Kreg Owners' Community

Where in the world is the imperial system used!

I live in Australia. I recently purchased a Kreg K4 Jig from our local Australian supplier and was looking forward to using it. On opening the packaging I've discovered that all measurements are in inches. Australia has not officially used this imperial system since 1976. I was bewildered to learn that no metric product is available. My dilemma Is that i use and struggle with this old and ancient system or not use the machine at all.

I am extremely disappointed that although most of the world uses the metric system only a single imperial system based tool exists.

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Comment by Philip Sharp on February 23, 2016 at 5:14am

Hi, firstly let me thank Kreg very sincerely for sending me a metric version of the K4 which our Australian distributor told me did not exist. It is a great piece of equipment which is being well used in my work room. Hopefully Carbatec will now begin to import these into Australia for our market.

Thanks also to all who responded with a variety of suggestions to help me.

Comment by Larwyn on December 30, 2015 at 10:53am

That last sentence got all jumbled up in the edit.

It should have read; I find it easier not to bother converting the them.

Comment by Larwyn on December 30, 2015 at 10:50am

I had problems with the metric system back when I bothered to spend time converting the numbers. 

After enough exposure to both systems it has become much easier for me to simply take each measurement at face value in whichever system it is provided.  What difference does it make that 25 mm = 0.984251969 inch?  If the plan calls for 25 mm, I just measure it in mm, and if it calls for one inch I just measure it in inches.  I don't find easier not to bother converting them.

Comment by michael evans on December 26, 2015 at 8:33am

Well do not get me started on weights and measures ,here in the U.k we use feet and inches, yards, and miles, millimeters, centimeters. We also use gallons ,liters, pints, milliliters, stones, pounds, ounces, kilos, grams. Confused i am ,and it's all thanks to those bureaucrats in Brussels.My old boss when i was in construction would use which ever measurement fitted what he was applying it to, for example he would say that piece of timber measures 3feet 6"and 2 millimeters i knew exactly what he meant and we never got a measurement wrong ha .

Comment by Gregory Kuhn on December 23, 2015 at 10:18pm

The two systems are easy to convert.  1mm = 0.03937 inches and 1 inch = 25.4mm.  3/4 inch = 19.05mm. Use either of these conversions and re-mark your K4 with a fine point Sharpie.

Comment by Alex Cruickshank on December 23, 2015 at 5:41am

Note that "like" was "yoke" before autocorrect got to it!

Comment by Alex Cruickshank on December 23, 2015 at 5:40am

It is ironic that a country that fought off the imperial like is one of few to retain the imperial measures.  Australia went metric some time ago but I still think in feet and inches like may of the commenters below.

The jigs are too good to let measurements get in the way!  The Kreg documentation has the conversions included and I photocopied those pages, laminated them and keep them with the jigs for ready reference.  No problems so far, touch wood :-) !

Merry Christmas to all,


Comment by Tim Grace on December 23, 2015 at 12:59am

For a while, in the US, the road signs had both miles and km (I abbreviated because we even spell it differently!)  I did have to learn conversions, not difficult.  

What is difficult is getting a visual of what a certain distance is in metric. I can look at something and estimate that something is thirty thousandths off.  Or, if someone tells me its thirty thou out, I can visualize the distance.  If they tell me its point five mm off, I have to convert it to inch (about 20 thousandths) before I can visualize it.

In the wood shop, the imperial system is simple for me to do halves/doubles when finding the center of a length, e.g.: the center of a 3/4 inch board is 3/8 inch.  

What does stink is that now plywood is neither metric nor imperial. Technically, it is, but how does 3/4 inch plywood at 46/64 inch (1/32 inch under size) translate?  Does anyone actually make an 18.26 mm router bit?

Comment by John Tomkinson on December 22, 2015 at 9:32pm

John Tomkinson here.  I live in Canada and back in the 70s, the Metric System was 'forced' on us.  I was born before that change and still have trouble interpreting inches, cm, volume, etc.  I guess, you can't teach an old dog new tricks!  The USA stuck to their guns and keep their inches, etc.  So, I also, have more than one set of wrenches to deal with the differences, and always have to refer to charts in order to interpret those differences.   By the way, my Commonwealth Cousin from Australia.....I had the pleasure of making a couple of visits to Sydney, Australia in the Aussies stole my Heart!  All the best for the Holidays, from BC, Canada!  'John'

Comment by Lawrence Katz on December 22, 2015 at 4:14pm
Reading the comments above has been amusing as I have faced the same dilemma many times.
A METRINCH set of spanners solves the nuts problem. An iPhone app solves the rest.

Australian hardware stores still sell imperial nuts and bolts!

One just has to "go with the flow ".

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