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Why I Prefer Metric

I do my woodworking in metric.

I got this idea from an article about Abijah Reed in Woodwork Magazine #77. He points out several good reasons to use metric. Here are my reasons:

  • I trust my eye more. I don't have the same intuitive feel for metric units as I do imperial, so I trust my eye to design the proportions correctly, without trying to force the design into common imperial dimensions.
  • The base unit is smaller. 1 mm is a little over 1/32". My 8 meter (25 ft) tape measure has 1 mm marks all the way to the end.
  • Less likely to round. If I decide something looks best 4 mm wide, then I am much more likely to stick to that than 5/32". In imperial units, a little voice in my head would say, "Just make it 1/4". Often 1/32" can make a big difference in how something looks or fits.
  • Math is easier. Dividing by powers of 2 may be slightly easier in imperial units, but everything else is easier in metric.
  • Measuring is easier. Reading a tape measure is so much easier!

Give it a try!