How to Read a Metric Micrometer

If you said 12 mm, you were right! Let’s try another one to be sure you’ve got it.  Remember, you can click the picture to get a better view.

micrometer barrel scale reading 2

do you see 14mm?  Good.  Let’s move on.  Remember that the barrel scale shows both whole and half millimeters? Take a look at the reading below to see if you understand how that works.

Metric Micrometer Half MM

Did you say 11.5?  See how there is a half mark showing?  Great! You’ve got the barrel scale down.

Remember that we said this micrometer would measure down to the nearest 1/100 the of a millimeter?  We can do this because of the thimble scale.  The thimble scale has fifty marks around it.  It also opens or closes the spindle by one-half millimeter each time it turns around.  This means that each mark on the thimble scale equals 0.01 millimeters (that’s tiny!).  Here is how it looks…

Metric Micrometer resolution

The best way to use the thimble scale is to remember that each mark represents two digits (the tenths and hundredths places).  So look at a number like five as 0.05 , and ten as 0.10. This thimble scale above is reading 0.00   See how the zero lines up with the horizontal line on the barrel?  You read the thimble scale at this line.

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15 Responses

  1. Bisola says:

    Do you have any practice sheets for reading a micrometer? (Your videos and reading a vernier caliper and micrometer were very helpful by the way)

  2. Anindya Mondal says:

    Quite good explanation & is very useful. Better if that were more .

  3. Abdu says:

    Like it a lot , hope you can add a practice sheers soon

  4. BITTY says:


  5. Anzdanial says:

    Helped a lot!!

  6. Hasim Rawther says:

    Excellent site giving learning tutorials in the simple way.
    God bless you

  7. Annie Bemford says:

    Thank you very much this has helped a lot

  8. Alina Valentina Penca says:

    Veeery useful! tHANK YOU!

  9. Pranav P Patil says:

    Sir, can you provide us practice sheets? It will be helpful for us.

  10. Kathryn says:

    Very helpful in preparing for the Certified Quality Technician exam! Thank you!

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