Parts of a Metric Ruler

Knowing the length of things can be important in construction and manufacturing projects.


Rulers are a good visual measuring device.Rulers are a good visual measuring device.
Rulers are a measuring tool that measure one point to another in a straight line. They are used by people around the globe in all areas of life from elementary schools to building sites. Metric rulers are divided up into the different metric units marked along the edge of the ruler.

Meters (m) are the largest unit used on a ruler and are marked every 100 cm on the ruler.


Centimeters (cm) are the major markings on most everyday metric rulers. They are marked every 10 mm and are normally accompanied by a number indicating the distance from the start of the ruler scale.


Millimeters are the smallest unit generally used on a metric ruler. Millimeters are marked without numbers on everyday rulers. Every fifth millimeter is marked with a longer line marker, indicating the half centimeter mark.


Decimeters are not used as commonly on everyday rulers and are the equivalent of 100 mm or 10 cm.


Metric rulers are usually constructed from plastic, wood or metal with the markings on the top side, which is sometimes transparent on the plastic versions. The most common ruler sizes are 15cm, 30cm and 100cm, although rulers can also be found on computer screens as layout tools and as roll-out tapes for measuring longer distances.

About the Author

Mark Slingo has been a professional writer since 2008. His work has appeared in Forward, ScubaGlobe, Scuba Jedi, "Pattaya Mail" and other publications. Slingo has a Bachelor of Arts in politics from the University of Newcastle and a diploma in journalism from the British College of Journalism.