Many different tools are used to measure length. Some everyday length-measuring tools include tape measures, rulers, and yardsticks, which most people have heard of. Other length-measuring tools are more specialized, for example, caliper gauges, woodworking squares, and micrometers.

This article focuses on micrometers. Continue reading to find out what they are and what they measure.

Also known as a micrometer screw gauge, a micrometer is a measuring device that takes extremely accurate measurements.

Micrometers are used by machinists, mechanical engineers, and anyone wishing to take precise measurements of small objects. Micrometers are also used in microscopes to measure microscopic objects and in telescopes to measure astronomical objects.

A micrometer is a caliper with an anvil and a spindle connected to a calibrated screw. The object to be measured is placed between the anvil and the spindle.

Micrometers are usually composed of the following parts:

Micrometers can take either metric or imperial measurements in millimeters or inches. Some models can even take measurements in units of one micrometer. One micrometer is equal to 0.001 millimeters, or roughly 0.000039 inches.

There are many types of micrometers that differ depending on the object that’s being measured. Each type will have a specialized anvil and spindle designed for a particular task. For example, the anvil could be flat, a screw thread, rounded, or ‘V’ Shaped.

Analog or dial micrometers are the most widely used, as they don’t rely on batteries. However, digital micrometers are becoming more popular as they have an LCD display that gives readings in a digital format, making them easier to use. 

Micrometers fall under three primary categories: 

Outside micrometers are the most common, with inside and depth micrometers used in more specialized scenarios.

Some of the most common types of micrometers are:

Micrometers are operated differently depending on the type you are using. However, to give you an idea, here’s how you would normally use an outside micrometer:

As mentioned, some micrometers can give measurements in units of one micrometer. With that in mind, here’s how micrometers can be converted into more commonly used units of measurement:

Dial calipers, vernier calipers, and digital calipers are similar to micrometers in that they are used to take precise measurements. However, micrometers are more accurate.

Micrometers are measuring tools that are used to take precise measurements of very small objects, allowing for a greater degree of accuracy than devices like dial calipers. They are used by mechanical technicians, including machinists and mechanical engineers.