Measuring Clarinet Pads

Instrument Clinic clarinet pads

The best way to determine what clarinet pad sizes you need is to examine the pads that were removed from the clarinet, assuming they were the correct size to start with. Measure the face of each pad with a ruler or, if possible, a set of digital calipers. Then measure the thickness of the clarinet pad. If the new clarinet pad sizes are not identical to the original clarinet pad sizes, (especially in thickness), it will make the new clarinet pad installation process much more difficult. Excessive time will also be spent (unnecessarily) bending keys to make the pads work, so do your best to choose the correct sizes!

The general rule for clarinet pad sizes is that you can go .5mm lower and be fine, but you cannot be too big. So if you are in doubt, choose a clarinet pad size that is .5mm smaller. It can be frustrating for the beginner to learn how to measure clarinet pads, since they are not always EXACTLY the size you are expecting. Measuring clarinet pads can take a little patience and practice. Please expect the clarinet pad sizes to measure "close" to a given size. For example, a 15mm pad might measure at 14.91mm, or 15.02mm. When using a set of digital calipers, a tiny movement can give you a different reading (especially since the pads are soft). The following Photos might be helpful for those who are learning how to measure clarinet pads:

Measuring 12.5mm clarinet pads                               Measuring a 15.0mm clarinet pad                               Measuring a 17.0mm clarinet pad