We spent 25 hours researching and testing 15 different types of tape measure and found that sturdiness, length of the tape, and brand reputation were most important. The Stanley 25 foot FatMax tape measure scored well above the others we tested in all categories and easily became our top pick. Users will have 25 feet of measuring capability. The first 6 feet of the tape measure is reinforced so it is not floppy like many cheaper tape measures are. The comfortable cushion grip is built-in and provides non-slip grip and the impact resistance protects against drops.
Introduction to the Tape Measures
Having a good quality tape measure may not be in the forefront of most people’s minds until they need one. It is a good idea to have at least one tape measure in your tool box but since they can easily disappear, you might be better off having several around your home or workshop.
There are many types of tape measures on the market, from simple, fabric styles to high-tech digital models. They are used for tasks that require measurement and are critical tools when it comes to ensuring correct project measurements. Whether you are building a bookcase, putting up shelves or building a home, you need a good quality tape measure.
This guide will help you understand the different types of tape measures available and the capabilities of each. Not all tape measures are of good quality so it is important to know what to look for when sorting through all the different kinds.
A good quality tape measure can last decades when it is taken care of properly. You want to ensure that the tape measure you purchase takes care of the needs you have and that it will be able to handle all measuring tasks you have. The information in this guide will help you accomplish that goal.
Top 10 Tape Measures
|Rank||Picture||Tape Measure||Size (Inches)||Tape Coating|
|1||Stanley 33725||1.25 x 300.00||Mylar Polyester|
|2||Trust||1.00 x 300.00||Nylon|
|3||Quickdraw||1.25 x 300.00||Nylon|
|4||Stanley Powerlock||1.00 x 300.00||Mylar Polyester|
|5||Pink Box||1.00 x 300.00||Nylon|
|6||eTape||1.00 x 192.00||Poly Carbonate|
|7||Komelon||1.00 x 300.00||Nylon|
|8||Ubante||1.00 x 300.00||Nylon|
|9||Magnelex||1.25 x 312.00||Rubber|
|10||Lufkin||1.00 x 300.00||Nylon|
Tape Measures Summary
Any of the choices we reviewed above are the type of high quality tape measure that you want in your tool box. Modern tape measures are better than ever with durable, long lasting construction, comfortable non-slip grip cases and reinforced blades for longevity and ease of use. With tape measures like this, struggling to get those measurements even when working alone, is a thing of the past.
The type and scope of your measuring jobs can help you determine what type of tape measure is best for your needs. If you hardly ever need to take measurements, you will not need to worry about a heavy duty, industrial-style tape measure. If, however, you are a professional contractor or avid DIYer that has a lot of projects on a regular basis, you will find value in investing in a high-quality, industrial-grade tape measure.
There are certain features you want to look for when researching tape measures. These features include an impact resistant case, durability, reinforced blade, and other convenient features that make measuring easy, even if you find yourself one-handed.
Tape Measure Comparison Chart
|1.25 x 300.00||1.00 x 300.00||1.25 x 300.00||1.00 x 300.00||1.00 x 300.00||1.00 x 192.00||1.00 x 300.00||1.00 x 300.00||1.25 x 312.00||1.00 x 300.00|
Tape Measure Buying Guide
Types of Tape Measure
There are several types of tape measures on the market to choose from. The type you need will depend on the kind of measuring jobs you will be doing. There are three basic categories of tape measures that the different models will fall into:
- Conventional – A conventional tape measure has a metal blade that is extended out from the hand held case. It extends the length of the item or space being measured and you read the distance on the tape measure that corresponds with the length of the item.
- Digital – Digital tape measures work by utilizing different technologies that calculate the distance of the item or space is being measured. The measurement is then displayed on an LCD screen.
- Measuring Wheel – This type of tape measure counts the number of revolutions the wheel makes as it is walked along the area being measured. It is not a measuring device that is good for small measurements on boards, etc, but it is very good for longer distances that can be walked.
Conventional Measuring Tapes
Conventional tape measures are just as popular now as they always have been. They are not electronic and can be very simple in design. Some of the more modern conventional tape measures have features such as auto-locking and design features that make them easier than ever to use.
They are long lasting as well. Most DIYers and contractors have a regular, conventional tape measure in their tool box for quick measuring jobs. They are not expensive and can be found easily. There are a few different types of conventional tape measures including:
- Flexible tape measures – flexible tape measures are used for sewing, sizing clothing, tracking fitness progress, and measuring the circumference of various things including waists and busts in dress making. Flexible tape measures are not typically used in woodworking projects or larger scale building projects.
Flexible tape measures usually come in plastic, cloth, or fiberglass. They can measure anywhere from 60” up to hundreds of feet when used for industrial applications.
- Metal tape measures – This type of tape measure is the one you see in garages, tool boxes and on the tool belts of most contractors. The blade of the measuring tape is made of metal, usually steel, and can extend out anywhere from 3 feet to as much as 30 feet or more.
Conventional tape measures are easy to use, just pull the end out and measure whatever you need to measure then let the metal blade retract back into the casing. Some conventional tape measures have auto lock features that hold the metal blade out to the desired length.
This makes them very easy to use one handed. The blade will stay extended until a button is pressed which retracts the blade. Other features include a hook on the end of the tape measure that allows it to be hooked onto whatever you are measuring so one person can easily measure longer items.
- Measuring Wheels – This is not exactly a full out tape measure but it performs the same function when measuring longer distances. Surveyors, contractors, and landscapers commonly use measuring wheels. They are especially good for measuring trails, pools, and other outdoor areas that you can walk along.
Most measuring wheels are designed similarly in that they all have a wheel which rolls along the ground and a long handle that enables the user to walk normally while measuring.
Tape measures have changed and upgraded in technology over the years. While they were once considered high tech gadgets, they are now a necessary part of any homeowner, professional contractor or DIYer’s tools. They are mostly an inexpensive tool, even the high-quality brands, which makes them an easy purchase for any budget.
Since there are so many different applications in which a tape measure can be used, it is recommended to get a few of the different styles for your various needs. Regardless of the style you choose, make sure to look for one that converts imperial measurement to metric and metric to imperial. This will save you time in making those conversions manually.
Most DIYers and professionals know to keep tape measures in several places around the home and garage or workshop and even their vehicles. This way you will always be ready to take care of any measuring task that arises.
The information contained in this buyer’s guide is designed to help you sort through all the different tape measures on the market so you can make a choice that will work for most, if not all, of your measuring needs. We have gone over the different types that are available as well as the features that some models might have that can make the tape measure more convenient to use.
Tape measures come in many different styles, colors, and widths. Most people prefer the wide-style tape measure and like brightly-colored casings so they are easy to spot in the tool box. Whatever your preferences, make sure the tape measure you choose is made from durable materials, offers features that simplify its use, and will last a long, long time. When taken care of properly, there is no reason a high-quality tape measure can’t last a lifetime.