Basic measuring tools you should have in your home

July 27, 2015

You can do many maintenance and repair tasks yourself if you buy a small arsenal of tools and equipment. Here's a list of measuring tools you should always have on hand in your home.

Basic measuring tools you should have in your home

Measuring cups and spoons

  • For dry ingredients, you need a set of individual measuring cups that you can level off at the top. They will have 50-, 75-, 115- and 250-millilitre (1⁄4-, 1⁄3-, 1⁄2- and one-cup) capacities.
  • For liquids, use a one-litre (4-cup) heat-proof glass measurer, marked in ounces and millilitres along the side.
  • A set of measuring spoons mete out seasonings. They will have one-, 1 1/2-, two-, five- and 15-millilitre (1⁄4-, 1⁄3-, 1⁄2- and one-teaspoon, and one-tablespoon) capacities.

Retractable tape measure

  • A spring-loaded 7.5-metre (25-foot) measuring tape that is 2.5 centimetres (one inch) wide will handle almost any situation.
  • The metal hook on the end catches on a workpiece, making long measurements a one-person job.

Framing square

  • This specialized carpenter's square has tables and formulas for calculating area and volume.

Chalk line

  • This case filled with chalk and 15 to 30 metres (50 to 100 feet) of line on a reel marks a long, straight line between two points.
  • Pull the line from the case, hold it taut and snap it to leave a chalk mark as a guide.
  • This is useful in hanging wallcoverings and for cutting long lines.

Speed square

  • Use one to check a 90 degree angle and to mark angled cuts.

Plumb bob

  • A line with a weight attached establishes a straight, vertical line (plumb), as needed for hanging wallcoverings.
  • Suspend the line from a height and drop the weight to the ground; wait for the weight to steady.


  • Use a 0.6- to 1.2-meter (two- or four-foot) level for testing shelves and levelling all manner of things, including appliances such as a washing machine or refrigerator.
  • Held vertically, it can also test for plumb.

By keeping these basic tools around your home, you'll be able to handle almost any measuring job while getting accurate results.

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