SAE vs Metric - TCCoA Forums
View Poll Results: What's a better system of measurment?
Metric 41 87.23%
SAE 6 12.77%
Voters: 47. You may not vote on this poll

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post #1 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-22-2006, 07:59 PM Thread Starter
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SAE vs Metric

After a discussion in the chat room this evening, I wanted to see what everyone else thought.

I believe the metric system is far easier to learn and understand, hence a better system. Take sockets for example:

Your workin on your car. You have a helper with you. You've come across a bolt that is larger than 3/8" but smaller than 9/16" (the 2 sockets you have at hand at the moment). How long does it take you to figure out what socket to ask your helper to get you? For those of you who have no mechanical/mathematical knowledge, the answer is 1/2" and 7/16".

Now, if you were working on a car that used metric fasteners, how long would it take you to think of what sockets you need to ask for if a 10mm and a 15mm socket won't fit? SO MUCH EASIER!... again, for those of you who need a hammer to the noggin, the answer is 14mm, 13mm, 12mm and 11mm.

Another example:

You are working on building a deck on your house (if you have one/will ever have one). You need to find the center of the board. The length is 78 3/4". What's the center? Again, answer is 39 3/8".

Now, same board is 200cm long. What's the center? 100cm... see how simple that was?

Now, open for discussion, but please keep the political crap out of this. Place your vote for what's the better system.

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post #2 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-22-2006, 08:06 PM
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Don't get me wrong I use and understand the sae system,but measurement makes more sense. It's like this if a 3/8 wrench won't fit and you aren't real familiar with it you have to think a little to figure out that a 7/16 is the next. Metric is easier if the 12mm won't fit grab the 13.
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post #3 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-22-2006, 08:14 PM
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It's just a matter of how you are taught to think. Metric is easier for you and most people because it is base 10. SAE is fractions for sockets and base 12 for measurements. It is no more complicated, just something that is not as commonly used so if you aren't used to it, it will seem more complicated. Another example of this is time. We measure time in base 60, and no one has any problems with this. So if 10 is ok, and 60 is ok, what's wrong with 12? This kind of reminds me of something I saw once, don't remember where, maybe a shirt or something. It said "There are 10 kinds of people in the world; those who can read binary, and those who can't"

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post #4 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-22-2006, 08:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dirtyd0g
....12mm won't fit grab the 13.
Alan
We do know that any self respecting wrench turners (like ourselves) would NEVER have made the mistake
of reaching for a 12mm wrench when our exquisitely honed mechanic sense would have told us that the bolt
we were working with was the 13mm to start with.

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post #5 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-22-2006, 08:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbirdbrain
We do know that any self respecting wrench turners (like ourselves) would NEVER have made the mistake
of reaching for a 12mm wrench when our exquisitely honed mechanic sense would have told us that the bolt
we were working with was the 13mm to start with.
It's funny cause it's true!

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post #6 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-22-2006, 08:28 PM
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I personally prefer Metric. It really pisses me off when im workin on my cutlass, GM decided to combine metric and sae bolts in the car. I always have to have both socket sets out it really frustrates me

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post #7 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-22-2006, 09:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MadMikeyL
.....It said "There are 10 kinds of people in the world; those who can read binary, and those who can't"

Mike
That would be "There are two kinds of people in the world; those who can read binary, and those who can't." Binary is a Base 2 system.

Quote:
Originally Posted by warmaster259
I personally prefer Metric. It really pisses me off when im workin on my cutlass, GM decided to combine metric and sae bolts in the car. I always have to have both socket sets out it really frustrates me
Now that DOES piss me off!

I prefer the metric system, but then I do remember when it really ticked me off! (I'm old and had to learn measurements all over again after learning the SAE (or "english) system. Metrics do make more sense when you think of it. I mean, what is an inch? its how wide some kings thumb was (I think). Same with the foot, the yard, etc. Just how far some king happened to say it was. And I haven't even got a clue as to what a hectare is, or how it got started!

The Metric system is just easier. It isn't hard until you try to convert one to the other. Thats the main reason most old folks don't like it.


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post #8 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-22-2006, 09:18 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Traveler
It isn't hard until you try to convert one to the other. Thats the main reason most old folks don't like it.
it's pretty easy to convert...

1 inch = 25.4 millimeters or 2.54 centimeters or .0254 meters

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post #9 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-22-2006, 09:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Traveler
That would be "There are two kinds of people in the world; those who can read binary, and those who can't." Binary is a Base 2 system.


Obviously you can't read binary, or at least don't think of it naturally.

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post #10 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-22-2006, 09:22 PM
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LOL Yea, I can read it. I just haven't done it in a LONG time so I'm "rusty".

I didn't think that looked right even as I wrote it!


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post #11 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-22-2006, 11:34 PM
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Speaking from the perspective of someone who uses these units everyday in calculations, the metric system is easier to use, period. I still prefer the American system only because it's the "norm", but when you are messing around with pressures and stresses and energy and volume, well basically anything, the metric system is easier to use.

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post #12 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-22-2006, 11:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Palmguy
Speaking from the perspective of someone who uses these units everyday in calculations, the metric system is easier to use, period. I still prefer the American system only because it's the "norm", but when you are messing around with pressures and stresses and energy and volume, well basically anything, the metric system is easier to use.

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post #13 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-22-2006, 11:39 PM
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i've been swinging wrenches for a long time already, they are both the same to me i have no preference to either, if it is a later model vehicle chances are real good it's gonna be metric, in most cases i can tell what size the nut or bolt is by looking at it or feeling it if it is in a hard to get at location very accurately, you just get used to it after a while.

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post #14 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-23-2006, 01:10 AM
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Neither, cause the ONE size I need is always missing... but I voted metric

+1

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post #15 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-23-2006, 04:49 AM
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Voted metric... of course...
Since that's the only system I've every used...

And belive me... If I come across a SAE bolt it takes me
forever to try all different socket sizes...
Oh... And then I throw that [email protected] bolt very... VERY far


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post #16 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-23-2006, 05:12 AM
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Metric, shmetric. It's those damn little lines on the ruler that get me....
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post #17 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-23-2006, 05:18 AM
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Granted, with the exception of the US, the metric system is used by the entire world. But in my line of work - aerospace components, GE, Pratt & Whitney and Honeywell still adhere to the SAE standards. I realize that the basis of the metric system is more scientific - a meter is the distance traveled by light in a vacuum in 1/299,792,458 of a second, as opposed to the inch system where 3 barleycorns laid end to end is the standard.
Imagine if we went back to cubits...
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post #18 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-23-2006, 06:43 AM
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I voted for the metric system...

For me it just makes sense since everything in the metric system is based on "10".

10 mm = 1 cm
10 cm = 1 dm
10 dm = 1 m

How many ym’s does it take to make one Ym?
(http://www.essex1.com/people/speer/large.html)

Not:

12” = 1 foot
3 feet = 1 yard
Etc.

Just my .02.

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post #19 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-23-2006, 07:54 AM
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I have an SAE Crescent Wrench and a Metric Crescent Wrench, I think I'm covered!

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post #20 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-23-2006, 08:29 AM
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I agree it is easier to use metric for equations and that. But everybody still talks in the old system, even though weve had the metric system here for a long time. Its 50 ft, or 2 inches, 20 MPG or 150 lbs etc.

Also all the country roads were laid out in miles, so distances there stay in miles.

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post #21 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-23-2006, 08:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MadMikeyL
Obviously you can't read binary, or at least don't think of it naturally.

To let others in on the joke, the number two in binary is written as 10

Therefore, the original sentence is correct





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post #22 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-23-2006, 09:52 AM
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post #23 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-23-2006, 11:47 AM
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I used to hate working with metric anything. This was before I totally understood how it worked, though.

Now I definitely prefer it over SAE.

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post #24 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-23-2006, 01:49 PM
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My 82 F-150 is half and half, I hate it.

Since I haven't worked on an SAE car for awhile, I guess Metric, BUT I like dividing by 12, not 10. More possibilities (1,2,3,4,6,12 versus 1,2,5,10). And who thought that 5.5mm was a good size for a bolt head? I still can do the math for fractional SAE sizes quicker than trying 7,8,9 and finally 10mm.

7mm for half the bolts holding the dash in, 8mm for the rest. SAE it wold have been... 3/8 for all, MAYBE 5/16 for some, but probably not.

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post #25 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-23-2006, 02:04 PM
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even the new cars are still 50/50 as fas as metric/ sae , its stupid i cant say i pefer one overthe other , too many numbers make my head hurt

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post #26 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-23-2006, 02:52 PM
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Actually, the car(my 95 bird), is all metric, the motor and tranny, thats all standard.

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post #27 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-23-2006, 03:17 PM
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I will agree that in the engineering world, metric is soo much easier to use. But...growing up on a farm, all of the machinery was SAE. The first real metric set of anything we got was when we bought a new(er) combine some years ago. That one machine we have is all metric, but now most ag manufacturers are going that way as well. But for regular wrench turning, I still prefer SAE. It's still so hard to tell if it is a 12 or 15...

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post #28 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-23-2006, 04:51 PM
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Metric is easier than imperial to me. But if we ever convert back to metric, my job will suck for about 6 months while I get used to the strange dimensions of stuff. Architecture is based on the human body, and so is the imperial system, so they relate better.

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post #29 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-23-2006, 06:16 PM
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i like the metric better but at work we only use standard stuff so im getting used to that really quick again.

and the idiot that decided 5.5mm is a good number for a bolt head needs to be shot, make it 5mm make it 6mm dont make it 5.5 gezz

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post #30 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-23-2006, 06:55 PM
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Man, and I thought I was one of the few who didn't bother to sit down and learn the SAE system. I've used metric all my life because that's what was taught in school since day one. I've never even heard of SAE until the 7th grade, when I transferred to a NYS public school. I still remember seeing a picture of a speed limit sign that showed a 88.5 km/h as the speed limit in a science book that asked a question of something like: Is this what we will be seeing on our freeways in the future?

What it all comes down to is that it will cost way too much for the U.S. to switch over to the metric system.

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