What Is a Kip Measurement?

A kip is an informal measurement of force that equals 1,000 pounds. The name is a combination of “kilo” and “pound.” It can also be used to represent 1,000 inch-pounds when used as a unit of energy or torque.

Kips are non-SI force units which may either use the symbol kip or klb. This should not be confused with kp, a symbol used to represent a measurement known as kilopond or kilogram-force in Europe before the introduction of SI units. Kips can additionally be used as a unit of mass and therefore when representing force may also be called kip-force (kipf or klbf) to avoid confusion.

The unit is a product of the English engineering system, in which pounds are commonly used to measure weight. Engineers use the kip regularly because the unit makes numbers far more manageable and reduces mistakes made by dealing with too many large figures. When used as a unit of mass, kips can be useful in measuring deadweight, the amount of weight a ship is carrying or can carry safely, to calculate shipping charges. Although the kip is most regularly used as a force measurement, it is still relatively uncommon compared to the widely used newton force unit; one kip is equivalent to 4448.2216 N.