Types Of Measuring Tools – Best Tools Guide

Types of Measuring Tools is a topic that has been studied widely by philosophers, scientists, mathematicians, and engineers. A measuring tool is anything that is used to measure the length or distance between two points or items.

Some common types of measuring tools are rulers, yardsticks, and tape measures. In this article, you will learn about 15 different types of these tools.

1. Leveling rod 

Leveling rod is a measuring tool used to determine the elevation of a surface. This is usually done to measure the elevation differences in various locations such as before and after construction, during design work or other things related leveling.

For house construction, it can be also used for checking whether foundations are flat before pouring concrete. Leveling rod has four main types of levels, natural spirit level, plumb bob, water bubble and laser.

Plumb bob is used for many purposes such as construction, mining, surveying, drawing and painting. The plumb bob after hanging from a string, it will always point directly downward away from the center of earth's gravity.

Leveling rod is used to measure the vertical distance between two points or objects. The leveling process can be done in many ways, such as by using a surveyor's level, plumb line or even laser device.

2. Tape Measure  

The tape measure is the basic tool used to measure the length of a straight line.

It is a flexible tape with marked units that is used to measure objects up to 100m (328 feet) in length. Generally, it has three arms on each side and opens up like a fan. It can also be folded out and rolled back up.

The tape measure is a tool for measuring length, dimension and depth. The tape can also be used to determine the location of an object by using coordinates such as latitude and longitude.

Another use of a tape measure is for laying out or sketching floor plans for homes or other buildings. It's commonly used in carpentry for measuring and marking materials to be cut or bent.

Using a tape measure is usually more accurate than using the eye alone. It also doesn't subject the user's eyes to strain caused by close-up work and it's not as easy to misjudge lengths when taking measurements from far away with a tape measure.

3. Step gauges

Step gauges are tools used to measure the height and width of steps. The tool has a wide flat surface that one side is half-round shaped and the other side is as long as it can be when the shape changes into a half-circle.

A step gauge is usually placed on top of the first step, then another step gauge is placed on top of the second step and so forth. At the end, the tool will give the total measurement of all steps together.

Step gauges are used for measuring stairs heights including basement steps and outdoor flights of steps. They can also be used to measure patio slabs, stair treads and room risers.

4. Laser Levels 

The laser level is used for leveling and alignment of objects. It uses red or green lasers to emit a line across surfaces that can be viewed through 360 degrees from the center point at any distance desired. The laser beam sets up on a tripod, and allows users to adjust the position until it projects a perfectly vertical line.

This tool has a laser beam or red dot that is visible even in bright light. The laser line can be viewed from the top, bottom or sides of an object which makes it extremely versatile and easy to use.

5. Plumb Bob

Plumbing tools are used for measuring depth and height in buildings when doing plumbing work such as installing bathtubs, toilets and sink. The plumb bob is a type of plumbing tool that can be used easily and quickly to determine whether an object such as a wall or beam is plumb vertical or perpendicular to the horizon.

It is a simple tool, usually made of lead and shaped like an egg. It has a pendulum-like suspension string attached to the center of its body, and when suspended from this string it will always point vertically downward away from the center of earth's gravity.

The plumb bob can be effectively used by attaching it to a length or string and holding it above the object you wish to measure. When the plumb bob is hanging directly perpendicular, then the object is said to be vertical or plumb straight.

6.Eye level square and chalk line tool

Eye level square is used for measuring the building side walls. It aids in the installation of drywall, which can be done horizontally or vertically.

This tool is a useful application for interior decorators and contractors in residential and commercial construction projects. The eye-level tool has an eye-hole that you look through to help you get your measurements.

Eye-level squares are also commonly used in floor laying projects, staircase construction and other building projects that require construction workers to measure horizontal and vertical walls.

A chalk line tool is composed of a steel tape with a loose piece of string attached at one end called the "whipping". The string end is pulled through an opening in the tape and a spring or clamp is used to fasten the whipping at the desired length.

The tool is then pulled tight, usually between two people until the end of the string reaches the beginning point forming a small loop called signaling.

7.Micrometer or Vernier calipers

A micrometer is used to measure the internal diameter of holes, the thickness of sheets and the distance between two points. It can be adjusted to accurately measure very small objects or distances without a large margin of error.  Some micrometers also have a measuring device called a Vernier scale that gives additional reading to the accuracy of a measurement.

The micrometer tool is one of the most accurate measuring tools, and it has been in use since 1787.  This tool is used for measuring small objects or depths in construction projects such as building floors, walls and holes drilled into wood or metal surfaces.


A compass is used to measure the distance around an object or circle. A common application for a compass would be measuring the actual size of rooms and other interior spaces.

The tool also has another function, it can be used to draw circles in specific sizes which helps for drawing up floor plans such as room outlines or building site layouts. The compass is also used for marking right angles which is helpful when framing walls and other construction projects.

9. Length tape measure

This tool is used to measure long distances, usually up to 25 feet or more in length. It can be directly measured against a wall or object, it has an end hook that allows the measurement to be taken quite easily.

The tape measure can also be used to check staircases to see if they are even and match the required standard size. They are often used to measure the length of bathroom and kitchen walls, as well as windows and exterior structures such as gable ends and door frames in residential building projects and flooring for commercial construction projects.

10. Level/Plumb level

A level tool can be a very useful application since you would need it on almost every type. A level or plumb level is used to check for a perfectly horizontal or vertical surface or line. It is often referred off of the end of a wall, ceiling and flooring to determine if it is straight and true.

The tool can be very useful in checking interior walls, flooring or exterior walls and roofs. The tool works by having a bubble or liquid that moves inside the clear tube attached to the device. When it is level, the bubble doesn't move from side to side and therefore you know your line of sight is perfectly horizontal.

The plumb level tool can also be used against a wall to check for verticality and get a true reading when a hole isn't drilled into a wall to attach the tool. It is used in carpentry, construction and some other building projects that require straight lines and true surfaces.

11. Ruler

Another very simple yet often used tool, the ruler is used to measure small objects. It has a clear or marked surface that allows you to read exact measurements from it.

The tool can be used for measuring drywall sheets when they are cut out and for other building projects such as roofing or carpentry applications. It is also commonly used to hold sheet goods in place for construction projects like wallpapering and painting.

12. Transit or Leveling Stick

A transit or leveling stick can be used to mark out specific points on a surface that will guide your pencil for drawing up plans. It is also often used in surveying applications to get measurements from one point to another without the use of a more complex measuring tool.

The transit and leveling tools are often used together as one in order to get an accurate measurement from one point to another. The first step is to determine the height of your "zero" point, this would be wherever you are standing or sitting so that all measurements can be taken from here throughout your drafting or construction drawing.

The leveling stick is then placed on the ground or floor and a measurement is taken from your zero point to the top of the leveler. The pencil can be held in place by the leveler while taking measurements either side as close to true verticality as possible which will prevent errors throughout your drafting or construction drawing.

13.Measuring Cups

The measuring cups are used for estimating how much drywall joint compound you need when applying paper and joint compound to walls or ceiling. They have graduations on the inside of each cup that allow for a more accurate estimation.

If you don't have an extra measuring tool at hand, you can use your kitchen measuring cups as well, they are used the same way!

14. Pencil Compass

A pencil compass is a simple tool used to draw circles on construction paper or drafting paper. They are usually only useful for smaller projects as they can get easily lost if you drop them. It often has an adjustable wheel that allows you to move the circle in any direction left, right, up and down, as well the pencil lead is attached to the adjustable wheel.

The tool can be very helpful when trying to draw out circular objects that are in your construction drawing or floor plan. It makes it much easier than having to hold a ruler while using another hand to move and guide your pencil across the surface of paper or drafting film.

15. T Square

A triangle shaped tool, the t-square is essential for drafting and construction projects. It has a small ruler on one side that allows you to measure lines perfectly parallel or perpendicular to other objects or surfaces in your drawing. It can also be used with a pencil compass to draw perfect circles.

The t-square is much more accurate than using a ruler to draw lines or circles as it allows for you to use the edge of the tool rather than your finger which will result in much more accurate measurements and drawings.

It can also be used by a carpenter, construction worker or other building trade professional to measure and mark out dimensions on studs while constructing walls or frameworks with 2 by 4 studs, in order to ensure that they are placed in the correct position and not out of line with each other. The t-square is essential for measuring objects or surfaces to get an accurate drawing or structure.


-Who invented these tools to measure?

Some of the measuring tools were invented hundreds, if not thousands of years ago. It is difficult to say exactly who invented a tool as their creation was usually an improvement on a previous design.

The architects and builders before us didn't leave behind blueprints or notes about how they came up with new ideas but were simply happy with a tool that worked well and would help them get the job done better.

-What do the measuring tools do?

The primary purpose of all the measuring tools is to allow you to know an object's exact size. Although many people might use feet or inches to measure a specific item on a building site, most builders and architects use actual tape measures as it results in much more accurate measurements, even by just one millimeter can make a big difference to your drawing or structure.

They can also be used to measure the area of land that you are planning on buying as part of a development project, for instance if you are trying to get approval from local council members for a new building, then they will want to know how much land area it takes up. The measuring tools will help you achieve this.

-Is there a specific standard for measuring tools?

You may be surprised to learn that there is not one single international or government agency who sets standardized measurements. All of the unit sizes are based on how things were measured when these tools were invented, and they are used worldwide today.

There is an International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) which provides standards for measurements and is used voluntarily by countries all over the world. The ISO has created standards for everything from weight, to height, to volume and of course units of measurement.


We hope that this was a useful introduction to the different types of measuring tools that are available. If you want to learn more about any particular tool, then please feel free to read over the information in the article and we hope that it has answered your questions about these valuable items.


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