What’s an inside micrometer?

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Inside micrometers accurately measure inside diameters and distances. There are various models, including tube and gauge micrometers, with both standard and digital options available. Sets with varying lengths of tubes can measure a range of inside diameters and surfaces.

An inside micrometer is a device designed to accurately measure things like the inside diameter of holes. Where a standard micrometer could be used to measure the outside diameter of a bolt, an inside micrometer could be used to measure the inside diameter of a nut. There are several models for the inside micrometer, although they all serve the same basic function. All micrometers are designed to take very precise measurements, but the micrometers themselves can be small or quite large. Each inside micrometer will have both a minimum and maximum diameter that it is capable of measuring, so it is common to find sets of inside micrometers.

There are several models of internal micrometers, although the most common are the tube and gauge micrometers. A tube inside micrometer consists of a cylindrical tube that can be placed in the inside diameter of a hole or ring to accurately determine the diameter, or between two parallel surfaces to measure the distance between them. Once the tube micrometer is in place, there is usually a way to extend the tube until it contacts both sides of the inside diameter of whatever is being measured. Gauge-type micrometers generally have a fixed and a movable gauge mounted on a tube, with the ability to adjust the movable gauge along the length of the tube to take a measurement.

Both standard and digital internal micrometers are available, both relying on a screw-in mechanism to display highly accurate readings. Standard micrometers can be read by examining the markings on the micrometer barrel and thimble, as very small distances are represented by greatly magnified swing distances when turning the thimble. Digital micrometers work the same way as standard micrometers, but will have a digital readout on the barrel which eliminates the need to examine the barrel and thimble for scale and distance markings.

The unique feature of inside micrometers is their ability to not only measure small diameters and other distances very accurately, but also measure very large diameters and distances accurately. To this end, inside micrometers can be found in many sizes. There are also sets that include a single measuring head and a number of tubes of varying lengths that can be attached to the head. This type of set can be used to measure a wide variety of inside diameters and various parallel surfaces without the need for multiple micrometers.

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