How To Accurately Read a Grade Rod | Engineer Supply - EngineerSupply

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How to read a grade rod

Blog how to read a grade rod
A grade rod is an essential tool for builders, engineers and architects to measure the grade of a building or site. There are a wide variety of rod types available, so it’s important to find the best option that fits your needs. Compare common types of grade measuring tools today to find out how you can improve the accuracy and convenience of your next project.

Common Types of Rods

Taking a rod measurement varies depending on the type of rod you’re using. Careful selection of the right rod helps you tackle your project efficiently and accurately. Whether you’re measuring yards and inches or meters and centimeters, you’ll need to select one of these types of rods:
  • Direct elevation
  • Builder’s/architect’s rod
  • Engineer’s rod

Blog how to read a grade rod

A direct elevation rod is one of the most efficient, easy-to-use options. It uses an upper section in the front of the rod and a lower back section. This design allows for quick readings from hundredths of inches up to feet. Builder’s rods, also known as architect’s rods, are divided into inches and feet just like a tape measure. These rods have tick marks that require you to measure and add the difference using fractions. Fractions are more convenient for builders used to working with these measurements, but can take more time to add and subtract. An engineer’s rod uses the same concept, but instead uses a decimal system. While decimals aren’t as common in the construction industry, they are much easier to add and subtract. Philadelphia rods are one of the most common types of engineer’s rods.

How To Read a Grade Rod

Before you use your rod, you typically need a rod target. This gives you a large focus area to easily hone in your measurement. Simply adjust the target until it’s in line with the telescope on the level. This can help you accurately measure grades across a distance. It can take some time to get used to using a rod for measuring grades. You’ll need to carefully adjust it up and down until you reach the correct level. The next step is determined by the type of rod you’re using. A direct elevation rod allows you to easily see the measurement. Builder’s and engineer’s rods require you to orient the markings correctly and either add or subtract measurements. As you line up your rod, be sure to keep it carefully plumb. Holding a rod incorrectly won’t give you the proper reading. Look for a bulls-eye level attached to your rod or use your own level to ensure accuracy. Once it’s plumb, simply adjust the rod until it lines up with your level telescope.

Blog how to read a grade rod

Where To Find a Measuring Rod

Shop for grad rods today at Engineer Supply to easily compare leading brands and popular options. Whether you need a single direct elevation grade rod or wish to invest in a range of engineer’s rods for your firm, you can find all the necessary tools for your next project. Receive accurate grade measurements before pouring a foundation, creating a road or starting a drawing.
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