The zigzag rule is also called a folding ruler, because its shape is like of a ruler. It has extended parts of a foot each, which are linked to each other with a metal piece and can be folded into a compact ruler shape. The rule was introduced earlier in the 19th century to carpenters and plumbers and it quickly take a permanent place in their tool boxes. Since then it is an essential tool not matter how many technological advances have taken place.
The zigzag rule is used to measure things or places where an ordinary tape scale cannot do the job for certain reasons. The rule consists of pieces of a foot each, which can be folded and unfolded depending on the requirement of the place. This allows carpenters do their job effectively and at places where they cannot find help from other measurement tools.
The tool is equally popular in all parts of the world irrespective of the technological advancements. The zigzag rule remains as popular as it became soon after its launch. Carpenters around the world carry it in their tool boxes as an essential inventory and no other tool can replace this.
The zigzag rules used today are mostly made of metal, particularly stainless steel, but the tools made of soft wood, which were initially very popular are still in common use. In fact, a zigzag tool made out of wood lighter in weight than those made of steel and other material, while their safety and durability record is also matchless, providing the users a solid reason to use it.
The zigzag rules come into different lengths but their length can also be extended by carpenters on their own. Another piece of a foot is needed and by fixing it at the end of the tool with a metal, its length is extended by the same amount. However, generally they come in three pieces length as a standard, although you can alter these tools with customized lengths as well.
The use of the tool will depend down on the work you need it for, and you can get a customized version of the tool accordingly. If your job has rather complicated measurement requirement, you better pick a zigzag tool according to the need, and if the work is a standard activity, you can buy an ordinary zigzag rule. This shows that the tool is very handy and can help you out on multiple occasions.