How to measure without a ruler

+33 votes
asked May 7 in Science by TillyYkv5441 (270 points)
edited Jul 26
I need a ruler every now and then in life. I was taught to use a ruler in elementary school, and now I use it occasionally for small and large projects. However, there are times when a ruler is not always handy. In that case, what are alternative ways to make measurements without a ruler?

2 Answers

+24 votes
answered Jun 12 by NTIDon025779 (370 points)
edited Jul 2
Create makeshift rulers using miscellaneous objects. Start by looking for random objects around the house, starting in the garage. In your wallet, you have dollar bills that are close in size to rulers. The average bill is at least half a foot and easy to fold into the pocket, so it is the ideal choice.

Another important item to use is a credit card along with a cell phone. Write down the measurement of each object and save each one as a makeshift ruler.

First, know the different types of measurements that are commonly used. From the smallest to the largest, there are millimeters, centimeters, inches and feet. Think of the general lengths for each type of measurement. Then, think of objects you own that are equivalent to these lengths.

For instance, the average pen is the equivalent of nearly five inches, which is nearly half a foot. In total, a foot is twelve inches or one third of a yard. You want to list all of the common items that equal the length of a foot. Also, look for items that equal the length of a yard if you need to make a longer measurement.

You will find it easier to use items that already exist instead of creating your own. It takes too much time to create a ruler out of paper and pencil marks. The main point is to use items that are already lying around for your convenience.
commented Sep 20, 2015 by BetteKinchen (130 points)
This is the best answer to how to measure without a ruler!
+8 votes
answered Aug 6 by Steven (750 points)
edited Aug 10
Use different parts of the body as rulers. For small measurements in inches and centimeters, use your smallest body parts, such as fingers, fingernails and the sides of your hands. The middle part of your index finger measures about an inch.

If you do not have access to random objects around the house, use the convenience of body parts. For instance, measure the entire length of your arm against a yardstick, so you know how many arms are needed to create a single yard.

Generally, it is easier to use your hands and arms. It is harder to use your feet, legs and other bottom parts of the body.
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