General Purpose Tools

Metric Tape Measure

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No fractions to deal with

I have been using a metric tape measure for the last year or so. The one I bought is a $4.50 Starrett 3.5 meter one, but they are available in quite a few brands and lengths. There are also combination tape measures that come with both SAE and metric measurements, but I have so many SAE tapes I didn’t bother to get one of those. The main benefit of metric is the easy readability thanks to the whole numbers — centimeters with each CM divided up into 10 millimeters. There are no fractions to mess around with, and fractions are harder to remember than whole numbers. If you work with your hands a lot, you will sometimes have to add up (and subtract) the lengths of various materials to fit them in various places. This is much easier with metric than SAE. Sure, we all know how to add and subtract fractions, but finding a common denominator when you’re potentially up on a tall ladder in the weather is not my idea of fun. A metric tape is definitely a great item to toss into your tool box.

-- Justin La Mar 10/31/17