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"Are "inch" tape measures available everywhere?" Topic

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1,562 hits since 22 Nov 2010
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Lentulus Inactive Member22 Nov 2010 7:42 a.m. PST

What it says . Here in Canada most tapes and rules are metric on one edge and imperial on the other; but I have not gone shopping for tape measures anywhere else.

Is it easy to find metric tape measure and rulers everywhere?

I suspect the answer is yes to both, but can't hurt to verify. So, please answer for where you are.

Buff Orpington Inactive Member22 Nov 2010 7:48 a.m. PST

That's the standard set up in the UK

Diadochoi Inactive Member22 Nov 2010 8:02 a.m. PST

No, they are impossible to get here. I have to ask for them as Xmas presents from the UK.

Marshal Mark22 Nov 2010 8:02 a.m. PST

In the UK some rulers are now purely metric, but most are metric on one side and imperial on the other.

sector51 Inactive Member22 Nov 2010 8:18 a.m. PST

Yes it is going to be harder as time goes on to get imperial measures in the UK.

Jovian1 Inactive Member22 Nov 2010 8:23 a.m. PST

Meh, just order them from the good old U.S.A., because I doubt we will ever switch to the Metric system fully. laugh

Personal logo The Beast Rampant Supporting Member of TMP22 Nov 2010 8:59 a.m. PST

All "gaming tape measures" I have seen- which is to say, the newer, small, cloth-spooled kind, not the metal kind I wouldn't use near my minis anyway- are two-sided. Why waste the other side not using the other system?

I have probably six of these, have probably lost or broken that many too. All different styles and shapes, and almost all were made in Germany, as memory serves. Just a stupid observation.

RavenscraftCybernetics Inactive Member22 Nov 2010 9:43 a.m. PST

check your friendly local fabric store, I image you'll find them there at a better pricee than at a gaming specialty shop

Personal logo Bobgnar Supporting Member of TMP22 Nov 2010 9:57 a.m. PST

Slightly off topic, but I have wondered if in metric countries -- Canada, Australia, mainland Europe, where else -- balsa wood is sold in metric lengths and widths.

All my life I have been cutting metric DB* bases from imperial measurement balsa wood. Did Phil invent these sizes to conform to available wood or for some other reason.

I would love to find balsa wood that is 40mm wide and be able to slice the correct depth, or vice versa . Thanks

Personal logo Ditto Tango 2 3 Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member22 Nov 2010 10:52 a.m. PST


Lentulus Inactive Member22 Nov 2010 11:13 a.m. PST

Well, from a game design standpoint I'd say Diadochoi wins. If everyone can pick up a metric tape at most any shop and there is someone for whom inches is a pain to get I should make sure it works in metric – imperial would be an option not a core requirement.

Diadochoi Inactive Member22 Nov 2010 11:31 a.m. PST

But I prefer Imperial measurements…..

Diadochoi Inactive Member22 Nov 2010 11:32 a.m. PST

…and I can do multiples of 2.5 in my head

kehanubaal22 Nov 2010 12:11 p.m. PST

they are extremely hard to find here in Italy, but it is not impossible… I found some in a Bosch electric drill, in GW stores, and in a "1 euro" store ages ago, where I bought 8 of them (I only have 3 left…)

Dave Crowell22 Nov 2010 12:33 p.m. PST

I found metric tapes to be very difficult to find in the US. Luckilly I live near Canada and was able to pick up several dual-measure tapes at a good price.

Metre-sticks with both inches and cms are easy to find, as are rulers (usually 12 inches). Oddly enough yardsticks are now 1 metre long, but rulers are still 6 or 12 inches.

Top Gun Ace Inactive Member22 Nov 2010 1:06 p.m. PST

I imagine they are fairly rare on the moon and Mars, and the other planets in our solar system, so no, not everywhere, unless the aliens are fond of our archaic measurement system.

Then again, perhaps they developed it.


Mobius22 Nov 2010 1:10 p.m. PST

Just the opposite here in the US. It's very rare that you can find a good metric tape measure. If I happen to come across one at a bargain price I'll buy 2 or 3.

Delthos Inactive Member22 Nov 2010 1:13 p.m. PST

I've never seen a metric only tape in the US, but I've seen metric/imperial and imperial only. Sometimes its hard to find the combo versions, and then a couple months later it seems like they are easy to find. Don't know why.

timurilank22 Nov 2010 1:45 p.m. PST

Hey gang,

You have only to ask and we can send relief packages. After all, what are TMPers for?

cheers from the land of metric.

Personal logo DuckanCover Supporting Member of TMP22 Nov 2010 2:37 p.m. PST

My observations here in Australia:

Steel tape measures- these days I've about half are combination metric/imperial and half just metric. I've got examples of both.

I've got a 100 meter surveyor's tape, but the place I got it from can easily order imperial.

Yardsticks- are mostly actually "metersticks". I can't remember the last time I saw an imperial only yardstick. I have seen metric/imperial yardsticks, from time to time. Both of mine are metric.

Rulers- Most I've seen lately are just 30 centimeter metric, but I've got one with imperial and metric measures.

Dressmakers tapes- I've got metric/imperial, and just metric.

Two vernier gauges and a micrometer, all metric.

Crime scene photo scales- I've got "L" and "T" units, both in metric, but they were ordered from a supplier in the US, and they have imperial and metric in stock.

Metric is the standard here, but some big hardware and industrial supply places can order in imperial gear. A lot of carpenter's and other trades measures can be found, on the shelf, in metric only or combination metric/imperial. As with the yardsticks referred to above, it's been years since I've seen imperial only measures just "off the shelf". Like others here, I'm of a vintage where I can think or convert to either standard.


Steve Hazuka Inactive Member22 Nov 2010 4:48 p.m. PST

I had to go south of the border into Windsor to buy a meter stick. The border guards wondered why I needed metersticks I told them it was for elementary school students.

StarfuryXL522 Nov 2010 8:36 p.m. PST

Metric … metric … hmmm … metr… oh, yeah, yeah, that's right … wasn't that some passing fad a long time ago?

Jakse375 Inactive Member22 Nov 2010 11:39 p.m. PST

the hardware store near me has tape measures that read both metric and imperial for $1.00 USD they are only 12' long but who cares at a buck. I bought a bunch for gaming just so we are all using the same measure. wouldn't want to compare them to any reputable manufacturer but as long as every ones measurements are off by the same amount all is equal.

Personal logo DuckanCover Supporting Member of TMP22 Nov 2010 11:59 p.m. PST

Bob and His Dog-

I've seen balsa wood sold in imperial cuts occasionally here in Sydney but, for the most part, it's metric.


Princeps Inactive Member23 Nov 2010 12:06 a.m. PST

Here in Europe, in my experience, the standard sizes for lumber are exactly the same as the US, but labeled in cm and mm instead of imperial measurements.

Cerdic Supporting Member of TMP23 Nov 2010 12:52 a.m. PST

Here in Britain sheets of plywood from a timber merchant come in a standard size 8 foot by 4 foot. They will ask what thickness you want – 6mm, 9mm etc…..

Last Hussar24 Nov 2010 5:36 a.m. PST

Metric … metric … hmmm … metr… oh, yeah, yeah, that's right … wasn't that some passing fad a long time ago?
Only in the more backward areas. Many of the rest of us have embraced the 20th century.

kehanubaal24 Nov 2010 10:15 a.m. PST

…we should come up with something new for the 21st century…

Daffy Doug Inactive Member24 Nov 2010 11:56 a.m. PST

Isn't it odd that "imperial" is the term for "standard" measurment; when it was the EMPEROR Napoleon who instituted metric? I think so….

Lentulus Inactive Member24 Nov 2010 12:13 p.m. PST

Of course, it was not *his* empire that spread it around the world.

Last Hussar24 Nov 2010 4:23 p.m. PST

…we should come up with something new for the 21st century…


Cerdic Supporting Member of TMP25 Nov 2010 5:39 a.m. PST


Omemin Inactive Member29 Nov 2010 12:28 p.m. PST

I'm in the USA, in Maine. Because the joint is 3/4 surrounded by Canada, we can get the two-sided tapes with a little hunting, although the purely inches ones are more common by far. Purely metric is rare.

Most of my tapes are inches per se, but I have one really nice one that's feet and inches (i.e., 2 feet 4 inches instead of 28 inches). I use it to drive painful gamers nuts at conventions.

I prefer the two-sided type, because some systems work better that way as scale changes. Command Decision suggested inches for 15-30mm and centimeters for 1:285/1:300/6mm. Most sets written for 25mm figures with linear tactics work better for 15mm if you use centimeters in lieu of inches.

redbaboon Inactive Member30 Dec 2010 1:51 p.m. PST

Here´s the answer from the Swedish/nordic jury:
(a bit dry but anyway, full of facts)

Metric: 90%
Imperial: 10%

End of report.

Personal logo Bowman Supporting Member of TMP21 Jan 2011 9:42 p.m. PST

"Isn't it odd that "imperial" is the term for "standard" measurment; when it was the EMPEROR Napoleon who instituted metric? I think so…."

I don't think so. Metric (base 10) was around way before that. In fact it may have been introduced to France from England by Ben Franklin! At any rate, it was the Revolutionary Government of France that instituted the metric system.


Last Hussar23 Jan 2011 1:39 p.m. PST

I picked up three end of line for 5 pence each

RudyNelson23 Jan 2011 7:12 p.m. PST

We have a new stock of metal tape measures arriving soon. about 250. All have a skull etched into the side.

Rudy Nelson
Time Portal Hobbies

Wartopia Inactive Member10 May 2011 3:27 a.m. PST

design everything in increments of 4"/10cm.

MajorB17 May 2011 1:14 p.m. PST

Isn't it odd that "imperial" is the term for "standard" measurment; when it was the EMPEROR Napoleon who instituted metric? I think so….

You're thinking of the wrong empire. The term "imperial measurements" comes from the British Empire rather than the French!

Ganesha Games Sponsoring Member of TMP06 Jul 2011 4:02 p.m. PST

In Italy, inch-ometers (we jokingly call them something like that) can be found in GW stores and (more rarely) you can get a double-sided one in some hardware stores. But if I asked a non gamer to get me one, my bet is that he couldn't find one.

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