There are a number of worthwhile tasks a ruler is very good at: To measure the length of a thing, specifically, a thing that is probably under a foot in length; for drawing straight lines; and for marking specific points on said straight lines, often in aid of cutting something.
There are also a number of tasks for which a ruler is more of a “this might be good in a pinch”-type tool, like administering a paddlin’, or as a proto-boomerang. Using a ruler to line-up your beard also probably falls into that category, because while yes, it might do in a pinch, it’s absolutely, positively, not the tool for the job.
Let us consider the reasons. First, a ruler is as long as it is rigid and flat, which is to say it doesn’t exactly conform to the contours of your decidedly not long, not flat face, or neck. Holding it flush while you get your clippers around your Adam’s apple is a near impossibility, in fact.
Secondly, as we covered at the top, rulers are only good at drawing straight lines, not curved. Now, go look in the mirror: How many straight lines do you see? Odds are, not many; your neckline is a “U”, your cheek lines also curve down from your sideburns. Basically, unless you’re a certain mega-famous basketball player with a mega-famously perfectly straight beard, a straight ruler just doesn’t make sense (and, let’s face it, it doesn’t make sense for a certain mega-famous basketball player, either).
Thankfully, there are some way-better options for getting perfectly even beard lines. Take, for example, the many purpose-made tools for the job. Or, perhaps the best multitasker available, a beard comb — which, because it’s much shorter in length than a ruler, makes a way better tool for defining and trimming the gentle curves of your beard. And if you want more specifics, we have of course already written details guides to trimming both your cheek line and your neckline.
So the next time it’s time to shape your beard up, leave the ruler in your desk.