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(OP)
I felt the answers given were either completely wrong or not helpful. I am a Swiss CNC Machinist currently going to school for nanotechnology engineering. Anyhow I feel as tho I can answer this question a little more clearly.

Question
Well I know how to read a micrometer very well, my question is on how to say the readings you get.

You learn at an early age the following (this part makes sense to me, both how you say it and its mathematical representation):

10      = tens place
1       = ones place
.1      = tenths place                = 1/10
.01     = hundredths place            = 1/100
.001    = thousandths place           = 1/1,000
.0001   = ten-thousandths place       = 1/10,000
.00001  = hundred-thousandths place   = 1/100,000
.000001 = millionths place            = 1/1,000,000

BUT, i am confused about how i hear people "saying" micrometer readings, they dont seem to reflect the above  (1" micrometer)

.1      = hundred-thousandths of an inch ?
.01     = ten-thousandths of an inch?
.001    = one-thousandths of an inch?
.0001   = tenths of an inch? also heard ten-thousandths??
.00001  = ten-millionths of an inch?
.000001 = millionths of an inch -or- microinch?

some of these i may have listed incorrectly, thats what i need help with.

Thanks

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In a machine shop increments are based on the .001 (thousandths place)
Look at it this way if .001 = 1 thousandth or 1 thou then .01 is 10 thou .1 = 100 thou .0001 is a tenth of a thou so it's called a tenth .00001 i guess should be called a hundredth but it's not this called 10 mill. .00001 is not even really used in machine shops anyhow. Most mills and lathes only allow to offsets of .0001 and a Swiss will allow up to .00001 but every swiss guy I know including myself only uses increments of.00005
i hope this helps.

RE: How to read a micrometer

In our manufacturing facility we speak in terms of thousandths.
So .001 is simply 1, we dont even say 1 thou. Same with .157 we simply say 157.
Now for .0001 we say 1 tenth.
And for .1577 we say 157 and 7 tenths.
For .00001 we would say 10 millionths.
And finally for .15771 we say 157 and 710 millionths.

It really most likely depends on the culture your plant adapts too. We have many departments that never get higher resolution than .001, but we also have projects that resolution is .000001 and everyone in the plant understands our lingo when talking.

________________________________
Ryan M
Quality Engineer
3d Printer Hobbyist

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