Whether you’re a professional or a DIY enthusiast, you will undoubtedly agree that the use of proper tools is paramount to the success of any project. While fairly inexpensive, the effectiveness of these tapes tends to differ from one manufacturer to another, especially if you’re buying a high-end tape measure with inbuilt electronics. Even if you don’t you still have to take the time and figure out what to look for in a tape measure, both in regards to flexibility and durability. With this in mind, let us find out what are the ten best tape measures money can buy.
10. Milwaukee General Contractor
With the Milwaukee General Contractor tape measure, you get an inexpensive yet accurate way to measure pretty much anything. It has a total blade length of 25 feet which is sufficient to carry out quick and professional measurements easily. Bringing a simplistic design and mechanism, the tape lets you quickly measure and recoil with relative ease. It is also designed to offer maximum comfort, which is why it will fit in your hand as easily as it does in your pocket. We should also point out that it is made from high-quality materials and offers a durability like few others in this price range.
9. HandyMate Digital Tape Measure
When you purchase the HandyMate Digital tape measure, you get an impressive lifetime guarantee from the manufacturer. The tape measure can store up to 8 different measurements and you can find them quickly as well. Made from high-quality carbon steel, this tape measure offers durability like no other product in its class. On the tape measure, you get a large LCD display that has an inverted display option as well. The measure also offers you a choice of readings from US standards to metric measurements with the touch of a button.
8. eTape 16BT Measure Tape
When conducting measurements, you should always go for practicality and this is exactly what the eTape 16BT has to offer, with a few surprises as well. It is extremely rugged and durable and can withstand any kind of weather, mostly due to the fact that it is made of high-quality polycarbonate plastic which offers a hard and protective casing. It also features a large digital display that helps you read measurements correctly along with a total of 3 memory functions – 1 short-term and 2 long-term.
7. Lufkin Hi-Viz Quickread Tape Measure
The Lufkin Hi-Viz Quickread tape measure not only looks good, it also is designed to be extremely comfortable in the hand and for extended periods of time. The blade of the tape measure is durable and impressively easy to read. Furthermore, the readings are visible on the blade surface itself to help you get a quick reading. The tape measures 1 inch in width and 25 feet in length which allows you to carry out any measurement easily. Readings are available in both fractions as well as decimals so you can always get the most accurate readings possible.
6. FastCap PSSR25 Measure Tape
With the FastCap PSSR25 tape measure, it doesn’t matter whether you’re a lefty or a righty. The readings are on both sides of the tape which make it easy to work with. There is an erasable notepad on the side of the tape measure to help you write down readings quickly and erase them when not needed. For this purpose, the tape has easy to read fractions that go up to 1/16”. To keep it safe from fall damage, the tape measure is fitted into a rubber boot. It also has a very handy pencil sharpener built into it.
5. Komelon SL2825 Self Lock
With the help of a self-locking mechanism, the Komelon SL2825 can easily extend the blade quickly and smoothly. The retraction is also just as smooth thanks to the push button that draws the tape blade back instantly. The entire tape blade is coated in nylon to extend its already durable lifespan. Not only that but the tape measures 25 feet in length and has a 7.1 feet stand out feature.
4. Kutir 25 Foot Measuring Tape Kit
The Kutir 25 Foot tape measure is an affordable and useful tool for DIY-ers and contractors alike. With its 7 foot stand out, you can easily measure anything with ease even when you’re by yourself. We should point out that it measures just 0.15mm in thickness and has a total length of 25 feet. At the same time, the tape measure is protected against accidental drops with the help of a rubberized shock absorbent case. The tape is also topped off with a powerful magnet at the end to ensure you always get the correct reading single-handedly.
3. QuickDraw DIY Self Marking Tape Measure
The uniqueness of the QuickDraw DIY tape measure speaks for itself. It is the world’s first tape measure to come with an in-built graphite dispensing wheel. This allows you to mark the measures you want without having to fumble around for a pencil. Not only is the tape quick and easy to use, but it is remarkably accurate. You get a Tru-View sight to help you get the best readings always. The tape measure gives you an impressive 9+ foot stand out which is perfect for measuring virtually any object easily. Not only that but it also has a powerful recoil action for good measure.
2. Stanley Fat Max Measuring Tape
The Stanley Fat Max tape measure from Black & Decker is quite a unique item by all standards. It comes with an 11-inch tape stand out as well as stud center markings at 16 inches and 19.2 inches which helps during any type of framing work. It also features a thin coat of mylar polyester to extend the lifespan of the tape while its recoil spring is heat treated to provide a smooth and durable use long-term. We should also point out that it measures 1.1 inches in width and 30 feet in length which is more than enough for measuring almost anything. Interestingly enough, the first 6 feet of the blade is covered in a BladeArmor coat that keeps it safe and usable for years.
1. Stanley Powerlock Measuring Tape
The Stanley Powerlock is a powerful and useful tape measure that has a length of 25 feet and a width of just 1 inch. The blade is yellow in color and is easy to read while a special mechanism keeps the blade locked so you never have to lose track of a recorded measurement ever again. The tape measure has an ABS case to keep it protected from drops, falls, and other shocks while the blade is coated in mylar to offer added durability. Last but not least, its recoil spring is heat treated for smooth and repetitive use.
A Tape Measure Buying Guide
Tape measures are probably the most useful tools anyone could have in their toolbox. They allow the handyman or homeowner to take accurate measurements so they can cut wood, make repairs, or hang pictures with confidence. Unfortunately, these tools are also some of the most unappreciated tools, too and people usually just end up buying one without giving it much thought. We think that’s a big mistake, so we decided to find out what consumers should look for before they purchase their next tape measure. The following tips will allow just about anyone to buy the best tape measure for their needs.
Consider Tape Measure Size
One of the very first things a consumer should consider before buying a new tape measure is the size of the one they need. And this isn’t always an easy decision. That’s because there are pros and cons to large tape measures and probably just as many pros and cons for smaller tape measures. It all depends on how it’s being used. A measuring tape with a thicker, bigger blade will handle more abuse than a smaller bladed model, but it can also be a hassle to use, especially in crowded workshop environments. Also, tape measures with thicker blades are easier to use over long distances than smaller bladed models. However, in the end, the model chosen is probably going to be according to the user’s personal preferences.
Decide on 1/16th Or 1/32 Tapes
The next thing a person should think about is whether they want a tape measure that measures in 1/16-inch increments or one that measures in 1/32 inch increments. Some handymen may need tapes that measure in 1/32-inch increments for enhanced accuracy, but most people will probably get by with using a 1/16-inch tape measure. Why buy a 1/16-inch tape measure if it doesn’t offer the same high level of precision as a 1/32-inch? Well, the main benefit of 1/16-inch measures is that they have bigger numbering and are therefore easier to read.
The composition of the tape measure’s blade is often overlooked by people, but it’s one of the more important parts to consider before buying a tape measure. When it comes to blade materials, consumers usually have one of three different choices: Steel, Stainless Steel or Fiberglass. Let’s examine the characteristics of each of these tape measure blade materials.
Most ordinary hardware store tape measure have blades made out of steel. And there’s a good reason why that’s the case. This material is durable, has good tensile strength, and is fairly inexpensive. However, that doesn’t mean that all steel blades on measuring tapes are the same. Some companies use protective coatings that increase the durability of the tape, and others do not, so it’s always important to keep that in mind when buying one.
Although this is a fairly uncommon metal for tape measures to be made from, there are some models with stainless steel blades. This tape measure blade is water-resistant, so they’re great for anyone working around water. However, they often cost more than and are less durable than steel bladed models.
Fiberglass is often the material that surveyor tape measures are made from. That’s because they’re resistant to heat and watch, they won’t stretch under pressure, and they maintain a good amount of flexibility. If the consumer needs to measure long distances through dirt and mud, then tape measures with fiberglass blades are probably the best way to go.
The Type Of Hook
Although there aren’t a whole lot of different hook types to choose from, choosing one from among these few different models are important. Let’s get a closer look at different hook types and see how they differ from one another.
Small, Flat Hooks
These hooks are often found on some of the cheaper tape measures available and there aren’t that great. Better made professional models usually offer bigger hooks that can be attached to objects in several different ways. Of course, not everyone will need a tool with a bigger hook, so the consumer should choose what’s appropriate for them. Sometimes DIY enthusiasts and homeowners don’t mind a cheaper tape measure with a smaller hook for household jobs. Professionals, on the other hand, will probably want to spring for the bigger hooks.
These hooks are designed with a metal hook that folds-up for convenience and is equipped with teeth that allow it to be anchored directly into the ground. As the name implies, these hooks are specifically made for surveyors, but other types of professionals may find these surveyor tape-measure-hooks quite useful.
Tape accuracy is another important consideration. As a general rule, tape measures are classified into 3 different classifications. There are Class I, Class II and Class III models. Of course, some people say that there are actually 4 classification models because the cheap models that are often sold in department stores fall into their own classification. However, those bargain-basement tape measures are actually unclassified, meaning that they don’t conform to any standard. The 3 “true” tape measure classifications are listed below.
Class I Measuring Tapes: These are the most accurate tapes available and usually have an accuracy of +/- 1.1mm over distance.
Class II Measuring Tapes: These are usually accurate within +/- 2.3mm over distance.
Class II Measuring Tapes: These tapes are only accurate within +/- 3.0mm over distance.
Other Features To Consider
Now that we’ve covered the basics of tape measures, it’s time to talk about some of the other features a person might want to consider. Below are some of the things that a person may want to keep in mind before they buy a new tape measure.
- Open Or Closed Case Designs
- Automatic Or Conventional Blade Locks
- Tape Length