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Hi Jonnypump321 and welcome to the forum!
There are several tools that can be used for measuring staffs. A small mic as Arutha suggests is the best and easiest to find. Also as you suggest laying them side by side under high magnification can get you very close for measuring lengths and heights. Laying them in opposite directions and bringing them together can give you extremely close, accurate hub and shoulder height dimensions. There are pivot gauges and some pretty neat tools from the past that work well but are not really necessary.
I know that you are just asking a question and a good one at that but I would like to give an unsolicited suggestion here. You said that this is the first staff that you have removed which I assume means that this is your first staffing job. Staffing can be a bit daunting at first and can take a little time to get the hang of. My suggestion is to order the exact staff (or 3) that you need for this job. As you get more proficient at it you can try to match a staff from a bulk batch. I have found that I almost ALWAYS had to alter one or more dimensions on a lathe when choosing a staff from an assortment. Not a big deal but it’s probably good to have the ball in your court when starting out. It’s tough enough at first. If it’s a watch that you’ can’t locate a factory staff for then it might help to set that one aside for a while and tackle a few staffing jobs where the correct staff is available. Again it’s just a suggestion.
Hope this helps Jonnypump321,