What does the black diamond on a measuring tape mean?

Unless you use a measuring tape daily, you may have never even noticed those small diamond-shaped details on the top scale. And, even if you have, we bet that you only have the best guess as to what they might mean. That’s why we’re going to set the record straight regarding these unique features. Hint: They’re not just cute, they’re also super helpful!

Here’s a video of YouTuber Tom Hintz, he set the record straight on why these shapes have been included on the tape, and how to best use them to your advantage.

Now, there are several different types of markers on a standard spool of measuring tape. And, unless you’re a professional, you probably haven’t had too much use for them yet. Nevertheless, we think that some of these markings can be really beneficial, especially if you are working on a more heavy-duty DIY project.

Small black diamond on measuring tape

On measuring tapes, one can find a small black diamond on the inch scale of the tape at 19.2 inches. And these marks will appear again for every 19.2 inches. In other words, the first black diamond is at 19.2”. And after that, they appear at 38.4”, 57.6”, 76.8” and 96”, or 8-feet. They are for truss layouts for 8-foot sheet goods, therefore they are also known as the “black truss” markings, which provide a quick visual for the tape user and speed up the measuring process.
If you divide 5 into 96 inches (8 feet) gives 19.2 inches, which yields five trusses per sheet. The black diamonds on the tape measure represent that spacing.

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