Metric on tape measures

Nowadays I work mainly in metric. I'm right handed. Using a steel tape measure on a board or similar I'll hook the tape over the left hand edge and pull it across to the right. On all the imperial metric tape measures I've ever seen the Inches scale is always runs along the top edge and the metric scale runs along the bottom when running from left to right.
But when using a tape measure surely most people use the top scale for accurate measurement ? Same as using a ruler when measuring a line on a piece of paper. So why are the inches always still on top ?
O.K. so why not buy a metric only tape measure instead ? Except that all the metric only tapes only have the scale on only the one edge - again the bottom edge which is most inconvenient. They compensate for not giving the you the imperial scale at the top by giving you bigger numbers. Basically the metric only tape is the combination tape with the imperial scale removed from the top edge of the printing plate.
Gold medal for prize chumps must go to B&Q. They do a nice two sided metre rule in aluminium with the two scales on the two edges metric and inches. Except the inches are at the top on both sides, they're identical.
Full marks to Wickes - theirs seem identical in every other respect including price except the metric is on the top edge on one side.
Its just I've never noticed this before and was looking to replace some steel tapes.
michael adams
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Yeah - I've had the same issue - more or less.
I *want* my tapes marked metric both edges. It's so rare I need to work with imperial, that I'm happy with metric only.
In fact as manufacturers internationalise their products, I would have thought they would want to drop imperial scales too.
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had this to say:

I'd hope not.
--
Frank Erskine
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On Thu, 01 Oct 2009 20:06:58 +0100, michael adams wrote:

I suppose it'd be worth knowing what other markets the same tape measure's exported to, and what they use. It's all Imperial here in the US still (thankfully - even though I was brought up on Metric I find it a lot easier to work in feet and inches when building things) so if the same measure's also sold in the US you've got a potential market of 300 million there using primarily inches vs. 60-odd million in the UK wanting cm.
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In the UK Stanley probably still have the lions share of the market as being the single biggest remaining prestige brand in hand tools. Including steel tapes. And they probably sell the same lines in both markets. They certainly are the leading name brand in at least one of the three biggest DIY shed chains B&Q .
I can't visualise in mm or cm to save my life. If asked how many cm tall I am I'd have to work it out from being approx. two metres tall and do the multiplication. However when it comes to marking stuff out from scale drawings metric is just so much easier I find. Having to double check that I've not confused mm and cm and not made anything ten times bigger or smaller than it needs to be is a bonus in a way
michael adams
...
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michael adams wrote:

I have noticed that US origin tapes like Stanley have Imperial in larger font than metric & European tapes have larger Metric font.

Whats the convention for metric measurement BTW? For example should one write 150.2cm or 1520mm or 1.52m?
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Dave - The Medway Handyman
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Either metres or mm; cm, although sometimes a convenient measure are not.
--
geoff

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On 02/10/09 00:09, geoff wrote:

TMH proves the perils of mixing decimals and cm, by ending up with the wrong length. I find anything under 10m is pretty easy to cope with in mm
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On 2 Oct,

Isn't the ISO or whatever standard just that, either use mm or metres, but not cm. Seems to work. Apart from in schools!
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Andy Burns wrote:

Not impossible for 3'7" to be confused with 37" though.
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Dave - The Medway Handyman
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On 2 Oct, 22:52, "The Medway Handyman"

"... so when we get the real thing, it'll look just like this ?"
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The Medway Handyman wrote:

In the aerospace industry, we always used mm.
Dave
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...

It depends on context. I usually give building dimensions in metres, my height in centimetres and copper pipe in millimetres..
Colin Bignell
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On Thu, 01 Oct 2009 22:44:03 GMT, "The Medway Handyman"

Centimetres aren't standard SI units, and seem to be mainly used in schools.
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had this to say:

My partner, who is originally German, uses metres and centimetres and has to convert millimetres into centimetres to understand the measurement.
Colin Bignell
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Possibly she learned in the era of CGS rather than SI?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cgs
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_System_of_Units
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RubberBiker wrote:

;-) Sorry, I have to toss this into the pot.
Why has time not been metricated and used? :-)
Dave
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On 2 Oct,

It has. Napoleon did and it was used for a short time.
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He was only a short man
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geoff

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On Fri, 02 Oct 2009 21:08:52 +0100, geoff wrote:

Only if you use French inches.
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