Here’s an Easy Way to Draw a Perfect Circle with Your Tape Measure

Updated: Feb. 06, 2023

A screw, tape measure and pencil are all you need to draw a perfect circle.

Need to draw a perfect circle but lack a round object the exact size to trace? Well, before turning your house upside down in search of the perfectly-sized bowl, go into your toolbox and grab your tape measure.

TikTok user @trugshop posted this viral tape measure hack which helps you easily draw a perfect circle. And it’s so simple it’s almost impossible to get wrong.

First, drill a screw on a piece of wood where the center of the circle will be, then measure and mark the radius you want for the circle. Next, with the measuring tape locked into place, line up the metal end at the marked line on the wood, and the inside corner of the tape measure with the screw.

Place a pencil or other marking tool along the metal tip of the measuring tape and slowly turn it in a circular motion. Take your time so you’re accurate and don’t accidentally pull the tape out of the locked position. And that’s it. Once you do a full rotation, you should have a perfect circle. Now you’re ready to cut your wood.

Watch how the hack is done in the TikTok video below.

@trugshop This workshop tip is so simple! #howto #workshoptips #workshophacks #fyp #fypシ #drawacircle #simpletricks #woodsigns #woodworkingtips #woodworkingfun ♬ 我们的歌(DJ版) – DJHIYALWAZ

You can do this trick with pretty much any retractable tape measure that locks into place. I tried this with my Stanley tape measure and a 1-1/2-in. screw and had the same results as the TikTok user. My tape measure has a clip on one side, which I faced up so it wouldn’t catch while spinning.

If you’re looking for another way to draw a perfect circle, try this simple jig. All you need is a pencil and a ruler or yardstick. You can also tape a piece of string down and attach the other end of the string to a pencil or other marking tool, which will guide you in drawing a circle.

TikTok users have shared some of their favorite life and shop hacks, like tearing tape, cleaning ceiling fans with a pillowcase, deodorizing a stinky garbage disposal with ice or cleaning silverware by putting balled up aluminum foil in the dishwasher. Always vet tips and tricks you watch online before attempting, especially if it could damage anything or put you in danger.