There are two types of rulers: an inch ruler with partial fractions, and a metric ruler with decimal. Reading a ruler with small lines can be daunting at first, but it’s actually simple. Once you understand the basics below, you shouldn’t have any problems measuring whatever ruler scale you use.

## 1. How to Read an Inch Ruler Scale

**1. Find the inch ruler**. If there are 12 lines on the ruler that represent inches, you know that it is an inch ruler. 12 equals 1 foot (0.305 m). Each foot can be split into inches. Each inch is divided into 15 smaller parts, and each inch has a total of 16 lines.

- The longer the line above the ruler, the larger the dimension. As the unit dimension decreases from 1 inch to 1/16 of an inch, the length of the line also decreases.
- When reading the ruler, try to read it from left to right. If you are measuring it, align it with the number 0 at the far left of the ruler. The end of the object should be on the left line and it will give you the dimensions in inches.

**2. Learn to read inches**. The ruler is made up of 12 inches. Usually, a number is written on the ruler and is represented by the longest grid line on the ruler. For example, if you want to measure the length of your nails, put one end to the left of the ruler. If the nail ends on the long grid line just next to the large number 5, the nail is 5 inches long.

- Some characters even number 1/2 inch. Therefore, be sure to find the largest written number and the longest grid line.

**3. How to read 1/2 inch grid lines**. The 1/2 inch lines are the second longest lines. Half the length of the dimension line in inches. It represents the length between 0 and 1 inch, between 1 and 2 inches, between 2 and 3 inches, and so on. Overall, there are a total of 24 1/2 inch lines on a 12 inch ruler.

- For example, place the pencil on the ruler and the eraser to the far left of the ruler. Mark on the ruler where the tip of the pencil ends. If the tip of the pencil ends on a relatively short line located halfway between 4 and 5 inches, the pencil is 4 and 1/2 inches long.

**4. How to read 1/4 inch grid lines**. There will be a shorter 1/4 inch dimension line halfway between the 1/2 inch lines. The first inch will have 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, and 1 inch written. The 1/2 inch and 1 inch are already drawn with grid lines, but these are part of the 1/4 inch scale. Because half an inch equals 2/4 inch and 4/4 inch equals 1 inch. There are a total of 48 1/4 inch lines on a 12 inch ruler.

- For example, if you measure the length of a carrot, and the end ends halfway between the 6 and 1/2 lines, and the 7 inch line, the length of the carrot is 6 and 3/4 inches.

**5. How to read 1/8 inch grid lines**. The 1/8 inch line is the shortest line between the 1/4 inch lines. Between 0 and 1 inch 1/8, 1/4 (or 2/8), 3/8, 1/2 (or 4/8), 5/8, 6/8 (or 3/4), 7/ There will be 8, and 1 (or 8/8) numbers written on it. A total of 96 1/8 inch lines are marked on a 12 inch ruler.

- For example, if you want to measure a piece of fabric, let’s say that its end has passed a 4 inch grid and ended between the 6th line, the 1/4 inch line and the 1/2 inch line. That means it’s 4 and 3/8 inches long.

**6. How to read 1/16 inch grid lines**. The 1/16 inch line is marked in the middle between the 1/8 inch line. This grid line is also the shortest. The first grid line to the left of the ruler will have the number 1/16 on it. Between 0 and 1 inch, 1/16, 2/16 (or 1/8), 3/16, 4/16 (or 1/4), 5/16, 6/16 (or 3/8), 7/ 16, 8/16 (or 1/2), 9/16, 10/16 (or 5/8), 11/16, 12/16 (3/4), 13/16, 14/16 (or 7/ You will see the numbers 8), 15/16, 16/16 (or 1). This ruler has 192 1/16 inch wires.

- For example, if you measure the length of a stalk, and you stop at the 11th line past the 5 inch grid, the length of this stalk is 5 and 11/16 inches.
- Note that not all rulers have a 1/16 inch line. If you want to take very small dimensions, or if you want extremely accurate dimensions, make sure your ruler has 1/16 inch count.

## 2. How to Read a Meter Ruler

**1. Get ready to Cut the Meter**. The metric ruler uses the International System of Units (SI). Sometimes called the metric system. It is divided into millimeters or centimeters instead of inches. The ruler is usually 30 centimeters long and the designated numbers are written in large letters. There are 10 small grid lines between each centimeter scale, which are called millimeters (mm).

- Read the ruler from left to right. When measuring objects, line them up with the number 0 to the left of the ruler. The part where the object ends is the length dimension in centimeters. This will ensure that the thickness of the grid lines will not interfere with accurate measurements.
- Unlike the English ruler, the metric ruler uses a decimal system instead of a fraction. For example, 1/2 cm is written as 0.5 cm.

**2. How to read Centimeters**. The large number next to the longest grid line represents centimeters. The metric ruler has 30 centimeter lines. For example, place the end of a crayon on the left end of the ruler and mark the end of the other end. If the crayon tip is on the grid line next to the number 14, this crayon is exactly 14cm long.

**3. How to read 1/2 Centimeter**. There is a line slightly shorter than this halfway between the centimeter grid lines and it should say 1/2 a centimeter or 0.5 cm. There are a total of 60 1/2 cm grid lines on a 30 cm ruler.

- For example, if you measure the length of a button and its end is on the fifth line from the end, that is, between 1 and 2 cm, the length of the button is 1.5 cm.
- For example, if you want to measure 0.6cm, you can take one thick grid line (5mm) and a thin line (1mm).

**4. How to read Millimeters**. Between the 0.5 cm grid lines there are 4 additional grid lines marked in millimeters. There are 10 millimeters for each centimeter, and a 0.5cm grid line represents a dimension of 5 millimeters. That is, each centimeter is 10 mm. There are 300 millimeter grid lines on a 30 cm long ruler.

- For example, when measuring the length of a piece of paper, if the end of the paper is positioned on the 7th grid line between the 24 cm and 25 cm grid lines, the length of the paper is 247 mm or 24.7 cm.

## Pro Tip

- Reading rulers takes practice. Especially when converting dimension numbers. Now if you practice reading, you will soon get used to it.
- When using a ruler scale, be sure to use the right side. Centimeters and inches may be mixed or the dimensions may be wrong. Keep in mind that there are 12 large numbers on the English ruler and 30 numbers on the metric ruler scale.