Micrometer must be new to some but it has been long used to measure different objects. It’s a metal type of a measuring tool that can be easily used once you get used to it.

If you want to learn how to use a micrometer, here’s a quick guide on how to use it the right way.

The Purpose of a Micrometer

The micrometer aims to precisely measure an object by taking the measurements of the object’s space, mainly the anvil and spindle. The anvil face is where the hard stop is while the spindle is the one that has a movable cylinder tube.

This measuring tool has a total of 8 components and out of the 8, only one which is the spindle, moves. The following components are the following:

  • Anvil face – This is where the flat surface is located which serves as the reference
  • Spindle and spindle face – Responsible for measuring the object which faces flat on the cylinder
  • Lock nut – From the name itself, it aims to stop the spindle from moving by locking it.
  • Sleeve – This is the scale of the measuring tool with the purpose to identify measurements of an object by having the spindle to move and get exact measurements.
  • Thimble – It acts as a rotator that leads the bolt in a backward or forward motion.
  • Ratchet – It acts like a neutralizer aiming to avoid the spindle to squeeze the object too much.
  • Frame – It’s the area where you can hold the micrometer while measuring an object.

How to use it?

  1. Holding the micrometer properly
  • Hold the frame of the micrometer by using your dominant hand. If you’re left-handed, that means your left and if right-handed then your right.
  • Grab the thimble using your index and thumb fingers, putting enough support to hold it comfortably.
  • Then, have the C-shape frame of the micrometer lay on top of your palm.
  • By using your ring finger or pinky, whichever you’re comfortable, let it hold the frame from the inside.
  • Lastly, use the other hand to hold and measure the object.
  1. Learn to read the micrometer scale
  • Notice on the sleeve of the micrometer that there’s a scale being engraved. These numbers engraved on the scale will signify the distance of the spindle from the anvil.
  • The scale starts at zero which is located at the anvil, all of which are engraved using the English metric unit.
  • Note that the spindle also has a measurement for the object’s circumference. The spindle will turn and will provide the object’s exact datum line.
  • To read the exact measurement, you need to check the spindle’s line if it matches where the datum line is. That’s the exact measurement you’re looking for the object.
  1. Taking the measurements
  • Take the object you need to measure and have it inserted in between the anvil and spindle.
  • Then, you need to turn the ratchet until you hear a sound which is a click at least once or twice. The sound signifies that the object was held by the anvil and spindle just right, not too tight or loose.
  • Test again the object if it’s tight enough and doesn’t fall from the micrometer. If it’s too loose or tight, it will create problems with your measurements later on.
  • To be sure that it’s really tight, you can have the lock nut to stop the spindle from moving and create better support with the object.
  1. Analyze and interpret the measurements
  • You will need to record a total of three measurement datas: the biggest number in the datum line, the total number the datum lines’ dashes which starts from the last big number until the spindle and the number of the spindle that lines up with the datum line.
  • Double check all the three measurements before recording. Then, have all the three numbers be added to come up with the final measurement of the object.
  • It only needs a little bit of math to come up with the final number. That’s the reason why it matters to get the precise measurement first from the three measurements.

Perhaps this guide has helped you to start using your micrometer effectively when measuring objects.