are the single most used linear measurement tool across the world. We can find rulers almost everywhere. A standard ruler, also known as a ‘linear scale,’ can measure up to 30 centimeters with sufficient precision of 1 millimeter. But if the object needs to be measured more accurately, the rulers fail to provide exact measurements. A variety of materials can be used to make rulers of different sizes and properties. Some are transparent, some are wooden, and some can even be bent like a mattress. It’s the most basic tool for almost all household measurement needs.


Tape Measure

A tape measure is nothing but a ruler that can reach curves and be folded away when not in use. This is another common tool that you’ll see all around your environment. Just like a standard ruler, a tape measure can give you the accuracy of a 1-millimeter margin. These tools help billions of workers worldwide to get pretty accurate readings every single day. This is especially useful when you want to measure objects that are more than 1 meter in length. The tool has a maximum reach of up to 100 feet and can be rolled up and pulled out whenever you want.


Laser Measure

Next on our list is the laser measure for those who are rooting for a more convenient way to measure distance. With this handy tool, you no longer need to touch the object you want to measure. You can get the proper measurement just within a few clicks of a button. This nifty tool kinda looks like your TV remote and is really simple to use.

What’s more? They can measure distance, area, and even volume just by empowering laser light molecules. Laser measures are being used by technicians, appraisers, and engineers all over the world. You get all the measurements you need in a flash and without any hassle – that’s the purpose of these little devices.



Now let’s look for a better accuracy level. With an accuracy rate of up to 0.01 millimeters, calipers are your next best bet. This handy little can measure things like lengths, width, and height of small objects. You can measure the thickness of a pipe/sheet and the outside/inside diameter of a tube/pipe. Most engineers/technician’s preferred tool is a digital caliper. Measuring with calipers is a bit tricky. There are 2 sets of jaws, between which you are supposed to attach the surfaces of the object you are trying to measure. The digital screen or the vernier scale engraved on the tool will give you the measurement readings.

Measuring Wheel

This special linear measurement tool is used to measure the distance of two separated points on open land. Also known as an odometer, this device has a wheel that has a circumference of 1 meter. So you can measure practically any distance you can cover by walking, starting from 1 meter. The size of the wheel can be different depending on what you are planning to do. To measure the distance between, let’s say, your room to your neighbors, you just have to start the device and start rolling the wheel towards your destination. Once you reach there, the digital display will showcase the distance covered.



One very commonly used linear measurement tool keeps roaming around us within a meter distance without many of us not even realizing that. It is the small Odometer used in our vehicles to showcase the number of mileage we’ve covered. We know how important vehicles are in our everyday life, right? All that vehicles depend on this powerful tool so much that we’ve taken it for granted nowadays. The Odometer can be found in every single vehicle on the planet that runs on land. This just shows how much modern technology has made our life incorporated with tools.



Though there are many types of micrometers available, the most prominently used one is the digital micrometers. If you want an accuracy level higher than the calipers, go for the accuracy of micrometers. But the problem is, unlike the calipers, you no longer can get your hands on three types of measurements in one tool. This may be true that a traditional analog micrometer gives more control to you with a micrometer spindle, a thimble lock, and a sleeve scale. Still, the digital one can make your linear measurement almost effortless.



Enough about distances on the ground. How about when we want to measure height? Like how far above the sea level does a place/bird roam? or how to measure the height of Mount Everest? This is where an altimeter comes in. An essential tool for aircraft navigation, the altimeter is also useful when hiking, mountaineering, or even skydiving. This handy device also comes with special features depending on the condition you might be in. Generally, this instrument measures the altitude by testing the ambient air pressure from the static port.


Dial Indicator

Nest on our list is a dial indicator. Those of you who are familiar with metalworking or woodworking may already have a pretty good idea about it. The tool is primarily used to measure roundness, flatness, and squareness. This is a good tool to find out inconsistencies in the interior/exterior measurements. These powerful and essential measurement tools can measure down to 0.001″ increment (resolution). If you regularly deal with milling or lathe machine, a dial indicator is one of the accurate precision instruments you’ll be needing the most.


Feeler Gauge

Last but not least, we have the infamous feeler gauge. If you are up to measuring any gap thickness accurately, you’ll need one of these. All you have to do is insert one of the blades into the gap you are going to measure. As there is a number of blades with different widths, we recommend you try one by one until you think it’s the right thickness. However, this tool needs a regular check-up from one of its coworkers, the micrometer, to check on the blade’s thickness. They can become pretty handy themselves.


Over To You

No more today. I hope this article gives a better overview of the linear measurement tools you’re trying to understand. Feel free to share your thoughts and experiences with us in the comment section below. Thanks for reading this far. Happy measuring to you.