13 Common Things That Are About 40 Centimeters Long (+ Pics)

Ever wondered how long 40 centimeters is?

Knowing the length of 40 cm can be handy for everyday activities, such as measuring ingredients for cooking, determining the size of a small object, or estimating distances.

Also, if you’re involved in construction, carpentry, crafting, or any other do-it-yourself (DIY) projects, knowing the length of 40 cm can help with accurate cutting, sizing, or fitting of materials. 

Moreover, if you have a keen interest in measurements and dimensions, this knowledge can enhance your existing knowledge base. 

No matter your goals, things that are about 40 cm long are just what you need to understand how long 40 centimeters is.

And below, you will find 13 items that are just as long to use as reference points.

Read: 9 Things That are Approximately 4 Centimeters Long (With Visuals)

Let’s dive in.

Things That Are About 40 Cm Long

40 centimeters is a short length, equivalent to about 16 inches or one foot.

The following items can give you an impression of how long it is. 

1. Length of Two No. 2 Pencils

Did you know that the pencils commonly used from elementary school all the way through high school are often called No. 2 pencils? 

When brand new, plus the eraser included, No. 2 pencils are about 7.5 inches long (19.05 cm), making them excellent references for things measuring about 15 inches and other small lengths. 

And since 40 cm falls in the same class of small measurements, these pencils can come in handy, too.

If you can visualize two placed end-to-end, they would be about 38.1 centimeters, almost close.

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2. Length of Three Capped Pens

Pens go hand in hand with No. 2 pencils. Since almost everyone can remember and visualize their size, they can be excellent reference points for various lengths, only if you know how long they are. 

As you already know, pens come in all types and sizes. They can be as long as six inches, such as the Sakura Gelly Roll, and as tiny as 4.8 inches, like the Parker Jotter. 

However, those are exclusive and rare. Usually, the standard length of a typical pen is 5.4 inches, about 14 cm.

If you can visualize three such pens end-to-end, they would be approximately 40 cm long.

3. A Line of Five Debit Cards

Debit cards are so popular that now there’s a good chance you have one in your pocket! These cards can come in handy when you want to understand lengths, from tiny ones, such as three inches, to small ones, like 40 cm. 

If you have ever realized, all debit cards are equal, measuring 3.37 inches long and 2.25 inches wide. 

So, if you can place five in a straight line end to end, they would give you an impression of something measuring 40 cm long. 

On the same page of debit cards, you can also use credit cards similarly since they’re just as long.

4. A Line of Eight Business Cards

Business cards are just a little longer than debit and credit cards, measuring 3.5 inches long (about 9 cm) and slightly narrower, at 2.0 inches wide (5.02 cm). Even if you don’t have one, chances are you are familiar with them if you have ever attended a professional meeting, as they are exchanged during networking events, business meetings, and conferences. 

For a practical understanding of 40 centimeters, visualize eight business cards arranged end-to-end width-wise.

5. Length of Two Bricks

Bricks are one of our favorite items at measuringly.com for referencing small measurements, weights and lengths.

Of course, the size of bricks varies from country to country, so it’s critical to first check the standard size in your country before using them as benchmarks for various measurements.

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In the United States, a standard brick weighs 2.05 kilograms and is usually eight inches long (roughly 20 centimeters).

So, if you placed two US standard bricks end-to-end, you would get precisely 40 cm.

6. A Line of 15 Bottle Caps

Another yet universally known item. If not sealing drink bottles, we usually repurpose bottle caps for other purposes such as game markers or tokens in board games or homemade games, creating jewelry, decorative items – you name them. 

Although bottle caps are tiny, with a diameter of 1.02 inches (2.6 cm), they can give you a visual understanding of 40 cm. Arrange as many as 15 end-to-end.

7. MacBook Pro (M2 Max, 2023)

If you are a fan of Apple products, there’s a high likelihood that you are familiar with MacBook Pro (M2 Max, 2023) or you, in fact, own one. It’s considered the most powerful at the time of writing this post. 

This laptop is 16 inches long (40.64 cm) and could be just what you need to understand how long 40 centimeters is.

8. Height of a Bowling Pin

Since bowling is a well-liked pastime for many Americans, we can use bowling pins to understand various lengths because of their familiarity with most populations.

These pins are usually 15 inches long, a perfect reference for things that are about 15 inches.

And since 15 inches is equivalent to 38.1 cm, they can give you a close-to-enough idea of a length of 40 cm.

9. Diameter of Two Volleyballs

Due to the popularity of volleyball at the high school, college, and recreational levels, as well as in the sport in media and professional competitions, most are familiar with the ball itself. 

Volleyball has a diameter of approximately 8.2 inches (about 20 cm), meaning if you can visualize two close to each other, they would give you an idea of what 40 cm looks like.

10. A Line of 17 US quarters

We often use US quarters to reference tiny lengths such as one inch.

But because of their familiarity and ease of accessibility, if you have many, you can use them to understand relatively long measurements, like in our case here.

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All quarters are 0.955 inches long (2.4 cm). So if you can line up as many as seventeen end-to-end, they would be approximately 40 cm long.

11. Combined Width of Seven US Dollars

Who can’t visualize the size of a US dollar banknote? These everyday notes are the perfect reference for six inches and other measurements since they’re all 6.14 inches long. 

But their length would not give us accurate results when we want to understand a measurement of 40 cm. So, instead, we turn to the width, which is usually 5.715 cm.

As such, you can line up seven US banknotes width-wise, as they add up to precisely 40 cm.

12. Length of Two Letter-size Papers

The letter size paper is the most commonly used size in the United States for printing documents, letters, and office use. 

Measuring 8.5 inches by 11 inches (21.59 cm by 27.94 cm), this paper is almost equal to the A4 size paper used in countries following the ISO 216 standard, such as many European and Asian countries at 8.27 inches by 11.69 inches (21 cm by 29.7 cm). 

The combined width of two letter-size papers is about 43 cm. Slightly longer than 40 cm, but it can be helpful if you are not so strict, for example, when sharing trivia with friends.

13. A Pile of 16 Hockey Pucks

A hockey puck is a small, disk-shaped object and the primary object of play during a hockey game. It’s usually propelled across the ice surface by players using their sticks.

If you’re familiar with the sport, a hockey puck could be an excellent reference point for small lengths, including 3 inches and one inch, since it has a diameter of three inches and a height of one inch. And the good thing is those dimensions are consistent across professional and amateur levels of play.

Therefore, since one inch is the same as 2.54 cm, a pile of 16 hockey pucks is approximately 40 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.