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Measurement accuracy: In short, it’s all about precision!

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When it comes to yardsticks, the CE mark is the measure of all things, rather than the accuracy class! Find out why two differently wide scales can both provide accurate measurements and which ones are not recommended here!

Briefly explained: CE mark & Accuracy class

The accuracy class is determined by the material and how it may change under certain conditions and influences. For example, metal folding rulers may be affected by heat, while wood can be affected by water.

However, anyone can print a few millimeter marks on a wooden strip. To ensure that this is standardized and correct, the CE mark is used. The CE marking indicates that the manufacturer, distributor, or EU authorized representative declares, in accordance with EU Regulation 765/2008, that the product meets the applicable requirements.

Conclusion: Pay attention to the CE mark. For common craftsmanship, especially for short lengths, the wooden folding ruler remains the right choice for the future. For crafts that require more precision or work in humid environments, the BAUMA plastic yardsticks or the RBM 650 tape measure are recommended!

Further explanation of accuracy class

The accuracy class of a measuring instrument defines the maximum expected deviation of a measured value from the true value of the physical quantity being measured, taking into account the deviation caused by the measuring instrument itself. On one hand, a measuring instrument cannot be precisely adjusted, and on the other hand, its characteristics may change due to external influences (such as heat, water, pressure, etc.). Classifying a measuring instrument into an accuracy class provides a quality characteristic that indicates the extent to which these causes may lead to a measurement deviation.

The accuracy class represents the expected deviation due to expected changes in material properties. If you permanently immerse a wooden folding ruler in water, it will eventually swell.

What accuracy classes exist for yardsticks?

Regarding the question “What is a folding ruler accuracy class?” there are three answers. The European Directive 2014/32/EU specifies three accuracy classes for length measuring instruments:

Accuracy class 3 – Wood, plastic

This category mainly includes wooden folding rulers. The measurement tolerance is 1.4 millimeters over a 2-meter folding ruler length.

Accuracy class 2 – Aluminum or special plastic

Many metal folding rulers or tape measures fall into this category. The measurement tolerance is reduced to a maximum of 0.7 millimeters over a 2-meter folding ruler length.

Accuracy Class 1 – Laser (more commonly used for larger lengths/distances)

The permitted measurement tolerance for Class 1 is only a maximum of 0.3 millimeters over a 2-meter folding ruler length. This level of accuracy is achieved only by metal measuring instruments and handheld lasers, both available separately at our online shop.

Two yardsticks of different lengths. Which one measures accurately? BOTH! Do all yardsticks measure accurately? NO!

If you place two different models of folding rulers from different manufacturers/suppliers next to each other, it may happen that when folded, one model appears longer or shorter than the other, even though both are labeled as 2 meters. One might assume that one of the folding rulers is “not measuring correctly” because one is longer and the other is shorter. However, this assumption hides a small misconception! But let’s start from the beginning:

When is a folding ruler considered a measuring instrument?

It is important that a folding ruler is considered a designated measuring instrument only when it has a CE marking on the scale.

However, the length of the individual segments of a folding ruler, which together add up to the stated 2 meters, has nothing to do with the measurement accuracy.

What determines the length?

The total length of a folding ruler is determined by the length of the strips, the joints, fittings, and end caps.

What matters and what is allowed?

The crucial factor for measurement accuracy is the scale on the folding ruler. The legal tolerance for scales on folding rulers is +/- 1.4 mm over 2 meters. Thus, it may happen that a folding ruler falls more within the negative range (-1.4 mm) of the tolerance or more within the positive range (+1.4 mm). However, this does not mean that the folding ruler is too short or too long, but rather that the legal tolerance is fully utilized in the negative or positive range.

Remember: All wooden folding rulers that meet the legal tolerances measure correctly according to the Directive 2014/32/EU in accuracy class III, while folding rulers that fall outside the tolerances do not provide valid measurements according to EU regulations.

Promoting and measuring with yardsticks

In addition to promotional printing on folding rulers, certain informative markings can be found on each yardstick.

At the beginning of the scale, you can find the following information:

  • Length indication in a rectangular field (usually 2 meters)
  • Accuracy class in Roman numerals
  • Type and manufacturer or distributor designation (manufacturer is not always the same as the distributor)
  • CE marking (guarantees compliance with Directive 2014/32/EU)
  • Metrology marking MXX (indicates the year of distribution of the folding rulers

Also, pay attention to the unit of measurement: Do you need a metric scale in centimeters or inch scales for measurements in inches?

Yardsticks as precise promotional items

Folding rulers are promotional items with a practical function, combining maximum precision with effective advertising.

Measurement tools from the German manufacturer Bauer Massstabfabrik (BAUMA) are excellent choices for use as advertising media. They offer high-quality quality, accurate functionality, and eye-catching advertising space.

The versatile applications of these measuring tools make them attractive promotional products with a wide range of possible uses.

Video: Have you heard of Bauer Massstabfabrik?

Bauer Massstabfabrik specializes in manufacturing high-quality, individually designed measuring tools under the motto “Made in Germany.” Our product range includes various items such as image prints on brightly lacquered meter sticks, tape measures, utility knives, and spirit levels.


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Do you need yardsticks or other measuring tools?

We are happy to provide you with non-binding and free advice. Contact us through the contact form or call us at +49(0)868289850.

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