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The Best Ruler - 2021

Last updated on December 23, 2020
Best Ruler

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Our Picks For The Top Rulers

Show Contents
Our Take
  Our Top Pick

Westcott Stainless Steel Cork Base Ruler, 12-Inch

Westcott

Stainless Steel Cork Base Ruler, 12-Inch

Overall Take

Durable OptionThis 12-inch steel ruler allows for precise measurements and won't bend or warp during use.

  Best Triangular

Arteza Triangular Architect Scale Ruler, 12-Inch

Arteza

Triangular Architect Scale Ruler, 12-Inch

Overall Take

Great for Architecture and EngineeringDesigned for architecture and engineering uses, this ruler offers good accuracy and great flexibility with many Imperial scales.

  Best For Kids

BAZIC Jeweltones Color Ruler, 12-Inch, 4-Pack

BAZIC

Jeweltones Color Ruler, 12-Inch, 4-Pack

Overall Take

Great for School UseIf you're looking for fun yet functional rulers for school use, this set of four rulers will handle the job and offer extras in case one gets lost.

  Best Basic

Fiskars 01-005358 Wooden Ruler, 12-Inch

Fiskars

01-005358 Wooden Ruler, 12-Inch

Overall Take

Standard Wooden OptionThis high-quality desk ruler has a timeless wooden look and will fit most needs for your family.

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Guide written by Ashley Donohoe
Last updated on December 23, 2020

Whether you need it for your work, studies or everyday home use, having a good ruler comes in handy. You’ll most often use your ruler to make sure that you get the right measurements for something you’re making, purchasing or calculating. But at the same time, you can use the ruler’s straight edge to get an even line for cutting materials and even drawing.

When shopping for a ruler, the most common version you’ll find is the plain rectangular ruler that measures 12 inches long. This type is likely the most familiar to you since they’re used in schools and everyday life often. Also known as a desk ruler, this measurement tool will usually have one edge with measurements in inches and the other edge with measurements in centimeters.

You can find desk rulers in various colors, designs and materials. Some will be made of plain brown wood, while others will be made of plastic, sturdy metal or even a flexible material so that you can bend it around objects. Some plastic desk rulers are transparent.

While a standard desk ruler will work for many household purposes, you might need something with more measurement scales if you’re doing home improvement work or planning architectural projects. This especially becomes true when you need very precise measurements or need to make scaled drawings.

For construction and architectural purposes, you can find triangular architect rulers that give you three sides and are 12 inches long. Each side will provide two scales for the most flexibility. You can sometimes also find standard stick rulers that use special scales for the same purpose if you don’t need the wide variety a triangular architect ruler provides.

The Best Rulers

1
  Our Top Pick

Westcott Stainless Steel Cork Base Ruler, 12-Inch

If you're looking for a basic office ruler, this steel option will withstand heavy use. It comes with a cork backing to prevent slips and is flexible enough to curve slightly.

Features


Specifications

Brand
Westcott
Model
2
  Best Triangular

Arteza Triangular Architect Scale Ruler, 12-Inch

Whether you're an architecture student or need multiple scales for construction work, this aluminum ruler has six scales and three sides with plenty of options. The colored grooves make it easy to tell which side you're using.

Features


Specifications

Brand
Arteza
Model
3
  Best For Kids

BAZIC Jeweltones Color Ruler, 12-Inch, 4-Pack

Being transparent and coming in fun colors, this pack of four plastic rulers will serve students well. Each ruler has special holes for use inside a three-ringed binder.

Features


Specifications

Brand
BAZIC
Model
4
  Best Basic

Fiskars 01-005358 Wooden Ruler, 12-Inch

Suitable for work, home and school, this 12-inch wooden ruler offers durability and quality. The ruler's edge is plastic rather than metal to be safer for children.

Features


Specifications

Brand
Fiskars
Model

Our Ruler Buying Guide

Whether you need it for your work, studies or everyday home use, having a good ruler comes in handy. You’ll most often use your ruler to make sure that you get the right measurements for something you’re making, purchasing or calculating. But at the same time, you can use the ruler’s straight edge to get an even line for cutting materials and even drawing.

When shopping for a ruler, the most common version you’ll find is the plain rectangular ruler that measures 12 inches long. This type is likely the most familiar to you since they’re used in schools and everyday life often. Also known as a desk ruler, this measurement tool will usually have one edge with measurements in inches and the other edge with measurements in centimeters.

You can find desk rulers in various colors, designs and materials. Some will be made of plain brown wood, while others will be made of plastic, sturdy metal or even a flexible material so that you can bend it around objects. Some plastic desk rulers are transparent.

While a standard desk ruler will work for many household purposes, you might need something with more measurement scales if you’re doing home improvement work or planning architectural projects. This especially becomes true when you need very precise measurements or need to make scaled drawings.

For construction and architectural purposes, you can find triangular architect rulers that give you three sides and are 12 inches long. Each side will provide two scales for the most flexibility. You can sometimes also find standard stick rulers that use special scales for the same purpose if you don’t need the wide variety a triangular architect ruler provides.

DWYM Fun Fact

Check out these interesting facts about rulers and measurements throughout history:

  • Around 5,000 years ago when people didn’t yet have rulers, feet and hands would serve their purpose. In fact, that’s how the unit “foot” came into use since it referenced the body part being used for measurement, even though the measurement varied from now.
  • Ancient rulers have been around since 2650 B.C.E and were made out of materials like ivory and copper.
  • While flexible rulers might sound like a very modern invention, a man named Frank G. Hunt patented one back in the early 1900s. It was unique in that it actually was made of steel and lacked scales, so it served more of a purpose for drawing than measuring.

The Ruler Tips and Advice

  • When buying a desk ruler, opting for a transparent plastic one offers advantages due to the visibility underneath. This is especially helpful for students who need to measure objects from a textbook.
  • If you want the most sturdy type of ruler that will last and not get destroyed easily if you use it with cutting tools, then consider a metal ruler. Although they can take more work to find and tend to cost more than the plastic and wooden alternatives, you’ll likely find it convenient not to have to replace the ruler often even with heavy use.
  • In situations where you need a ruler that can act more like a flexible tape measure, look for one made of flexible plastic since these can twist and withstand being bent around objects. You can pair this with a standard inflexible ruler for general household use.
  • When measuring with your ruler, it helps to mark your measurements with a pencil rather than a marker or pen so that you don’t leave any permanent marks on the ruler.
  • While checking with a ruler can help you determine if you’ve got a straight line, consider using a level as well, especially if you’re installing something permanent in your home.

About The Author

Avatar
Ashley Donohoe 

Ashley Donohoe is an Ohio-based writer and small business owner with a background in business, technology and personal finance. When she's not researching and writing, she spends her time playing piano, making crafts and learning new things. She has 10 years of experience writing for various online publications.