How Big Is 4 Inches?

Measuring something can be hard at the best of times, but it can be even more complicated if you don’t have a ruler.

If you try to hang up that picture or get the bookcase fitting in nice and snug, then you’ll want to count the difference between those inches.

But what if you cannot conjure up 4 inches in your mind that easily? Sometimes it will be challenging to imagine a space without any objects to compare it to.

Well, luckily we have a list of items that will help you measure 4 inches exactly.

So how long is 4 inches exactly? What objects can you use to measure this amount of space?

Is there an easy method of getting this measurement exactly right without a ruler? Well, if you want to know the answer to these questions, then keep reading.

How Big Is 4 Inches Exactly?

If you are using imperial and you want to convert to metric, then 4 inches translates to 10.15 centimeters or 101.6 millimeters.

Having access to a tape measure might not always be easy. Not everybody is a handyman. So what’s the best method of measuring something without a measurer?

Well, here are some objects that should help you to mark up 4 inches exactly.

Objects That Are 4 Inches

Objects That Are 4 Inches

Quarters (4 Of Them, To Be Specific)

If you have ever tried to measure a quarter, then you’ll know that it is exactly 1-inch in diameter. What does this mean? Well, it means that 4 of them put in a line equals around 4 inches.

Quarters are great to use for measuring, as you can bet that you’ll at least have a few lying around your house or in your wallet.

Rather than go out and buy a tape measure or ruler, then you can always tape 4 quarters together to make your very own 4-inch measuring stick.

You can then keep this in your handy drawer if you ever want to use it again.

However, if precision is exactly what you are looking for, then we would recommend that you get a precision ruler with the measurements etched into the side.

You can also get a tape measure that goes way beyond the usual 4 inches.

Business Envelope

This is something else that most people will have access to. The length of an envelope is around 10 inches, whereas the width is 4 inches, making it perfect for measuring in these kinds of intervals.

If you are trying to measure up the right picture for your wall, then using an envelope will be the perfect method of doing it – that’s if you don’t have a tape measure to hand.

The great thing about using an envelope is that it comes with a straight edge, which is great for getting that level measurement.

If you need to draw a straight line for whatever reason, then you can’t go far wrong with an envelope.

If you are worried that an envelope might be too flimsy, then simply tape it or even just hold it onto some card (see also ‘Thank You Card Standard Size‘).

This will give it some rigidity and allow you to swipe a pencil or a pen right across it.

Golf Tee

Now we have something that will require a little bit of specification. You can get some golf tees that are slightly larger in size, with some being around 4-inches and others being around 1.5-inches.

However, the standard length of your average golf tee is around 2-inches. So laying them on either side will give you the 4 inches that you are looking for.

If you consider yourself a handy person, then you could also glue two tees together to make your very own 4-inch measuring device.

This will save you a little bit of money on buying your own measuring tape.

Toilet Roll

Yet another object in your house that will give you the exact right length that you’ll need for a 4-inch measurement.

This is made from cardboard and although it is round, it will give you a fairly straight line, which is great if you are using it to mark a flat surface like a wall.

But to be completely honest, a toilet roll is around 3.7 inches in length, so you’ll need to account fo the fact that there will be a 0.3 inch shortfall.

You can find a toi;et roll in almost any bathroom, althrough because of the awkward shape, we would recommend that you flatten this one out.

This will also make marking the surface much easier as you will have a flatter edge.

Male Wallet

There are many sizes of male wallet, but the average is around 4 inches, as anything larger will not fit inside the standard pocket.

If you do have a man’s wallet to hand, then this is an easy way to measure something.

The staright edges will also allow you to mark the wall with a relatively flat line. This is also good if you are without a spirit level.

This object is also very durable, as most of them are usually made from leather.

However, you might experience some difficulty if you are marking, as the edges of your wallet, especially if it has been used for a long time, might not be dead straight.

2 Pink Erasers

You might remember those pink erasers that everyone used to get in school, well, the length of one of these is around 2 inches.

So if you put 2 together, then you have the 4 inches that you are looking for.

This might not be that easy for you to measure anything that is on the wall. This is simply because it will be borderline impossible to secure the erasers together or to attach them to any horizontal surface.

However, if you want to measure something at 2-inch increments, then this is the perfect item to use that is not a ruler.

AA Batteries

This is another item that will almost certainly be lying around any home and will be very easy to acquire from your local gas station or convenience store.

An AA battery is around 2-inches in length (1.99 inches to be precise), so taping 2 of them together will get you to that 4 inch point.

You’ll need to make sure that you include the nub that comes at the tip of the battery.

Otherwise you might not be getting that extra degree of precision that you might be looking for from your meaurements.

If you need to, you can also tape 2 of these batteries together to make your very own 4-inch measuring device.

However, if you wnat that optimum level of accuracy then we would suggest that you opt for a traditional ruler with markings on the side.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Should You Measure 4 Inches?

If you are getting a moderate size tattoo that measures around the 4-inch mark, then you might wnat to grab something that will help you fin dthe right space on your body.

Believe it or not, this is very difficult for those people who already have plenty of tattoos.

What Else Can I Use To Measure 4 Inches?

You can always use 4 paper clips to measure 4 inches, as each papwer clip that you measure is roughly an inch in length.

You can even attach the paper clips in a line, which will help you if you wnat to mark something straight on a surface.


We hope that our list of objects that you can use to measure 4 inches will help you to visualize how long this unit of measurement actually is.

Make sure that you know the measurement of the object exactly, as you might actually be short of the full inch.

Nick Spieth