Meters in The USA

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Forum topic by BustedClock posted 07-20-2013 07:50 PM 763 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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128 posts in 2551 days

07-20-2013 07:50 PM

Topic tags/keywords: metric inch millimeter sae measure measurement question

I suppose I’m just contrary—and I’ve owned a lot of foreign cars—but I really prefer working in the metric system. Over the last couple of years, however, I’ve developed an interest in woodworking with hand-tools. And, whereas lumber is measured almost exclusively in SAE units in the USA, I can pretty much get any hand-tool I want in metric dimensions. So, what’s the downside of thinking metric in the US?

Of course, for downloaded plans, I’ll have to convert everything to it’s nearest metric equivalent. That could get tedious for complex plans. Also, cut-lists for those plans are optimized for standard USA wood sizes, so I might expect a little more waste. On the other hand, measuring to the millimeter is a lot easier than trying to measure to 1/32 of an inch for my tired eyes.

What do you all think?



-- Hey, I'm usually right twice a day! Except where they use 24 hour clocks.

2 replies so far

View Bob Kassmeyer's profile

Bob Kassmeyer

223 posts in 2954 days

#1 posted 07-20-2013 08:10 PM

I don’t think it makes any difference what you use. What ever system you are most comfortable with is what is best. I never use plans except what I produce myself so I guess it does not matter. I use SAE units but know what you mean about the eyes, they are getting bad. Use what ever you are comfortable with.

-- Bob Kassmeyer, Nebraska

View BJODay's profile


526 posts in 1972 days

#2 posted 07-22-2013 01:52 AM


I used to work in the printing industry. We worked in inches and picas, (12 points to a pica, 6 picas to an inch). Our company purchased a scanner made in Germany. It forced us to use the metric system. It is much easier to use. I have not tried woodworking in metric. I believe it would be better but it would have to be all or nothing.


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