Every half-decent handyman and woodworker should know what a good tape measure can do for their projects. A tape measure’s impact on DIY hobbyists worldwide cannot be understated because trying to do measurements with just your eyes isn’t feasible.
By doing so, you are prone to mistakes and miscalculations. Even the smallest of miscalculations can end up ruining the entire project! For instance, a desk with misaligned legs is not useful and forces the woodworker to create a new frame.
The main attraction of a good measuring tape is to prevent disasters like the situation above from occurring. A woodworker can complete any task if they know the exact measurements of what they are about to do next. For example, they can measure some space in a room and see how big their new desk is about to be.
Tape measures are instrumental outside of DIY jobs, too, as they’re practically a better ruler in most scenarios. A person could measure their waist for an upcoming outfit, measure any new bicep gains, and anything else that can utilize a tape measure’s usefulness.
The following items are the best tape measures selected by the Handyman Guide! Some factors like endurance, length, and elasticity are considered when ranking these tape measures. Naturally, some of the top brands are listed for their fantastic products, including their tape measures’ versatility!
At a Glance – The Best Tape Measure:
When to Use These Tape Measures?
These tape measures are a necessity among several fields. Construction workers can use it to measure various projects safely at job sites. Any DIYer can use tape measures for multiple projects, while tailors can create the perfect outfit.
Regardless of a person’s career path, there is always a need to own a tape measure. For example, they’re more flexible than standard rulers, allowing them to be significantly more convenient for general measurements. It’s safe to say that these measuring devices are the favorites among stiffer or less durable measurement devices.
Every project should necessitate the need to use a tape measure. Without proper measurements, a project could take longer and require more effort to complete.
This simple fact, alongside its low price, makes a tape measure one of the most common tools in a home. Some tape measures can also last for years, so its low cost makes it an even more appealing option than some tools that can break easily, like a ruler.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Tape Measure
Some factors matter more under specific circumstances than others. For instance, durability may not be a big deal if its use is only for short-term usage.
The factors worth considering are:
Durability of the measurement film and its case
Durability is a reasonably obvious topic to discuss. The two main components of a tape measure’s durability are the blade’s strength and the compartment itself. The blade refers to the measuring component (it resembles a ruler).
A blade’s durability can be summed up as how easy it is to bend and how long it can last. Some blades can snap over prolonged usage, while others bend and twist, quickly becoming unusable. When snaps or damage occur due to use, this gives you a less accurate measurement. Even if there is no visible damage, less durable tapes promote inaccuracies.
The build quality of the overall compartment defines what is held within the overall structure. Elements you might not see, like a spring or shock absorption, are included in this discussion. Predictably, more durable tape measures are considered more desirable than nondurable ones, especially for contractors, those in the construction industry, or people who regularly work from a toolbox.
The Length of The Tape Measure
Some people need a measuring tape that can cover a significant distance. Others only need one that covers basic DIY projects like crafting a chair or table. Generally, longer tape measures are better, but it’s your pick, and it heavily depends on the project you need a measuring unit for.
One crucial aspect to note regarding length is how durable it is. Longer lengths are prone to bending and breaking, so if a person is seeking a long-distance measuring tape, they should find one that is durable. Similarly, short tape measures don’t break as easily, making them desirable for hobbyists and other minor tasks.
Some factors for convenience include:
- How easy it is to use
- How intuitive it is to use
- Additional features for quality of life
The first two seem highly similar, but there are some minor differences. A product can be easy to use but not necessarily intuitive. Likewise, a product can be intuitive to use but require more force and effort to operate correctly.
Additional quality of life features can be defined as bonus content that can make a tape measure more appealing. Shock absorption, the ability to clip on the measuring tape to your belt, and bright colors can make using and finding a tape measure significantly more accessible. There are plenty of unique quirks for some products, so some of the following tape measures may list it as an advantage to its name. Magnets, hooks, and a wrist strap are all some of the possible add-ons you might want in a tape.
The more readable the tape measure is, the better it is. Generally, bigger numbers and easy to look at fractions are ideal. Small numbers are not desirable for people with lackluster eyesight. Likewise, if all of the numbers look scrunched up together, it simply isn’t worth hurting one’s eyes to look at it for measurements. Readability is often tied to convenience, so all of the following tape measures are readable and painless, although some handle it better than others.
Most people don’t want to spend a lot of money on junk. However, not everybody is on a budget. Some options may be $10, while others can be nearly $30. All of the following measuring tapes are fantastic in their own right, but the price does play a critical role for some people.
Affordable options are typically lower quality than their more expensive counterparts. That doesn’t mean it’s bad per se, just that it is outclassed. Of course, all of the affordable items on this list are better than more expensive items, not on this guide. Some bonuses like extra deals and bundles may make some options more appealing, as well.
Ordinarily, metric units are superior to imperial ones. Some people may prefer pure American measurements, but it can get complicated when handling fractions of an inch compared to millimeters. Some of it is a personal preference, so it’s best to look at what each tape offers regarding measurement units.
Of course, some of the best tape measures include both the imperial and metric units for a person’s convenience. For some, it might make it seem more cluttered, but it should be more beneficial than having to own separate measuring tapes for different measurements. As some manuals only list one type, having a tape cover for both imperial and metric units is highly useful.
Unfortunately, some tapes are off by an inch or so. However, all of the following tape measures are mostly accurate, with some options being entirely accurate. Bending the blade can also cause some measurements to seem off, so make sure you correctly measure something rather than blaming a fault on personal misuse. Additionally, purchasing a tape measure with better blade durability also promotes higher accuracy.
The Four Types of Measuring Tapes:
While there are a lot of things to consider when purchasing a new tape, like the total cost and display, you should also have a basic idea of the different kinds. There are four kinds, and understanding the differences of each can give you a better functionality according to your projects.
1. Cased Tapes
This is the most common kind of measuring tool you find for sale. It contains a case that houses the blade or the metal strip that gives you the measurement reading. The case is typically made of rubber or metal and makes it much easier to store the measurement tool in a pocket or toolbox.
2. Diameter Tape
Ranging in length between 12 inches and 500 feet, the diameter tape is very similar in structure to cased tapes. However, these are used primarily for circular objects because the tape lets you get an accurate reading based on circumference and pi. While many other tapes have wider blades that are standard for heavy-duty projects, the diameter tape blades are much more flexible to wrap around circular objects.
3. Open-Reel Tapes
These tapes are primarily used by those in construction work, contracting, or a combination of heavy-duty jobs that have more intense job site environments. Open-reel tapes also have a length between 25 feet and 500 feet. Some also have a metal hook or spike on the bottom when measuring the ground or something malleable.
4. Sewing Tapes
Sewing tapes are the most flexible of all the measuring tapes. If you could not guess, these are ideal for sewing DIY projects and those that need more flexibility when getting an accurate reading. Sewing tapes are ideal for workers or any DIYer in fashion, tailoring, or alterations.
Components and Features to Watch For
To get the best tape measure, you need one that tailors specifically to how you use it–and no tape measure is the same. There are different components and details that make each one unique, and this is the reason you should be identifying what makes each tape special. Here are some of the stand-out elements to watch for:
Stand Out Blade
The blade standout is the length that a tape blade can go without collapsing. For some tapes, it does not require that much extension for the entire blade to fall. A better stand-out means that your tape measure can reach further without collapsing. However, this is critical for a carpenter, contractor, or any intense job site. For the home or simple DIYs, the stand-out of the blade is not as crucial.
The blade coating is what makes the tape strong and lasting. The better the coating, the more reliable the measuring apparatus is in life expectancy and getting an accurate read. A better blade coating also influences the tape standout, making it much more stable. Some examples of coating include polyester and nylon.
A wider blade also influences the overall quality of your measuring gadget. Wide blades are not very convenient for smaller, more finicky jobs, but they are great for larger designs that require more specific accuracy. Wide blades also make markings more visible, thus paving the way for better accuracy.
The bottom line of wider blades is that they can help give more detailed and specific readings since the markings are easier to see and closer to the edge.
The tang, or end hook, is the metal hook at the end of your measuring tape. However, this can also be the weakest part of the blade or the entire tape. While it is supposed to hold the tape in place for more accuracy, the tang can be attached weakly and is something that could pose a problem of accuracy. Overall, the tang is one thing you should pay attention to when shopping for a tape. Make sure that it does not retract or move at all while it is in operation. Overall, the tape hook design should not be moveable.
As a solution, magnetic tangs can give you a better reading and do not have the risk of moving around as you measure.
Accuracy is the most critical thing when using your tape. However, there are far too many times when you go a long distance, and the hook comes out of place, leaving you to repeat the exact same process you just completed. A magnetic hook–or tang–are found on versions of tape measures to prevent the body of the blade from coming out of place. It also prevents drops from occurring while you are marking downticks or taking notice of different measurements. Overall, a magnetic hook is made for efficiency and effectiveness. They also make the stand out of the blade much longer.
When you are working all day on a job, there comes a time when you can’t move, but you need your tape for measurement. What can you do? Grab the tape measure on your belt and continue working. A belt clip is a very advantageous element of tapes as they keep the gadget with you at all times. Some are magnetic, while others have a special clip that ties around your belt or belt loop.
There are hundreds of tick markings on the tips of a single tape blade. While most provide an accurate scale for measuring, they can be difficult to see. Almost all have a scale of 1/4 inch, others extend their scale to 1/8 inches, and some even make the scale go as far as 1/16 inches. If you have a project or profession that requires more care in precision and accuracy, then the more tedious marks on the scales would be best. They take the guesswork out of measurement.
Additionally, other tapes have marks on both sides of the tape. If you prefer one unit to another, then this may be unnecessary, but having precise markings in both units of measurement on the top and the underside makes measuring simpler and less stressful.
For more provided accuracy, you may earn a better reading with a locking mechanism. These are often standard in tape measure models, but they are not always guaranteed. A blade lock or a thumb lock can secure the blade from extending its length. This is a great mechanism if you need to stop and mark some notes down.
A blade lock should be easy and functional. If you can do some tape measure testing before making any purchases, test out the thumb lock and whether you can use it with one finger. If it is too difficult, then look for other models with a looser thumb lock that controls the tape length with precision and ease. The bottom line is that this element should be easy to use and control.
There are tapes out there with auto-lock if you do not want to manually handle this control. The auto-lock sticks in place once you reach a certain distance. Though these can be tricky at first, they are really handy when you get the hang of them.
Depending on your projects, one-hand capability maybe something you strive for. For this, you need a not-too-large, easy-to-use tape. These light gadgets fit in your hand and can lock, hook, and bend without needing a second hand. A contractor, carpenter, or any professionals dealing with tedious and quick measurements may shop for this component. The bottom line for single-hand usage is that you can maneuver your projects with ease.
If you are looking for a heavy-duty tape measure, you should look for ones that have undergone testing. Most brands conduct reviews and research to see how tapes work in action. These pro tool reviews can include drop testing as well as the effectiveness of the tape when rubbing, scraping, or touching other material. An abrasion test shows if any potential issues in quality could arise while using the gadget.
Most tapes undergo some sort of testing, like drop testing, before heading to retail. However, while you shop, look to see if testing was a thing the company took into consideration. It promotes more competition and better quality. It also shows which tapes are best for professionals.
Best Tape Measure: Full Tool Reviews:
The Komelon SL2825 is a charming little green tape measure. Its main draw is its amazing affordability, as it’s one of the cheapest yet reliable tapes on the market.
- Highly affordable
- Good durability
- Some people love self-locking mechanisms
- Bright green color makes it easy to spot
- Doesn’t snap back when you pull it
- belt clip!
- 25 foot tape!
- finger stop.
- Some people hate self-locking mechanisms
- Only US measurements
Almost everyone who uses this 25-foot foot tape measure falls in love with it. The norm for price is that the better the quality, the higher the price. However, if you need a lower price, the Komelon SL2825 is the best tape measure for a budget.
Out of all the features that stand out, the finger lock is possibly the most impressive. Such a simple feature also allows any worker to test it out, as its insanely low price makes it quite popular on Amazon. Aside from its low price, the Komelon SL2825 is a convenient tool for any project.
For a cheap item, one might expect it to be weak and break easily with any impact. Fortunately, that is not the case. Instead, the Komelon SL2825 has an impact-resistant case, which makes it deceptively durable. If the apparatus succumbs to a few drops from your hand, you can be confident that it is not going to break.
Even the blade durability is impressive, as the Nylon coating is reliable and sturdy! Komelon’s product also utilizes a self-locking mechanism, which might be a blessing for some people and a curse for others.
The bottom line for this best tape measure is that it has a low price for such high quality, which includes a case and body with excellent grip.
Functional for all projects, the Komelon SL2825 is perfect for anything with home improvement DIY jobs, like fixing a kitchen drawer or doing a review of your home’s plumbing layouts.
The 40% thicker moniker is an interesting one. A person can measure nearly 150 inches with this massive tape measure.
- Very easy to see the numbers
- Can measure several meters worth
- Great for heavy-duty work
- Features a locking mechanism
- Great endurance
- Includes both metric and imperial units
- 25 foot
- finger stop.
- Has a bit of an odor
- Plenty of power, so it can hurt somebody
The best overall item on this list is none other than the 40% Thicker Nylon Wrap by DAYOU. With the option to measure in both imperial and metric units, this tape measure is highly useful no matter where you are! Lots of users love the nylon wrap, which makes it rust-proof and heavily water-resistant.
This extra versatility allows it to shine in situations that other tapes could not hope to thrive in. It also excels in heavy-duty work, as you can lock in measurements, and it won’t budge!
The 40% thicker moniker is an interesting one. A person can measure nearly 150 inches with this massive measuring tape. Another underrated feature is how easily a person can see the numbers. As some people get older, their eyesight might not be as good as it once was. Thankfully, the 40% Thicker Nylon Wrap by DAYOU is very easy to look at for all DIY projects.
What is better than one tape measure? Two measuring tapes! The LEXIVON [2-Pack] is a solid two-in-one option for DIY Hobbyists looking for an affordable measuring tape collection.
- Comes in a 2-Pack
- Easy to Use
- Great endurance
- Great for heavy-duty work
- Double-sided tape
- belt clip!
- 25 foot
- Trying to unlock the tape can be a tad cumbersome
- Tape can bend if used forcefully
What is better than one measuring tape? Two tape measures! The LEXIVON [2-Pack] is a solid two-in-one option for DIY Hobbyists looking for an affordable measuring tape collection. Made out of metal, this 2-Pack is a durable and reliable measuring tape for any woodworker!
It’s easy to use, and while the numbers aren’t as easy to read as DAYOU’s tape measure, it should still suffice for most projects.
The double-sided tape gives its user extra flexibility when working around measurements. Considering how simple it is to lock this measuring tape, this additional flexibility comes in handy for large-scale projects. As it comes in a 2-Pack, its owner can lock both LEXIVON tape measures for a smooth experience. It earns extra points for having a speed brake that prevents blade retractions at the wrong times.
Overall, this measurer’s affordability makes it a popular choice among DIY hobbyists.
Kutir has always been a bit of an underdog in the DIY tool scene, but their tape measure proves that they shouldn’t be underestimated
- Very long measuring capabilities
- Shock absorbent
- Convenient pocket clip
- Includes both imperial and metric units
- Usually included in special savings and deals
- magnetic tape measure
- 33 foot
- The user is required to push with some extra force to lock in the tape measure fully
- The hook is not flat
- instead, it’s at a curve
With the ability to stretch to nearly 33 feet, this tape measure is a godsend for workers looking to measure long distances–no need to search for two tape blades.
Aside from its impressive length, the 10m Kutir Tape Measure is also shock absorbent. This feature gives its users a little extra safety compared to some of its contemporaries. The rubber over-mold material eliminates all risk of sudden retraction with a bit of a shock to it.
Its magnetic hook also makes using it seem effortless, as any worker can successfully measure an object without it acting flimsy or awkward to use. The pocket clip also makes it always available on hand, increasing its overall reliability. Simply clip it onto a belt hook and you are good to go.
The price is a bit on the higher end, but in the end, it makes up for this for the lengths it goes and for being one of the best tape measures in its category
Stanley Tools is a staple among top-notch manufacturers for several tools and other handyman equipment.
- One of the most durable tools around
- Precise accuracy
- Locking mechanism is reliable
- Frequently on sale
- Surprisingly quiet to use
- Large numbers make it easy to see
- 25 foot
- stanley powerlock!
- Doesn’t stretch as long as some others on this list
- Lock is a bit stiff to use
Stanley Tools is a staple among top-notch manufacturers for several tools and other handyman equipment. Predictably, the Stanley fatmax 33-725 is an outstanding 25-foot tape measure indicative of the prestige the Stanley Tools name brings to some people’s eyes.
As a purely American product, it represents the core American values of hard work and honesty. It might extend as long as some other products, but the durability of the blade’s coating is top-notch! Not only that, but the Mylar polyester gives the blade even more durability, making it one of the most durable measuring tapes out there!
As usual with other Stanley products, the Stanley Fatmax 33-275 has a lifetime warranty attached to it if you purchase it here. Considering its durability, the lifetime warranty seems a tad overkill. Nonetheless, it’s greatly appreciated!
Predictably, it excels in heavy-duty work more than any other measuring tape. Aside from its mighty endurance is the fact that it’s highly accurate. High accuracy is a boon when some other tape measures can be slightly off. Even the slightest of inaccuracies could kill a task!
This extra reinforcement gives it additional durability, making it appealing to folks who tend to drop their tools or use them too forcefully.
- Highly accessible to novices
- Easy to use
- Convenient pocket clip
- Good durability
- Easy to read
- magnetic tape measure
- 25 ft
- Electrical mishaps can happen, reducing the durability of the tool
- The magnetic feature isn’t particularly strong
For anybody looking for an electrical tape measure, the Milwaukee 25 feet Electric Tool is a delightful option! With a five-point reinforced frame, the Milwaukee Electric Tool is a reliable tool for any occasion!
This extra reinforcement in this Milwaukee gives it additional durability, making it appealing to folks who tend to drop their tools or use them too forcefully. Ultimately, the Milwaukee Electric Tool is a simple tape measure for anybody to use.
One notable thing regarding the Milwaukee Electric Tool is the Nylon blade protective coating. This coating makes it difficult for the Milwaukee Electric Tool to bend awkwardly or be misused. The belt clip hook also helps support its durability, as it allows the user to clip the tape measure to their belt without risk of drops. Its measurement capabilities might not be the most impressive, but its compact magnetic tape makes the Milwaukee tape measure one of the easiest tools to use. Bonus points for the built-in wrist strap capability.
This Milwaukee tool is most likely its best tape measure. That means you should add it to your toolbelt if you like durability, ease, and precision.
CRAFTSMAN is another titan among worker tools, so it’s no surprise to see one of their finest measuring tapes on this guide.
- Highly affordable
- Several options to get
- Uses the metric system
- The color stands out
- Easy to read measurements
- 25 ft
- Its quality is indicative of its price
- Holding it by one’s self may be difficult at times
CRAFTSMAN is another titan among worker tools, so it’s no surprise to see one of their finest tape measures on this guide. The CRAFTSMAN measuring tape is affordable and a front runner for one of the market’s best tape measures.
There are several options worth considering, as it ranges from 16-foot to 35-foot tape measures. Each option is wonderful, but then a potential consumer needs to consider how much they wish to spend for a longer measuring tape.
One of the CRAFTSMAN measuring tape’s best qualities is that it’s one of Amazon’s highest-rated products. With over 2,000 positive reviews, the CRAFTSMAN standard tape measure sits on a comfortable 4.7/5, with 84% of its ratings being that of five-stars.
As it uses the metric system, this tape measure is reliable for any project. Finally, its unique color makes it stand out, so its user doesn’t have to worry about losing it as often as other measuring tapes.
Easy to read, easy to use. The Stanley Powerlock is a basic tape but it has all you need. Stretching up to 16-feet, the Powerlock passes the drop test and works perfectly at every angle.
The Stanley Powerlock is a basic tape but it has all you need. Stretching up to 16-feet, the Powerlock passes the drop test and works perfectly at every angle.
- Mylar polyester film for protection
- 8-inch blade standout
- 1-inch wide blade
- Easy reading
- Secure blade
- Thumb lock
- Blade Armor coating
- Good reputation
- Limited lifetime warranty
- Does not feature any clip or hook to have on your person at all times
As far as quality goes, it is safe to say that you get this with any Stanley tool. You may find the Powerlock to be the best tape measure not for its fancy added elements but for the quality of the basic functions.
The Powerlock has a 1-inch blade which makes the markings easier to read. That way, you do not have to search for the right number as you work more, and the fatigue starts to set in.
There is no rubber over-mold, but the chrome case protects the blade and ensures a longer lifespan. The polyester covering also promotes longer life and more usage for the Powerlock.
The bottom line of the Stanley Powerlock is that it can stretch a lengthy 16-feet while still upholding a readable blade. All in all, if you were to get a Stanley, the Powerlock is a perfect pick.
If there is a single tape measure Handyman Guide recommends to all of its users, it’s the 40% Thicker Nylon Wrap by DAYOU. This one features every necessity one can think of:
- It can cover a significant distance
- Fantastic durability
- Easy to use
- Includes both metric and imperial units
It indeed is the best tape measure with a functional and readable blade to a guaranteed long lifespan.