What Is the Diamond on a Measuring Tape Used for?

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If you look close enough at your measuring tape, you can see black diamonds. Whether you’ve never seen these before or always wondered what these diamonds represent, we’re here to offer some understanding. Continue reading to find out more. 

Why Are There Diamonds on a Tape Measure?

These black diamonds are included on your measuring tape to help you when you’re anchoring a piece of furniture, hanging something heavy, or remodeling your house. You should find six studs placed 16 inches apart from each other for every 8-foot segment on your wall.

This is why you can see red numbers highlighted every 16 inches. When using your tape measure, you can note where the studs are by marking these placements with a pencil and using the red numbers. Here is where those mysterious black diamonds come in: these markings represent the middle of the studs.

Beginning at the 19.2-inch mark, the black diamond aids in finding the first stud. The next diamond is then placed 19.2 inches away from the first stud, which is 38.4 inches from the start point of the measuring tape.

These diamonds are placed to the 96-inch marking (or the eight-foot mark). With these diamonds, you should be able to find the center of the five studs effortlessly when not counting the stud at the start of the measuring tape.

Hence, you can put away your stud finder, as you’ve already located these studs. When using the black diamonds, you can easily locate these studs, which makes the measuring process even more straightforward and accurate.

Any Other Tape Measuring Tips and Tricks?

A tape measure is a relatively simple device to use. However, there’s more than meets the eye. Like we have seen with the inclusion of black diamonds, many incredible features are added to make this tool more useful. Here are some of the hidden features you can find when using your measuring tape:

The Curve

Have you caught yourself asking why your tape measure’s blade is curved? This feature is designed to help keep the blade rigid when extended. The concave design allows the blade to protrude while taking measurements, helping you make accurate readings. 

The Adjustable End

The metal tip found at the tape measure’s end is quite loose for an important reason. The first inch of this measuring tape is short by one-sixteenth of an inch. You might believe this to be an error but it isn’t. This feature is included to offer more accurate readings whether you’re measuring the outside or inside of a surface’s edge and is called ‘true zero.’

Measuring in at exactly 1/16 of an inch thick, the metal tip is used to hook onto the edge of a surface. From here, the metal piece shifts out and creates a gap. Thus, you aren’t counting it when measuring, making it more accurate.

On the other hand, you want to count the thickness of this metal piece in your calculations if you need to measure a window frame. Hence, the metal piece shifts back to fill the gap. When taking advantage of this true zero feature, you should always push or pull your measuring tape.

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The Nail Grab

On almost all tape measures, you can find a small slot located on the end hook. This feature is there to grab onto the end of a screw or nail. With this, you can measure a flat surface even if you don’t have anyone to hold onto the end of the tape. All you’re required to do is insert a screw or hammer a nail and hook it onto the tape’s end to get an accurate and clear reading.

The Scribing Tool

Have you ever noticed that the end hook of your tape measure has a serrated edge? This feature is incredibly useful if you’re measuring something and don’t have a marking tool. You can use the serrated edge to make this marking by running the edge back and forth.

Wrapping It Up

Using these black diamonds when taking measurements only works if you know that your home was built using the eight-foot standard to place the studs. If you aren’t sure about this, you can easily take out a stud finder to locate your studs the old-fashioned way before you can begin utilizing your tape measure to guide you.

Some tape measures (especially the ones found in the UK) have Roman numerals. Such markings help users identify how accurate the measuring tape is where I am the most accurate and III is the least accurate.

Why trust Handyman.Guide?

s written by Itamar Ben-Dor, who has 25 years of experience in renovations, carpentry, locks, creation, landscaping, painting, furniture construction, and furniture renovation, works with concrete, plumbing, door repair, and more.

Itamar Ben-Dor has been in the home improvement business for over 25 years. Itamar Ben-Dor is a jack of all trades. He's worked in the renovation field for years, doing everything from locksmithing to carpentry. He's a small repairs specialist. But his true passion lies in furniture construction and renovation - he loves seeing old pieces come back to life with some new woodwork or a fresh coat of paint.

He has taken courses on many topics in these fields at professional colleges in Israel. Over the years, Itamar has also become quite skilled in gardening, carpentry, and renovations. He's worked on projects of all sizes, from massive renovations to small repairs. No job is too big or too small for him!

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Itamar Ben Dor
Itamar Ben Dor

My father is a practical engineer, and as a hobby he was also involved in construction, renovations, carpentry and woodwork at home; So there was always tools, saws, drills and more at home. Already I was a little kid Dad and I would renovate the house. Once we built a shed for garden tools, once we did flooring for the garden, once we renovated the bathroom and that’s the way it is. Long before there was an internet, directories and plans. We would build things, kitchen cabinets, install electrical appliances, do flooring, pour concrete and more ... I in this blog want to pass on to you the experience I have gained over the last 20 plus-minus years since I was a child to this day and give you information about the best tools, project plans, guides and more.