Given the number of requests I've received for slide rule manuals, I thought I'd create a separate page listing the ones available on my site. Plenty of additional manuals can also be found at many of the sites listed on my Links page. You may also find my Slide Rule Books of interest for more info. A description of slide rule types and common scale labels is given on my Slide Rule Scales page. Finally, for a more general introduction to slide rules, please check out my Introduction page

Here is the 4 half-page instruction sheets from Pickett on how to use their basic model slide rule. It's applicable to just about any student slide rule. You can download or view the two images (150 dpi, about 250 KB per page) from the links below.

Just print them out on the front and back of the same piece of paper, then fold in the middle, and you have a perfectly good little slide rule manual!

Alternatively, if you want a little more detail, you can print out the two-page basic Sterling instruction sheet which gives you a little more background than the Pickett. Click on the two images on the right (100 dpi) to open up larger versions of the sheets suitable for printing (about 400 KB each). Again, I'd recommend printing them on the front and back of the same piece of paper, just like they would come with a Sterling slide rule.

A standard manual for circular slide rules, direct from Concise in the Fall, 2002. The basic manual for No. 28, 46, and 320 rules is a simple front-and-back scan like the examples above. There's also an additional front-and-back scan of a separate sheet for the trig scales on the model 300.

- Standard, Front page
- Standard, Back page
- No. 300 Trig Scales, Front page
- No. 300 Trig Scales, Back page

This is one of my favourite introductory slide rule manuals. Published in 1961, it has a much more modern appearance and writing style than earlier manuals. As the name implies, the K-12 Prep rule was designed for high school students, and the manual is therefore directed toward someone with a high school understanding of math. It gives an excellent overview as to the background and use of the slide rule, and is applicable to any basic slide rule. What I also like is the high degree of enthusiasm the authors have for their subject ... I'm sure they helped demystify many key concepts for people. You can download scans of pairs of pages (100 dpi, about 150 KB per scan) from the links below:

- Front and back cover (conversion factors)
- Table of contents and page 1 (introduction)
- Pages 2 and 3 (background)
- Pages 4 and 5 (basic scale illustration)
- Pages 6 and 7 (multiplication)
- Pages 8 and 9 (division)
- Pages 10 and 11 (proportions)
- Pages 12 and 13 (CI scale, squares and roots)
- Pages 14 and 15 (cubes and roots)
- Pages 16 and 17 (trigonometry)
- Pages 18 and 19 (sample problems)
- Pages 20 and 21 (problem answers, logs)

Given the rarity of cylindrical slide rules, I thought I'd make available the Otis King manual for the common type K and L models. The helical nature of the scales takes a little getting used to, and these pages should help you out. As with the general K&E instructions earlier above, I've combined pages in the sequential order they appear rather than in a directly printable format like the simple one page instructions sheets. File sizes are also similar to the K&E manual.

- Page 1 (cover and illustrations)
- Pages 2 and 3 (general use instructions)
- Pages 4 and 5 (various examples)
- Pages 6 and 7 (Model L scale explanation)
- Page 8 (determination of decimal point)

Return to Eric's Slide Rule Page

Page last updated on December 1, 2002 -

All material © 1999, 2002 by Eric Marcotte, Ph.D.