To make their metal rulers more user-friendly, Japanese tool manufacturer Niigata Seiki has introduced several innovations: Gradated etchings that ascend like stairs, using a larger font for numbers divisible by five, using the color red for numbers divisible by 10, and a "catch lip" to make it easy to lift the flat rulers off of a work surface. Check these out:
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Sadly, it appears the company does not have a U.S. distributor. (I did see someone selling an NS ruler on Amazon, but the shipping costs twice as much as the ruler.)
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