How Can a 1/32 Tape Measure Be Read?

By counting how many markings short of a complete inch a given length is, a 1/32 tape measure can be read. For instance, 8 markings on a 1/32 tape measure translate to 8/32 inches, which can be further lowered to 1/4 inch.

A 1/32 tape measure has the benefit of being able to provide far more accurate measurements. The drawback is that it can be more difficult to comprehend and necessitates a fundamental comprehension of how to simplify fractions; for instance, recognising that 16/32 is equal to 8/16, 4/8, and eventually 1/2.

When measuring stairs, a 1/32 tape measure is helpful because if the risers are inaccurate by even a fraction of an inch, the inaccuracy adds up across the number of steps and causes the staircase to be either too tall or too short.

Misha Khatri
Misha Khatri is an emeritus professor in the University of Notre Dame's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. He graduated from Northern Illinois University with a BSc in Chemistry and Mathematics and a PhD in Physical Analytical Chemistry from the University of Utah.


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