How to read a grade rod

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Builders, engineers, and architects rely on grade rods to accurately measure the grade of a building or site, making it an essential tool for their work. With a wide range of grade rod types available, selecting the best option to fit your specific needs is critical. By comparing the various types of grade measuring tools commonly used today, you can determine how to enhance the accuracy and convenience of your next project.

The Common Types of Rods:

The process of taking a rod measurement may vary depending on the type of rod being used. Therefore, selecting the appropriate rod is crucial to ensure efficient and accurate measurements for your project. Regardless of whether you are measuring in yards and inches or meters and centimeters, you will need to choose one of the following types of rods:

Among the variety of rod types available, the direct elevation rod stands out as one of the most efficient and user-friendly options. It consists of an upper section in the front and a lower section in the back, enabling quick readings ranging from hundredths of inches up to feet. Alternatively, builder's rods (also known as architect's rods) are divided into inches and feet, just like a tape measure, with tick marks that require builders to measure and add differences using fractions. Although fractions may be more familiar to builders, they can be time-consuming to add and subtract. In contrast, an engineer's rod operates on the same principle but utilizes a decimal system. While decimals may be less common in construction, they offer ease of use for arithmetic operations. The Philadelphia rod is one of the most prevalent types of engineer's rods.

How To Read a Grade Rod

To ensure accurate measurements, a rod target is typically required before using your rod. This provides a large focus area that can be easily adjusted to align with the telescope on the level, enabling accurate measurement of grades across a distance. While using a rod for measuring grades may take some time to master, it typically involves carefully adjusting the rod up and down until the correct level is reached. The subsequent steps depend on the type of rod being used. For direct elevation rods, the measurement is easily visible, whereas builder's and engineer's rods require correct orientation of markings and addition or subtraction of measurements. It is essential to keep the rod carefully plumb while aligning it, as holding it incorrectly will result in an incorrect reading. A bulls-eye level attached to your rod or your own level can be used to ensure accuracy once the rod is plumb, after which it can be adjusted until it lines up with your level telescope.

Where To Find a Grade Rod

Find the perfect grade rod for your needs today at Benchmark Supply, where you can easily compare leading brands and popular options. Whether you require a single direct elevation grade rod or a range of engineer's rods for your firm, we offer all the necessary tools to ensure accurate grade measurements for your next project. Our grade rods are essential for tasks such as pouring foundations, creating roads, and starting drawings. Shop now to take the first step towards achieving accurate and efficient measurements.



About Benchmark Tool & Supply

Benchmark Tool & Supply, Inc is a North Carolina-based distributor that began operations in 2004 with the mission to provide quality professional products and supplies to the construction, surveying and engineering industries while providing unmatched customer service at the
best available prices.