All rulers need to provide an easy to read and accurate mode of measurement in order to be useful, but some projects also require a ruler that is long-lasting. Rulers that are being used for DIY, crafting or hobby projects, on construction sites, in professional settings like architect firms, or by multiple people, like in a classroom, require an added level of strength and durability that plastic rulers don’t provide. When you need to be both accurate and tough, you need a stainless steel straight ruler.
Metal or stainless steel straight rulers are commonly found in environments that are demanding, including professional settings like woodworking facilities or engineering firms. Users that require a ruler that can be used with thick material or next to knives for fast and accurate cuts will likely want to invest in a stainless steel straight ruler. Some metal rulers can also be used with small pieces of machinery, like a circular saw. Because of their strength and sharp corners, it’s a good idea to always keep metal straight rulers away from small children.
Which straight ruler is best suited to your needs? Check out some of our top picks below.
1. eBoot Stainless Steel Ruler
For times when two rulers are better than one, we recommend the eBoot Stainless Steel Ruler set. Included in this set are two stainless steel rulers measuring 12 inches and 6 inches, respectively. Both rulers are 0.9 mm thick and include a wide circular hole on the curved end for hanging or threading. Metric and imperial measurements are clearly marked and the back of both rulers includes a helpful conversion table.
Pros: The set of rulers from eBoot is available in black, red, blue and silver (shown here).
Cons: The rulers have squared-off edges and users must be cautious to not scratch themselves or their materials.
eBoot Stainless Steel Ruler
2. Gimars Nonslip Ruler Set
For a set of rulers that can be used separately or in conjunction with one another, we recommend the Gimars Nonslip Ruler Set. All three rulers have a continuous edge that shows the markings all the way to the end of the ruler, enabling users to line up the rulers for an extended measuring stick. This is also ideal for users who have to measure corners. The set of 0.04-inch rulers include one six-inch and two 12 inch options.
Pros: All three rulers include conversion tables on the backside.
Cons: The edges of the rulers are very sharp and the markings can be difficult to read.
3. Swanson 48-Inch Savage Straight Edge
For big jobs that require an added element of safety, we recommend the Swanson 48-Inch Savage Straight Edge. Swanson has created their measuring stick with a ThumbSaver raised edge design that protects thumbs and fingers when using a blade to cut along the edge of the ruler. Made with a no-slip backing that will hold the oversized ruler in place, the Swanson has an Anodized aerospace aluminum frame that creates a long-lasting finished product. Swanson makes their ThumbSaver ruler design available in 24″, 36″, 48″ (shown here), 72″ and 96” options.
Pros: The bright orange ruler is highly visible and laser-etched markings are easy to read.
Cons: The nonslip bottom can make it difficult for the ruler to sit flush against certain surfaces.
Swanson 48-Inch Savage Straight Edge
4. Breman Precision Stainless Steel 12 Inch Metal Ruler
For a ruler that bends with projects and can also stay in place when necessary, we recommend the Breman Precision Stainless Steel 12 Inch Metal Ruler. The cork backing helps hold the ruler in place when using on paper, fabric, wood and metal. The Breman also has some flexibility, making it ideal for times when users have to measure an item that is not completely flat. Made from rust-resistant, high-grade stainless steel, the Breman includes measurements in inches and centimeters and is available in sizes up to 36 inches.
Pros: The Breman features a drilled hole on one end of the ruler that provides a convenient place for hanging the measuring stick when it is not in use.
Cons: The ruler is very thin may not last as long as thicker stainless steel rulers.