Using a Pipe Diameter Tape Measure Is a No-Brainer

If you have a pipeline and need to find the OD (outside diameter) it makes sense to use a pipe diameter tape measure. Even a chimp could be trained to use one. (I think). All you do is

My New Pipe Diameter Tape Measure
My New Pipe Diameter Tape
  1. Wrap the tape around the pipe.
  2. Read the marking where the zero mark touches the tape.
  3. Even though the tape is wrapped around the circumference, it is marked by a factor of pi, so it gives you the diameter.
  4. You’re done.

Now it’s time to enjoy the rest of the day in the shade.

The Diameter Tape Measure You Didn’t Know You Needed

Diameter Tape Measures
Diameter Tape Measures

Lufkin and Pi-Cobra are the two main brands of diameter tape measures that we carry. If you’re a regular user of these unique and useful tape measures, you know their special skill: measuring the diameter of pipes or other cylindrical items.

Which is your favorite to use?

Lufkin Pipe Diameter Tape Measure W606PD
Lufkin Pipe Diameter Tape Measure W606PD
Lufkin Pipe Diameter Tape Measure
Lufkin Pipe Diameter Tape Measure
Pi-Cobra Diameter Tape Measure- Metric & Inch
Pi-Cobra Diameter Tape Measure- Metric & Inch

Let’s Give The Diameter Tape Measure A Bit of Attention Today

A Diameter Tape Measure Will Take Your Mind Off The News
A Diameter Tape Measure Will Take Your Mind Off The News

I bet this week is going to be a doozie, so I think I might just unplug the TV and not read the news online either. I need a detox from all of the social and political unrest that is consuming the news headlines daily.

So let’s completely change the topic and talk about the diameter tape measure!

What are the best features of these specialty tape measures?

  • Obviously, they measure an object’s diameter
  • Can be wrapped around a tree stump, pipe, pole, etc
  • Available in both imperial and metric measurements
  • Can be engraved with your company’s logo
Lufkin Pipe Diameter Tape Measure W606PD
Lufkin Pipe Diameter Tape Measure W606PD
Lufkin Pipe Diameter Tape Measure
Lufkin Pipe Diameter Tape Measure

The Diameter Tape Measure: A Calculator Without Batteries

Diameter Tape Measure Does The Calculating For You
A Diameter Tape Measure Does The Calculating For You

Why do we call the diameter tape measure a calculator? Because when you wrap it around the circumference of a pipe or a post, it “calculates” the outside diameter instantaneously. It’s a calculator that never slows down because it doesn’t use batteries. The special scale is in inches or millimeters, and it is stretched out by the factor of pi (3.14159). That’s how it does it for you.

Diameter Tape Measure Does The Calculating For You
There’s No Need to Divide By pi

 

 

Ask Me Anything: 10 Answers About the Diameter Tape Measure

The select few people that need to use a diameter tape measure have questions before they order. Here are the top 10:

10 Answers About the Diameter Tape Measure
10 Answers About the Diameter Tape Measure
  1. How soon can we have them? 2 to 3 weeks is the production time.
  2. Can you print our logo in full color? Yes.
  3. What kind of art file do you need?  .eps and .ai files are the best art files. If you don’t have those, just give us a high resolution art file, and we can convert it.
  4. Will the imprint last forever? Yes
  5. Where is it made? The vinyl labels are made in the USA, and the tapes are made in Mexico or China.
  6. Is the case strong? Yes. It is very strong.
  7. Is the zero mark at the very end of the tape? The zero mark on a diameter tape needs to be away from the end, for easy use.
  8. Can you print on both sides of the case? Yes, but only on some brands.
  9. How big of a pipe can you measure? That depends on the brand of tape. Some are 23″. Some go as high as 38″ diameter.
  10. Does it come in a gift box? Yes. Each brand has a different type of box.

7 Diameter Tape Measure Tips For the Pros

If you are already a user of a diameter tape measure, these tips are for you.

Tips on Using a Diameter Tape Measure
Tips on Using a Diameter Tape Measure
  1. Keep it clean. If you keep sand and dirt from inhabiting your tape, it will look good longer and last longer.
  2. Line it up straight on the pipe. If you put the tape on a little crooked, you will get an erroneously high reading.
  3. Clean the pipe. This makes sure that surface contaminants aren’t interfering with your measurement.
  4. Use a felt tip marker to mark common measurements directly on the tape. Don’t be a hero. This tip will make your job easier.
  5. Put your name on it. Valuable and handy tools have a way of walking away.
  6. Buy only the best pipe diameter tape measure. Lufkin is a trusted brand name.
  7. Keep one in every location that you work (and leave it there). I keep one in the office, my shop, my tool box, and in all my vehicles and boat. A diameter tape doesn’t measure only diameters. The other side is a regular inch tape (or metric tape). So it comes in handy many times.

Please post your own tips in the comments here. I’d be interested in what you come up with. Thanks.

What Is A Diameter Tape Measure?

Diameter Tape Measure
Diameter Tape Measure

Good question, because most people don’t have any use for one. A diameter tape measure is a measuring tape whose scale is stretched out by a factor of pi. This allows you to wrap it around a round object, such as a pipeline or tree trunk, and read its diameter directly on the scale. You don’t need to divide by 3.14159.

Here are some other names that people call these tapes:

  • pi tapes
  • circumference tapes (a misnomer)
  • pipe tapes
  • Lufkin pi tapes
  • OD tapes
  • outside diameter tapes
  • pi-Cobra tapes
  • pie tapes

How Would You Survive Without Your Pipe Diameter Tape Measure?

A New Use for a Pipe Diameter Tape Measure
A New Use for a Pipe Diameter Tape Measure

Your pipe diameter tape measure is probably the most valuable and simplest tool in your toolbox. It will tell you the outside diameter of a pipeline (or your arm) when you wrap it around the circumference. What if you lost your pipe tape? How would you measure the diameter of a pipe or any round object?

  • Use a regular tape measure, if it is flexible enough to wrap around the pipe. A carpenter’s tape is made to stay stiff, so it won’t work in this case. Since the end hook won’t let you lay the zero mark against the pipe, you would have to start at the 1 or 2 inch mark. Read the circumference and divide by 3.14159. That’s a lot of trouble.
  • Use an expensive caliper, transfer the reading to a measuring tape, perhaps, then divide by pi. That’s a clumsy way of doing it.
  • Get a real expensive micrometer. Since they have a narrow range of measuring (1 inch), it would have to be a certain size to begin with. Then measure the diameter directly. Reading the markings on a micrometer is not the easiest thing to do. You have to read the shaft measurement, then add the tumbler measurement to it.

So, hang on to your pipe diameter tape measure and it will save you a lot of trouble.

3 Mysteries of the Diameter Tape Measure

Mysteries of the Diameter Tape Measure
Mysteries of the Diameter Tape Measure

The diameter tape measure easily figures the diameter of a pipe or pipeline. All you have to do is wrap it around the pipe, and read off the diameter. Here are its mysteries..

    1. Why is the “zero” mark not at the beginning of the tape? It is a couple inches away from the beginning of the tape.
    2. Why does the end of the tape have a “loop” instead of a “hook”?
    3. Why are some calibrated in 100ths of an inch, and some in 64ths of an inch, and some in millimeters?

     

ANSWERS:

  1. By having the zero mark away from the beginning of the tape, you can easily line up the other part of the tape to the zero mark.
  2. Since zero is not at the end of the tape, there is no need to have a hook there. What is helpful, is to have a metal loop to hold onto, when wrapping the tape around the pipe.
  3. Different strokes for different folks. Automotive repair people prefer the 64ths of an inch calibration. Oilfield people prefer the 100ths of an inch version. And of course, some people use the metric system of measurement.