Counting how many markings short of a complete inch a particular length is can be used to read a 1/32 tape measure. If a length is 8 marks on a 1/32 tape measure, it is 8/32 inches, which can be lowered to 1/4 inch.
A 1/32 tape measure has the advantage of being able to provide far more precise measurements. The drawback is that it can be more difficult to read and requires a basic understanding of how to simplify fractions; for example, knowing that 16/32 equals 8/16, 4/8, and finally 1/2. A 1/32 tape measure is excellent for measuring stairs since even if stair risers are off by 1/16 of an inch, this inaccuracy is compounded across the number of steps and makes the entire stairway overly tall or short.
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