Wiha offers quite a few sizes and styles of folding rulers. Their smallest size, model #61601, is sized just right for stowing away in a pocket, tackle box, or tool box. These folding rulers are waterproof, flexible, and extremely durable. Or are they? Jeff was kind of enough to put one of these rulers through a rigorous review process to find out.
For the month of July, Wiha is offering these pocket rulers on sale for $3.83, after 50% savings. Always on the lookout for a small and easy to carry ruler, I decided to give the Wiha folding pocket ruler a try.
Traditionally made from wood, folding rulers have not changed much since Anton Ullrich invented them in 1851. Folding rulers are comprise of a stack of ruler segments that are attached at each end with pivot hinges. Each segment, except for the first and last ones, are connected to two other segments – one above and one below. This construction enables a large ruler to collapse into a much small package that can fit in one hand, or in this case a pocket.
Wiha’s pocket-sized ruler is 39-1/2 inches (100 cm) long and is dual marked with 1/16″ and 1mm/1cm markings. At 5″ x 9/16″ x 9/16″ and weighing about 1.5 ounces, the ruler really is pocket-friendly.
Construction & First Impressions
The ruler is made from molded plastic with 30% added fiberglass for stability and flexibility. Its hinges are constructed with a combination of plastic rivets and stainless steel pins. There is no play or wobble in the joints when the ruler is folded closed or open, and I was able to flex it from end to end with no memory effects or other issues. The inch and metric markings are deeply embossed, crisp and easy to read. The markings give the ruler a nice textured feel.
Ultimate Folding Ruler Torture Tests
To really put the ruler to the test, I fully extended it and let my three year-old grandson play “Jedi Warrior” with it in the back yard. After an hour I was sure the ruler would be broken into a hundred pieces. The ruler was still in one piece but covered with dirt, sand, and somehow, dog poop. After a quick cleaning with normal soap and water, the ruler looked like it just came out of the package. No damage from a normal, rambunctous three year-old.
Chemical Resistance Tests
In addition to being waterproof and scratch resistant, Wiha claims that their rulers are chemical and solvent safe. We all know what certain chemicals can and will do to plastic. With this in mind, I was quite hesitant to test my brand new ruler with chemicals. To perform as thorough a review as possible, I went ahead with the tests anyway.
First, I tried turpentine, then carb cleaner. Both chemicals were applied to the ruler and then wiped off rather quickly. Although there was no visible issues (e.g. no melting plastic or color smearing), I wouldn’t recommend soaking these rulers, or anything with a plastic construction in these or other chemicals or solvents.
I really liked this ruler from the start. It’s small, very lightweight, and will easily fit in any pocket. If you’re thinking that 39-1/2 in. or 1 meter is too long for your needs, remember that the ruler can be folded open as little or as much as needed. The markings are very easy to read, especially for older, eyeglass-wearing DIY’ers like myself. This ruler should be quite handy to carry when junking around yard sales and trips to the local home center.
Photos & Review by JeffD