Different types of measuring tools

Types of marking-out tools and their uses  

Proper development of an item in the engineering world can be determined from the marking-out and how the operator has used it. Marking out and measuring is a crucial stage that can never be left behind when developing an item; I am sure any engineer can relate. If a project is wrongly measured and marked out, hence not planned. There is a 95% probability that there will be waste materials, and mistakes will occur.

Furthermore, transferring or sketching a design or pattern onto a material’s surface is known as marking out. It is necessary to accurately cut a variety of shapes, including holes. Making a sketch is the initial stage; it should include measurements, edges, and information about where to make the cuts and holes. Transferring the drawing to the material is the second stage.


Measuring and marking-out tools

The primary purpose of this article is to prepare for the manufacturing world and to help the list of measuring and marking-out tools and their applications.

The following will help you know how to use and marking-out tools correctly:

  1. Knowing tools and where it is ideally used 
  2. Reading dimensions from drawings or sketches correctly
  3. use the right tools for the right job, don’t compromise 
  4. know how to use tools correctly and accurately
  5. make a review of any measuring and marking-out to ensure its accuracy  


Types of marking out tools

The following stated below are different types of marking-out instruments used in the workshop for various operations. It includes:

  • stylus,
  • caliper,
  • scriber,
  • measuring compass,
  • punch,
  • ruler,
  • square,
  • centre head,
  • fixing clamp.
  • line measures,
  • marking out boxes,
  • a divider,
  • a surface plate,
  • bar markers,
  • marking out plates.


The pencil is one of the most used marking-out tools reason because it can be easily cleaned. The right way to use it is to sharpen its edge very lightly in order to give thin light lines that won’t engrave the workpiece. 

Steel rule:

These types of measuring tools are made of steel and used on a flat surface to produce a rigid straight line. It can measure at least 300 mm in length. If the measuring tools are not ideally used, the path becomes inaccurate.

Measuring tape:

The measuring tape is an instrument that contains a thinning sheet in a rubber case labeled with numbers on it. It can measure at least 5m long, making it applicable to large projects. If care is not taken while using, the flexible sheet becomes twisted and can break.

Marking gauge:

The marking indicators are types of marking-out tools that scribe lines parallel to edges so that waste material can be cleaned off. For instance, in a woodwork project where a small part needs to be cut off, a marking gauge can be used to scribe out the unwanted part that will be chiseled away.

Try square:

The try square is used to draw perpendicular lines on a material to mark out on a workpiece. The purpose of try squares is to ensure paths are parallel to each other and help to draw the line at right angles to an edge.

Mortise gauge:

A mortise gauge is a marking-out tool that enables two lines to be scribed parallel to an edge. It has two sharp spurs that can be adjusted and set to the mortise chisel’s width before marking the workpiece. These marking-out tools are often used in woodworking.

Sliding bevel:

The sliding bevel is used to mark out a part, and adjusted to create the required angle. A pencil is then used to mark the line on the material.

Engineer’s square:

These hand tools are used to draw a perpendicular line on material with a scribe. It is placed on a workpiece surface with the flat edge being firm on the workpiece.

Spring dividers:

These hand tools are used to scribe an arc or draw a circle on materials. They have two legs and look very similar to a compass. One of the legs is firmly placed on the workpiece while the other leg rotates, scribing a circle or arc onto the workpiece.


These popular hand tools help to mark a line on a material. It contains a sharp point and acts as a pencil to engrave a fine line on surfaces like metal or plastic, where pens might not correctly work.

Center punch:

The center punch helps to indicate a center dot for drilling. A hammer is used to drive the point of the center punch into the metal, leaving a small surface impression.

Odd-leg calipers:

The old-leg calipers assist in inscribing a parallel mark on metal or plastic. It has two legs with purposes, one with a guiding edge with a foot and the other with a scribe point. The guiding side runs along the edge of the object to be scored while the scribing edge marks a line parallel to the edge.

Different types of measuring tools

Inside calipers:

These types of marking-out tools look very similar to the odd-leg calipers. They are used to measure distances on the inside of materials like tubes.

These calipers also have two legs with guiding feet pointing outwards. The braces are placed inside the material or object to be measured and then extended until the feet make contact with the material. 

Outside calipers:

The outside calipers aid in the measurement of thicknesses and outside diameters of materials. They are placed around a material with the legs tightened so the guiding feet meet the workpiece but can be removed without being adjusted. The span of the legs is then measured against a steel rule to give an accurate reading.


This is used to give a precise measurement of an object. It is a more accurate version of outside calipers and can give an accurate measurement of the outside edges of the material.


A template is applicable when a number of identical shapes or patterns need to be marked out. A template can be made from any thin material like plywood or aluminum, or an object that is easy to draw around. 

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To sum up, the wide range of marking-out instruments offers the foundation for precision in several fields, such as building, metalworking, engineering, and woodworking. Every tool, from the basic rulers and squares to the more complex instruments like height gauges and bevel protractors, has a specific function in precisely conveying measurements and constructing accurate layouts.

The selection of marking instruments is contingent upon various criteria, including the type of material being worked on, the degree of precision required, and the particular task at hand. Proficiency in using a variety of marking-out instruments is crucial for professionals and craftspeople whose work demands accuracy.

In order to achieve consistency and quality in design, construction, and manufacturing, these tools are essential. Individuals and organizations can make sure that their tasks are completed with precision, effectiveness, and a high degree of craftsmanship by choosing the appropriate marking-out devices for the job.


3 responses to “Types of marking-out tools and their uses  ”

  1. Michael Ofosu Ohene Avatar
    Michael Ofosu Ohene

    Please I want marking out tools in the food labortory,sewing workshp,metal or plastic workshop as well as that of the building site.
    Thank you

    This article was very helpful

  2. Adaramewa Henry Avatar
    Adaramewa Henry

    Please always differenciate or divide the measuring tools from the marking out tools

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