How to Find Diameter

How to Find Diameter

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Often, if you’re adding to or repairing a metal fence like chain link, you will need to buy more fittings, posts, rails and other items. If you want them to match what you already have, you will need to know the OD or outside diameter of that component.

Let’s look at a few ways you can find the diameter of pipe and tubing on your fence, so you can buy the right size.

What Is Diameter?

The first thing you might need to know (if it’s been a while since you used geometry!) is what diameter is.

If you imagine a line drawn down the very center of a circle, then the dimension of that line would be the diameter of the circle.

In the fence world, we usually work according to OD  or outside diameter, which means the measurement from the outside surface of the pipe or tubing to the other outside surface.

Use the Right Tool for the Job


Our first method to find the diameter of fence posts, rails and other round components is to use a tool that was designed for exactly this type of purpose.

A vernier or calliper is a tool that is used to accurately measure diameters, thicknesses and other important dimensions on all kinds of materials. They’re the perfect tool to do this because they’re made for it.

If you are a fence pro or you regularly tackle DIY projects like repairing or replacing fencing, you should definitely consider adding this tool to your toolbox.

Get One Here


Use Math

The other option to solve the problem of how to find the diameter of fence components is to use math.

Use a dressmaker’s tape measure or a piece of string and a ruler to measure the perimeter or circumference of the pipe or component. Then divide that figure by pi, which is 3.14. That should give you the diameter of the pipe.

Take a Sample to a Fence Supplier

If you don’t want to measure your pipe and you don’t want to calculate the diameter of the items you need, you can always take a sample to your fence supplier. They will be able to tell you exactly what size components and fittings you need so you get the right parts and pieces for the job.

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