How to Measure Saxophone Pads
The best way to determine what size saxophone pads you need is to examine the original saxophone pads that were installed on the saxophone, 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 saxophone pads. If the new saxophone pads are not identical to the original saxophone pads (especially in thickness), it will make the new sax pad installation process much more difficult. Excessive time will also be spent (unnecessarily) bending the saxophone keys to make the new saxophone pads functional, so do your best to choose the correct sizes!
The general rule for sizing new saxophone pads is that you can go .5mm lower and be fine, but you cannot be too big. So if you are in doubt, choose a new saxophone pad size that is .5mm smaller. It can be frustrating for the beginner to learn how to measure saxophone pads, since they are not always EXACTLY the size you are expecting. Measuring new saxophone pads can take a little patience and practice. Please expect the saxophone pads 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 new saxophone pads for new saxophone pad installation: