Micrometer, what is it and how to buy it?

November 2, 2021

In the world of mechanics, jewelry and other branches, there are many tools that you can use to measure various types of parts and of various sizes. Of course, they are very useful when carrying out a specific job.

In this post I will talk about the micrometer, an essential tool to carry out measurements of parts with characteristics different from many. Read on so you know a little more about it.

What is the micrometer?

The micrometer is a tool used to measure lengths of various objects or parts with great precision. It is also known as a palmer or Palmer screw, as it is through a micrometric screw that will allow you to perform its function; that’s where it gets its name.

What differentiates it from other meters is that through this you can calculate the size of an element on a scale of the order of hundredths or it can also be thousandths of millimeters (0.01 mm and 0.001 mm, in each case).

How does a micrometer work?

Generally speaking, the micrometer is composed of a cylinder that remains fixed regulated in millimeters, on which an outer cylinder or also called a drum slides , whose regulation allows to establish the resolution of the instrument.

The mechanism of this tool basically focuses on the screw-nut mixing system. It is based on the run of the screw above the nut, which will determine the pitch that occurs between the threads of both.

Thus, when you turn the screw on the nut, the rotational slip will equal the pitch of the screw. Subsequently, there is a joint between the fixed stop with the piece to be measured; which is adjusted using pressure, so that the reading can finally be generated.

Parts of a micrometer

Basically, they all consist of the following parts:

Zero adjustment screw

As its name implies, its main function is to adjust the zero error of the instrument, it is done before the test measurement, that is, it refers to the zero calibration.


It is an important element of the micrometer, whose role is to act as a clamping element , formed by a tiny part of cylindrical shape, located on the side farthest from the C-frame, in a fixed way.


It is the variable part of the piece, which is connected with a ratchet, that while turning the ratchet to one side or the other, this piece slides in or out, so that in this way it can be adjusted according to the size of the object being measured.

Marco C.

It has a C shape, as its name indicates. The fundamental role of this part of the micrometer is to provide a basic structure of the instrument as such, in which the fixed anvil is located on one side, and the movable bone moves outwards or inwards through the other end. of frame C.

Through this rigorous piece, both ends allow the subject to be measured. This varies according to the level of measurement that the micrometer provides to the object; that is, as this level increases, the size of Frame C increases.

Anvil and bone face

Together, these elements that are opposed to each other, act as the measuring point of the micrometer, and are in charge of holding the object simultaneously.

Lock nut

This nut works as a fixed part so that the entire micrometer mechanism is carried out, allowing to control the work of the spindle .


It consists of a cylindrical segment that is located above the axis, providing the main graduation of the micrometer. The thimble is responsible for rotating around the spindle and sleeve. Through this piece is that the reading made by the micrometer will be displayed.


Like the previous one, it is also located on the axis, allowing it to be engraved around the circumference of the thimble.


Through this part it is possible to rotate the spindle in the required direction, to execute the measurement process. The work carried out by this piece prevents the micrometer from tightening the object to be measured excessively; as well as ensuring that the force imparted is the same in all measurements.

Types of micrometer

According to the measurement they make

Inside micrometer

These are used to measure the diameter of a hole and other measurements, which, as its name indicates, measure the internal part of the piece, exceeding 50mm.

Outside micrometer

They are generally used in large industries. This type has an anvil structure that can vary between dimensions and shapes, according to the levels of measurements that could be made.

Among the elements that you could measure with this type of micrometer are blocks, wires, among others. As its name implies, it will allow you to know the measurements of the external part of the piece to be measured.

Depth micrometer

Unlike the previous ones, this is used to corroborate the measurements of the depth of the object, through measurement axes, which you can change according to your needs.

Depending on the way you read

Analog micrometer

This type of instrument is the most traditional, which does not contain any type of electronic system or mechanism and also allows many types of measurement to be carried out. They are ideal for people who have knowledge and experience with this type of instrument, since it will be much easier for them to read the measurement.

Digital micrometer

As their name implies, they are the ones that measure the object electronically. In the market you can find many of these digital models. Due to the quality of precision that they provide, they are widely used in the industrial sector , and in various metrology laboratories , and in general by professionals in the area. They are designed to measure objects from 25mm to 01 meter, and with an average resolution of 0.01mm.

Recommendations for the proper use of a micrometer

Among the main tips that you should take into account are the following:

  • You should always clean and grease it with gasoline or another liquid of the same consistency; but always before and after using it, to keep it in optimal condition.
  • You could choose to grease it with pure petroleum jelly , as it will allow the measurement surfaces and their levels to be preserved.
  • Try to avoid hitting it that could damage its tips.
  • It is recommended that you manipulate it until the micrometer is adjusted to an ideal position for you to proceed to measure the object.
  • You must properly use its friction pad, set screw and screw for exact adjustment, so that you do not force the measurement.
  • You should never try to perform measurements on objects that are in motion, as it would represent a risk for you, in addition to the wear that it could generate on its surface due to friction.
  • It is a heat sensitive tool , so it is recommended that when not using it, you keep it sheltered at room temperature.

In the market there are many models of micrometers, which you can choose according to your needs and the work you are going to do.

Dr. Loony Davis5
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Born and raised in Brussels in an English family, I have always lived in a multicultural environment. After several work experiences in marketing and communication, I came to Smart Water Magazine, which I describe as the most exciting challenge of my career.
I am a person with great restlessness and curiosity to learn, discover what I do not know, as well as reinvent myself daily, someone who is curious about life and wants to know. I enjoy sharing knowledge.
This is my personal project but I also collaborate in other blogs, it is the case, the most important web on water currently exists in the US, if you are interested you can read my articles here.

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