A tape measure can solve basically one problem….How long is the item? But a pipe diameter tape measure can solve a short list of problems for you.
What is the outside diameter (OD) of that pipeline, without having to cut into it. You don’t even have to divide by pi.
What is the diameter of a tree trunk.
What is the accurate diameter of a tire.
What is the diameter of a beach ball, when fully inflated.
Even if the pipe is distorted, and the cross sectional diameter would be different in different directions, you can do it. The pipe diameter tape measure can tell you what the diameter would be, if it weren’t distorted. That’s because the measurement is based on the circumference. The tape automatically divides by pi (3.14159) for you.
Keep it clean. If you keep sand and dirt from inhabiting your tape, it will look good longer and last longer.
Line it up straight on the pipe. If you put the tape on a little crooked, you will get an erroneously high reading.
Clean the pipe. This makes sure that surface contaminants aren’t interfering with your measurement.
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.
Put your name on it. Valuable and handy tools have a way of walking away.
Buy only the best pipe diameter tape measure. Lufkin is a trusted brand name.
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.
Diameter tape measures are made for wrapping around pipes and poles, to find the diameter. That’s a good enough reason to keep one in your tool box, garage, and vehicle. But there’s one feature that no one talks about, until now….
The other side of the diameter tape measure is a regular tape measure, in inches or centimeters. It measures length, not diameter. So, even though it is a special tape, it is also a handy every day tape, too. Lufkin, and the other manufacturers, thought of everything when they designed these handy pocket tapes. Everyone should have one or two.
Pi Day is March 14. This year you can help celebrate by answering the question at the bottom.
Pi is the constant ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, no matter what size the circle is. This is useful knowledge when you work with water pipes or oil or gas pipelines, and you need to replace part of it. You can measure the circumference and divide by pi. But there’s an easier way to do that.
Let a Lufkin Diameter tape measure do it for you. You just wrap it around the pipe, and read the diameter. Mathematicians call pi an irrational number, since it goes on for an infinite number of decimal places, but using a diameter tape is a very rational and easy way to find the diameter of a pipe. To see a little video on How to measure the diameter of a pipe, just click here.
If you fix your car, boat, or furnace pipes or plumbing at home, you need this pipe diameter tape measure. Do you ever need to replace a heater hose on your car. How about the water intake hose on your boat? Before you remove the old one, you can use this tape to make sure you buy the right size.
How do you use it?
Just wrap it around the hose or pipe, and read off the “outside diameter”.
Then take this figure with you to the store, measure the new pipe or hose, to make sure it matches up.
Careful, they name hoses by their “inside diameter”, but you are shopping according to the “outside diameter. Your diameter tape will assure you are getting the right size.
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.
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.
If you have to find the length of a pipe, that’s easy. But what about the outside diameter of a pipe? What if you can’t just measure the diameter at the end? What if the pipe doesn’t have its ends exposed. It is part of a piping system, or a pipeline. How can you fine the OD, or outside diameter?