A measuring tape is an essential tool used by everyone from contractors to homeowners. But most people aren’t quite sure how to read a tape measure or use one properly.

Each tape measure marking has a purpose that can help you hang wall photos or build a house. In this blog post, I’ll take the mystery out of tape measure markings.

I’m also going to discuss the branding benefits of customized tape measures. Contractors, interior designers, craft stores, tailors, surveyors and Realtors® put their logos on measuring tapes for merch, gifts and giveaways. Fitness centers often give Body Tape Measures to members to track weight loss and muscle growth.

With so many different types of tape measures at Totally Promotional, it’s easy to find a style for your business and budget.

Which tape measure best fits your needs?

Custom tape measure options

When it comes to choosing the right tape measure for the job, size matters. To impress clients or loyal customers, go big! The Multi-Function Tape Measure (3 inches by 2.25 inches) and the 16′ Tape Measure Flashlight (4.75 inches by 3 inches) are great choices.

Looking for something small to hand out at trade shows or an open house? Consider the Key Ring Tape Measure with a full-color imprint. It measures (no pun intended!) just 1.5 inches by 1.5 inches and has a diameter of only 11/16 of an inch. Although it’s tiny, your full-color logo or design will get plenty of attention!

Another small style is the Translucent Mini Locking Tape Measure. It is 2 inches by 2 inches, which is still small enough to fit in the palm of your hand!

Shop for tape measures with special options

When shopping for the right tape measure you must consider how it will be used and by who. If you want extra functionality, consider these practical yet unique tape measures:

  • Retractable Tape Measure: This bestselling item includes a push-button locking mechanism to simplify taking measurements. It also includes metric and standard scales on the 60-inch cloth tape. Setup is free for your one-color imprint.
  • Transparent Retractable Tape Measure: Here’s another popular, bestselling tape measure for those who appreciate color and engineering. The clear case features matching colors for the push-button release and the 5-foot flexible vinyl measuring tape. An auto-lock option is included on this plastic tape measure.
  • Square Tape Measure Level Keychain: This square tape measure literally takes your marketing strategy to the next level! If being square wasn’t unique enough, this tape measure features a level on top, automatic tape retraction, and a key ring on a trendy snake chain.
  • Heart Tape Measure Keychain: Calling all nurses and doctors! This heart-shaped tape measure offers a 60-inch, flexible, vinyl tape with a push-button, auto-lock feature. It’s constructed with metal and plastic for extra durability. The keychain feature allows users to attach keys or secure it to other objects.

How to read a tape measure

How to read a tape measure

Reading a tape measure is easier than you might think if you know what the markings mean. The markings on most tape measures represent inches, centimeters and millimeters. Although inches and feet are the most common dimensions measured in the U.S., centimeters and millimeters are a must-have when instructions are given in metric.

Each inch on a tape measure is separated by 16 marks that represent fractions. The longest marking between inches indicates 1/2. The second longest markings show 1/4 and 3/4. The shortest marks represent smaller fractions such as 1/8 and 7/8.

The numbers on the bottom half of metric tape measures show centimeters. Each centimeter has 10 markings that indicate millimeters.

What is the diamond on a tape measure?

The black diamonds or triangular shapes on a tape measure are known as truss marks. They indicate truss layouts of every 19 3/16 inches. These diamond markings are used for spacing I-beam timbers for floor joists and other tasks.

You’ll usually see five truss marks for every 8 feet on a tape measure.

Tips for using a tape measure

Customized blue tape measure

You’re almost a tape measure expert! Here are a few more tips to help you get the most accurate dimensions when using standard tape measures:

  • Numbers in red on tape measures typically indicate 16-inch spacings, which is the standard distance between studs in walls.
  • When measuring a distance that backs the tape measure into a corner, simply add the length of the case to your measurement.
  • If the hook at the tip of the measuring tape obstructs your view within the first inch, start measuring from the 1-inch mark. Just be sure to add the extra inch to your total.
  • Some tape measures show 1-foot markings every 12 inches to prevent users from having to convert inches.
  • Be careful when using retractable tape measures, particularly metal ones. The quick snap-back can damage the tape measure and injure the user.

The benefits of customized tape measures

Personalized tape measure styles

Personalized tape measures are hot promotional items today because everyone can use one. They are practical and extremely easy to transport and display at events and in stores. Most of our bestselling measuring tapes are less than $1 each at Totally Promotional.

Measuring tapes with your company logo will draw attention to your brand everywhere they’re taken. Many of the styles we offer can easily be slipped into a pocket or purse or kept in a vehicle. I personally keep one with me when shopping to get accurate measurements on items for my home.

Don’t miss the opportunity to market your brand with a promotional product people love. Get the visibility you deserve this year with custom tape measures!

Get customized hand sanitizer for your germ warriors!

Shelley Grieshop is a former newspaper journalist who earned more than a dozen Associated Press awards for her in-depth research and writing skills. In May 2016, she joined Totally Promotional as a creative writer. She currently writes company blogs about branding, marketing, logos, wedding planning and much more. One of her life goals is to teach people when to use hyphens and apostrophes.

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