Different Types of Measuring Tools and Their Use

A measuring tool can be any device or instrument used to measure distance, length, height, volume, weight, or other measurable quantity. For example, you could use a measuring tape to measure your living room or kitchen dimensions to buy furniture that fits your space.

Also, you could use a yardstick to check how much paint it would take to cover the walls of your entire house. Measuring tools help determine the size of many different things and can be found in commercial and residential settings.

Various measuring tools measure distances, dimensions, angles, planes, water pressure, temperature, time, speed, miles, ingredients, and blood sugar level. There are some differences between the different types of measuring tools in terms of accuracy and cost.

Some types of measuring tools are digital, while others are analog. They can be divided into two main categories: manual and electronic measuring tools, depending on the mechanism that makes them functional. This article will explore the most commonly used measuring tools, their usage, and their function.


Useful for climbers.

An altimeter measures altitude, or how high an object is above sea level. There are two main types of altimeters (aneroid and barometric), depending on whether you want to determine how high you are above ground or water.

An aneroid altimeter works by measuring the difference in air pressure between two points. It's typically used in aviation as it can give pilots information about their altitude, rate of ascent or descent, and even the direction they are flying in.

A barometric altimeter measures the atmospheric pressure at a given point and uses that reading to calculate altitude. This type of altimeter is found in most hiking and climbing gear, as it can be used to measure elevation changes.


A surprisingly useful tool to have at home, even if you probably won't use it often if you're not in the trade.

An ammeter is a device that measures electrical current in amperes. It's a manual measuring tool used to measure the direct current (DC) in a circuit. Electricians typically use ammeters to troubleshoot electrical problems.

A simple analog ammeter consists of a coil, called an armature, which moves within a magnetic field when current flows through it. The pointer on an analog meter is attached to an arm that moves over graduated markings on a circular dial face as voltage or current varies. Digital versions use electronic circuitry to display readings on LCD or LED readouts.


You really need to be a measurement diehard to sport one of these at home for fun.

An anemometer is a device used to measure wind speed. It uses one or more cups called anemometers that spin around, creating wind pressure. The faster they rotate, the greater amount of wind pressure they detect.

Meteorologists use anemometers to measure wind speed and forecast the weather. Some anemometers are also used in wind turbines to measure the amount of power being generated.

Angle Gauge

A DIY essential.

An angle gauge is a device used to measure angles and arcs. It's an essential tool for carpentry, masonry, welding, etc. Many different angle gauges are available on the market, each designed specifically. For example, some angle gauges have a laser that projects a beam onto the surface being measured. In contrast, others use a spirit or bubble level to ensure accuracy.

Angle gauges come in three primary forms: dual-range, triple-range, and circular. Dual-range angle gauges can measure angles from 0 to 180 degrees in one range and from 0 to 360 degrees in the other.

Triple-range angle gauges can measure angles from 0 to 360 degrees in three ranges: 0 to 90 degrees, 90 to 180 degrees, and 180 to 360 degrees. Circular angle gauges have a rotating disk with markings to measure any angle. No matter what angle gauge you use, following the instructions carefully is essential to get accurate results.

Angle Locator

An angle locator is a versatile tool to find the angle between objects. It's handy for measuring the angles of objects that are not easily accessible, such as the corners of a room or the angles of a staircase.

This measuring tool uses an ultrasonic sensor to detect the distance between the two objects and then calculates the angle based on that information. The angle locator can also measure the angles of things in three-dimensional space, such as the angles between walls in a room.

Construction workers and carpenters use angle locators to ensure correct angles when creating or assembling objects. To use the angle locator, simply place it against the object and align the two arrows. The degree markings will indicate the angle of the object on the dial. With its easy-to-use design and versatile functionality, an angle locator is essential for anyone who needs to measure angles.


Included in many clocks, though we doubt most people make use of it.

A barometer is a device used to measure atmospheric pressure. It consists of a column of liquid, typically mercury, that's sealed in a glass tube. As the air pressure changes, so does the height of the liquid in the tube. The greater or lesser height of the liquid corresponds to higher or lower air pressure at that location.

It can also be used for measuring altitude because as you go up in elevation, there's less air around you. Thus, barometers are often used by meteorologists to track weather patterns.

Beaker Glass

Use this in the kitchen for a bit of chemistry roleplay.

Beaker glass is scientific glassware commonly used in laboratories as a measuring tool. It's made of borosilicate glass, resistant to thermal shock and chemical attack. Beaker glassware is available in various sizes, from small test tubes to large volume flasks.

The most common shape is the round-bottom beaker, which can be used for different purposes, including mixing, heating, and measuring. Beaker glassware is also often used for storage, as it can be sealed with a lid to prevent spills. The sturdy construction and wide range of sizes make beaker glassware an essential piece of equipment for any laboratory.

Bubble Inclinometer

Great for keeping things level.

The Bubble Inclinometer is a tool used to measure the angle of a surface in relation to gravity. It's commonly used in surveying, construction, and other fields where accurate measurements are required. The Bubble Inclinometer consists of a level vial filled with liquid, typically spirit or water. The vial is mounted on a graduated scale, which allows the user to take precise measurements.

To use the instrument, the user simply places it on the surface to be measured and reads the graduation that lines up with the bubble. The Bubble Inclinometer is a simple yet effective tool for taking accurate measurements.


This should be found in any tool shed.

Calipers are an essential tool for taking measurements. They can be used to measure the thickness of metal, the diameter of a pipe, or the width of a piece of wood. Calipers are also used in medicine to measure the size of a person's waist, hips, and thighs. There are three main types of calipers: Vernier, dial, and digital.

Vernier calipers have a scale that's read by lining up the zero mark on the scale with the marks on the object being measured. Dial calipers have a rotating dial on the top that measures inches or millimeters. Vernier calipers are more accurate than dial calipers, but they are also more expensive.

Digital calipers have a digital display that shows the measurement.

Calipers are essential for taking precise measurements, and they are used in a variety of industries.


Now this is one that everyone uses.

Clocks are devices used to measure time. They come in various shapes and sizes, but all clocks have three essential parts: the face, the movement, and the casing. The face is the part of the clock that you see. It typically has numbers or Roman numerals that indicate the hours and minutes.

The movement is the internal mechanism that powers the clock. It consists of a gear train, a balance wheel, and a spring. The casing is the part of the clock that holds the movement in place. Clocks can be powered by various sources, including weights, springs, batteries, and solar energy.


We rarely rely on these anymore but the compass is still a fantastic navigation tool.

A compass is a navigational tool that uses magnetic fields to determine direction. It's one of the essential tools for any explorer, whether they are sailing towards the open seas or trekking through the wilderness. The Chinese probably used the first compasses more than 2,000 years ago, and ancient mariners used them to chart a course across the ocean.

Today, compasses are still an essential part of navigation. They can be found in everything from pocket watches to smartphone apps. GPS has made it easier than ever to find our way around. After all, it's a reminder that we can always find our way if we know where we're going.

Hikers, campers, and sailors use compasses to find their way around unfamiliar areas. They're also used in surveying to mark lines on maps. In construction, compasses help layout circles and arcs for building projects. If you're going hiking or camping, it's good to bring along a compass, so you don't get lost!

Dial Indicator

You'll likely only encounter this in highly specific situations.

A dial indicator is a precision measuring instrument used to measure mechanical parts' size, shape, and geometry. The tool consists of a dial face with a needle mounted on a spindle. The needle is connected to a sensing element, converting mechanical displacement into an electrical signal. The signal is then amplified and outputted to the dial face.

Dial indicators are used in various applications, including quality control, manufacturing, and inspection. They are handy for inspecting small parts or for measuring exact dimensions. Dial indicators are available in both digital and analog models.


An advanced scientific tool.

Densitometer is a scientific instrument used to measure the density of an object. Invented by Dr. Richard Cameron and Dr. Richard Mazzes, it's commonly used in material science to determine the composition of materials.

This tool works by measuring the amount of light reflected off an object's surface. The reflection is then compared to a known standard, and the object's density is calculated based on the difference between the two readings.

A densitometer is an essential tool for understanding the physical properties of materials and for quality control in manufacturing. It's also used in research to study the effects of density on various physical phenomena.


A handy medical tool to have.

A glucometer is a device used to measure the level of glucose in the blood. It's a small, portable machine used at home or on the go. The glucometer works by pricking the finger and then placing a drop of blood on a test strip. The test strip is then inserted into the glucometer, which reads the blood sugar level.

The glucometer can be used to monitor diabetes or to check for signs of low blood sugar levels. It's a valuable tool for managing diabetes and maintaining good health.


Not something you'd usually find at home, but it can be a conversation piece if you do.

A hydrometer is an instrument used to measure the specific gravity (relative density) of a liquid. It consists of a sealed glass tube with a graduated scale and a weighted bulb at the end to submerge the device in the liquid. The specific gravity is determined by the bulb's position on the scale, which is affected by the buoyancy of the liquid.

Hydrometers are used in various applications, including quality control in manufacturing, determining the alcohol content of alcoholic beverages, and measuring salinity levels in the water.


Important for agriculture.

A Hygrometer is an instrument used for measuring humidity. There are various types of hygrometers, but they all work by measuring the amount of water vapor in the air. The most common type of hygrometer is the Wet-Dry Bulb Hygrometer, which consists of two thermometers, one with a wet cloth around the bulb and one with a dry cloth.

As the air evaporates the water on the cloth, it cools the wet bulb, causing the temperature to drop. The difference between the two temperatures is then used to calculate relative humidity. Hygrometers are essential tools in various settings, including weather stations, greenhouses, and even cigar humidors.

KWH Meter

They're everywhere, but you rarely notice.

A KWH meter is a device that measures the amount of electricity used by a household or business. It's typically installed by the utility company and is used to calculate the monthly electric bill. The meter records the amount of electricity used in kilowatt-hours (kWh). This information is then used to determine the rate per kWh charged on the bill.

KWH meters can be either digital or analog, and they are generally read once per month. In some cases, the meter may be read more frequently, such as when there is a power outage or other problem with the electrical service. KWH meters are an essential tool for managing electric bills, and they can also be used to detect energy waste.

Laser Measure

Both useful and cool.

The origins of the laser measure can be traced back to the early 1960s, when scientists at Bell Labs developed the first working laser. This groundbreaking technology quickly found its way into various applications, from medicine to manufacturing. In recent years, laser measures have become increasingly popular with do-it-yourselfers and professional contractors alike.

This handy tool uses a laser beam to measure distance, area, and even volume accurately. Laser measures are convenient for estimating material costs and measuring complex spaces to reach with a tape measure. Whether hanging a picture or renovating a room, a laser measure can be valuable to your toolkit.


A great tool whenever aligning furniture.

A level, also known as a waterpass, is used to create a horizontal or vertical reference line. It's commonly used in carpentry, engineering, and surveying.

A level typically consists of a bubble vial filled with liquid, which is used to create a line of reference parallel to the surface being worked on. The vial is mounted on a rigid frame, and the frame can be equipped with a sight so that the level can be used to create a precise reference line.

In surveying, levels are often used in conjunction with a transit or theodolite to take precise measurements. This tool also ensures that walls, floors, and ceilings are level in carpentry. And in engineering, levels are used to determine the slope of a surface.


Also found on tire pumps.

A manometer is a simple device that's used to measure pressure. It consists of a U-shaped tube open at one end and closed at the other. The tube is filled with a liquid, typically mercury, and the pressure is measured by the height of the mercury column.

Manometers are often used in laboratory settings to measure the pressure of gases. They're also used in medical devices, such as blood pressure monitors. Although they are relatively simple devices, manometers are essential for measuring pressure accurately.

Measuring Cups

The less-cool cousin of the beaker.

Measuring cups are essential tools in any kitchen, allowing cooks to measure ingredients for recipes accurately. However, measuring cups can also be used for various other tasks, such as portioning out food for individual meals or measuring the capacity of a container.

Measuring cups come in various sizes and styles, from standard glass or plastic cups to more specialized options like liquid measuring cups. No matter what your needs, there is a measuring cup that can help you get the job done quickly and easily.

So next time you're looking for a tool to help with your cooking, reach for a reliable set of measuring cups.

Measuring Squares

Part of any handyperson's arsenal.

A measuring square is a handy tool that can quickly and easily measure the length of a line or the width of an object. It's made up of a base unit and a sliding scale.

The base unit is placed against the edge of the object to be measured, and the sliding scale is then used to determine the length of the line or width of the object.

The measuring square is a simple yet effective way to ensure accuracy when measuring lines and objects. A measuring square is essential for any home or office with its clear markings and easy-to-use design.

Measuring Tape

Another common classic.

Though it's often taken for granted, the measuring tape is remarkably versatile and essential. Its simple design and flexible strip of material marked with linear measurements make it simply functional. In the hands of a skilled tradesman, a measuring tape can be used to take precise measurements of everything from lumber to pipes.

It can also create temporary markings on a surface, making it an essential tool for construction projects. A creative individual can even use a measuring tape to create works of art. So next time you reach for a measuring tape, take a moment to appreciate its humble versatility.


For those tiny, precise measurements.

A micrometer is an essential tool for measuring small objects with precision. It consists of a large screw that's turned to move a thimble along a calibrated scale. The thimble is marked with divisions used to measure the object being examined. The micrometer can measure the thickness of a sheet of paper, the diameter of a small wire, or the width of a hair.

It's a versatile tool essential for anyone who needs to make precise measurements. The micrometer is also relatively easy to use, making it a good choice for people who are new to measuring tools.


You'll be keeping an eye on this one as a vehicle owner.

The odometer in a car is a crucial instrument for measuring the distance traveled. It helps drivers track how far they have driven and conveniently estimate fuel consumption and journey times. In addition, odometers can calculate a car's mileage for tax or warranty purposes.

Although modern cars are equipped with digital odometers, the original design was based on an older mechanical system. American inventor George M. Baldwin filed the first patent for an automotive odometer in 1904.

However, it was not until 1908 that German engineer Fritz von Opel installed the first production odometer in a car. Since then, this essential piece of equipment has helped drivers worldwide measure their progress on the road.

pH Meter

How to tell if a substance is acidic or basic.

A pH meter is a scientific instrument used to measure hydrogen-ion concentration. The meter typically consists of a glass electrode and a reference electrode submerged in the solution. The electrodes are connected to an electronic meter, which displays the solution's pH on a scale from 0 to 14.

pH meters are used in various settings, including agriculture, laboratories, water treatment plants, and industrial settings. Environmental scientists also use them to monitor changes in water quality.

Pressure Gauge

Similar to other pressure measuring devices.

A pressure gauge is a device that measures the pressure of a gas or liquid. There are two types of pressure gauges: analog and digital. Analog pressure gauges use a pointer to indicate the pressure on a scale, while digital pressure gauges display the pressure as a number on a digital screen.

Pressure gauges are used in many different applications, such as measuring the pressure of air in tires or the pressure of liquids in pipes. They are also used in scientific experiments and industrial processes. Pressure gauges are usually made of metal or plastic and can be purchased at most hardware stores.


Everyone remembers these from math class.

A protractor is a handy tool that can be used to measure angles. It's composed of two arms, one fixed in place while the other can be rotated. The arms intersect at a central point, usually marked with a degree scale. To use a protractor, simply align one arm with the line you wish to measure and read the angle on the scale.

Protractors are available in various sizes and styles, so it's easy to find one that's well-suited for your needs. Whether you're working on a school project or measuring for a home improvement, a protractor can help you get the job done right.


You've probably used this more for drawing straight lines than for measuring.

A ruler is an essential tool for anyone who works with paper or fabric. It's a straight edge that can measure length, straight mark lines, or create consistent borders. Rulers come in various sizes, but the most common size is 12 inches (30.48 centimeters) long.

Most rulers also have markings for fractions in centimeters and millimeters of an inch, which can help measure small objects or make precise cuts. While a ruler is a simple tool, it can be used in various ways to achieve exact results.


The scariest of them all.

A scale is a measuring tool used to determine an object's weight. Scales are typically used in businesses, such as supermarkets and bakeries, to measure the weight of food items. They are also used in laboratories to measure the weight of chemicals and other substances.

Weighing scales work using a spring or hydraulic system to measure the force exerted on the weighted object. This force is then converted into a measurement of weight.

There are many different weighing scales, including digital scales, analog scales, and mechanical scales. Each type of scale has its advantages and disadvantages.

For example, digital scales are more accurate than analog scales, but they may be more expensive. Mechanical scales are cheaper than digital or analog scales, but they are not as accurate.

Sound Level Meter

If you want your noise complaints to be extra precise.

A sound level meter is a device used to measure sound levels in various settings. It's an essential tool for environmental noise measurement. It can help identify sources of high noise levels and assess the potential health risks associated with exposure to loud noise. Sound level meters are also used in workplace health and safety to ensure that noise levels are within safe limits.

Sound level meters generally consist of a microphone, amplifier, and meter display. The microphone picks up sound waves and converts them into electrical signals, then amplified and displayed on the Mmeter. The sound level is typically expressed in decibels (dB). Most sound level meters can measure a wide range of dB levels.

Sound level meters are an essential tool for Noise, Vibration, and Harshness (NVH) engineers. They use them to assess the noise levels of products and environments. When using a sound level meter, it's crucial to ensure that it's calibrated correctly. Sound level meters are available in analog and digital formats and can be purchased from various retailers.


Time may be a construct, but it is a useful one.

A stopwatch is a handheld timepiece designed to measure the amount of time that elapses between its activation and deactivation. Stopwatches are typically used in sporting events, such as track meets, to measure the performance of athletes.

However, they can also be used in scientific experiments or medical procedures. For instance, a stopwatch can measure the time duration of a chemical reaction.

In addition, stopwatches are often used in cooking to calculate the cooking time of food. No matter how it's being used, a stopwatch is invaluable for measuring time.


Standing between you and a speeding ticket.

A speedometer is a device that measures speed. It's usually mounted on a vehicle's dashboard and shows the driver how fast the vehicle moves. They work by measuring the vehicle's speed and then displaying this information on a dial or digital readout. Speedometers are an essential safety tool, as they help drivers avoid speeding and stay alert to their surroundings.

In addition to the speedometer, most vehicles also have a tachometer, which measures the engine's RPMs, and a fuel gauge, which indicates how much fuel is remaining in the tank. These three gauges provide drivers with essential information about their vehicle's performance.

Tailor Measuring Tape

Flexibility is essential for its utility.

Any experienced tailor will tell you that having a good measuring tape is essential for getting the perfect fit. After all, even the slightest miscalculation can throw off an entire garment. That's why most tailors use specially designed measuring tape that's durable and easy to read.

This type of tape typically has visible markings, even in low light conditions. In addition, the tape is often made from a flexible material that can be easily wrapped around curves. As a result, a tailor's measuring tape is an essential tool for anyone who wants to create custom-fitted clothing.


For those sick days.

There are many different thermometers, but they all serve the same purpose: to measure temperature. The most common type of thermometer is the mercury thermometer, which uses mercury to measure temperature. However, there are also digital thermometers, which use electronic sensors to measure temperature.

Thermometers can measure the temperature of solids, liquids, or gases. They are often used in experiments to measure the rate of chemical reactions. Thermometers are also used in medicine, particularly in hospitals, to ensure that patients are not overheated or too cold. Whether you're a scientist or a medical professional, a thermometer is essential for measuring temperature.


Something of a novelty.

A theodolite is a precision instrument used for measuring angles in horizontal and vertical planes. It consists of a telescope mounted on a moving frame, which can be rotated to take measurements at different angles. Theodolites are used in surveying and engineering and for finding the altitude of heavenly bodies.

They are also used in rocketry and artillery to determine the trajectory of projectiles. Theodolites were first invented in the 16th century and have undergone several refinements. Today, they remain an essential tool for anyone working with precision measurements.


Another electrician tool.

A voltmeter is used to measure the potential difference between two electrical points. It's a common type of meter, typically used with an ammeter, to measure the current flowing through an electrical circuit. A voltmeter has a very high resistance, not affecting its measuring circuit.

The most common type of voltmeter is the analog voltmeter, which uses a pointer to indicate the voltage on a scale. Digital voltmeters are also available, which display the voltage as a digital readout. Voltmeters are essential tools for electricians and other professionals who work with electricity. They are used to troubleshoot electrical problems, ensure safety, and calibrate equipment.


Like a ruler, but different.

A yardstick is a simple but essential tool for anyone who needs to make accurate measurements. Its name comes from the fact that it was initially designed to be precisely one yard long, making it the perfect tool for measuring fabric or other materials. Today, yardsticks are still essential for many sewing and craft projects.

They can also measure distance when hanging pictures or arranging furniture. In addition, yardsticks can be handy for checking the level of a shelf or table. Whether you're a crafter, a decorator, or just someone who likes to be precise, a yardstick is a helpful tool to have on hand.

Ending Notes

Measurement is an integral part of everyday life. Whether you're preparing a recipe, building a house, or calculating your taxes, measuring tools regularly get things done correctly. Without proper measurement, many tasks would be tough to complete. However, knowing which measuring tool is best for your specific job can be challenging.

Understanding what each type of tool can do for you will make it easier to choose which one is right for any given situation. Now that you know about all these different measuring tools, go out there and measure something!

Posted by Harry Winston

Harry is an expert when it comes to decorating the interior of your dream home - as well as the tabletop with all sorts of delicious dishes. Whether you need culinary tips or interior design guides, you can rely on his expertise. When not writing about food or furnishing, Harry looking into these topics to stay on the top of current trends and new innovations.