How to use Steel Measuring Tape

How to use Steel Measuring Tape

Key takeaway

Steel measuring tape has been manufactured since the 19th century, and is the most common type of tape measure used in construction. They are extremely durable and can measure up to 100 feet, depending on the tape measure. They are extremely compact, and can easily be carried from location to location.

A steel measuring tape is one of the most important tools used in construction, because it can allow you to make measurements while you’re on the job site. And because of its compact design, you can carry it in your pocket or any place where it can be conveniently accessed.

Buy online Steel Measuring Tape - INGCO HSMT8550


When it comes to construction and other related fields of construction, using Steel Measuring Tape for taking accurate measurements can be the difference between a great finish in construction work. However, with the proper approach of using a measuring tape can be a quick, easy way to get you the information you need about your project. Knowing how to use and read both a retractable measure and a traditional ribbon-style tape measure can be a major asset to anyone working with his or her hands, so it is important that all professionals in the field construction should acquire a portable measuring tape for emergency purposes.

In this guide, we will explore the correct techniques and best practices to ensure that you harness the full potential of this versatile measuring tool. From basic measurements to advanced applications, let's delve into the comprehensive usage of the steel measuring tape for optimal results.

Steel measuring tape Ingco - HSMTO805

Steel measuring tape Ingco - HSMTO805

What is a Measuring Tape

A measuring tape is a flexible ruler used in measuring sizes or distance. It is a long, thin piece of plastic, cloth, or metal that is marked with units of length (such as inches or centimeters) and that is used for measuring things. It is a common measuring tool.

A steel measuring tape is a flexible ruler used to measure distance. It consists of a metal blade with linear-measurement. Steel tape can give you accurate results at any temperature, and it's designed to withstand more wear and tear than fiberglass tapes. You can find steel measuring tape in many different units of measure from metric to feet and inches. And some of them are even double-sided.

Types of Measuring Tape

There are 5 types of construction tapes available for linear measurements and they are as follows:

  • Linen Tape
  • Steel Tape
  • Synthetic Tape
  • Laser Measuring Tape
  • Woven Metallic Tape

1. Linen tape

Linen tape also known as cloth tape is a varnished strip made of closely woven linen. The width of the strip is about 12 to 16 mm. It is available in different lengths such as 10m, 20m, 30m, and 50m. Both ends of the linen tape are provided with metallic handles and the whole tape is wounded in a leather or metal case.

Linen tapes are light in weight and easy to handle. These tapes may shrink when exposed to water and also elongate when pulled. Hence, these tapes are not suitable for accurate surveying measurements. These are generally used for measuring offsets and for ordinary works.

2. Steel Measuring Tape

A steel tape is made of steel or stainless steel. It consists of a steel strip of 6mm to 16mm wide. It is available in lengths of 1m, 5m, 8m, 10m, 20m, 30m and 50m. Meters, decimeters, and centimeters are graduated in the steel strip. Steel measuring tapes generally come with a metal case with an automatic winding device. The tape is withdrawn from the case by using a hand during measuring and it is rewound into the case by just pressing the button provided on the case.

Steel tapes are not flexible and are suitable for measuring levelled surfaces only. They may corrode easily when exposed to moisture and to prevent this tape, it should be cleaned and oiled after every use. These tapes are generally used for standardizing chains, measurements of construction work, etc.

Fig1: Steel Measuring Tape

Advantages of Steel Measuring Tape

  • Steel tape measures have been manufactured since the 19th century, and are the most common type of tape measure used in construction.
  • They are extremely durable and can measure up to 100 feet, depending on the tape measure.
  • They are extremely compact, and can easily be carried from location to location.

3. Synthetic Tape/fiberglass measuring tape

Synthetic tapes or fiberglass measuring tape are made of glass fibers coated with PVC. These are light in weight and flexible. The ideal too for surveyors, engineers and construction professionals. Fiberglass measuring tape can be used for easy and accurate measuring while also resisting heat, tearing, stretching and water at a job site. They are available in lengths of 5m, 10m, 20m, 30m, and 50m. You can find a fiberglass tape measure in a variety of different units (such as metric, feet and inches, as well as feet and tenths). Some are even double-sided, so you can have more measuring options. Synthetic or fiberglass tapes are recommended in place of steel tapes where it is essential to take measurements in the vicinity of electric fences and railway lines, etc.

Fig 2: Synthetic/Fiberglass Tape

4. Woven Metallic Tape

The metallic woven tape is an improved version of linen tape. Brass or copper made wires are used as reinforcement for the linen material. Hence, it is more durable than normal linen tape. A brass ring is provided at the end of the tape which is included in the length of the tape. These tapes are available in different lengths of 2m, 10m, 15m, 20m, 30m, and 50m. These are used for survey works such as topographical survey works where minor errors are not taken into consideration.

5. Laser Measuring Tape

Laser tape measures are alternatives to traditional metal tape measures; they are used to calculate lengths, widths and heights of up to about 650 feet (198 meters). They are generally considered accurate to within an eighth of an inch (3 millimeters) when measuring a distance of up to 300 feet (91.5 meters).

Not only do these devices deliver better accuracy than regular tape measures, but they also can be recalibrated. Many laser distance measures provide the ability to measure area, volume, or even triangular shapes. Plus, their compact size makes them easy to carry, store, and use.

Fig 3: Laser Measuring Tape

Importance of using Steel Measuring Tape

  • Its design allows for a measure of great length to be easily carried in a pocket or toolkit.
  • It permits one to measure around curves or corners.
  • It is an indispensable tool used for building houses, to tailor clothes and to ensure fairness in trade and sports, pretty much any situation where we need to know the length of something.

How to Use Steel Measuring Tape

The simple steps to follow on how to use a steel measuring tape.

1.Pull the tang out from the housing.

2.Hook on the edge of the object to be measured.

3.Stretch the blade across the object.

4.Press the lock, and then observe where the blade meets the end of the object. The nearest line on the blade to the end of the object is the final measurement.

Here are some things to consider when choosing steel measuring tapes

Look for coated steel: A nylon or lacquer coating (or several layers of coating) will protect steel from rust and wear.

Choose the right blade width: 3/8-inch-wide blades are about 10-20% lighter than ½-inch wide blades, without sacrificing durability. Thinner blades are also less likely to move around in windy weather.

Determine level of flexibility needed: Steel isn’t as flexible as fiberglass, so it may be difficult to use when measuring on certain curve surfaces.

Frequently Asked Questions about Steel Measuring Tape

Q1. What is steel tape?

A steel tape measure has a steel strip that is anywhere from six to sixteen millimeters wide, and you can find them in any of the following lengths:

1 meter

5 meters

8 meters

10 meters

20 meters

30 meters

50 meters

Meters, decimeters, and centimeters are graduated on the strip, which is housed in a metal case that is equipped with an automatic winding device. The tape is extended from the case with a rotating handle, which can be rewound in the same manner.

Q2.  How do you use measuring tape?

 On a standard tape measure, the biggest increment is in inches (which will usually have the largest number). As you go down in incremental value, the length of the mark will decrease. The largest marks will be an inch apart, the next one a half-inch, and so on. Most tape measures will measure in 1/16 of an inch, but some will go down to 1/32 of an inch.

Q3. Why are tape measures yellow?

 Tape measures will often have black and red measurements that are printed on a yellow background, because it is the best colour combination in terms of readability.

Q4. What is a steel tape measure used for?

 These steel tape measures are often used by engineers and builders who need to survey and measure large areas.

About Tikweld Welding Supplies and Services

Tikweld welding supplies and services is a company whose existence is premised upon the need for distribution and supplies of welding products and consumables . The Services we render are Tank fabrication, metal working, general welding, piping fabrication and maintenance, hydraulics and bolting, epoxy flooring and coating.

Our good selection of construction tools, low price, and above all, high quality is why we maintain a top position for the discerning project manager or for that DIY project you have started. Finding a wide variety of tools has never been more comfortable for us. These construction steel measuring tapes are available at Tikweld welding supplies and services and are suitable for use in a wide range of industrial projects and home-based applications. Our range of construction tapes are highly ideal in accomplishing the day to day tasks of professionals jobs with a high efficiency level.


Like the conventional way of measurement that is prone to a lot of error. Construction tapes are widely used in different professional fields to enhance and obtain accuracy when dimensional work is required. The field work can be applied in taking measurements of a distance. Whether it is even or uneven ground, the method of using the tape can be applied at any terrain like rocky areas, sloped grounds and others for better finished work.

Contact us for further details and availability of construction measuring tape with the storefront in your location

2nd Feb 2024 Orji Nwankwo

Recent Posts