The clinometer is used for levelling, different measurements, such as height difference between two point, rise or fall of a slope, distance to the point observed. It is hand-held at eye level by a ring which is attached to a universal joint which allows the instrument to hang perpendicularly. The two sighting scales give the following readings:
- ± 100% ; ± 50g or 45° according to graduation used
- distances from 5 to 500 m (base 2 m)
- the most commonly used slope ratios i.e. 1:1, 2:3, 4:5 etc.