What To Use a Micrometer For

21st Jun 2021

What To Use a Micrometer For

If you’re new to machining, then you may not know what a micrometer is. You will certainly learn soon enough, as a micrometer is an essential tool for any machinist or mechanical engineer.

You’ll need your micrometer for just about every project that you undertake. That’s why it’s critical to understand what micrometers are, the various functions that they offer, and how to use them effectively.

At Penn Tool Co., it’s a company mission to provide comprehensive answers to all of the questions that customers have about the tools we provide. In this guide, our precision instruments experts reveal how micrometer calipers can boost accuracy in your shop.

What Would You Use a Micrometer to Measure?

Indicating Micrometer, 0 - 1" Range - 51-551-0

You can use micrometers for:

  • Measuring the thickness of sheets of paper
  • Measuring the length of nails and screws to make sure they fit your workpiece
  • Determining the diameter of a tiny hole
  • Measuring the depth of a slot in a workpiece
  • Determining the thickness of a wire that you intend to use in your project
  • Measuring anything tiny enough to fit in between the anvil and the spindle

How to Use a Micrometer

To use your micrometer effectively:

  1. Hold the Micrometer Correctly
  2. Take a Measurement
  3. Read the Measurement

1. Hold the Micrometer Correctly

With your dominant hand, grasp the thimble of your micrometer between your index finger and your thumb. Wrap your ring finger or pinky through the C-frame, with the C-frame resting in your palm.

2. Take a Measurement

Pinch the workpiece between the anvil and the spindle of your micrometer. Twist the ratchet so that that workpiece doesn’t fall if unsupported, but will easily slip away if you pull on it. One or two clicks should suffice.

3. Read the Measurement

Look at the spindle lines and determine which ones align with the datum line. This is your measurement.

Understanding Micrometers: What is the Micrometer’s Purpose?

A micrometer is a precision measuring instrument for making accurate measurements of linear sides on a workpiece. A micrometer is one of the most commonly used measuring tools ever made and is the most efficient measuring tool for workers.

You’ll use a micrometer to make exact measurements of tiny objects. This tool consists of an anvil and a spindle.

You place the tiny object between the anvil and spindle, and then you can make precise measurements. Micrometers often feature adjustable anvils so that you can measure small things that vary in thickness.

Why are Micrometers Important?

Micrometers are vital for making tiny measurements, which are necessary for most projects. Utilizing this tool correctly limits unnecessary costs, avoids waste, while also improving a workers’ analytical, and spatial skills.

Learning exactly how to use a micrometer is necessary for all machinists.

Some might be confused by the many different micrometers out there, but simply put, they measure linear dimensions on an object. It has a rigid c-shaped frame, one side is fixed and the other is mobile.

Even the simplest workpieces will have smaller parts and components. Therefore, machinists must learn more than how to read it, but how to hold it carefully ensuring accurate measurements.

Micrometers come in different shapes and sizes based on their use. This tool can easily be used to measure squares and flat surfaces; however, it can be a bit more tedious with oddly shaped figures.

How Do I Choose the Right Micrometer for My Machine Shop?

While determining which micrometer to buy, consider the project that you’re working on and the goals you must achieve. Each micrometer is used for specific purposes, so think about what measurements you’re looking for, and that will provide you the right answer to which tool to use.

What are the Most Common Types of Micrometer Calipers?

Starrett Inside Micrometer Calipers

There are several different types of micrometers available to machinists. A few of the most common types include:

  • Outside Micrometers are the most commonly used. These determine an object’s thickness by measuring the distance between two exterior points on rounded or square-like materials.
  • Inside Micrometers measure the distance within an object, or its diameter. Note that the measurement on the sleeve increases as the sleeve expands.
  • Depth Micrometers measure the depth holes and slots. Note that measurements increase as the rod extends deeper.
  • Bore Micrometers measure holes that don’t have a circular cross-section.
  • Tube Micrometers accurately measure the thickness of a tube.

As you can see, each type of micrometer has a different purpose. Understanding these differences is vital for choosing the right micrometer for your operations.

A well-prepared machinist keeps all kinds of micrometers in their equipment box.

Boost Your Precision with a Micrometer from Penn Tool Co.

At Penn Tool Co., we want to be your number one source for understanding your tools. For more help finding the best micrometers for boosting precision in your operations, reach out to our team today.