A List of Measuring Instruments

Graduated cylinders measure the volume of a liquid.
••• cylinder image by Hubert from Fotolia.com

Measurement is an important part of science, construction, art, design and a wide array of other professional fields. There are hundreds of measurement tools. Each measuring instrument serves a specific purpose for the person who is using it. There are a few measuring instruments that are more commonly seen than others.

Rulers, Yardsticks and Meter Sticks

Rulers are used to measure length, as are meter sticks and yardsticks. Rulers are used extensively in design labs and classrooms, while meter and yardsticks are more commonly used for construction purposes. A ruler measures in inches and is twelve inches long. A yardstick measures feet, inches and yards and is three feet long, while a meter stick measures meters, centimeters and millimeters and is one hundred centimeters long.

Beakers, Graduated Cylinders, and Cups

Beakers, graduated cylinders and measuring cups are used to measure the volume of a liquid. Measuring cups are most traditionally found in the kitchen as a way to measure ingredients, while beakers and graduated cylinders are usually found in a science lab. While measuring cups use measurements like tablespoons, teaspoons and cups, beakers and graduated cylinders use the metric system and measure in milliliters and liters.

Scales and Balances

Scales and balances are used for yet another kind of measurement -- the measurement of an object’s weight. Balances usually have two suspended baskets. On one side, a person places the object he or she wishes to measure. On the other side, weighted cubes are added until the two sides of the balance sit evenly. However much weight has been placed on the measurement side is how much the object weighs. Scales operate in a similar manner but do not require weight to be added and simply make the calculation through internal software or sliding weights.