Video: Measuring Corner to Corner

tape measure, pencil, mechanical pencil, tool belt, pencil sharpener

Let’s add another trick to your tool pouch. Hi. This is Nathan Harrison for

Don’t you hate it when you have to make a measurement like this – from a corner into another corner? Those are just tough. Now, if we could measure it from here out to this edge, that’s easy and fun with a tape measure. But in this case, we have to measure corner to corner.

I actually had to make this measurement today to build a cabinet to go in this spot, so it had to be extremely accurate.

Here’s the hard way to do it. You stick the tape in one corner, bring it to the other corner, and then bend it. So that what you see in the corner is something like this. Now, I’ve gotten pretty good at reading a bend like this, but I can never say for sure that’s its going to be accurate to more than a 1/16th or maybe even 1/8th.

And, frankly, doing this to your tape measure is really not good for it. The further you force it into that corner, the tighter the radius of the turn, and the more likely that it will break at some point.

So, wouldn’t it be great if we had a really accurate way of getting a reading without even needing to do this tape bending move? Well, we do. Here’s how you do it.

Without bending the tape measure, measure out from one corner. Get a real sharp pencil, or a mechanical pencil as you see here. Now, you can’t tell here because the camera is not looking straight at the tape, but I have made a pencil mark here on the wall at exactly 20.” I picked 20 because it is convenient; it’s a big round number that’s going to be very easy to add. Make sure you make a very clean, accurate mark.

Now, simply turn the tape around and stick the zero, or the tip of the tape in the opposite corner and measure to your mark. Let’s see, this is 14 and 1/16″. Add 20 to that…and you have 34 and 1/16th”. Piece of cake.