How to Read a Micrometer

So, you want to learn how to read a micrometer.  What’s the first step?  If you’re just starting out, you may find that reading a micrometer can be tricky.  I remember it took me a while to catch on.  However, once you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to record accurate and precise measurements in no time.

By the end of this article, you’ll learn the correct way to take a measurement.  You’ll also be able to read a standard micrometer, as well as a digital micrometer.  If you have any additional questions, feel free to contact us!

Let’s get started.

Learn the different parts of your micrometer

If this is your first time using a micrometer, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with the different parts.  Each micrometer can be broke up into the following parts:

  • Body
  • Spindel
  • Anvil
  • Thimble Lock
  • Stock
  • Thimble Scale
  • Thimble
  • Ratchet Stop

Position the material

Carefully place the material between the anvil and spindle.  Pay attention to the placement of the material.   Turn the thimble until it the anvil is about to make contact with the material.

Turn the ratchet

Gently place your fingers on the ratchet and turn.  This makes sure the anvil and spindle are flat against the object.


Listen for the clicks

Once the material is secure between the anvil and spindle

Check material

Set lock

If your micrometer is equipped with a thimble lock, now is the time to set it.  This locks in your measurement reading.  If you happen to bump your micrometer at anytime, your measurement should still be intact.

Remove Material

Carefully remove the material from the micrometer.  If you are measuring something small, you can slide the material away from your micrometer.  If you are measuring something larger, it may be easier to pull the micrometer away instead.

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