While being one of the most basic standard imperial units of measurements, gauging what an inch looks like by eye is actually quite challenging. However, you would have an easier time figuring how long 1 inch is by using everyday objects as references.
In this brief guide, I will cover 9 objects that are exactly or close to 1 inch in length.
In the United States, there are six coin denominations currently in circulation. The quarter is one of the most widely used coins, which is probably due to the popularity of laundromats. So, if you have a US quarter lying around, you can use it to measure 1 inch in length.
To be precise, the exact length of a quarter is 0.955 inches. However, that is closer to the 1-inch mark than the half-dollar and dollar coins, which measure 1.205 inches and 1.043 inches in diameter, respectively. Alternatively, you can use a nickel, which is just 0.165 inches shy of reaching the 1-inch length.
½ AA Battery
Batteries come in all shapes and sizes. The size of the battery will usually determine what sort of electronic it will power. After all, the more power density it will have. When it comes to battery sizes, the AA battery is one of the more popular types due since it can power anything from remote controls to smoke detectors.
AA batteries measure 4.8 centimeters in height. Since 2.54 centimeters equals 1 inch, that means roughly half the height of an AA battery will get you pretty close to 1 inch. In reality, dividing the height of an AA battery would get you 0.945 centimeters.
If you work in an office or have to deal with tons of paper documents, then you probably have at least one paperclip on hand. A paperclip is a piece of stationery used to keep multiple sheets of paper together. On average, the typical paperclip will hold ten sheets of paper together.
Speaking of the typical paperclip, it will usually measure almost precisely 1 inch from top to bottom. However, there are larger and smaller paperclips that you can use to keep fewer or greater sheets of paper from going missing.
If you live somewhere in the northern part of the US, then you’ve probably been exposed to hockey sometime during your youth. For those whose kids play hockey regularly, try looking for a hockey puck in the garage. You can use its height as a simple measuring tool.
Game-approved hockey pucks should measure precisely 1 inch thick. However, the state of your hockey puck will determine its exact thickness since, over the course of hundreds of hits, the puck may have become damaged or possibly warped in shape. You can also use the thickness of a hockey stick’s handle, which should measure 1 to 1.5 inches.
2/3 Ping Pong Ball
Ping pong is a popular sport that both professionals and amateurs can enjoy. Many offices provide ping pong tables for their employees to enjoy during their break, but you can also find them in large university dormitories. Before you begin playing a ping pong match, you will need to prepare the hollow ball.
A ping pong ball will measure 38 millimeters in width or about 1.496 inches. If you were to imagine dividing the ball into thirds, 2/3 of its width would get you pretty close to an inch in diameter. Alternatively, you can imagine using the lines on a ping pong table as they should measure between 2 and 3 centimeters thick.
1/3 BIC Lighter
Whether you smoke or are a hardcore backyard barbecue dad, you will need to keep a BIC lighter with you at all times. BIC lights are easy to use, readily available almost everywhere, and they can be safely disposed of after the lighter fluid has run out.
A BIC lighter will measure roughly 3.25 inches long. If you can imagine dividing the lighter into thirds height-wise, one of those portions will get you pretty close to 1 inch. As an added bonus, did you know that a standard BIC lighter can be good for up to 3,000 lights?
Skittles is one of those candies that we were excited to receive every Halloween. However, if you’re an adult, you can enjoy the fun-time candy anytime you like and without sharing it with anyone. Have you ever thought about the dimensions of a single Skittles candy?
Apparently, a Skittles candy will measure 0.4 inches or just shy of half an inch in diameter. All you need to do is take two Skittles candies and place them side by side to get a measurement that’s incredibly close to 1 inch.
½ Width of Soda Can
Soda cans come in all kinds of sizes, depending on where you come from. In the United States, the “standard” 12-fluid-ounce soda can will measure 2.6 inches in width. However, if you were to take a “slim” soda can and measure its width, you would get a figure of 2.25 inches.
In either case, you would have to divide the can in half lengthwise to get a total width of around 1 inch. If you only have a bottle of Coke, you can use the plastic bottle cap as a reference since it measures around 2.743 centimeters or 1.08 inches.
½ Fun-Size Snickers
The be frank, there is nothing “fun” about fun-size Snickers bars. The joy of Snickers is eating it, and how much fun can you get when the candy isn’t even its original size? A standard Snickers bar will measure around 4 inches long, but for the sake of finding a reference for 1 inch, you should use fun-size Snickers instead.
A fun-size Snickers candy bar will measure just shy of 2 inches. That means you could eat half the bar and still be left with about 1 inch of chocolate and caramel goodness. This is the same for almost all kinds of chocolate candy bars, including MilkyWays and 3 Musketeers.