If you want to do things the right way in the workshop, you need to ensure maximum precision, and here measuring tools are vital.
Whether you are cutting raw stock or even sanding out rough edges on a workpiece, you need to have a reliable measuring tool.
Here we look at some essential measuring tools that every professional or DIY woodworker needs to have in the toolbox.
1. Tape Measure
A tape measure is probably the item that comes to mind when someone mentions a measuring tool for use in the workshop. What makes it highly popular is that it is pretty easy to use for anyone. Better yet, it is relatively versatile and also quite affordable.
The measuring tape comes in handy when you want to measure the length of wood and other things in the workshop but can also measure the width. Most typically have both metric and imperial markings as they provide measurements in inches, feet and meters.
When choosing a tape measure, the most important thing is to ensure you get something that uses units of measurements you understand well and is also long enough for the intended uses.
2. Woodworking Squares
There are different kinds of squares used for measurement in woodworking, but try, and speed squares are the two most common options.
The try square has a metal blade fixed on a wooden frame, and it is used when you want to check and mark 90-degree angles on workpieces.
On the other hand, a speed square is a multifunctional tool that can work as a try square, protractor, miter square, saw guide and line scriber.
It is typically made from a solid metal material with markings engraved on it to ensure you can always mark out the correct measurements.
A protractor is always the tools to grab when you want to get the correct angle to set your miter saw before cutting. Protractors have two legs and an angle scale between them.
The legs are pressed against two surfaces, and the angle between them is what you have to set the miter saw. This tool is relatively easy to grasp. When used correctly, it can provide highly accurate angle measurements.
Calipers are used when you want to measure the distance between two objects or the thickness of the material more accurately. These are some of the oldest measuring tools, and so even beginner woodworkers that have never used them have probably seen one before.
You can get a caliper in two main types: the basic manual one with two jaws that come together to measure the distance between the objects and the digital ones. Digital calipers have a dial or screen from which you can check the measurements.
A level is a measuring tool used to check whether a surface is level or not. These tools have bubbles in a tube filled with spirit. When the surface you are checking is level, the bubbles will be at the center of the tube.
Levels are helpful for projects like counter, table or cabinet installation where you need the pieces to be level so that everything fits perfectly. These tools can also come in handy for simple everyday jobs such as hanging picture frames.
6. Laser Measure
A laser measure uses a laser beam to measure the distances between two points instantly. Most can measure up to 50 feet, and they are pretty popular with advanced level woodworkers and contractors as they are much faster and more accurate than other things like tape measures.
Given the technology that laser measures use, they tend to be more expensive than most other measuring tools in the workshop. But, if your typical jobs require high accuracy and entail taking longer measurements, they are worth the extra investment.
You will always need a measuring tool for almost every project you do in your workshop. Therefore, it is essential to make sure you have the right ones.
Depending on what you are measuring, a simple one like a tape measure can be good enough, but you may need something more advanced like the laser measure for some projects.
It is a better idea to start by buying the basic ones like tape measure and then slowly buy the others as their need arises.