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


Who Makes Diameter Tape Measures?

Lufkin Pipe Diameter Measuring Tape
Lufkin Pipe Diameter Measuring Tape

There are 4 main manufacturers of diameter tape measures.

  1. Lufkin® has a world-wide reputation for making high quality tape measures. They used to make them in the USA, but they have shifted the production facilities to Mexico. Some of the tapes are made out of a cast case, which is highly polished and chrome plated, like the w906pd. Others, like the w606pd have a stamped case, which is shiny and chrome plated.  A third type of case is black plastic, like the asw616pd. However, the tape blade inside is the same in all 3 types of cases. It is capable of measuring diameters up to 23 inches.
  2. Pi-Cobra is a brand name for diameter tapes made with

    Pi-Cobra Diameter Tape, Metric Pi-Cobra Diameter Tape, Metric

    a cast case which is chrome plated. It can hold a longer tape blade, capable of measuring diameters up to 38 inches. The case is very durable. These are manufactured in China.

  3. 24inch-od-tape

    Various other Chinese manufacturers make versatile OD tapes like the 416-04-024-P. The back side of the tape measures diameter up to 24″ in 100ths of an inch or 610 mm. The case is plastic, and has a key ring attached to it.

  4. The UT-56675 is made in the USA. It is capable of
    diameter-tapes-com UT-56675

    measuring pipes up to 45 inches in diameter. This is a belt tape, not a pocket tape. The calibrations are in tenths of an inch diameter.


The Mystery of Pipe Diameter Tape Measure Codes

Mystery of Diameter Tape Codes
Mystery of Diameter Tape Codes

Lufkin pipe diameter tape measure products are available with different scales. To find the right tape for your needs, here is how to read the codes that are embedded in the SKU numbers.

  • “P” means that it is a “pi” tape, also known as a diameter tape.

Examples are w606p, w906pd, w606pm, asw616pd, w606pd, w906p.

  • “D” means that it measures in tenths of an inch. If the “D” were missing, it would measure in 64ths of an inch.

Examples are w906pd, asw616pd, w606pd.

  • “M” means that it measures in metric scale.

An example is w606pm.

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The popular Barlow Chrome Tape Measure number 20217. Why this product? The Barlow tape is a household word in many USA homes. The Barlow brand has a proud history of quality. Simplicity in design makes for a long lasting product life. The dual scale, metric and inch, make it popular in any country. The smooth compact design makes it a great tape to keep in your pocket. Your company logo can easily be laser engraved on the front and back.

20217_Z.jpg 20217 Barlow Chrome Tape Measure

How To Choose The Correct Pipe Diameter Tape Measure

Diameter Tapes
Diameter Tapes

Answer these questions for yourself, and you will get the right pipe diameter tape measure!

  1. Metric or Imperial (Inch). Which do you need in your job? There are also 2 tapes that have BOTH metric and inch diameter scales. If the SKU number has a “m” in it, that means it is a metric scale.

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

    24inch-od-tape3.jpg Diameter-Tapes.com 24″ OD Tape Measure, Metric & Inch

  2. 64ths or 100ths? This question applies only if you need the Inch version of a pipe diameter tape. If you are in the oil and gas industry, you probably prefer the 100ths calibration. If you are in the boat or automotive industries in the USA, you would probably prefer the 64ths of an inch calibration. If the SKU number has a “d” in it, this means it is calibrated in 100ths of an inch.
  3. Size. The Lufkin models of the pocket diameter tapes will measure pipe diameters up to 23 inches. The Pi-Cobra models will measure pipe diameters up to 38 inches.

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

    Pi-Cobra Diameter Tape, Inches Pi-Cobra Diameter Tape, Inches