How to Measure Without a Ruler – More Ways Than You Know

Do you find measuring objects without any measuring equipment challenging? Well, you will be surprised to know the number of helpful tools around you. In this article, you will learn all about how to measure without a ruler.

You may often find yourself in situations where you do not have a measuring device. But you need not worry as you are sure to have one or more of the following alternatives that are accurate quantifiers.

Use Your Body Parts

It might sound funny, but using your body parts is downright the best way to measure without a ruler. From your fingers to palms and arms to legs, multiple body sections can help you determine the length of an item. Here are some of the most common ways to use your body parts as a measuring tool.

One Inch

The length from your knuckle to the tip of your thumb makes one whole inch or 2.5 cm. It is one of the handiest ways to measure small objects that are 6 inches or shorter.

Four Inches

You can use the width of your hands as a ruler. The length across the bottom knuckles, excluding the thumb, measures almost four inches or 10 cm.

Ten Inches

If you have a size 9 foot (women’s), it will generally measure 10 inches or 25 cm. That is, according to the US and Canada size. While for Europe it will be size 40, for the UK it is 6.5. That said, you can measure the size of your foot or shoe beforehand and use it whenever required.

Fifteen Inches

If you check the length of your arm from the elbow to the fingertips, it is almost equal to 15 inches. You can use this measurement option for determining the size of small items.

One Yard

Though it is comical, the distance from your nose to your knuckles measures 36 inches or 92 cm. It forms a total of one yard, given your arms are completely stretched.

One Meter

Similar to the above method, you can use your arms to measure an item. Stretch your arms and fingers, and measure the distance from your nose to the fingertips. It is one of the most common ways of measuring fabric, ribbon, and other just objects.

Other Methods

  • Another excellent way is to know the length of your hand to use it afterward. Hold your hand straight and measure the distance from the tip of your third finger to the bottom of the palm.
  • You can check the span of your hand to use it as a ruler. Stretch out your thumb and the last finger with the other fingers closed. Now, measure the distance from the thumb tip to the pinkie fingertip.
  • Your total height is a perfect measuring tool for bigger items.

Note: The exact length may differ with people. Therefore, it is best to know the measurement of your body parts beforehand to use them as a ruler when necessary.

Put the Stationery Items to Use

You might not know, but most of the stationery and office items kept on your desk are excellent measuring tools.

ID or Bank Card

The band and ID cards in your wallet or the office cards on your desk measure almost the same. The length of a standard card is about 3.4 to 3.5 inches, which is 8.6 to 8.9 cm. You can use this method by placing the card alongside the object you want to measure.

Printing Paper

A printing paper or a sheet of size A4 is readily available almost everywhere. It measures 8.5 x 11 inches in the US and Canada, i.e., 22 x 28 cm. However, outside these countries, the standard A4 sheet size is 8.3 x 11.7 inches, i.e., 21 x 29.7 cm.

Knowing these measurements, you can pick a sheet and measure almost any item with ease. Alternatively, you can check the exact dimensions on the printing paper pack to use them for accurate measurements.

Note: For complete surety, measure these items now and use them as a ruler later on!

Measure With Coins and Bills

One of the easiest ways to measure small items is using a paper bill or even coins. All the US and Euro bills have a fixed size.

  • US: 6.2 x 2.6 inches (L x W) or 15.8 x 6.6 cm.
  • Canada: 6 x 2.8 inches or 15.2 x 7 cm.
  • Europe: 4.7 x 3 inches or 12 x 7.6 cm (5 euro note); 5.5 x 3 inches or 14 x 7.6 cm (50 euro note).
  • 1-cent coin: 0.75 inches or 2 cm in diameter.
  • 25-cent coin: 1 inch or 2.5 cm in diameter.

Note: You can measure the length of your currency notes to measure with it when needed.

How to Measure Without a Ruler – Other Ways

Is the list of ways for how to measure without a ruler not enough? Well, there are a few other techniques of doing this.

  • Use Your Smartphone: Know the dimensions of your smartphone in advance to use it as a measuring tool. Additionally, you can download several measuring phone apps for the same.
  • Use Your Furniture: The idea may seem absurd, but you can use your doors, tabletop, and other such furniture items to measure large objects. Moreover, most standard doors are almost 78 to 80 inches tall, while dining room tables are usually 30 inches high.

Wrapping Up

When you get to it, there are numerous ways to measure without an actual ruler. From your hands to the object around you, virtually everything is a ruler. You just need to be a little attentive and know a few measurements in advance.

This article lists some of the simplest methods to determine the length of an item without a real measuring tool. Now that you know how to measure without a ruler, you know what to look for when it comes to measuring!

2 Pack Plastic Ruler Straight Ruler Plastic Measuring Tool


Manufacturer: eBoot
Item Weight: 0.776 ounces
Is Discontinued By Manufacturer: No
Color: Clear
Size: 12 Inch

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