Home Lifestyle The Right Way to Use a Meter Ruler

The Right Way to Use a Meter Ruler

by Perry

Taking measurements from a meter ruler is not less than an ordeal. Should you consider the zero or not? Which side are the inches, and which one indicates the centimeters? All of these questions juggle up, and you end up staring blanking at the meter ruler in your exam.

Below is your dream guide to using a meter ruler. It explains all the related terms and the correct practices to ensure accurate measurements. Read along!

Reading an Inch Scale

Let’s look at how you can take measurements using an inches ruler. But how would you recognize an inches ruler from another? It is easy. Look on the ruler for the ‘inch’ word. Usually, you’ll find it closer to the zero line.

Now keep the ruler on the surface. Make sure the ruler is straight and isn’t leaning on one side too much. Make a mark aligned with the 0th line on the scale.

For whole measurements like 3 inches or 7 inches, drag the pencil to the required digit. And you have the desired length of the line. However, things get trickier when you need to measure 3.7 inches. The number after the decimal indicates the smaller divisions you see in between, the long lines.

There are 15 lines between each inch. For measuring 3.7 inches, you need to mark 3 inches straight. Then count 7 smaller lines and make a mark. There you have your 3.7 inches line.

Usually, you don’t require longer inches for paper measurements. Inches are suitable for spacious areas like a piece of cloth or a wooden block. For smaller surfaces, you need a centimeter scale.

Reading a Centimeter Scale

Similar to the inches scale, you will see a small ‘cm’ written on the scale around the zero line. Align the ruler to the left side of the page, count to the required digit, and make a line.

For example, if you have to draw a 5 cm line. Take the mark to the digit 5 on the ruler. Now let’s take a fractional measurement. Suppose you need to make a line of 3.5 cm.

Like you did before, take the measurement to the digit 3. Now count five smaller lines, and make a mark. There you have your needed line of 3.5 centimeters.

Should You Count Zero in Measurements or Not?

It confuses most users that counting in the zero leads to incorrect measurements. Let’s try to understand it with an explanation.

Say you want to make a two-centimeter line. To get two centimeters, you need the zero. The rules of using a meter ruler don’t mark zero as an extra. But it is part of the measurement. You will get the correct measurement when you take all the digits from zero to two. Remember, don’t skip the zero!


In olden times people used their palms to make measurements; however, with the progress, humans made meter rulers. A meter ruler has two sides, one for inches and the other for centimeters. You can choose the unit that fits your needs. For smaller surfaces, centimeters work, while inches work for larger areas. Reading a meter ruler is almost a necessity. Therefore, the guide above focuses on that.

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