The Importance of the Diameter Tape Measure

Ask any Arborist. Ask any oilfield worker. They will tell you how vital a diameter tape measure is to their jobs.

Using Diameter Tape Measures On A Tree
Using Diameter Tape Measure On A Tree

An Arborist needs to quickly determine the diameter of a tree, because he probably has to do this to another thousand trees. He uses this measurement to determine the amount of wood contained in the tree, so it can be sold for the wood content. For convenience and speed, he measures the diameter at the height of his chest. Diameter breast high (DBH) is the term used for this height. A tree diameter tape has a hook at the beginning, so the user can attach it to the bark, walk around the tree, and have the tape meet the zero mark. He reads the number on the tape, which is the diameter in inches.

An oilfield worker doesn’t need a hook on the end of his diameter tape measure.

Oil Valves and Pipe Diameter Tape Measures
Oil Valves and Pipe Diameter Tapes

He just cleans off the pipeline and wraps the tape around it. The answer is shown on the tape where it lines up to the zero mark. It’s important to him because he needs to know how much oil or gas the pipe can carry. Also, if a fitting needs replaced or modified, he needs to order the right size. Diameter tapes are a vital part of the oil and gas business.

Diameter Tape Measures: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Lufkin Pipe Diameter Tape Measures
Lufkin Pipe Diameter Tape Measure

THE GOOD:

  • They make quick work out of finding the outside diameter of a pipeline.
  • The pocket size version easily fits in your pocket, and is ready when you are.
  • The hard metal case protects the tape, and preserves it for a long life.
  • Most of them come in an attractive gift box.
  • Your full color logo looks great on the side of a diameter tape measure.

THE BAD:

  • They ain’t cheap (and they ain’t too expensive either)
  • They walk away when someone else thinks they need them more than you do.
  • The production time is 2 to 3 weeks, with your logo.

THE UGLY:

  • When you need a metric diameter tape, and all you have is an inch one.
  • When the tape goes up to 38 inches in diameter, and your pipeline is bigger than that.

    My New Pipe Diameter Tape
    The Ugly Side of Diameter Tapes

 

 

 

 

Pipe Diameter Tape Measure CONTEST for Pi Day 2022

 

Pipe diameter tape measure on National Pi Day
National Pi Day in the USA (Monday March 14, 2022)

What does a pipe diameter tape measure have to do with Pi Day? It’s a tape that you wrap around a pipe (the circumference), and it reads out the diameter for you. You don’t need to divide by pi (3.14159). It’s a simple but amazing tool for those that work with pipelines in oilfields and gas fields. Even arborists use them to measure the diameter of a tree trunk.

What does a “pie” have to do with this? 2 reasons. First, the two words sound the same. Second, pies are round, which is the appropriate shape when you are comparing circumferences and diameters.

So, enjoy the day by eating your favorite pie.

And now for the CONTEST:

What famous scientist was born on Pi Day?

The first person that leaves a comment here, with the correct name, will receive a FREE Diameter Tape in the mail. (Continental US only). Don’t leave your address, for security reasons. I’ll contact you privately for that information.

Latest News on the Lufkin Diameter Tape Measure Shortage

Lufkin Diameter Tape Measures are In Sight.
Lufkin Diameter Tape Measures are In Sight.

Since December 1, 2021, the Lufkin Diameter Tape Measure has disappeared from all retail shelves. Why? I am guessing it is because of the widespread supply chain issues. Every industry has been affected by this problem in 2021. The procurement of steel has been a problem, according to “Cheddar News” on October 18, 2021. The price of steel has also gone up.

The good news is here:

We expect to receive inventory of the Lufkin Diameter Tape Measure in April 2022. We plan to fill the back orders that have piled up since December soon. There are Chinese diameter tapes available now, but many customers would rather wait for the beloved Lufkin tapes.

Lufkin Diameter Tape Measure
Lufkin Diameter Tape Measure

Diameter Tape Measure for “Safe Toys and Gifts Month”

December is National “Safe Toys and Gifts Month”. It’s time to focus on safety when you buy gifts for your friends and relatives. One of the safest tools for young and old is the diameter tape measure. I know, who needs one. Don’t laugh,

Lufkin Pipe Diameter Tape Measure
Lufkin Pipe Diameter Tape Measure

because more people than you think, can use a diameter tape measure in their daily activities. Here is a short list:

  • Auto mechanics
  • Boat mechanics
  • Tree survey people
  • Plumbers
  • HVAC workers
  • Electricians

So, why is it a safe tool?

  1. There are no parts small enough to choke on.
  2. It has no harmful chemical additives.
  3. It does not emit harmful radiation.

So next time you are looking for a safe gift for your auto mechanic or electrician, consider a diameter tape measure.

Diameter Tape Measures Salute “World Standards Day”

Lufkin Pipe Diameter Tape Measure
Lufkin Pipe Diameter Tape Measure

Today is International “World Standards Day”. We salute the experts around the world to take on the tasks of standardizing our calendars, clocks, volume measurements, and even Diameter tape measures. They provide for the efficient manufacturing and functioning of our planet. The metric system of CGS (centimeter, gram, second) and MKS (meter, kilogram, second) is the one used by all scientists and the residents of most countries. The Imperial system (inch, pound, second) is used in America, along with the metric system. Many of the packages in America use both systems.

Diameter tape measures are still made for each system, out of necessity. So, there are “2 standards”. Although most users prefer the metric system, a few Americans prefer the inch system. Even the “inch” diameter tape has 2 alternatives.

  • Diameter in 100ths of an inch. This one is used more than the next one. It’s also easier to read, without having to convert to a fraction system. This one is strictly decimal. This makes the results easier to use in your other computations.
  • Diameter in 64ths of an inch. This tape reads how many 64th of an inch the diameter is, if not precisely an even inch. You have to figure in your head that 48 64ths is really 3/4. And 56 64ths is really 7/8.

 

Pipe Diameter Tape Measures Are Popular During National Construction Appreciation Week

Using a Pipe Diameter Tape Measure
Using a Pipe Diameter Tape Measure

The 3rd full week in September was “National Construction Appreciation Week” in the USA. It’s not a very old week. It was instigated in 2018 by “I Build America”, which was started in 2016. Mike Rydin, the CEO of HCSS came up with the idea to call attention to all the people who help build this great country. I’m sure many of them have used pipe diameter tape measures in their work. Plumbers and electricians are the most likely tradesmen that use them. Without a doubt, Lufkin makes the best diameter tapes.

Lufkin Pipe Diameter Tape Measures
Lufkin Pipe Diameter Tape Measures

Answers to the Top 10 Questions Asked About Diameter Tape Measures

Questions About Diameter Tapes Measures
Questions About Diameter Tapes Measures

Top 10 Questions:

  1. How long are they?
  2. Do I have to calculate the diameter, or does the tape tell me the diameter?
  3. Are the tapes traceable to the National Bureau of Standards?
  4. How big of a pipe can they measure?
  5. How soon can I have them?
  6. Can you put our full color logo on them
  7. What kind of an art file do you need?
  8. How accurate are they?
  9. Where are they made?
  10. Do you repair them?

Here are my concise answers about the diameter tape measures..

  1. Most of the pocket diameter tapes are 6 feet long. But the length isn’t really what they are all about. They are not designed to measure length. They measure diameter by wrapping them around the pipe circumference. See answer 4 for a more specific answer.
  2. These tools make it easy for you. You wrap them around the pipe and read off the diameter.
  3. These are pocket tapes. Their size makes them convenient, but they are not traceable to the NBS.
  4. They can measure up to 23 inch diameter pipes. Some go as high as 38 inches in diameter.
  5. Production time is about 3 weeks after you approve a proof.
  6. Yes.
  7. Vector art is the best for this process. That means an eps or ai file are recommended. If you have other types of art, we can convert them.
  8. The inch ones are calibrated to 100ths of an inch, 64ths of an inch, or to one millimeter.
  9. Pi-Cobra tapes are made in China. The Lufkin ones are currently made in Mexico. All are imprinted in the USA.
  10. Sorry, we don’t repair them.

How to Choose the Right Pipe Diameter Tape Measure

Why do you need to choose a diameter tape, anyway? Because you want a quick and easy way to take a tape measure out of your pocket and find the diameter of a pipe or other round object. The best pipe diameter tape measure for your job can be solved by asking these questions:

  • Metric or inch, or both? Some tapes are marked in any of these 3 different scales.

    Lufkin Y906PD pipe diameter tape measure, not Barlow W906PD Lufkin Diameter Tape

  • How big is the pipe? Some tapes stop at 24 inch diameter. Some go to 38 inches.

    Pi-Cobra Diameter Tape, Inches T217-6654 Pi-Cobra Diameter Tape, Inches T217-6654

  • Does a brand name matter? Lufkin tools have made a name for themselves. Pi-Cobra tapes are made in China, but they are less expensive, and longer.
  • What accuracy do you need? The pocket sized ones are quick and convenient. They are accurate to 0.01 inch. If you need a highly accurate one, check out Pi Tape. They cost about 10 times as much, and they can’t fit in your pocket. But here is their accuracy: Pi Tape metric tapes have a diameter accuracy of ± 0,03 mm up to 3 600 millimeters. Pi Tape inch tapes have a diameter accuracy of ± 0,001″ up to 144 inches.
PI Tape 24" to 48" Range Periphery Tape Measure - 57-065-856PI Tape 24" to 48" Range Periphery Tape Measure - 57-065-856
PI Tape 24″ to 48″ Range Periphery Tape Measure ‑ 57‑065‑856

 

Pipe Diameter Tape Measures Are Made For All Users

The United States never did switch over to the metric system, as it was planned in the 1960’s and 1970’s. Yes, metric went over like a lead balloon. Americans are happy with inches, feet, gallons, and yards. The centimeter, liter and meter were mostly rejected. Both systems are used today in 2021 in labeling food products and liquids, but we Americans have learned to skim over those parts of the label that don’t fit into our familiar system.

The scientific community is firmly based on the MKS and CGS systems (meter, kilogram, second) and (centimeter, gram, second). The biggest part of the world is metric-based also.

Fortunately, pipe diameter tape measures are made for both systems, separately, and there is even one that is made with the inch and metric system together. The front side of the tape is in diameter inches (up to 38). The back side is in diameter millimeters (up to 955). This is a rare tool, but some companies need both measurements to satisfy their requirements.

Pi-Cobra Diameter Tape, Metric & Inch Pi-Cobra Diameter Tape, Metric & Inch