What things are 1 cm long?
What things are 1 cm long? Are they only specific kinds of things or maybe can you see them in everyday life too? And how big is 1 cm exactly? Is it a big unit or not? The answers to all these questions you will find down below, so keep reading! Welcome to our compendium dedicated to 1 cm.
What things are 1 cm long? We know that for some of you it can be a problematic issue to just imagine 1 cm long things, especially if a centimeter is not a unit of length that you use in your everyday life. But that’s why you have us. We will show you many examples which will make this topic finally clear for you. Are you ready? So let’s start.
A word of explanation. Our article will be composed of 2 parts – theoretical and practical. Don’t worry, it will be only a little bit of theory. Then we will move on to a lot of practical examples. All for the best understanding of this topic by you.
1 cm – is it a big unit?
To give you examples of 1 cm long things, you need to know if 1 cm is a big unit or not. This knowledge will enable you to better imagine the things which we are going to summon.
So is a centimeter big unit? Definitely not. It is one of the smallest units of length. That’s why centimeters are not used to give longer distances, like route length. But, in turn, you can see centimeters used to measure smaller length, like waist size.
To illustrate a centimeter, we can also show you the definition of this unit. The definition of a cm is not a descriptive one, but comparative. In comparison to the basic unit of length of the International System of Units, it means to the meter, it looks like this:
 1 centimeter = 0.01 meters.
Now you can see the scale between them and see how small a centimeter is.
But what if you use inches daily, not centimeters, and this descriptive part is not enough for you? Let’s see how a centimeter looks in comparison to an inch too.
Comparison – 1 cm and 1 inch
So how does the comparison of 1 cm and 1 inch look? Is 1 cm smaller or bigger than 1 inch? And how does the difference look? Let’s check it to illustrate the length of 1 cm as accurately as possible.
First, let’s make a quick comparison of the values of 1 cm and 1 inch. See it down below:
 1 centimeter = 0.393700787 inches;
 1 inch = 2.54 centimeters.

The first thing you can see now is that 1 cm and 1 inch are definitely not equal. And after a quick review, you can see another thing for sure – 1 inch is bigger than 1 centimeter. What does it mean in the context of the length of 1 cm?
Thanks to this comparison you can see clearly that 1 cm is a really small unit of length. Even smaller than 1 inch, which is also not a big unit.
Just focus for a minute and look at the values given above once again – 1 centimeter is more than 2.5 times smaller than 1 inch! You just have to admit that is a significant difference.
We hope that now you may identify the length of 1 cm more or less. To better imagine this length, we prepared examples for you from 3 different categories. Are you curious? Keep reading.
1 cm – examples from math
The first thing which springs to mind when you think about a centimeter is probably math. And it is understandable because units of length are used a lot there. And that’s why we want to focus on 1 cm in math first.
The most obvious example of 1 cm in math you can see on… the ruler. The most commonly used kind of ruler is that which has the scale both in inches and in centimeters. On a ruler like that you can simply see also the difference between 1 cm and 1 inch.
The centimeter on the ruler contains 10 millimeters. They are usually marked by shorter lines. In turn, centimeters are usually marked by longer lines.
It’s the first example of 1 cm long in math. Is there any other example?
Of course yes. Another example that you commonly see in math is geometry. What do we mean exactly? We are sure that you have seen in your life the figures with one side (or more) equal to 1 cm. The figures with such small and easy to calculate values of sides are given in exercises especially in primary school. Thanks to them, children can learn how to make calculations correctly.
So let’s sum up these 2 examples of things 1 cm long in math:
 1 cm you can see on the ruler. It is composed of 10 millimeters.
 The side of a figure can be 1 cm long, especially in exercises from primary school.
What about other examples from other categories? Let’s check it.
What things are 1 cm? Human body
Things which are 1 cm you can see not only in math. The human body is a great example too. Are you wondering what we are talking about exactly? We hurry up with an explanation.
We prepared 3 examples for you. We think they may surprise you a little, especially if you are not interested in the human body so much. So let’s see:
 The human nail has approximately 1 cm in width. Have you ever checked the width of your nails?
 The diameter of the human belly button is approximately 1 cm. What do you think, what’s the size of yours?
 Do you know that you are 1 cm higher in the morning than in the evening? Yes, it is true. Your spine is rested after a night, and it means your spine is a little bit longer then.
Do you know any of these facts? Or maybe all of them were something new for you? We are curious!
And now it is time for the last part of the examples. Let’s move on to the things from everyday life.
1 cm – examples of things from everyday life
The last 2 parts with examples could be interesting for you – and we hope they were. But we are sure that the most interesting part, and additionally the most clarify the length of 1 cm, will be the part dedicated to the examples of things from everyday life.
So what things are 1 cm long? Let’s see a few examples which you know from everyday life for sure:
 A staple is approximately 1 cm long;
 Many pens or even pencils have a width equal to 1 cm;
 If you put 5 CDs or DVDs on top of one another, their width will be also about 1 cm;
 The radius of a US penny (it means half of the diameter) has 1 cm long too;
 An average notepad has 1 cm thickness.
Are you surprised by these examples? We are sure that all of you see or even use most of the mentioned objects. But have you ever thought about them in the context of their dimensions which could be equal to 1 cm? Probably not. And we think that now you will look at these objects a little bit differently, with more curiosity.
Is 1 cm long a popular size?
You know the answer to the question of what things are 1 cm long. Now it is time to answer another question – is 1 cm long a popular size? Can you see things that are 1 cm long commonly or rather rarely?
We can say that 1 cm long is a quite popular size in a particular category. What category do we mean? A category of really small things. Then 1 cm long is one of the most popular sizes.
In turn, when it comes to all lengths which you can see daily, 1 cm long is one of the rarest sizes at all. Most of the things which we see or use are so much bigger, there are no doubts.
So if we had to sum up the answer in one sentence we need to say – it depends. In some cases 1 cm long is a popular size, in others not. The major determinant is the category of objects which we take into account.
Make your own experiment
We are going to the end of this article. And now we have a task for you. It will be the best way to understand exactly the length of a centimeter and really know what things are 1 cm long. So what is this task?
Look carefully at other objects which you use daily. Focus on the smaller ones, because, as you remember, a centimeter is quite a small unit of length. There are a lot of them for sure. Pen drives, keychains, straws – they may be only examples.
We are sure you will find more than one example of something that is 1 cm long. And probably you will be shocked how many of such things are around you. And it’s normal, because you, like most of us, don't pay attention to issues like that in everyday life.
We hope you will enjoy a practical task like that. We are waiting for your results!
What things are 1 cm long – a few words at the end
And that’s the end of this article, so it is time to quickly sum up the information from the whole of it. Read till the end, it will be a perfect reminder for you!
The most important thing you need to remember is that a centimeter is a small unit of length. It means you will see 1 cm long things only when it comes to small or short objects. But it doesn’t matter that the things which are 1 cm long are rarely seen. We gave you a few examples from 3 different categories to prove it. And, of course, there are a lot more of them. That’s why we gave you a task.
So it is time to make your move – let’s use this knowledge in practice. Check how many things around you are 1 cm long or just give the examples from this article at math classes to surprise your teacher.
Do you want to know more about a centimeter? See how this unit is defined and gain indepth knowledge about it.