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A feeler gauge is a tool that is used to measure the distance or gap between two objects. Feeler gauges are used extensively throughout a variety of industries, to set up manufacturing equipment to ensure effective performance. They are also commonly employed for automotive engine components that require precise spacing in order to operate properly.
Feeler gauges are available in a wide range of English and metric sizes. A feeler gauge is usually purchased as part of a set that contains a series of individual gauges with progressively increasing thicknesses. Gauges can also be purchased individually, and may be manufactured in custom shapes and sizes.
To measure the space between two objects, a gauge with a thickness that is close to the gap distance is employed first. If this gauge is too large to fit, the gauge with the next, lower thickness is used. If the gauge has excessive clearance, the feeler with the next, higher thickness is tried. This process is repeated, until a gauge that fits snugly in the gap is identified. The thickness of this gauge then represents the distance of the gap.
Feeler gauges are most commonly made of high-quality carbon steel, and are machined to a very smooth surface finish. Other blade materials are available, including stainless steel, brass, and plastic. Metal blades have better wear resistance and will maintain their accuracy after many uses.
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