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Starrett Rules - Finishes and Markings

Starrett makes several dozen different types of rules but essentially it boils down to 6 lengths and different markings of the scales. They also offer the rules in two finishes (illustrated).

Satin chrome and regular finish rules compared
  • Top: Starrett no-glare satin chrome finish - a fabulous matte chome surface with easy to read, crisp engraved numbers (top).
  • Bottom: Standard finish - easy to read, crisp engraved numbers (bottom)..


Lately I've been partial to the matte chrome finish, it's more expensive but but it does look better. However for years I have used the regular finish and both are very readable.

Starrett makes rules in 6 lengths for their combination squares. So we will stick to rules that fit the squares.

Important: Their builders squares, double squares, and junior and large combination squares use a different size rule.

The 4" and 6" squares which are included in this wizard also have a slightly narrower blade so you cannot buy an extra, longer blade for them.

By far the most popular rule is the 12" . I think this is because this is the best general size. However if you carcass work or anything wider than a foot an 18" rule will be very handy. But it's ungainly for joinery and things like. The longest rule they sell (as an accessory) is 36" long. That's long. I would suggest either starting out with the 12" rule and adding later or get the 18" and 6" rule.

Rule sizes
4" 6" (150mm) 12" (300mm) 18" 24" (600mm) 36" (accessory only

Rules are marked in a variety of scales. the regular 4R is the most common. For smaller work, especially in model making, the 16R with it's decimal inches can be very handy. There is also a metric only and a metric inch rule option. One of the great things about Starrett is that even the fine markings are very easy to read.

Code Scales
Inch only
4R 8ths, 16ths, Quick- Reading 32nds and 64ths
16R Quick- Reading 32nds and 64ths. Aircraft Quick reading 50th and 100ths.
Metric only
M mm and 1/2mm both sides
Metric - Inch combination
ME 1/2mm and 1/32nd one side. mm and 64ths reverse side