Old-school Rule

Starrett 414 Ruler Review

I recently bought myself this Starrett 414 ruler on a whim. Maybe I was smitten by its name: “English Pattern Utility Rule.” Just sounds 18th century, doesn’t it? I also liked the hardware store wooden yardstick-style hash marks. Rulers divided into 64ths or 50ths may be impressive in their accuracy, but to me those sorts of marks are just one gray blur. In my shop, I measure to 16ths and rarely finer.

Often is the case that I purchase a tool (new or old) only to be disappointed later. This tool has continued to please. Both sides are deeply stamped with 8ths and 16ths. The marks are so deep, I can “catch” them with my marking gauge pin, enabling me to set my gauge quickly and accurately. (Recall that before I bought this, I often used chisels to set my gauge to a dimension.) Even the hang hole is a welcome feature.

I’ve never much thought about rulers before. Now I can see there is something about Starrett’s hash marks that are particularly easy to read. Lines parallel to the edge and the greatly varying heights of hash marks help you read this ruler even if you mislaid your glasses. Starrett makes longer versions of this as well.

I think this ruler is wonderfully functional for its length, and the hash marks easy to see without my glasses. I love the old-school feel of it as well.

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