Rulers, also known as a Rule or a lot less commonly a line gauge, are straight edged devices used to measure distance. They are made from plastic, wood, metal or fabric and have marked units of measure along one or both edges. In the UK the units of measure found on rulers are centimetres and inches and the most common size rulers are 30cm or 12 inches long.
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Most people become familiar with rulers whilst at school where they are used for measuring and also provide a useful straight edge when drawing. The school favourite is the shatter-resistant ruler as they can be bent and bashed and do not break easily. However, as most parents will know the first thing most children will do is test the shatter-resistant claim and be rather proud that they now have two smaller rulers instead of the one they went to school with!
What is a ruler?
A ruler or rule is a tool used to measure distance and/or draw straight lines. Now if we were to be totally correct on the point a ruler is actually a straightedge used to rule lines and the calibrated device used for measuring is called a 'measure'. Common usage however has come to define a ruler as a straightedge that is calibrated for making measurement.
Desk rulers are generally made from durable plastics and are most commonly clear, however a vast array of colours are available. Desk rulers are typically 30cm (12 inch) in length with a shorter 15cm version (6 inch) used as pocket rulers. Desk rulers are used for three main purposes, to measure distance, to aid in drawing straight lines and as a straight guide for cutting and scoring with a blade.
What to look for when buying a ruler……..
Size - As we’ve mentioned above the most used size of ruler is the 30cm or 12inch version. These are typically the size used within schools and also most offices and workplaces. A more convenient size for fitting in pencil cases is the 15cm or 6inch ruler. At just half the size of a standard rule they are much easier to transport and fit inside your school bag or desk tidy.
Material -These days most rulers are made from either plastic or metal. The plastic rulers are cheaper and also flexible and normally available in clear or tinted blue. Metal rulers are manufactured from either steel or aluminium and both types are highly durable and should last many years.
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