How to Read a Metric Scale


The metric system is exclusively used around the world as a system of measurement. The United States is the only country currently using the standard system. Learning the metric system takes a little time but becomes easier the more you practice.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure or ruler
  • Calculator
  • Scale
  • Measure out about 3 1/4 feet (3.28). This is 1 meter. The meter is the basis of all length in the metric system. Instead of complicated figures in the U.S. Standard system, the metric system allows for easy conversion to larger distances. For example, 1,000m equals 1 kilometer (about .62 of a mile); 100m equals a hectometer (328 feet); and 10m is a dekameter (32.8 feet).

  • Measure about 1 quart (1.057) and you have 1 liter. The liter is the basic measurement of capacity, commonly used for liquids. Ten liters is a dekaliter (about 2.64 gallons); 100l is a kiloleter (about 264 gallons).

  • Weigh an object approximately 2 1/4 lbs. (2.20). This weight is a kilogram, which consists of 1,000g. The gram is the basis of measurement of weight in the metric system, much like the pound or the ounce is in the U.S. Standard system.

Tips & Warnings

  • Everything in the metric scale is focused on multiples of 10s, rather than the varying calculations used in the standard system.
  • Learn the scale from scratch to avoid comparing the figures to the standard system.

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