Difference Between Centimeter and Millimeter

Measurements are very important in our life. Whenever we use something, we used it to measure that. For example, if we buy something, we used it to measure that product before buying. We can measure using both centimeters and millimeters. It is, however, believed that centimeters are far more convenient than measuring the quantities using millimeters as millimeters are considered to be very small.  

Centimeter vs Millimeter

The main difference between Centimeter and Millimeter is that in Centimeter, the symbol used is cm. But the symbol used in Millimeter is mm. Centimeters are often used for measuring the height of a person. But millimeters cannot be used for measuring a height of a person since they are very small and the quantity will be very large. 

Centimeter vs Millimeter

A centimeter is a term used in mathematics to measure certain quantities. It is mostly used by school students in geometrical problems. We use centimeters to measure our height, and some people use inches to measure as well. But centimeter is very often used to measure heights among students in schools. We can find centimeter quantities in rulers. 

The millimeter is a quantity used in mathematics for measuring quantities. Nowadays, it is not only used in measuring quantities only in mathematics but also for measuring brain tumors as well. It is used for measuring a person’s height only when the height is not rounded off to the correct centimeter value. It will stand as a decimal value to the height. 

Comparison Table Between Centimeter and Millimeter

Parameters of ComparisonCentimeterMillimeter
Unit SystemMetricSI derived unit
SI Units10 mmNo
Symbol UsedcmMm
Measured usingScaleScale

What is Centimeter?

A centimeter is a unit that is most often used to measure length. Students will get the hang of it in Maths when they use this in Geometry. In Geometry, they use a scale to take the measurements of centimeters. If you combine 100 centimeters in one go, then it is called a meter. If you want to measure the centimeter, then the simple way to do it is with the example of a ruler. 

The inches that occupy 1 centimeter is 0.3937 inches. On the other hand, the inch, which is equivalent to centimeters, is 2.54 centimeters. Sometimes people use inches more than centimeters because it will be somewhat easy to measure as centimeters will be very small. If you buy an inch tape, it will have a centimeter on the backside of the tape. If students want to put a margin on a sheet of paper, they are often advised to use a 1-centimeter radius.

By using 1 centimeter as a radius, it will look clean and neat. You can even measure the centimeter of a finger. The maximum that can go would be 9 centimeters. Apart from that, it won’t be that long. In rulers, you can even measure millimeters and inches as well. But centimeters are mostly used in mathematics and especially in geometry by students.

What is Millimeter?

The millimeter is a quantity used in mathematics. This quantity can be measured with the help of a ruler. The ruler contains millimeters, centimeters, and inches as well. In the ruler, the smallest line will be used for measuring millimeters. It is very useful in geometry. Because the centimeter won’t always come in a rounded value. Sometimes, it might come in a decimal value. In such cases, the measurements will be calculated with the help of millimeters.

The symbol used for measuring millimeters is mm. The symbol is derived from the name itself. They are mostly used for measuring the metric system’s length. This is not only used in mathematics but also in science as well. In biology, it is used to measure the size of the brain tumor. Since brain tumors are often measured in millimeters because no other calculation will become a precise match for that.

To make an inch, it is required at least 25.4 millimeters, and the same will be continued for the rest as well. We can even convert millimeters to centimeters and vice versa. Even millimeters can be calculated in decimals as well. However, it cannot be used to measure the whole height of a person. But it is used for measuring the heights with decimal values. 

Main Differences Between Centimeter and Millimeter

  1. Centimeters are used for measuring a person’s height. On the other hand, millimeters cannot be used for measuring a person’s height.
  2. The unit system used in the centimeter is Metric. On the other hand, the unit system used in millimeters is SI derived unit.
  3. The symbol used for measuring centimeters is cm. The symbol used for measuring millimeters is mm.
  4. The SI unit for measuring centimeters is 10mm. But there is no SI unit for measuring millimeters since it is derived from the SI unit itself.
  5. The unit used to describe centimeters is length since it is mainly used for measuring the length of an object. Likewise, the unit used to describe millimeters is length since it is used for measuring an object’s length.


Both Centimeters and Millimeters are used for measuring quantities around us. It is a very popular topic that is taught in mathematics. No student can pass his primary level studies without learning about centimeters and millimeters. To pursue this in their higher studies, they should choose maths as their main subject so that they can incorporate it further.

But most people use centimeters because they are very easy to calculate than millimeters. Because millimeter is very small and the lines used to be very short which becomes difficult for students to calculate. Both are important in a student’s life. And these two quantities are measured with the help of a ruler. Also, the ruler contains inches as well. 


  1. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/4056636/
  2. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/1450053/
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