Being able to take measurements without using a ruler or tape measure is a useful skill to have because there are often times when you need to understand a measurement when there isn’t a measuring tool nearby.
However, if you know the length of some common everyday items, then you can turn almost anything into a measuring tool.
Knowing the dimensions of items can also help you to visualize how big the size of something is. For example, if your hairstylist suggests they take 4 inches off the length of your hair, are you sure how much hair that would actually be?
Here we will look at a variety of items that are 4 inches long and ways you can create 4-inch measurements with common objects.
4 Paper Clips
Small paper clips measure one inch in length, so if you have a pack handy, then you can measure any small length in inches by lining up paper clips in a row, end to end.
To get a measurement of four inches, you would need four small paper clips, but you could measure any length so long as you had enough paper clips.
Be sure to keep the paper clips in a straight line to get the most accurate measurement. If you only have the larger size of paper clips, then these can work too.
Large office paper clips measure two inches in length, so you could use two of these to get a four-inch length. You could also use large paper clips to measure any length of inches that are divisible by two.
A Credit Card
Credit cards and debit cards are a standard size so that they can fit into card and cash machines all over the world. Wherever you are traveling, you are likely to find that you can use your credit or debit card, so long as the vendor accepts card payments because these are a universal size.
The dimensions of a credit card are 3 and a half inches in length and 2 inches in width. If you want to get a rough idea of how long 4 inches is, then you just need to visualize a credit card’s length and add a little extra.
If you are after a more accurate measurement, then you can use two credit cards, utilizing the width measurements. As the width of a credit card measures 2 inches, you could lay out two credit cards, one beneath the other, to get an exact 4-inch measurement.
A Popsicle Stick
Popsicle sticks used for frozen desserts are a good tool to measure approximately 4 inches with because they have a standard size of just over 4 inches in length.
The average popsicle stick measures 4.45 inches, so these aren’t ideal for measuring exact lengths, but they are good for mental visualization if you want to get an idea in your head of what 4 inches would roughly look like.
A Toilet Paper Roll
Toilet paper rolls are a standard size that is very close to 4 inches, making these an unusual yet handy measuring tool. The exact length of a toilet paper roll is 3.7 inches, so they are just shy of the target length of 4 inches.
They are very useful, though, because most people have access to a toilet paper roll, so if you are really struggling to figure out what 4 inches would look like, then simply head to a bathroom.
You could also line up toilet paper rolls if you wanted to measure a longer length divisible by 4, such as 8 inches, 12 inches, and 16 inches.
A quarter, or a 25 cent piece, is a coin that has a diameter measurement of one inch. This makes it an ideal tool for measuring distances if you don’t have a proper measuring device such as a ruler or tape measure.
With a selection of quarters, you could measure any amount of inches. To make our goal length of 4 inches, you would just need to line up 4 quarters in a straight row.
2 Golf Tees
Golf tees measure around 2 inches in length, so if you have a few golf tees to hand, then you can use two of these lined in a row to create a measurement of around 4 inches.
If you have more golf tees, you could continue lining them up to create any length that is divisible by 2, such as 6 inches, 8 inches, 10 inches, and so on.
An Average Hand
The width of an average person’s hand is 4 inches. To measure the width of your hand, you can go from the knuckle of your forefinger across to the knuckle of your pinky or measure right across the palm of your hand at its widest point, but not including the thumb.
If you are known to have small hands or large hands, then you won’t be the best candidate for using hands as a comparison for a 4-inch measurement, and instead, maybe you could borrow the hand of a family member or friend who is nearby.
The best way to judge if a person will have average-sized hands is to base this on their height. People of average height, which is around 5 and a half feet, will have average-sized hands. You can also use thumbs to measure lengths if you find this easier.
The average person’s thumb is one inch long, so you could move your thumb along the edge of an item to measure distances in multiples of an inch. For 4 inches, just repeat the size of your thumbs length four times over.
A Business Envelope
A business envelope measures 4 inches wide and 8 inches long. This means if you want to get an accurate 4-inch measurement, just look at the smallest edge of a business envelope or fold the envelope in half and you will have a perfect square that measures 4 inches along each side.