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What additional features can rules have?

What additional features can rules have?

Shop for Rules

Rulers come in various forms with different features A number of additional features can be incorporated into the design of rules.

Hanging hole

Some rules have a hole at the end so they can be hung up Some rules have a hole in the end for hanging them up safely, out of the way, but where they can easily be found.

Pocket clip

Some rules and rulers have clips that can attach the rule to a pocket to make it easy to carry Pocket clips are usually found on smaller rules – those which are around 150mm (6″) long. They are used to attach the rule to a pocket. This may be a useful feature if rules needs to be used frequently as they will be easy to access. Sometimes, the pocket clip will also act as a hook end on the rule.

Hook ends

Some rules and rulers have a hook on the end Some rules have a hook on the end, which can be used to grip an edge for accurate measurements. The hooks are especially useful if it’s difficult to see if the end of the rule is lining up with the measuring edge. The hook can also be moved up and down an edge to take parallel measurements. Rules with larger hooked ends are sometimes called T-rules and the hooks may be called T-bars.
The hook ot t-bar at the end of some rules can be used to but against an edge to be measured Variations include adjustable hooks which can be made longer to grip an edge easier, or shorter so they are out of the way. Some hooks are variable and can be moved along the rule’s length, so different sections of the rule can hook onto an edge. You can also get reversible hooks, which can be removed or reversed, so you can hook from either side of the rule.

Tapered end and narrow rules

Tapered rules and narrow rulers can measure inside small gaps Some rules are particularly narrow, which allows them to fit tighter spaces than standard rules. Other rules may have tapered edges to allow them to measure inside small spaces.

Non-slip backing

Some rules have non-slip backing to prevent them moving around when they're being used Some rules, especially safety ones, have a non-slip backing on the opposite side to the gradation marks. These are usually made from a thin sheet of rubber or cork. They should prevent the rule from slipping when being held against a surface.

Bend profile

A bend rule or bent ruler can rest on the corner edge of a surface Bend rules have a profile which is shaped like a right-angled ‘V’. These rules are shaped so they can rest on the edge of a surface to take measurements from the top and side the same time.

Marking holes

Marking rules have holes on the gradation marks for accurate measuring Some rules – usually called ‘marking rules’ – have holes carved into them. These are very small holes which are placed on specific gradation marks. Precision marking rules contain holes which mark their smallest gradations; standard marking rules will usually have holes placed at standard distances apart, such as every centimetre.
Rule which have marking holes in them can be used like a compass to draw curves and circles The holes should give greater accuracy when marking a surface for measurement. They can also enable the rule to be used as a compass. One hole can be used to secure a centre point for drawing a circle; another hole, a specific distance away, can be used with a drawing tool and spun around to create an accurate curve or circle.

Other features rules can have

Rulers can have many different features Sometimes you will find rules which have other additions to their design. Many of these features are not so common on rules but are often found on rulers.
If a ruler has a spirit level built into it you can make sure it's parallel with ground level

Spirit levels

Some rules include a spirit level, which helps to ensure the rule is level when being used. Rules with spirit levels may also be called levelling rules.

Some rules have templates for different shapes cut into them


Some rules, especially those designed for craft work, may include templates for drawing different shapes, not just straight lines. These can include rules with shaped edges, as well as rules with template shapes cut out of them.

Some rulers have a built in calculator or digital clock

Calculators and clocks

Some desk rules feature digital additions such as a calculator, clock, or both. Having a calculator on the rule prevents the need for a separate device when making more difficult calculations.

Rulers can have various other pieces of measuring equipment built into them for taking measurements other than length

Other measurement gauges

Some rule designs include various gauges for taking different measurements. Some of the gauges that may be attached to rules include drill sizes, depth gauges, knitting needle sizes, angles, and bevel measurements. Attachments which can be used to take some of these measurements include protractors, set squares and gauge holes.

Tools that can incorporate rules

Rules come with many different variations Some other tools or pieces of equipment incorporate a rule in their design, such as:
Many of the multi-tool available have a ruler attachment for taking small measurements


Some of the general purpose multi-tools include a rule. This can be the edge of a flat tool or a small rule strip which can be pulled out of the tool.

You can get pens which have rule gradations on them


There are pens available which include a rule down the side of them. Although you won’t be able to use the rule and the pen at the same time, they can be handy for quick, estimate measuring.

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