The markers of quality behind a STABILA rule

The folding rule was invented in 1865 by the Ullrich brothers. A minor revolution for all their contemporaries who had to measure frequently but laboriously. In 1886 the individual folding rules were connected by spring-loaded joints which locked into place. This invention continues to be useful in our daily work, even today. The company which is now called STABILA was then formed by the Ullrich family in 1889. Thus when you take a STABILA folding rule from your pocket, you are measuring with an instrument that is rooted in history and which also has many quality-related properties which you will scarcely see at first glance. And all STABILA folding rules naturally meet the MID Directive applicable everywhere in Europe. With CE and metrology marking as well as the EC type test certificate.

Wooden folding rules – from natural wood to finished product

Wooden folding rules – from natural wood to finished product

1. Controlled quality
STABILA uses only high-quality beech wood from sustainable forests for its wooden folding rules. This wood lends the rule the rod function desired by many tradespeople when it is fully unfolded. By the time the raw wood material reaches final processing, it has passed through up to 3 quality control stages.

2. Base cover colour
The base colour is important for obtaining optimal printing results. It protects the wood and also provides an adhesion base for the subsequent printing layers and protective varnish. We use only environmentally friendly colours and varnishes. The base colour of STABILA wooden rules is white as standard, or alternatively yellow.

3. Overprinting and clear protective varnish
The coating for wooden folding rules must be able to withstand all conditions in practical use. Protection against moisture, sunlight and mechanical abrasion is required. This is the only way to ensure that the scale is easy to read. We use only water-soluble UV varnishes in order to achieve maximum abrasion resistance. The environmentally friendly varnish, made to our own formula, offers outstanding weather and abrasion resistance.

Printing of sections

Printing of sections

You can recognise a quality folding rule from the printing on the initial slat. Pay attention to four important indicators:

  1. the nominal length,
  2. the accuracy class of the folding rule, which is stated in Roman numerals,
  3. the EC Type Examination Certificate,
  4. the CE marking and metrology marking.

And finally, make sure you take a look at the name of the manufacturer which confirms the brand, origin and construction. The measuring scale is the most important element and, as such, features a clear printed impression and a clear distinction between tens and units. A double sided scale (on the upper and lower edge) increases the practical value of the folding rule.


STABILA predominantly uses joints made from high-strength spring steel, which ensures exact locking and a durable spring action. Catches and end cams provide a strong hold and ensure accuracy. The special construction makes the joints smooth and durable. Some models use joints reinforced with fibreglass offering extra durability.

Series 600 - Galvanised, corrosionprotected jointing plates in high-strength sheet steel with inlaid hardened steel spring and concealed rivet.

Series 600
Galvanised, corrosion protected jointing plates in high-strength sheet steel with inlaid hardened steel spring and concealed rivet.