4 Ways to Measure Without a Ruler


In our everyday life, we might get in situation where we need to get a quick measurement of something.

But, normally not everybody has around rulers with them on hand. However, you can still measure things and get what you want with good memory of simply things. This article will teach you the length of some common body parts and ordinary objects, so you can use them to estimate the measurements of items. However, they won’t really give you precise measurements. So, remember to use ruler for correct measurements.

Method 1. Comparing to Everyday Objects

An object that is most likely carried in our pockets,  is a few bills or coins. To measure something with your local bills would be a good idea. Their size can vary since they all are different, based on the currency and even the value. Since then, most popular are:

US dollars: 6.14 inches x 2.61 inches (6.6 cm), or roughly 6 inches (15 cm)

Canadian bills: 6 inches long x 2.8 inches tall

1-cent coin: .75 of an inch (2 cm) across

A quarter: under 1 inch (2.5 cm) across

Euros: 5 euros bill is 120 millimeters (4.7 in) long, and a 50 euros bill is 140 millimeters (5.5 in) long and about 3 inches (76 mm) wide

Method 2. Measurements Based on Office Items

Ordinary items you have around your office or home desk also have standard measurements that can be used to estimate the measurements of other items. ​

A standard business card: 3.5 inches long x 2 inches high (9 cm x 5 cm)

Standard credit and ID cards: 3.4 inches wide x 2.1 inches high (8.5 cm x 5.4 cm)

Standard paper clip: 1 inch long; a large paper clip is 1.8 inches

Standard paper: 210 mm × 297 mm or 8.3 inches × 11.7 inches

Method 3. Common Measurements Based on Your Body

In order to estimate the measurements of other items you should learn your body measurements first.

Hand length and hand span: Knowing them can make it easy to measure small objects of various sizes.

Shoe size: This will help you measuring longer distances, like the dimensions of a room.

Arm span or height: With this you can measure things in two ways: vertically by standing straight; horizontally by stretching your arms out.

Method 4. Using Your Smart Phone

The phone itself serve as a unit of measure if you look up its dimension. But you can use it in much smarter way. Sometimes, they come with an app that you can use to measure small things by laying them on the phone. If you don’t have one you can download it, so you will have an actual ruler scale for free.


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