Bead Measuring Tools

Written by rebecca suzanne delaney
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Bead Measuring Tools
Glass bead (bead image by Henryk Olszewski from

Jewellery making with beads often requires use of beads in different colours, shapes, materials and sizes. The jewellery maker often needs to measure beads to ensure they are using the correct size bead for the stipulated design. A variety of tools exist that beaders and jewellery makers can use to measure beads.

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Place the bead beside the ruler to measure size.

Measuring Tape

Measuring tapes can be used like a ruler, but the benefit of a measuring tape over a ruler is that measuring tapes are flexible and can be easily wrapped around beads.

Fan Gauge

A bead sizing fan gauge is a gemologist's measuring tool. Fit the bead into the slot in the fan that is similar in size and shape to determine bead size. Diamond gauges can be used in lieu of a fan gauge for certain types of beads. For example, round beads can be measured with round diamond gauges.


Traditional calipers slide to determine size. Modern calipers often feature a digital readout.

Sliding Millimeter Gauges

Sliding millimetre gauges are made similarly to calipers but are designed especially to measure pearls and beads. Sliding millimetre gauges are typically made of brass and are sometimes called brass gauges.

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