An essential item to look out for when buying tape measures is the calibration system used. Depending on the calibration scale you are most familiar with, you can either settle for the imperial system or the metric system.
In some cases, however, you may find tape measures with both calibration scales inscribed on either side of the blade.
Reading the metric system
The metric system divides your blade into portions each of one-centimetre-wide with each centimeter consisting of 10 mm. when measuring a surface, hook your tape measure to the edge of your surface or mount a nail to get a start point.
After pulling your blade to the endpoint, read the smaller value closest to your end and then count the millimeter marks until the endpoint. This gives you a precise reading helping you to recreate identical replicas of the measured plank.
Reading the imperial system
Unlike the latter, the imperial system is read in inches with each inch divided into 16 equal sections. To read a tape measure calibrated with the imperial system, take the smaller value closest to your endpoint and count each 1/16 inch markings to your endpoint.
When at it, however, start from the one adjacent to the number marking progressing to the next number in the sequence. Additionally, these tapes are fitted with a foot marker on every multiple of 12 to help you take feet measurements easier.