Outside Micrometer: This type of micrometer is designed for measuring the outside of objects—the outside diameter (OD). They look and move much like a C-clamp, which opens and closes by turning an internal screw. In a micrometer, the object you wish to measure is clamped between the anvil (the stationary end of the clamp) and the spindle (the moving part of the clamp). Once the object is secured in the clamp, you use the numbering system on the thimble (the handle portion) to find your measurement.
Inside Micrometer: While the outside micrometer is used for measuring the outer diameter of an object, the inside micrometer is used to measure the inside, or inside diameter (ID). These look more like a pen, but with a thimble in the middle that turns. As the thimble turns, the micrometer expands like a curtain rod would. This then extends until each end of the tool is touching the inside of the pipe. When this happens, you use the numbering system on the thimble to find your measurement.
Depth Micrometers: While inside and outside micrometers are both used to measure the diameter of an object or hole, a depth micrometer is for measuring the depth of a hole, recess or slot. Depth micrometers have a base that aligns with the top of the recess that needs to be measured. The thimble is on a shaft that sticks up from the base. As the thimble turns, a measurement rod comes down from the shaft. You continue to turn until the rod hits the bottom surface of the hole being measured. When this happens you use the numbering system on the thimble to find your measurement.
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