Skip to content

20 Types of Measuring Tools and Their Main Uses

Back then, ancient people used their body parts to measure things. For instance, the cubit was the distance from the fingertips to the elbow. Nowadays, there are different types of measuring tools that provide great accuracy.

Furthermore, measuring instruments are a vital element of any profession, from scientist to a carpenter. They offer a foolproof way to record as well as observe the working world around us.

In short, you can use measurement tools for measure angles, blood sugar level, miles, water pressure, time, distances, speed, food, and temperature. If you want to know them better, take a gander at these crucial measuring instruments.

Laser Measure

A laser measure is one of the cool examples of measuring tools. People use this instrument to precisely determine the gap from itself to another thing. It can swiftly determine how far the item is.

Normally, this tool ensures wonderful accuracy for grading and leveling. Additionally, it can measure up to 30 meters. The digital version offers fast and precise measurements of up to 80m.

Compared to other types of measuring tools, laser measure is quite expensive. However, it is worth investing in. The unit can be an accurate yet fast solution for any job site distance measurements.


You certainly have heard of this measuring instrument name. Ordinarily, you can find a protractor in geometry classes to measure angles in degrees. Aside from being employed in mathematics, it also serves other purposes.

Both scientists and physicists typically use protractors. These type of measuring tools are not only convenient and fairly simple to hold, but also can create complex determinations.

Moreover, protractors are created from glassworks or translucent synthetic material. The metal ones offer more durability for sure.

This half-circle measuring tool is vital to a lot of people. Sometimes, you’ll spot protractors that are specifically for mathematical purposes.

They can measure angles in radians. The units also become the mechanical engineering circles’ staple.


Speedometers are one of the most important types of measuring tools. As the name suggests, they can determine the object’s speed. The items are typically featured inside of cars.

Moreover, speedometers keep you from driving your automobile dangerously. They also ensure that drivers always stay under safe speed limits. Essentially, the units help prevent road accidents.

Aside from being employed inside of vehicles, speedometers are also used for certain scientific purposes. Besides, police officers normally use gun-shaped speedometers to know if someone is driving too fast.

People also purchase standalone speedometers. They hang the units on their bikes. This enables them to measure travel speed while going on bicycles.

Furthermore, measuring travel speed is a must. It is seriously important for modern societies.


Design-wise, the micrometer is similar to the caliper. Only a small amount of people using this tool ordinarily. What makes it different is that rather than sliding, it screws down.

Moreover, the micrometer is one of the common types of measuring instruments in mechanical engineering profession. You will also see the tool being regularly employed in machine shops.

Micrometers are used to measure an object’s depth, thickness, and length. They provide precise measures for various construction plans.

What you see above is an analog micrometer. This tool is not only useful and reliable but also durable. The instrument is designed to last for many years.

The digital micrometers are capable of providing a rapid readout. Sometimes, they allow for accurate measurements up to 3 or 4 decimal places.


There are different types of measuring tools available. The clocks are particularly used to measure time. Furthermore, everyone still uses them daily. Without these, you definitely cannot accomplish many tasks properly.

Clocks come in various materials, styles, sizes, and shapes. However, they offer a similar function. Moreover, whether your clock is digital or analog, it tells you the time in the same fashion.

People currently do not purchase specific clocks as they used to. In modern days, everyone brings along smartphones everywhere.

Wristwatches were popular in the 20th century. However, the units become a pretty rare sight because people simply do not need them to measure time, especially since smartphones become really popular.

Angle Gauge

As the name implies, this instrument is used to measure angles. It helps you determine if the object is at the right level. Furthermore, angle gauge is one of the most crucial types of measuring tools.

The angle gauges are used in many projects. They give professionals fast precise data access. Not only are the tools accurate, but also relatively affordable.

Compared to analog angle gauges, the digital ones are more accurate and simpler to use. They let you find the surface’s angle quickly too.

Furthermore, these types of measuring tools can work as levels. This makes them a convenient 2-in-1 instrument. You should take the digital angle gauge into your consideration.

The digital angle gauges have automated calibration controls and a magnetic base. They particularly come in handy when it comes to determining miter angles and accurate bevel on electric saws.

Bubble Inclinometer

Talking about types of measuring tools, you should add a bubble inclinometer to your collection. This instrument is specifically made for determining the joint range of motion. It can also measure the incline’s steepness.

To use the bubble inclinometer, place it next to the joint. Then, set the tool until the scale turns zero. After that, read the range of motion traveled from the unit directly.

Different from other types of measuring tools, the bubble inclinometer is probably more complicated because you must read it. However, the unit works quite well.

Moreover, sports therapists use bubble inclinometer to determine a healthy joint range of motion. The tool also lets them keep an accurate record of the patient’s recovery process.

Measuring Cups

A measuring cup is one of the most essential types of measuring tools. It allows you to measure ingredients accurately.

If you love cooking and baking, we suggest buying a measuring cup set. This tool can be used for various culinary applications. Furthermore, it becomes a chemist staple.

For bakers, these types of measuring tools help them determine how many cups of flour, milk, and sugar they are pouring into the mixing bowl. Without the units, baking things properly would be difficult.

Moreover, measuring cups are used by chemists to measure medicine liquid, solution, and water. They are typically found in school science laboratories as well.

Drawing Compass

There are types of measuring tools that can serve different purposes. The compass is one of them. This instrument is normally used in carpentry and shipbuilding. Furthermore, in mathematics, the students use it to draw circles.

The architects are certainly familiar with the drawing compass. It is such a significant measurement instrument for them.

Moreover, you can use a drawing compass to define the interval among 2 spots on your map. That’s why it is also known as divider gauge.

Unlike other types of measuring tools, drawing compass is rarely used by people daily. If you are neither a carpenter nor an architect, don’t concern yourself with the unit too much.


You might already have a thermometer. This tool is mostly used to determine the temperature of the human body. Moreover, many people love to hang it on their houses’ sides. That way, they stay informed about the outdoor temperature.

Speaking of body temperature thermometers, they are available in various styles. The manual thermometer needs to be put under the tongue. Meanwhile, the digital one provides a fast and reliable readout.

Moreover, both old-style and digital body thermometers work well for your applications. Therefore, you can simply pick one that is more convenient.

Aside from becoming modern medicine’s staple, these types of measuring tools are also used in culinary arts. Additionally, people who take environmental studies use thermometers quite often.

Measuring Squares

Square is one of the measuring instruments for woodworking. Carpenters use this tool to frame and set the right angles. It also helps them add markings as well as cut lumber.

There are different kinds of measuring squares. Some come in a triangular shape, but the most popular option is the L-shaped one. Moreover, it allows carpenters to find perfect right angles easily.

These types of measuring tools are available in various specialized forms such as combination and drywall squares. The former is used in stonemasonry and carpentry, while the latter is designed to make markings on drywall boards.

Here, we show you a framing square. Usually, it is made of stainless steel. Moreover, the tool boasts a longer side, called a blade, while the shorter one is commonly known as a tongue.


Some types of measuring tools are classified into medical devices. The glucose meter pictured above is a great instrument that many people use for health purposes.

The glucometer can analyze the blood droplet. Then, it determines whether you have too high glucose levels or not.

Furthermore, this measuring tool is capable of managing diabetes. That’s why diabetics rely on it almost every day.

For those who suffer from diabetes, keeping track of blood sugar levels is important. Without accurate information that the glucometer offers, diabetics will be unsure of how good they are doing.

Glucometer helps prevent dangerous complications. Even people can integrate their Bluetooth-enabled glucometers with a smartphone app to get real-time updates.

Measuring Tools for Length

When someone says types of measuring tools, tape measure springs to your mind. This simple device can determine the object’s length and width. It can figure out the accurate information that people need to know.

Measuring tapes are not only convenient but also portable. They fit in the tool belt nicely. Some options feature a clip, so carpenters can attach them on their belts.

Furthermore, these types of measuring tools are typically employed in various work lines. They are a ubiquitous instrument of any construction trades. The units can measure up to 30.48 meters or 100 feet.

Most metal measuring tapes include a handy switch. It ensures that the tape is locked into place. When you release this feature, the tape will instantly retract back into its shell.


As the name suggests, this measuring instrument is used for determining whether the object is level or not. Furthermore, it can help you hang your pictures properly.

Moreover, the level is user-friendly. That is to say that you certainly won’t have any problem figuring the unit out. This measuring tool keeps things from becoming imbalanced and unlevel.

Levels come in many styles. For the standard beam level, you only have to set the unit on top of the object. After that, read the vials to know if it is level or not.

Some levels provide you a digital readout. When shopping for a level, put your personal preference and needs into consideration.

In short, such types of measuring tools are suitable for carpentry. They find their way into plumbing, framing, and masonry as well.


Move to other types of measuring tools, odometers show how far vehicles have traveled. In addition, you can find them on motorcycles, trucks, and cars. Since an odometer is an important device, you should have it inside of yours.

This gauge determines how many kilometers or miles you have traveled. Moreover, some people mount odometers on their bikes. The units tell them the total cycling travel distance.

These types of measuring tools provide useful information for fitness reasons. Furthermore, the odometers are mostly digital. There even a few designs that specially made for bicycles.

The thing that people love the most about a digital odometer is its simplicity. Standalone odometers can be placed on cars and trucks. However, people normally buy units outside of vehicles.

Angle Locator

People in carpentry or construction use this kind of tool quite frequently. In a few ways, the unit is also different from the angle gauge. Moreover, it is a manual device with digital reading.

The angle locator comes with 2 ruler-like ends. You will have to position them. Then, use the readouts to determine angles.

Furthermore, the angle locator works well for checking angles in small spaces. You can use it to determine an angle in your closet or other areas where you aren’t able to maneuver easily.

The angle locators do not only make the measurement process much simpler but also save precious time. That’s why you should have easy access to these types of measuring tools.


A ruler is one of the most common types of measuring tools. People use it to draw straight lines, determine the object’s length, or measure distances.

You know how this instrument works. Just line your ruler up with an object. Moreover, the unit is part of school projects. Even both in construction and engineering professions also use a ruler.

Professionals use this line gauge to ensure precise measurements, especially on flat surfaces. Furthermore, architects using this particular tool to help them design buildings. Meanwhile, construction workers check if their works are straight with the tool.

Tailor’s Measuring Tape

As the name implies, this minimalist yet flexible ruler is commonly used by tailors. Moreover, it can aid in dressmaking, sewing, and tailoring.

This tool is similar to the carpenter’s measuring tape, but it has no casing. Also, the unit does not retract.

Tailor’s measuring tape is simply a ribbon of plastic or cloth. It allows dressmakers to take measurements along their client’s hip or legs with ease.

To tailors, this measuring tape is truly invaluable. Since the unit can move with the human body’s curves, it provides accurate measurements.


The calipers can determine the distance between the object’s two sides. They offer accurate data about something. Moreover, these types of measuring tools are widely utilized by doctors, metalworkers, mechanical engineers, and scientists.

If you don’t know how calipers work, no worries. First, adjust their tips to exactly fit across the measured object. After that, remove them. Lastly, measure the total distance using an integrated ruler.

We strongly recommend buying digital calipers. They are more useful than analogs. Besides, the units are handy, very accurate, and easy to use.

Types of Measuring Tools for Pressure Measurements

Pressure gauges are undoubtedly a popular and vital measuring tool. They can be utilized in various things. Having one will come in handy.

Furthermore, there is a gauge that people use to quantify water pressure. It is typically fixed to the water heater.

You will also see gauges being utilized to measure air pressure. A tire gauge is the most common one. This measuring tool is small but convenient. It lets you air tires up properly.

Moreover, gauges also can measure your blood tension. These types of measuring tools are vital for those who suffer from hypertension.

Some pressure gauges help people determine depth and altitude. By knowing the uses of measuring tools, you can decide which gauge to buy.

Whether you love DIY projects or work in a physical job, those types of measuring tools will come in handy. They do not only offer accuracy, but also precision.