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6 Steps -- How to Select a Gage Block Set
1)  Decide which system of measurement (inch or metric) is most appropriate.

2)  Determine the range of measurements that might be made from the desired set.
     Break down the measurements into ranges that are frequently made and
     infrequently made.

3)  Determine the "comfortable range" of a set.  (Click here to contract this choice.)
The "comfortable range" of the set is defined as the range that can be made by wringing together, in combination,
 the two largest blocks in the set, plus either a 1 inch or 25mm block.  This gives the largest practical range using 3
 or 4 blocks in combination.  It may be possible to wring together every block in the set to get larger combinations,
 but this would certainly not be "comfortable" to do.  Avoid choosing a set that does not have its comfortable range
 within the range of frequently made measurements.

Comfortable Ranges of Inch Sets
No. of Pieces
Comfortable Range 
Maximum Range
81 to 92 piece sets
.100" to 8 inches in increments of .001"
to 12 inches
34 & 36 piece sets
   with most blocks
   starting near .100"	
 .200" to 5 inches in increments of .001"	
to 8 inches
36 & 38 piece sets
   with most blocks
   starting near .050"
.100" to 3 inches in increments of .001"	
to 4 inches
28 piece "thin" sets	
.020" to .180 inches in increments of .001"
to .240 inches
9 piece sets
.100" to 3.000 inches in increments of .100" or
    .0625" to 3.000 inches in increments of 1/16th"
to 4 inches
8 piece "long" block sets are made to EXTEND the ranges of other sets.  With a long block set, the "comfortable
 range" may be  extended to 40 inches, while the useful range extended to over 80 inches.
Heavy Duty Sets
42 piece sets	
.200" to 22 inches in increments of .001"
 to 24 inches
44 piece sets	
.200" to 34 inches in increments of .001"
 to 36 inches
46 piece sets	
.200" to 46 inches in increments of .001"
 to 48 inches
Comfortable Ranges of Metric Sets

(One millimeter base--with most blocks in the range of 1.0 to 1.5mm)
112 piece sets	
2.0 to 175 mm in increments of .001mm
to 300mm
 88 piece sets		
2.0 to 200 mm in increments of .001mm
to 550mm
 45 piece sets		
2.0 to 180 mm in increments of .001mm
to 450mm
(Two millimeter base--with most blocks in the range of 2.0 to 2.5mm)
112 piece sets	
4.0 to 175 mm in increments of .001mm
to 300mm
 88 piece sets		
4.0 to 200 mm in increments of .001mm
to 550mm
 45 piece sets		
4.0 to 180 mm in increments of .001mm
to 450mm
8 piece "long" block sets are made to EXTEND the ranges of other sets.  Using a long block set, the "comfortable
 range" may be  extended to 1 meter, while the useful range extended to over 2 meters.
Example:

Most measurements fall within a narrow range, but a few measurements may require a longer range.  Assume most
 measurements to be done are from 1 to 5 inches, but on rare occasions measurements need to be taken near 10
 inches.  

Any 81 to 88 piece set will fulfill all the measurement requirements.  A 43 piece set may also fulfill the need, but it
 will be near the maximum of its range at 10 inches which may cause problems in use when performing those rare
 measurements.  

A 43, or 34 to 36 piece set may be used with an "extender" block.  (An extra block bought by the user to allow him
 to perform measurements not normally doable with the set alone.)   In the example, an extra 6 inch block, would
 allow measurements near 10 inches to be performed easily.  This approach may be less expensive than buying a
 larger set.
4) Choose a style of block:  (Rectangular, Square, or Heavy Duty).   Note:  The choice of
    style may restrict the choice of material and grades.   (Click here to expand this choice.)

5) Choose a gage block material.  (Click here to expand this choice.)

6) Choose an accuracy grade.    Note:  Certain accuracy grades may not be available in all
    materials or styles.  (Click here to expand this choice.)
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©2008, Webber Gage Division, The L. S. Starrett Co, Cleveland, Ohio , 44145
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