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10 Best Tape Measures – Comparison & Reviews

Last Updated: 05.06.20

 

The Essential Guide to Finding the Best Tape Measure + Reviews

 

Finding the best tape measures might seem like an easy thing to do, but some products are less functional than others and the market is full of them, all pretending to do a better job than the others. To help you choose what’s right for you, our team has reviewed many products of this kind and has concluded that the Stanley 33-425 Tape Measure is a great choice for many reasons. It is very durable because the blade is covered in mylar which will protect it from deteriorating due to abrasion. Due to its design, you will be able to read the measurements very easily and the Stanley tape measure is also lightweight for you to be able to carry it around without the need for extra weight. However, if the Stanley measuring tape is not available in your region, the eTape16 Digital Tape Measure is also a good choice.

 

 

Comparison table

 

The Good
The Bad
Verdict
Price

 

 

10 Best Tape Measures (Updated Reviews) in 2020

 

 

Finding the best tape measure might be time-consuming and we know that your time is a very precious thing. This is why we have analyzed the most sought-after products on the market right now and have made a list of tape measure reviews where we have covered everything you need to know about their quality and functionality to make your choice easier.

 

 

1. Stanley 33-425 Tape Measure

 

If you still enjoy using the classic tools for measuring things, the Stanley tape measure will provide all the qualities that a classic product should offer: durability, functionality, and readability. It is lightweight – it weighs about a pound – and it has a patented hook that will allow you to draw circles, which comes in very handy.

The great thing about it is the blade which is 1-inch wide, which means that there is enough room for the measurements and you will be able to read them very easily. It is lockable and provides minimum slipping and the blade is covered in mylar, which is a polyester film that is really thin to protect it from the damage made by intense use.

The durability is enhanced by the spring which is heat-treated so it will not deteriorate very quickly even if you use it very often, making it a great long-term investment.

 

Pros

The Stanley tape measure has a blade coated in mylar which will make it more durable and less prone to abrasion and deterioration due to intense use.

The great thing about it is that its durability is increased by the fact that its spring is heat-treated which means that the lifespan of the tape is increased.

You can use the hook to draw arcs and circles, which is very handy to do without requiring any other instruments.

The blade is lockable and wide enough to provide high visibility of the stud center markings, so it is very easy to read.

 

Cons

To tell you the truth, we didn’t find any flaw in this product. However, if you do not use it properly and force it, the lock might get a little bit loose, but this rarely happens. Otherwise, this tape measure does its job really well – no wonder it is one of the most sought after products on the market right now.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($16.2)

 

 

 

2. eTape16 Digital Tape Measure

 

This is a great product that takes measurements to another level. It is designed to help you measure things easily and very accurately. The batteries will last for 64 hours of continuous use and the great thing about it is that if you forget to turn it off, it will do that for you so that the batteries live longer.

Using it you will be able to store 2 measurements which is a great feature because it will allow you to save a lot of time. It can calculate the centerline and you have the option of choosing between the metric system and imperial units. It is very durable due to the material that it is made of and it is also lightweight.

The measurements can be seen on a relatively large screen which makes it very enjoyable to use and also practical especially for people who should wear eyeglasses for close distance.

 

Pros

The eTape 16 will allow you to switch between the US measuring system and the metric system, which makes it really versatile and easy to use for people all around the world.

You will not have to worry if you forget to turn it off because it has the auto-shutoff setting that will prevent the discharging of the batteries.

The batteries that the manufacturers provide are long-lasting and will last for about 64 hours of continuous use, which is great considering that the tape measure will turn off by itself when not in use.

It is made of polycarbonate, which is one of the toughest plastic materials, which means that the product is very sturdy and durable.

 

Cons

If you are left-handed you might have a problem with reading the measurements because you will see them upside down. However, if you can overcome this disadvantage, you will find that this product has a lot to bring to the table and you will be amazed by how much it can help you do your job effectively.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($27.95)

 

 

 

3. Komelon SM5425 Speed Mark Gripper

 

This 25 feet tape measure from Komelon is a great tool to have in your toolbox because it is very easy to use and it is also very sturdy. To begin with, it provides a sturdy grip because the casing is covered with rubber and you will not have to worry about dropping it.

The blade is the one that makes this product a star because it has many great properties. It is acrylic-coated which prevents deterioration, the glare is reduced to the minimum so that you will be able to easily read the marks on it, and a feature that we consider very useful, it has fractional gradations.

This product has it all. Well, if the casing would have been made of polycarbonate it would have been even better, but, despite that, it is a great asset to have with you and can help you a lot to measure anything you have to very easily.

 

Pros

The blade is protected by an acrylic coat that ensures that you will not be able to deteriorate it quickly even if you use it very often.

The fractional gradations are very useful and people who use it every day know the importance that this feature has in providing functionality.

It is very ergonomic and provides a sturdy grip due to the rubber that covers the casing.

Another great feature is that the blade is non-glare, which means that you will be able to easily read the measurements despite the lighting conditions.

 

Cons

The spring is not as sturdy compared to other products, but it all depends on how you use the tape measure and on how much pressure you put on the spring. If you use it properly, you will not have to worry about this, and this product is so good in terms of improving the way you measure things that it is worth all the money.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($10.25)

 

 

 

4. QUICKDRAW DIY Self Marking 25′ Foot Tape Measure

 

If you have been thinking of ways to make your job even easier when it comes to measurements, QUICKDRAW has done that as well and has come up with a design that has a graphite pen included that allows you to mark your measurement without using any extra tools.

Even though you need a lot of precision when changing the graphite, this is a great feature that differentiates the product from the other competitors. It comes with a nylon coating that prevents deterioration and has a strong recoil. It also has an ergonomic design that provides a locking tape ruler.

If you get tired of carrying around with you all sorts of tools like pencils or pens in your pockets, this product will definitely make you very happy and will make a big difference in the way you work. The quality-price ratio is also very good and you will not be sorry for spending your money on it.

 

Pros

The great feature about this product is that it has a graffiti marker that allows you to mark the measurement on the surface you are measuring, which means that you will not have to use any extra tools.

The graphite is reloadable so if you manage to use it all you don’t have to worry about not being able to use this feature again.

The blade has a good recoil and it is also marked to help you measure distances as little as a 32nd of an inch.

It is made of stainless steel which is great because it is not prone to rust and makes the product very durable.

 

Cons

The graphite will wear out pretty quickly which might be an inconvenience for people who are not comfortable with handling meticulous work because changing it can be a little bit tricky for some people. However, the product is of high quality and does a great job.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($14.99)

 

 

 

5. Stanley Tools 25-Feet FatMax Tape Measure

 

The Stanley FatMax is a very loved product among users and it is for good reasons that it has earned its place among the high-quality tape measures. It is wide enough for the measurements to be easily readable and the blade has a length of 25 inches. It has a great throw and standout and comes with an auto-locking system.

If you are wondering how durable this product is, you should know that it comes with a lifetime warranty so you can be completely positive that you have a sturdy tape measure if you decide to buy it. The blade is coated for more durability with mylar, not to allow abrasions to deteriorate it when used frequently.

It comes with a removable hood that will help you a lot during your work and it has a very strong spring that will ensure long-term use and sturdy recoil.

 

Pros

The BladeArmour coating on the first three feet of the blade makes this product very durable compared to many other similar products.

The entire blade is covered in mylar which also adds to the lifespan of this tape measure and will help to prevent deterioration.

The design of the hook helps you with DIY jobs because it can grab on to what you are measuring and you will be able to do it by yourself without any help.

It is self-retracting, which enhances your comfort and allows you to finish the job a lot quicker.

 

Cons

The downside to this product is that it has markings only on one side of the blade which might be an inconvenience for some people. Otherwise, this is a very sturdy product that is very easy to use and manages to do a great job in making measuring easier and more enjoyable.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($21)

 

 

 

6. General Tools LTM1 2-in-1 Laser Tape Measure

 

This is a great product that comes with a great feature that most of you will love. It can measure both using a classical blade and using a laser. So it is a digital and classic tape measure all in one. The laser can measure a distance up to 50 feet and the blade is a little bit shorter, of 16 feet.

It is ergonomic and fits in your pocket and you will not need any extra accessories to make accurate measurements. The digital screen shows measurements in feet, inches, and quarters of an inch, which means it can take very precise measurements and the base has large markings that are very visible and easy to read.

The screen has great contrast and the numbers appear large enough for you to be able to read them very easily, so however you decide to use this product, digitally or classically, you will be very happy with the results and with how easy you will be able to use it.

 

Pros

This is one of the products that provide great visibility because it has a large screen and large displaying numbers.

It has great ergonomics and fits really well in your hand so you will be able to use it very precisely.

It is versatile and can be used either as a digital tape measure or as a classic one and this great feature helps you take precise measurements in any conditions.

It has an auto-lock feature for when you decide to use it the classical way and extend the blade.

 

Cons

This product might be considered a little bit pricey by some people, but do not forget that it is a 2 in 1 product that will help you a lot and will deliver very accurate measurements. Moreover, it is very easy to use and will make your job a lot easier, so the price is fair considering all these features.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($29.95)

 

 

 

7. Crescent Lufkin 25′ Black Widow

 

If you are looking for a high-quality product, the Lufkin 25’ Black Widow is definitely one that you should consider especially if you want great visibility. This feature is increased by the use of color that the manufacturers have opted for. The blade is black and the markings are green which provides great contrast.

In addition to this, they have added a matte nylon coating that reduces glare to a minimum which will allow you to see the markings better. The other great thing about it is the double side markings that not all of the products in the line have. It is very sturdy and is also small enough to fit in your hand so that you can make more accurate measurements.

You will be able to make horizontal measurements but the manufacturers also come with the surprise that you can also make vertical measurements due to the way that the markings are written on one side of the blade.

 

Pros

What we absolutely love about this product is that the blade has markings on both sides which make it very easy to use despite the position that you have to use it in.

Also, the blade is black and the markings are written in light green which increases visibility and allows you to read them easier in any lighting conditions.

The hook design is great because it has a great grip and will not get loose easily and you will be able to secure the blade to make accurate measurements.

The blade is coated with matte nylon that reduces glare to a minimum to make the reading even easier.

It has a very ergonomic design that will allow you to use it very easily and increase functionality.

 

Cons

The blade is a little bit hard to throw and some users might not like it. However, this is a great instrument to have among your tools that will really make a difference in the way you take measurements.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($22.49)

 

 

 

8. TACKLIFE Laser Tape Measure 2-in-1

 

If you are one of those people in search of an instrument that can measure very long distances, then you will be surprised to know that the TACKLIFE Laser Tape Measure will allow you to measure distances up to 131 feet.

It is a 2 in 1 product that uses a laser but also a blade and allows you to choose among them according to your needs. It also comes with a magnetic hook that will allow you to take hard measurements by yourself and very accurately. The digital measurements are also very accurate and very easy to read due to the performant display.

The blade is double scaled and is protected by a nylon coating that makes it more durable. It is 16 feet long and is very stable and it is specially designed to do a great job even while measuring metallic surfaces. The manufacturers provide a user manual and also the AAA batteries needed for the product to work properly.

 

Pros

It is very easy to use and carry around because it comes with a wrist strap that allows you to carry it with you while you work.

It is double scaled which makes this product a very versatile one especially if you compare it with its competitors.

Using the laser you can cover a very large distance compared to other similar products in the line that are limiting in this matter.

The hook is magnetic and you will be able to stabilize the blade very easily and make precise measurements.

 

Cons

This is not necessarily a fault of this sole product but of laser measuring tools in general. The downflow of it is that the laser doesn’t work under the sun, so if you are planning on buying this product to measure distances longer than 16 feet outside on a sunny day, you should reconsider. However, all the other qualities are outstanding and worth all the money.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($39.97)

 

 

 

9. Stanley Tools 30’ FatMax Measuring Tape

 

The Stanley Tools 30’ FatMax is most definitely one of the favorites when it comes to US users especially because of its functionality. It has great standout (11 inches) and takes very accurate measurements. It has a removable hook and you can detach it when it makes the measuring process uncomfortable.

The life of the blade is extended by a mylar coating, it is 30 feet long and the first 6 feet have a blade armor coating for more durability. It is suited for construction sites and is very durable. It has a retractable blade and you get a lifetime warranty which assures you of its high quality.

It has a sturdy construction and the spring is heat-treated to expand the lifespan of the product. Like many other users, you will be impressed by the high quality that this product provides and you will definitely consider that you have made good use of your money.

 

Pros

The great thing about this product and about most of the FatMax tape measures is that it comes with a limited lifetime warranty, which means that the product is very durable and it will break only very rarely due to manufacturing defects.

It is very easy to use and the fact that the hook is detachable is a very big plus that makes it a great choice.

It is self-retractable and comes with a very ergonomic design that makes it comfortable to hold in your hand.

The blade is covered in mylar to prevent blade deterioration and the first 6 feet are armor coated.

 

Cons

The blade bends very easily which might be a bit of a problem when you want to measure long distances. However, it has a great hook that allows you to make the blade steady and has a lot of other awesome features that overcome this minus.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($17.99)

 

 

 

10. AmazonBasics Self-Locking Tape Measure 3-Pack

 

Amazon has been delivering great quality over the years and provides very useful products because it always has an eye open to the customers’ needs. This is why it has come up with this 3-pack that has 3 measuring tapes: one with a maximum blade length of 16 feet, one of 25 feet, and a large one that measures 33 feet.

The measuring tapes come with a high material quality that offers durability and functionality. The casings are made of strong ABS which is covered with rubber to offer a sturdy grip. They are also small and ergonomic and the internal springs are treated with heat to make them even stronger and long-lasting.

They come with a warranty of 12 months and each of them has a belt clip and also a wristband to make it easier to carry around. Even if you use them according to your everyday needs or you offer them to a friend as a gift, these tape measures are an excellent choice.

 

Pros

The great thing about this pack is that you get 3 different tape measures with different lengths that allow you to choose between them according to your needs.

They have an amazing quality-price ratio and you get 3 durable measuring tapes at the price of one.

They come with a self-locking system that makes taking the measurements a lot easier.

The housing is very resistant to shocks and, as you know, while working you will drop your measuring tape multiple times so this feature is very useful considering the conditions on a construction site.

 

Cons

The only minus that this product has is that it does not have markings on the backside of the blade which would improve your work even more. However, at this quality-price ratio, this is a product that definitely deserves to be in the top 10 when it comes to the most sought after measuring tapes on the market right now.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($19.85)

 

 

 

Our Comprehensive Buying Guide

 

If you are looking for the best tape measure on the market, there are some things that you should look for in order to be able to pick a product that is best for you. There are many tape measures out there but not all of them fit your needs and, after analyzing them in each tape measure review, we have written some basic lines that you should follow before buying one.

Aim for durability

There are a lot of cheap tape measures on the market that help you measure what you need to measure but they don’t help you save time and do not make your job very efficient. To avoid this, you should look for an affordable one which, in terms of durability, comes with advantages like the capacity of not deteriorating due to intense use.

Usually, the durable measuring tapes are made of sturdy materials like aluminum, stainless steel, or polycarbonate, which is the most sturdy type of plastic material. The blade should also be resistant to deterioration because the blade is the one that is usually the fastest to deteriorate.

The best measure tape will always have a coated blade and manufacturers usually use mylar to make it resistant to friction and abrasion that can occur during intense use.

 

Visible and accurate markings

You should also look for accuracy. There are great measure tapes on the market that have precise and detailed markings which are also easy to read. You shouldn’t choose a product that has small numbers because you will have to get very close to it while measuring things and that might prevent you from working effectively.

The best pocket tape measure should also have markings for both inches and meters because not having to make the conversion will save you a lot of time. On the other hand, the best tape measure for woodworkers will have fraction markings for more accurate use.

 

Why does ergonomics matter?

Well, if you decide to buy the best small tape measure, you can be sure that it will fit in almost anybody’s hand. However, there are bigger products that are also designed to be easy to grab. It is also important that the tape measure is covered in rubber or in a material that prevents slipping because there are times when it is important not to drop the instrument.

Extra features to look for

Like we have said before, there are many tape measures that can help you measure stuff, but some of them take this action to another level. These ones have features that can make it easier for you to take measurements. For example, if a manufacturer advertises its product as the best 25′ tape measure and it doesn’t have a magnetic hook then it is not the best.

Also, there are products that have markings on both sides of the blade which allows you to use it in a more versatile manner. A good measuring tape should also have a locking mechanism and a finger blade in order to prevent the hook from pinching your finger.

If you opt for a digital tape measure, it should have all the features mentioned above but also a large screen and the property of auto-lockdown in order to prevent the batteries from discharging in case you forget to turn it off.

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions: 

 

Q: How do you read a tape measure?

It is really simple to do this once you understand the basics. Once you extend the blade of the measuring tape you will see that it has some numbers written in different sizes. The bigger ones are the ones that mark inches. The lower the number, the shorter the distance you are measuring is. The best way to read a tape measure is to follow these numbers.

These large numbers are usually marked on the side with a long line that is perpendicular to the length of the blade. Between these lines, you will see shorter ones that are marking some numbers that are written in a smaller size, which can be in the form of numbers or fractions. These are subunits of an inch.

It’s that easy! If you haven’t done it before, expand the blade of your measuring tape and try to measure something. It is a lot similar to how you would use a ruler at school. You will be able to learn it in no time.

Q: What size tape measure is most commonly used?

There are three sizes that are most commonly used and when we refer to the size of the tape measure we refer to the length of the blade. The best rated tape measure is 25-foot long; however, the 12-foot long and the 100-foot long are also very popular. It all depends on how you expect to use it and what types of surfaces you need to measure.

The best tape measure for woodworking when it comes to length is the 25-foot long one. However, if you work in interior design you would need a longer one of about 100 feet. There are a lot of models on the market and they usually differ in terms of quality and durability.

Before buying one, however, you have to analyze all the possibilities and the purpose that you might use it for, to determine the length you need regardless of what the most commonly used length is.

 

Q: What is the black diamond on a tape measure for?

Anybody who has used a tape measure before has probably noticed these diamond shapes on their measure tape unless they have been using a cheap tape measure, in which case the marks probably lack. If you decide to buy an affordable tape measure, you will probably notice them and they are not just for design purposes, they actually are very helpful.

These marks in the shape of a diamond actually mark the center of the distance between 2 studs in a building. You will notice that they are always placed at a 19.2-inch mark. If you are using your tape measure for a DIY project, you might not get the chance to use this feature very often. However, professionals use it on a daily basis.

If you decide to make changes to your interior design on your own, however, you will find these black diamonds very useful and you won’t be sorry that you have purchased one of the affordable tape measures on the market.

 

 

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