Not measuring up . . .

Phil warns us that not all measuring tapes are created equal.

I found it interesting that the Chinese tape (the bottom one) lined up perfectly with the 1″ squares on the measuring board, whereas the Taiwanese tape (the yellow one) didn’t.  I’d have expected the problem to be the other way around.

At any rate, I’m going to check my tape measures against an accurate scale.  I suspect I may be unpleasantly surprised by some of them . . .



  1. Ah yes, Taiwanese Chhùn, see also Japanese Shaku and 10ths

    I've got some interesting work stories where the person cutting the materials did not realize that they were using a "Shaku and 10ths" tape measure misplaced in the shop by the visiting Japanese crew member.

    Materials were brought to where needed (along with the offending tape measure) and of course discovered to be incorrect in size. So the site was re-measured (inadvertently with the Shaku and 10ths tape measure) at which the same worker went back to the shop and cut new stock but measuring with a standard feet-and inches tape.

  2. Don't even have to go over seas to have issues like this. Surveyors use measurements in 10ths so if you have a surveying tape it isn't inches it's 10ths.

  3. Those look like sewing measuring tapes which are printed on a fabric material – and therefore stretch as they get old.

    Don in Oregon

  4. Correction to my previous comment – the defective tape is actually shorter,isn't it.

    Don in Oregon

  5. We talk and worry about all kinds of technological hijinks – but something as simple as mis-marking measuring tapes could cost another country millions in lost productivity. Partnering with competitors or enemies for ANYTHING is more than a questionable strategy. Lessons learned in the schoolyard still apply.

  6. Amazon sells a trick ruler that's 9 inches long but is marked as 12. I'm sure you can figure out the purpose. 🤩

  7. Once upon a time when I was a Quality manager for a large Aerospace concern an auditor wrote us up for not having calibration stickers on the steel 6 inch rulers used in the machine shop. I thought that was nuts at the time. Now I'm not so sure.

  8. My latest tape measure is a Stanley (Made in USA) that my grandfather purchased in 1979. I just opened it last year when I was working on my daughter's dance floor. He paid $9.49 for it at Scheels Hardware in Minot.

    IIRC one of the WWII slave labor camps run by Germany was building vehicles for the Nazis. The engines kept burning up because one of the prisoners added a small amount of length to the dipstick so that when checking the oil it would read full, but in actuality be a little low.

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