Tread depth is a vertical measurement between the top of the tread rubber to the bottom of the tire's deepest grooves. In the United States, tread depth is measured in 32nds of an inch. Because it is difficult to accurately measure tread depth with a ruler, tread depth is best measured with a tire tread depth gauge. When tires have neared the end of their life, a U.S. Lincoln penny can also be used to confirm the tire's tread depth. If Lincoln's entire head is visible, the tire is worn to approximately 2/32" and is considered legally worn out in most States.