How to Choose and Use a Measuring Rod: A Complete Guide

A measuring stick (aka. measuring rod) is an important tool for craftsmen and tradespeople. Having the right measuring rod can make your job much easier. But choosing one can be difficult. With so many different types of measuring rods available, it’s hard to know which will suit you best. In this article, we’ll discuss what makes a good measuring rod and how to choose the best one.

What is Measuring Rods?

A measuring rod (aka. measuring stick) is a tool used for determining the length of an object. It’s done according to how long it needs to be in order to fit properly. They are typically made out of different types of wood or metal. They come in various lengths depending on what you need them for.

measuring rod near scales

Types of Measuring Rods

The most common type of measurement that’s done with measuring sticks is estimating materials needed when building things like houses and furniture. However, they’re also useful for other tasks such as carpentry and laying floors.

The measurement is more accurate than just using a ruler. Because your measuring rod has marks on it that show every six inches. So you know exactly where the line should go when cutting down materials.

It’s important to remember not only what size stick you need but also what type – wooden or metal? For tasks such as carpentry work, we recommend using steel rods since most other types of wood may break off too easily. If this doesn’t apply to you then feel free to buy whatever kind of rod you like best.

One last thing to remember when choosing a measuring rod is its length. Most rods are between four and eight feet long. If you need something shorter or longer than that, be sure to shop for what’s available in your area!

man using measuring tape

Choosing a Measuring Stick

There are several types of measuring sticks that you can choose from. There is the metric ruler, which is typically used in engineering and architecture. This type of measuring stick has measurements for millimeters, centimeters, meters, and kilometers on it. Then there’s the standard tape measure with all sorts of different metrics or imperial units like inches, feet, and yards to use as well.

The length measurements on a metric ruler will be closer together than they would be if an inch were chosen. Because the centimeter represents 0.394 inches whereas an inch does not.

When using a measuring rod to get something precise, a metric ruler is a better choice. You’ll need it to get how long someone’s arm reaches out when they hold their arm straight out away from their body at full extension.

A measuring stick can be used to measure the distance across an area. For example, how wide your backyard is or how far it stretches.

When using either of these measuring tools you will want to use caution and be mindful. As they are not always as accurate in measurement as something like a laser level.

wooden measuring stick close up

How to Use a Measuring Rod?

A measuring stick is a flexible, straight length of wood, metal, or other material. It can be used to measure distances. Measuring rods are also known as yardsticks and meter sticks. A typical rod has markings for every inch or for every centimeter on it (depending on the type). These measurements are taken from one end of the rod to the other without stretching it out.

If you’re using an eight-foot-long board with inch marks along its entire length, then each mark will represent two feet rather than one foot. The longest kind of measuring rods in this category are often called “surveyor’s poles” and these may be up to 15 meters (~50 ft) long.

To use a measuring pole correctly, you must first hold it upright in front of you. With the end that’s been marked for feet at your right and the one marked for inches or centimeters on your left. When measuring something that is only a few inches tall (such as a pile of books), you would place this point against an object. That’s how you get an accurate height measurement.

In order to measure very long distances, you have two options. Either take multiple measurements from different angles and deduct their combined length. Or use trigonometry to calculate how far away someone is. You can do it by using their angle relative to yours multiplied by the distance between both people squared plus half the width of one person.

You can also estimate really long distances without any calculations if they’re not too wide. Just make a guess based on your perception of how wide a kilometer is and then estimate the distance in that number.

Length Measurement

The metric system is the most widely used form of measurement in everyday life. In this case, it’s divided into meters and centimeters where one meter equals 100 centimeters. One meter is roughly three feet or 36 inches. So using that as an estimate to measure long distances will be more accurate than guessing by eye. However, if you’re measuring short distances like height, then your eyes are good enough to do without a tape measure.

When measuring out wider lengths such as yards or kilometers, they become too large for humans to comprehend accurately.

folded ruler close up

How to Read a Measuring Stick?

The most important thing about reading this type of measuring tool is always carefully checking whether or not it has been calibrated properly. If so, you know precisely how much distance is represented by each inch.

The first step when taking measurements with this tool is generally laying down what needs to be measured – whether it’s the length, width, or height.

When measuring a line of something that stretches out over an area larger than one inch – like a room – you must measure from two points on opposite ends. Be sure to read both the left and right numbers at once!

The next step is usually lining up your stick along with what needs to be measured. So that you know where exactly it should fall onto the object being measured. This way there won’t be any mistakes when making measurements with this tool.

The last tip: always use these measuring tools carefully since they are not meant for heavy-duty work like construction projects.

folded ruler on black background


A measuring rod is a tool that should be taken seriously. Choosing the right one can make certain projects go much more smoothly and efficiently. Either you need an elevation grade rod or a range of sticks, all you can find on the market. It’s worth investing in a quality product from the start.

One of the most important things to consider when choosing a measuring rod is whether or not you want one that can be calibrated. If so, make sure it has been certified and approved by an appropriate governing body such as NIST. Additionally, keep in mind how often you will use your measuring rod before making any final decisions about what type of material to choose for its construction.

Meter & Tester