How to Read a Metric Micrometer

A micrometer is used to take very precise measurements.

There are different kinds (inside, outside, depth, inch), just look it up on Wikipedia. But here I have a metric one. This one measures to the nearest .01 mm. It says so right here (click the picture for a better view….

Metric Micrometer

You use a micrometer by turning the knurled parts (the “grippy” ones).  If a micrometer does not turn freely don’t force it.  Look for a lock, it might be locked.

micrometer lock

As you turn the knurls, the measuring parts open up. These are called the spindle and the anvil. The spindle moves, the anvil does not. When you tighten down on the thing you are measuring, only use the “clicky” part (ratchet sound) on the very end. This makes the measuring force consistent and it keeps you from ruining your mic. Let’s take a close look at what is called the barrel scale. You will notice there are two sets of marks and a line. The marks above the line are millimeters; the marks below the line are half millimeters.

micrometer BARREL SCALE

You read this scale by looking at the edge of the part that turns. This part is called the thimble let’s stop here a minute and be sure you are with me. What do you think the barrel scale is showing in the drawing below?

micrometer barrel scale reading

Go to the next page to see the answer…

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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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