How Long is 3 Centimeters? 17 Common Comparisons (+Pics)

Three centimeters might seem a minuscule measurement, but its practical significance unfolds in everyday scenarios.

Understanding how long it is can be incredibly useful, whether you’re embarking on DIY projects, crafting activities, or simply curious about dimensions.

In this exploration, we delve into 17 commonplace comparisons that bring the length of 3 centimeters to life.

From the width of a credit card to the diameter of a D battery, join us on a journey through everyday objects that help break down the humble 3 centimeters into a relatable concept.

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Let’s dive in.

17 Common Comparisons For 3 Centimeters

Three centimeters is a small length, approximately 1.18 inches.

Refer to the following items to understand how long it is.

1. An Adult Thumb

Almost everyone has a thumb, and it’s readily accessible. 

So, using a thumb as a reference for small lengths is a convenient and intuitive way to communicate and estimate measurements informally in various contexts.

Although it may vary with each individual, the difference is negligible, averaging approximately an inch (2.5 cm) for adults.

Thus, to understand how long 3 centimeters is, you can think of something slightly longer than an adult thumb.

2. 1 & ½ Us Quarters

The United States quarter dollars are an excellent way to understand different small lengths starting with one inch since each is 0.955 inches (about 2.4 cm) wide. 

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Some people collect them as a hobby, while others keep them for daily transactions, including vending machines, laundry, and parking meters.

So, if you can spot two around, place them side by side, and then imagine cutting either one into half. That’s how long 3 centimeters is.

3. Half the Width of a Credit Card

Many people have at least one credit card in their wallet, while some may carry multiple cards from different issuers, each offering various benefits and rewards.

That makes credit cards handy for visualizing small lengths such as 3 inches since they are all 3.37 inches long.

For 3 centimeters, the best way is to use their width instead. They’re 2.125 inches wide (approximately 5.4 cm), meaning half that is about three centimeters.

4. Half the Width of a Standard Playing Card

Playing cards are a staple in many countries. They are an enjoyable way to pass time with friends, playing card games such as poker, blackjack, bridge, and solitaire.

They come in different designs and themes, but the traditional 52-card deck with four suits (hearts, diamonds, clubs, and spades) is the most common.

Each card is 2.5 inches (approximately 6.35 cm) wide. So, imagine half its width to understand how long 3 centimeters is.

5. A D Battery

D batteries are a common type of cylindrical battery used in various portable electronic devices such as flashlights, radios, and toys. 

They are larger than AA or AAA batteries, providing more power and a longer lifespan due to their larger size.

With minimal variations depending on the manufacturer, they have a diameter of about 3.3 centimeters.

6. A USB Flash Drive

USB flash drives are invaluable tools for personal and professional use, offering an easy way to store and transfer digital data. 

Although their sizes vary between different models and manufacturers, most USB flash drives average approximately 3 centimeters long. That makes them highly portable and easy to carry in pockets, wallets, or attached to keychains, allowing users to transport digital data wherever they go.

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7. A No.1 Paper Clip

Also known as “small” or “gem” clips, No. 1 paper clips are among the most common in offices and schools. 

They are relatively small, measuring approximately 1.375 inches or slightly over three centimeters. 

Their size makes them ideal for light to moderate use and are suitable for organizing documents, attaching notes, or keeping paperwork in order.

8. A White Pencil Eraser

For many, pencil erasers evoke memories of their school days and early educational experiences since they are synonymous with exams, classwork, and homework assignments. 

They come in different styles, but the soft, white, natural pencil erasers are the most common for their effectiveness in erasing pencil marks with minimal smudging. 

They’re usually 3 centimeters long.

9. Thickness of 4 Standard Pencils

Pencils go hand in hand with erasers, and they can provide another angle to visualize 3 centimeters. 

Not with their length, though, as they are almost double that length, at about 19 centimeters.

But since they are 0.8 centimeters thick, if you can align four parallel to each other, you can get a sense of 3 centimeters.

10. 3 Thumbtacks Heads

Thumbtacks are versatile and convenient tools for displaying information temporarily by pressing the sharp end of the tack into a surface to fasten items.

Since the head of a thumbtack is approximately 0.4 inches wide (1 cm), you can pin three close to each other to give you 3 centimeters.

11. 2 Skittles

Skittles are a popular fruit-flavored candy known for their colorful, chewy, and sugary taste.

They come in many flavors and colors, making them a favorite among candy enthusiasts.

A single Skittle has a diameter of 15 mm (1.5 cm), so place two side by side to understand how long 3 centimeters is.

12. A Large-sized Walnut

Walnuts are nutritious nuts that come from the Juglans genus tree. They add a rich, nutty flavor and a pleasant crunch to many dishes, such as salads, desserts, and bread. 

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Generally, a standard large walnut measures about 3 centimeters wide, and is usually consumed as a standalone snack.

13. Half a Pea Pod

Peas are small, round, green seeds commonly consumed as a vegetable. You can use them in different dishes, including salads, soups, stir-fries, and casseroles.

A pod of peas falls between 2 to 3 inches (approximately six centimeters).

So, half is about three centimeters long.

14. A 2×4 Lego Brick

Lego bricks come in various sizes and shapes, but one of the most common sizes is the 2×4 brick, which means it has two studs (the round bumps on top) and four studs on the bottom. 

These 2×4 Lego bricks are 3.2 centimeters long, making perfect references for 3 centimeters.

15. 3 Standard Sugar Cubes

Sugar cubes are everyday sights in cafes, restaurants, and households worldwide. They are widely used for sweetening beverages and recipes that require precise measurements.

Their exact dimensions can vary slightly based on the brand and manufacturing process, with most having an edge length of one centimeter.

So, three centimeters is comparable to a line of three standard sugar cubes.

16. A Bottle Cap

The diameter of bottle caps can vary based on the type of bottle and the specific brand or manufacturer.

However, the difference is usually negligible, with most soda and water bottle caps averaging 3 centimeters wide.

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17. Thickness of 3 Apple Watches

Although Apple watches have different thicknesses depending on the model, the difference is usually minimal.

Most fall between 10 and 11 millimeters, as the company tries to provide a comfortable and stylish experience to appease its customers.

So, imagine a stack of three Apple watches, any model, to get an impression of 3 centimeters.

About Kevin Jones

My name is Kevin Jones, and I'm the proud founder of this website. I'm a self-professed measurement enthusiast, and I've been passionate about measuring things for as long as I can remember. On this website, you'll find information on all aspects of dimensions, including measurements and weight of stuff.