20 Types of Essential Measuring Tools & Their Uses [PDF]

For the execution of any successful project accurate measurements play a key role. Whether you’re a hobbyist or a professional or just starting out in your respective field measuring tools are valuable for every individual. They are classified into different types based on their application, power source or reading scale, etc. With so much variety out there it can get overwhelming to decide the best for your needs and in this Blog we shall dive into the measuring tools and their types with uses so you can get better at your job.

In this article, we shall explore tools like bubble inclinometer, compass, vernier caliper, angle locator, level, micrometer, laser level, measuring squares, digital angle gauge, etc. We will also give you tips to select the best measuring tool for your profession

Introduction to Different Types of Measuring Tools

As I mentioned before measuring tools are important to every individual and essential for your projects. They are used for the measurements of lengths, distances, angles, etc. These measuring tools are available in various sizes and form each with its unique functions. Therefore it becomes important to understand the types to choose the right measuring tools for your needs.

There are two categories of measuring tools namely digital and manual. Digital measuring tools are ones that are based on electrical components for measurement needs whereas manual measuring tools are the ones that require manual input or effort to get the measurement job done. Manual measuring tools include a ruler, protractor, level, etc. whereas the digital ones are laser level, clock, digital angle gauge, etc.

Video on how to use a Vernier Caliper

Video By Dizz

How to Choose the Right Measuring Tool

When choosing a measuring tool, it’s important to consider the type of project you’re working on and the accuracy you need for the measurements. For example, if you’re doing a woodworking project, you’ll need a more precise measuring tool than if you were just measuring a room.

It’s also important to consider the cost of the measuring tool. While some measuring tools may be more expensive, they may be more accurate or easier to use. It’s important to find a balance between accuracy and cost when choosing a measuring tool. Finally, consider the durability of the measuring tool. If you’re going to be using the measuring tool often, it’s important to make sure it’s durable and can handle the abuse. Cheap measuring tools may not last as long as more expensive ones.

types of measuring tools and their uses

Angle Locator

The common measuring tool to measure angles is an Angle Locator. this is a handheld and compact device with a needle and rotating dial that indicates the value of the angle measured. These angle locators provide measurements either in radians or degrees.

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These Angle locators measuring tools are generally useful in woodworking and carpentry professionals but can also be used in metalworking and welding applications. These locators are easy to use and cheap making them an excellent choice for beginners who require to measure angles accurately and quickly.

When using this angle locator keep in mind to level the surface of the device properly and the needle is pointing in the right direction. It’s a good practice to double-verify the measurements to achieve accuracy

Bubble Inclinometer

The measuring tool used to measure the inclination angles is the bubble inclinometer. This is also a handheld compact device with a needle and bubble level that points at the angle. This also offers angle measurements in degrees and radians.

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These bubble inclinometer devices are useful in the construction industry and surveying operations even for engineering design applications. These inclinometers are easy to use and inexpensive to own. They help to measure angle quickly and accurately making them a preferred choice for professionals and beginners

When using this bubble inclinometer keep in mind to level the surface of the device properly and the bubble is centered at the bubble level. It’s a good practice to double-verify the measurements to achieve accuracy

Vernier Caliper

The common measuring tool used to measure length, thickness, and width is the vernier caliper. This is again a handheld device with two arms that offer adjustment to produce the required measurements. These vernier calipers measure the dimensions in millimeters, centimeters, inches, etc.

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These measuring tools are used in machining and engineering application where precision is the most important factor. They also serve their purpose in woodworking and carpentry. They also have a user-friendly design and are cheap to own.

Before taking the measurements with the vernier caliper make sure the device is leveled with the object to be measured and arms are adjusted accurately for the best output. It is always suggested to double-check measurements


This measuring tool is the one we all know of seen in comics and movies where the pirate uses it to determine the direction of sailing. The compass is the measuring tool used to find direction or sometimes even angles. The measurements here are expressed in degrees and radians.

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A navigation compass is an essential tool for determining direction and navigating through unfamiliar terrain. It typically consists of a magnetic needle that aligns with the Earth’s magnetic field, pointing towards the magnetic north. The compass is used in conjunction with a map to orient oneself and plot a course.

When using a navigation compass, it’s important to hold it level and away from any magnetic interference such as metal objects or electronic devices and to account for declination, the angular difference between true north and magnetic north, to ensure accurate readings.

Digital Angle Gauge

The digital measuring tool used to measure angles is the Digital Angle Gauge. It is also a handy device with a moveable arm and digital display These measurements here are also expressed in degrees and radians

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They serve their applications in machining and engineering and even in the woodworking domain. These an affordable and easy to use. They provide precise angle measurements, allowing for accurate and consistent work.

When using a digital angle gauge, it’s important to ensure the tool is properly calibrated and to handle it with care to avoid damage to the delicate electronic components.


A level is a measuring tool also known as a spirit level or bubble level, is an essential measuring instrument used to determine if a surface or object is perfectly horizontal (level) or vertical (plumb). It typically consists of a rectangular or cylindrical body with a glass or plastic vial filled with liquid and an air bubble.

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The goal is to align the bubble within the vial’s center, indicating a level or plumb position. Level tools are widely used in construction, carpentry, and DIY projects to ensure accuracy and precision.

When using a level tool, it’s important to place it on a stable surface and avoid excessive movement to obtain reliable readings.

Laser Level

A laser-level tool is a highly efficient and precise measuring tool used in various construction and alignment tasks. It projects a laser beam onto a surface to create a straight and level reference line.

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Laser levels are equipped with adjustable mounts or tripods, allowing for easy positioning and alignment. The laser beam projects vertically, horizontally, or even at specific angles, making it highly versatile for various applications.

When using a laser-level tool, it’s important to handle it with care and avoid direct eye exposure to the laser beam. Ensuring a stable setup and avoiding any obstructions will enhance accuracy and reliable measurements.


The measuring tool used to measure with the highest precision and accuracy is the micrometer also referred to as the micrometer screw gauge. It consists of a spindle, anvil, and frame. They provide measurement in millimeters, centimeters, and inches too.

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The spindle is advanced towards the object being measured using a calibrated screw mechanism, and the measurement is read from the scale and thimble. The common application where micrometers serve their purpose is manufacturing, engineering, and other scientific domains.

It’s important to handle it delicately to avoid damaging the measuring faces. Proper technique and consistent application of force are essential for obtaining accurate readings. Regular calibration and maintenance are also necessary to ensure the tool’s reliability.

Measuring Squares

Known by different names such as carpenter’s square or square ruler this measuring tool is known as the measuring square. They also give measurements in centimeters, millimeters and inches.

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To cater to different measuring needs these measuring squares come in different sizes such as 12-inch or 6-inch. To obtain accurate measurements it is advised to ensure the blade is flush with the surface and firmly held. It typically consists of a flat, L-shaped metal or plastic blade with precise 90-degree angles. Measuring squares are used to ensure accurate right angles, mark perpendicular lines, and measure or check the squareness of corners.

Regular inspection for accuracy and maintaining clean, undamaged edges is crucial for reliable measurements.


An odometer is a measuring tool commonly found in vehicles used to measure and display the distance traveled. It is typically integrated into the dashboard and provides real-time readings of the total distance covered by the vehicle.

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Odometers work by utilizing a mechanical or electronic mechanism that tracks wheel rotations or pulse signals from the vehicle’s transmission or ABS system. They are essential for monitoring mileage, calculating fuel efficiency, and tracking maintenance intervals.

Before using an odometer check if it is calibrated properly and periodically compared to the known distance so we know the measurements are accurate. Odometer tampering is unethical and illegal, so it is advised to maintain the integrity of the readings.

Pressure Gauge

To quantify the pressure of liquid or gas present in a system we use a measuring tool known as the pressure gauge. This pressure gauge is made up of either a digital display or a circular dial with a numerical readout and needle.

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These pressure gauges serve their purpose in applications like HVAC systems, manufacturing, and automotive industries. They provide valuable information about pressure levels, allowing operators to monitor and control processes effectively. When using a pressure gauge, it’s important to ensure proper installation and connection to the system being measured.

Regular calibration and maintenance are necessary to maintain accuracy and reliable readings. Care should be taken to avoid exceeding the gauge’s maximum pressure capacity to prevent damage or inaccurate measurements.


A protractor is a measuring tool commonly used in geometry and drafting to measure and draw angles. It typically consists of a flat, semi-circular, or circular device made of transparent or durable material.

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The protractor is marked with degree measurements from 0 to 180 or 360 degrees, allowing for precise angle determination. Protractors may also have additional markings for subdivisions, making them suitable for more detailed measurements.

When using a protractor, it’s important to align the baseline or center point with the angle’s vertex and accurately position the arms along the angle’s sides. Care should be taken to avoid smudging or scratching the protractor, as it may affect accuracy.


A ruler is a fundamental measuring tool used for straight-line measurements in various fields, including education, engineering, and design. It is typically a straight, flat strip made of metal, plastic, or wood, marked with evenly spaced units of length.

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Rulers commonly come in metric or imperial measurements, providing flexibility for different systems of measurement. They are used to measure and draw straight lines, determine dimensions, and ensure accuracy in construction and crafting projects.

When using a ruler, it’s important to align it properly with the object being measured and read the measurement markings precisely for the best results. Taking care to prevent bending or damaging the to ensures its long life.


The measuring tool to measure the speed of the vehicle is the speedometer. It is usually present in the display panel in front of the steering wheel or bike handle. It gives measurements either in km/hr or miles/hr.

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The speedometer operates using sensors and cables to evaluate how fast the wheels are turning or rotating. They help the driver to maintain the speed and follow the speed limits specified by the law.

It’s advised to pay close attention to your vehicle’s speedometer to make sure you are driving at a safe speed and make sure the speedometer is working correctly to avoid any accidents or fine.

Tape measure

To easily measure lengths and distances we use a measuring tool made up of metal or fiberglass consisting of a flexible strip of metal known as the tape measure or measuring tape. It comes in various sizes and lengths or as retractable and nonretractable.

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They also serve their purpose in the carpentry and construction domain even in the textile industry for cutting, sewing, and tailoring the fabric to the required client measurements. They are used by contractors to measure the site undertaken give a quote and determine the volume of work. It is used in sports events to measure jumps, height, etc.

It is recommended to use the ones without sharp edge and not to use our hand when the tape is retracted can cause injuries and bending the strip is strictly not advised


The measuring tool used by us for a long time to measure temperature especially body temperature is the thermometer. It is made of up a narrow glass filled with a liquid usually some kind of alcohol compound or mercury that expands or contracts with changes in temperature.

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The liquid rises or falls within the tube, indicating the temperature on a scale marked on the side. Thermometers are commonly used in homes, medical settings, and various industries to monitor body temperature, weather conditions, and control processes. To use a thermometer, you place it in the desired location or insert it into the substance being measured, allowing time for the liquid to reach equilibrium and then read the temperature value.

It’s important to handle thermometers carefully to avoid breakage or contact with the liquid.

Measuring Cups

A measuring cup is a kitchen measuring tool used to measure the volume of both liquid and dry ingredients. It features a cylindrical container with graduated markings indicating various measurements in cups, milliliters, or fluid ounces.

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These measuring cups are preferred more for cooking purposes like baking to measure the amount of flour, oil or sugar, etc needed in a recipe. It ensures that the dish turns out to be perfect both in texture and taste and avoids making any errors that might destroy the dish. Apart from this, they serve their purpose in scientific experiments.

It is advised to use an object like a knife to level the quantity of something in powdered form say sugar or salt with the cups surface to avoid overpowering of ingredients


A clock is a time-measuring tool that usually includes a circular dial with markings for hours and minutes and one or more hands that rotate to indicate the time.

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Wall clocks, whether digital or analog, are common timekeeping devices found in homes, offices, and public spaces.

Analog wall clocks consist of a circular dial with numbers or hour markers, along with hour, minute, and sometimes second hands. They operate using mechanical or quartz movements. Analog clocks provide a visual representation of time, with the hands moving continuously around the dial.

Digital wall clocks, on the other hand, use electronic displays to show the time in numerical format. They often include additional features such as date, day of the week, and sometimes even temperature or alarm functions. Digital clocks provide precise time readings in a clear and easily readable format.

Both types of wall clocks serve the purpose of displaying accurate time and helping individuals stay organized and punctual. They can be decorative elements in a room and serve as a convenient reference point throughout the day.

Best Measuring Tools For Various Purposes

Best Woodworking Measuring Tools

These are some of the best woodworking tools available, each with a unique purpose and function.

  • Tape measure – A long, flexible strip with markings for length and distance measurements.
  • Combination square – A versatile tool that can measure angles, depths, and widths.
  • Carpenter’s square – A right-angled tool that’s perfect for measuring and marking straight lines.
  • Level – A tool used to determine whether a surface is horizontal (level) or vertical (plumb).
  • Bevel Protractor– A tool that measures angles and makes it easy to transfer them to other surfaces.
  • Ruler – A simple yet essential tool for measuring length and width.
  • Caliper – A precision tool that measures internal and external dimensions.
  • Protractor – A tool that measures angles and helps to draw them accurately.
  • Laser measure – A device that uses laser technology to measure distance accurately.
  • Angle finder – A tool used to determine the angle between two surfaces or lines.

Best Baking Measurement Tools

These are the top baking measurement tools that can help make measuring ingredients and baking processes more accurate and efficient.

  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Kitchen scale
  • Oven thermometer
  • Liquid measuring cup
  • Dough scraper
  • Pastry brush
  • Rolling pin
  • Baking timer
  • Sifter

Best Sewing Measuring Tools

These are some of the best sewing measurement tools available, each designed to help sewers measure fabric accurately and create beautiful, well-fitting garments.

  • Tape measure – Used to measure body measurements and fabric length.
  • Seam gauge – Useful for measuring seam allowances and hem depths.
  • Clear ruler – Helps to measure and mark fabric accurately.
  • French curve ruler – Used for creating curved seams and shapes.
  • Tracing wheel and paper – Ideal for transferring pattern markings onto fabric.
  • Tailor’s chalk – Used to mark fabric for cutting and sewing.
  • Hem gauge – Helps to measure and mark hems accurately.
  • Dressmaker pins – Used to hold the fabric in place while measuring and cutting.
  • Fabric scissors – Essential for cutting fabric to size.
  • Iron and ironing board – Used to press and flatten fabric, making it easier to measure and cut accurately.

Best Construction Measuring Tools

These construction measuring tools are essential for builders, carpenters, and DIY enthusiasts, ensuring that structures are built accurately and to the highest standards.

  • Tape measure – Used to measure distances and lengths accurately.
  • Laser level – Provides precise and accurate measurements for leveling and aligning.
  • Speed square – Helps with cutting and measuring angles and distances.
  • Chalk line – Used for marking straight lines across long distances.
  • Plumb bob – Helps to determine vertical alignment and levelness.
  • Digital angle finder – Measures angles accurately, making it ideal for complex projects.
  • Measuring wheel – Used for measuring long distances such as land and roadways.
  • Carpenter’s square – Helps to measure and mark right angles accurately.
  • Spirit level – Used for measuring horizontal and vertical levels.
  • Caliper – Measures small distances accurately for precision work.

Best Electrician Measuring Tools

These electrical measuring tools are essential for electrical professionals and DIY enthusiasts, ensuring safe and accurate electrical work.

  • Digital multimeter – Measures voltage, current, and resistance, making it a versatile tool for electrical work.
  • Voltage tester – Used to test for the presence of live electrical current.
  • Clamp meter – Measures current flowing through a wire without disconnecting it.
  • Wire stripper – Removes insulation from wires to expose conductors for electrical connections.
  • Circuit tracer – Helps to identify circuits and their breakers in an electrical panel.
  • Non-contact voltage tester – Detects voltage without making contact with live wires.
  • Insulation tester – Measures the insulation resistance of electrical wiring or equipment.
  • Continuity tester – Checks if a circuit is complete and uninterrupted.
  • Cable tester – Tests cables for continuity, opens, and shorts.


In conclusion, understanding the various types of measuring tools and their uses is critical in achieving accuracy and precision in different applications. Measuring tools are not limited to basic rulers or measuring cups; there are specialized tools designed for specific fields, from woodworking to electrical work. By unlocking the variety of measuring tools available, individuals can optimize their work and create successful outcomes. Understanding the importance of choosing the right tool for certain jobs can save energy, time, and money, which also helps to prevent errors.


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