7 Best Tape Measures – Reviews & Buying Guide

Best Tape Measure

Whether you are beginner DIYer or hobbyist or a seasoned pro with decades of experience, your toolkit will never be complete without a good tape measure.

Tape measures will help you get accurate and reliable measurements whether you are doing some professional contractor work, DIY projects or even measuring the area of a room when buying a new carpet or couch.

But, like with any other measuring tool or device, all tape measures are not the same. And they will differ in everything from the accuracy and construction to other things like the clip and hook design.

To help you get the best tape measure for your professional or DIY projects, we review some of the top ones out there, and also provide some useful buying tips.

7 Best Tape Measure Reviews

The tape measure will probably be one of the cheapest items on your toolkit but you still need to get the best ones. And to help you with this, here is a comparison table of 7 best-rated tape measures.

Product Name

Length

Mark Line

Rating

Current Price

1. Stanley Powerlock Tape Measure

25 ft

1/16 in

4.4

2. Komelon SM2825 Self Lock Tape Measure

25 ft

1/16 in

4.5

3. Komelon Speed Mark Gripper Tape Measure

25 ft

1/16 in

4.6

4. Stanley FatMax Tape Measure

25 ft

1/16 in

4.2

5. Komelon The Professional Tape Measure

30 ft

1/16 in

4.5

6. Etronic Heavy Duty Tape Measure

25 ft

1/16 in

4.4

7. DeWalt DWHT36225S Tape Measure

25 ft

1/16 in

4.0

#1. Stanley Powerlock Tape Measure

Editor's Rating: (4.4 / 5)

Stanley Powerlock Tape Measure
  • Length: 25 feet
  • Mark Line: 1/16 inch

Stanley is one of the oldest manufacturers of measuring tapes, and they have been in the business for many decades. What this means is that they know what carpenters and craftsmen are looking for in a tape measure.

Their 25-foot Powerlock model is designed to make measuring easy and more accurate. And it is a 1-1/4-inch wide tape with a Mylar-coated blade that will last for many years.

The blade is encased in a chrome high-impact ABS case that will withstand the occasional falls or bumps into things when working or when in the pocket.

It also has a secure blade lock that will never creep when measuring, and the Tru-Zero end hook that is highly resistant to corrosion also makes measurements easy.

With this blade, you get a standout of 7 feet which might not seem like much but is still quite useful. And it has stud center markings at 16 inches and 19.2 inches to make it a great framing tape measure as it will make framing jobs simpler.

Pros:

  • Bold and easy-to-read markings
  • Tough and durable ABS case
  • Mylar-coated blade
  • Heat-treated spring for longer life
  • Limited lifetime warranty

Cons:

  • A little more standout would be great

#2. Komelon SM2825 Self Lock Tape Measure

Editor's Rating: (4.5 / 5)

Komelon SM2825 Self Lock Tape Measure
  • Length: 25 feet
  • Mark Line: 1/16 inch

Kamelon is another brand that you can trust when shopping for high-quality tape measures as they have also been in business for long and have several measuring tape models in the market.

Their Kamelon SM2825 is a 25-foot long and 1-inch wide measuring tape with a standout of about 7-1/2 feet. And it uses a unique self-locking mechanism that will allow the blade to extend smoothly.

Also, this tape measure uses a nylon coated steel blade that can withstand regular use and still last for many years.

There is also a push-button release that will ensure that you always get complete control when retracting the blade for a smoother retraction.

The impact-resistant and rubberized case is also a great addition to the tape measure’s design as it will help to increase its lifespan significantly.

Pros:

  • Convenient self-locking mechanism
  • Smooth blade retraction
  • Durable nylon-coated blade
  • Tough rubberized case
  • Automatic rewind

Cons:

  • Numbers might still not be big enough for some users

#3. Komelon Speed Mark Gripper Tape Measure

Editor's Rating: (4.6 / 5)

Komelon Speed Mark Gripper Tape Measure
  • Length: 25 feet
  • Mark Line: 1/16 inch

Speed Mark Gripper from Kamelon is one of the cheapest items on our tape measure reviews, and so it will be a great choice when you want to buy several measuring tapes.

Despite the relatively more affordable price tag, this is still a high-quality 25-foot measuring tape that comes with a white blade that also includes fractional graduation printed.

The steel blade is tough and highly durable thanks to the acrylic coating, and it will be pretty hard to break or even dent it. And despite being a white blade, it is still gentle on your eyes as it does not have any glare.

This tape measure is also designed to provide an easy grip, and with a thicker rubber jacket that can withstand the shock that comes with accidental drops.

Pros:

  • Easy grip design
  • Thick rubber jackets for durability
  • Relatively affordable
  • No glare blade
  • Acrylic coating for long blade life

Cons:

  • Relatively heavier

#4. Stanley FatMax Tape Measure

Editor's Rating: (4.2 / 5)

Stanley FatMax Tape Measure
  • Length: 25 feet
  • Mark Line: 1/16 inch

Stanley is a favorite tape measure brand for both DIYers and professionals, and their FatMax series is also quite a popular model.

Many users love this professional tape measure because of its impressive 11-foot standout which is significantly longer than what you get from many other brands and models.

It also has the 16 and 19.2 inches stud markings to make it highly useful for framing projects, and with blade arm coating for the first three inches for maximum durability.

Generally, this is a well-built tape measure that comes with a Mylar-coated blade to extend its life and with a high-impact ABS case that has some durable rubber also for durability.

The highly durable construction and the versatile multi-catch hook that will grab top or bottom with ease help to make this one of the best construction tape measures out there.

Pros:

  • Significantly longer standout
  • Easy locking and unlocking
  • Highly durable blade
  • Versatile multi-catch hook
  • Durable ABS case

Cons:

  • Relatively expensive

#5. Komelon The Professional Tape Measure

Editor's Rating: (4.5 / 5)

Komelon The Professional Tape Measure
  • Length: 30 feet
  • Mark Line: 1/16 inch

For many woodworkers and carpenters, a good tape measure is one that allows them to measure in both metric and imperial measurements like the Kamelon 49301M.

It is one of the best-rated tape measures on our list, and it will measure up to 30 feet or 9 meters. This professional tape measure is made with a highly durable nylon-coated blade and an impact resistant case to give it a long lifespan.

Also, the case is ergonomically designed to make it comfortable to hold and hence also making the tape measure easy to use.

And with the superior internal mechanism that Kamelon uses when making this tape measure, you can always be confident of a smooth operation.

Pros:

  • Includes both inch and metric scale
  • Durable nylon-coated blade
  • Ergonomic and impact resistant case
  • Superior internal mechanism design
  • Relatively affordable

Cons:

  • Dual-scale can be confusing for inexperienced users

#6. Etronic Heavy Duty Tape Measure

Editor's Rating: (4.4 / 5)

Etronic Heavy Duty Tape Measure
  • Length: 25 feet
  • Mark Line: 1/16 inch

The heavy-duty construction makes this one of the best carpenter tape measures out there as it can withstand regular use and any accidental drops.

This 25-foot measuring tape is made with a highly durable nylon bond blade that protects the markings from wear to ensure they last for longer than many other tapes.

Auto lock makes tape retraction faster and easier while also increasing the blade life significantly. And there is also a magnetic dual-end hook for accurate measurements every time.

Also, the blade is double-side printed for easy measurement readability and for precise marking and line drawing.

And with the impact and shock-absorbing case to cover the blade, you will never have to worry about dropping the tape measure accidentally as it is well-protected. This case also has a rubberized grip, a rubber hand strap, and a metal belt clip.

Pros:

  • Easy tape retraction
  • Double-sided blade printing
  • Durable nylon bond blade
  • Impact-resistant and shock-absorbing case
  • Magnetic dual-end hook

Cons:

  • Relatively larger and heavier

#7. DeWalt DWHT36225S Tape Measure

Editor's Rating: (4 / 5)

DeWalt DWHT36225S Tape Measure
  • Length: 25 feet
  • Mark Line: 1/16 inch

DeWalt makes some of the most accurate tape measures in the market but there is more to their model DWHT36225S than just accuracy.

This tape measure is designed to be as tough and heavy-duty as it can get. And it features an impact resistant ABS case and high carbon steel blade with resilient coating throughout and heavy-duty thermoplastic coating at the end of the blade.

The strong, reinforced hook connection helps to solve one of the most common tape measure problems, and this is breakage near the hook.

There is also an integrated lock protection that helps to protect the lock button from damages in case the measuring tape is dropped.

The 13-foot standout is the longest on our list but what makes it even more impressive is that the blade remains straighter than most others to provide increased efficiency and reach.

Pros:

  • Impact resistant ABS case
  • Strong and reinforced hook connection
  • Highly durable high carbon steel blade
  • Relatively longer standout
  • Easy-to-use belt clip

Cons:

  • Quite an expensive tape measure

How to Buy the Best Tape Measures

How to Buy the Best Tape Measures

Every craftsman, DIYer or woodworker will agree that getting a measurement wrong even by a few inches can ruin an entire project. It is because of this fact that you should always strive to get a high-quality tape measure. 

Finding one should not be a tedious task or long process as you only need to consider the following factors when shopping.

#1. Accuracy

It is obvious that the reason why you are buying a tape measure in the first place is to get some accurate measurement. Hence accuracy should always be the first factor to consider.

Luckily, most tape measures are highly accurate, and the difference in their accuracy is often an almost negligible fraction of an inch.

But, if your projects call for high precision and accuracy, it is still worth checking how accurate a tape measure is before buying it.

#2. Durability                     

Tape measures are highly affordable when you compare them to other tools and equipment in most toolkits but you still do not want to keep buying a new one after every few uses.

Whatever tape measure you buy should be tough and highly durable to ensure that it can withstand the regular job site abuse.

When it comes to the durability, you will need to watch out for the overall construction of the tape measure or how different sections are joined and also the materials used to make it.

For the materials, you need to consider both the blade and case material. Steel blades are the most commonly used as they are tough and durable while stainless steel ones are the best for wet and muddy conditions thanks to their higher resistance to corrosion.

Measuring tape cases or bodies made from top-notch quality and impact resistant plastic are the most common but there are also some stainless steel ones that help to prevent corrosion.

#3. Clip Design

You will always want your tape measure to be close to you and ready to use when you need it. And for most people, this means clipping it on the belt.

Almost all tape measures will come with a clip to make this possible but the design of this handy clip also matters.

The design should allow it to slide on and off the belt fast and with no difficulties. Also, the clip should be made from a tough material that can withstand the regular clipping and unclipping.

#4. Visibility

Even if you have the most accurate tape measure you still need to be able to see the measurements for it to be of any significant help to you.

In most cases, the standard black markings on the yellow tape should offer enough visibility. Unless you have an eye problem or the tape is not marked well, you should not have any problem reading these measuring tapes.

However, some brands will often use larger numbers and make the markings bolder to improve visibility. These types of tape measure are a good buy for those with problematic vision.

#5. Hook Design

A good tape measure is one that will include a hook that makes internal and external measurements easy.

Cheaper tape measures will often come with a small, flat end hook that will allow users to hook it over an object so as to take measurements from above. However, these hooks might not be very useful when trying to hook objects that are to the side or above.

Multidirectional hooks that are solid and relatively lager are the best and this is more so when working alone. These types of hooks will allow you to hook on to objects that are above, below and also to the side.

#6. Standout and Throw

A tape measure's standout is the distance that you can extend the blade before it snaps or bends. The longer the standout the better as it makes working alone and measuring long and tall objects easier and faster.

The throw, on the other hand, is how far you can throw the measuring tape's blade. And like the standout the more the throw or the farther you can throw the blade the better.

The throw is also an important factor to consider as you do not want to always have to walk from one end of the material to the other when measuring.

When it comes to standout and throw the most important thing is to get a tape measure that strikes a perfect balance between the two. And this is because throwing the blade reduces the standout

#7. Extra Features

There are some features that might not be necessary for a tape measure to function well and provide accurate measurement, and so some will not have them.

However, most of these features can still be quite useful as they can enhance the ease of use or make the tape more convenient to use and durable.

These extra features to watch out for include nylon blade coating, magnetic hook, dual side blade printing, auto lock and finger brake.

5 Tape Measure Tricks

  • Make good use of the hook’s slot. Use the slot to hang your tape from a nail as an anchor point that will not come off. You can also use it to turn your tape into a compass.
  • Use hook as a pencil. The hook on the tape can also work as a pencil for marking a cut. All you need to do is to use it to scribe the place you want to cut.
  • Blade can help draw straight lines. If you are in a hurry to make a straight line cut and do not have a ruler nearby, you can make use of the straight edge of the tape measure's blade.
  • Pull blade out to point out. Whether you want to point out specific points of a structure or show someone where to add another nail it can be very useful. And this trick makes use of the measuring tape's standout or the length it remains rigid when extended.
  • Quick calculations using your tape measure. When you have to make simple measurement subtractions when working, you can use your tape measure to speed up the process. This trick is simple to master as it only entails folding the tape and using your eyes to locate the numbers.

Conclusion

It is hard to overemphasize the importance of having a good tape measure in your toolkit as it is one of those things that can have a massive effect on the outcome of the project.

Finding the perfect one for your projects will only require you to understand what these handy tools are all about.

But, it will also entail considering things like the accuracy, durability, clip design, hook design and the standout and throw.

With these vital points in mind and by taking time to compare different brands and models and with our detailed 7 best tape measure reviews above to give you some idea on what to buy, choosing one should be super easy.

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