Best Tape Measure

 
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Old 02-20-2008, 08:05 PM   #1
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Best Tape Measure


What would you say is the absolute best tape measure and why? Please provide a link or picture if available.

My favorite tape measure is the 25' Stanley PowerLock II.

I like it first of all because manufacturers vary slightly in their increments. (If you take three tape measures from three different manufacturers and align them side by side you will see a difference of at least 1/32" within the first 12'.) Since Stanley is not only the standard tape measure now, but was also the standard tape measure for builders in the past, I think using a Stanley is more convenient not just for remodeling houses but also for working with most other people.

Secondly, I think the ergonomics is better than the old silver PowerLocks, mostly because they’re slightly smaller – which is also why I prefer them to the more bulky FatMax – although the FaxMax has greatly improved.

Third, I like the 25’ length because I think anything more is usually unnecessary weight in a tool belt, while anything less just doesn’t seem to do the job. The 1” wide blade is of course a must, because any tape measure worth using absolutely MUST stand out to at least 7’. The Stanley PowerLock II that I like stands out to 8’, and I don’t see a need for more than that except maybe for drywalling ceilings.

Finally, the blade of the tape measure glides in and out of its case as smooth as silk. I just love that! I think it’s very important for a tool to function smoothly when you use it constantly all day long. The tape’s tip is also triple riveted so that its accuracy is extra secure.
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Old 02-20-2008, 08:23 PM   #2
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Re: Best Tape Measure


Oh man does this remind me of a tyraid I went on about my Stanley Extreme Fat Max tapes.



They turned out to be such garbage.



I went and bought a pair of $10. tapes (a Lufkin with 1/16"s for carpentry work and a US Tape with standard measurements or roofing).

I lovvvved my Extreme tapes, but they just kept jamming up and the tape would break at around the 4' mark. This seemed to be a common problem.

Plus, the blade stayed too curled up when extended making it hard to read.

The blade's thickness was great though. I wish they would work out the kinks...I would love to buy another one, but I get tired of spending almost $40. on a tape measure that only lasts me 2 weeks while my $10. tapes are still being used after years.

I lovvvved the rubber housing best.

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Old 02-20-2008, 08:24 PM   #3
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Re: Best Tape Measure


Ahhh...here it is!

http://www.contractortalk.com/showth...=tape+measures
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Old 02-20-2008, 08:25 PM   #4
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Re: Best Tape Measure


I have used the 25' Powerlocks for quite a few years, and am satisfied. I don't know if I would qualify it as the "best" tape measure, but they last decently, cost is reasonable, and they are readily available.
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Old 02-20-2008, 08:35 PM   #5
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Re: Best Tape Measure


I carry two on the roof...
a 35' heavy duty tape for general work,
a small Stanley 12' for tight spots
and for carpentry,
a more detailed tape with 1/16" measurements.

I'm still looking for that "perfect" tape however. Ideally, it would be one with the features of the Stanley Extreme I had a love/hate relationship with, but with the durability of the Powerlocks.
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Old 02-20-2008, 08:39 PM   #6
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Re: Best Tape Measure


Quote:
Originally Posted by 2ndGen View Post
Oh man does this remind me of a tyraid I went on about my Stanley Extreme Fat Max tapes.






Love it

I like the wider blade and it has been in heavy use for about a year now.
Previously was Stanley Powerlock...it didn't stand the test of time for me


Next is my Klein 6' wooden folding ruler...



The little slide out gizmo is a help sometimes.....when laying out holes in boxes and panels, etc.
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Old 02-20-2008, 08:43 PM   #7
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Re: Best Tape Measure


The best tape measure for me is the one I can find, I must have at least 20 of them in all shapes and sizes by all different makers and always misplace them.
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Old 02-20-2008, 08:53 PM   #8
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Re: Best Tape Measure




The object of my affection/contention.
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Old 02-20-2008, 08:56 PM   #9
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Re: Best Tape Measure


2nd Gen.....what's the difference between the MAX and MAX Extreme?
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Old 02-20-2008, 09:02 PM   #10
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Re: Best Tape Measure


Quote:
Originally Posted by Celtic View Post
2nd Gen.....what's the difference between the MAX and MAX Extreme?
Longer stand out.

The Chrome Case.

Supposedly better.

But not as good as the plain Max.

Where it's good (the Extreme), it's great.
Where it's bad, it sucks.
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Old 02-20-2008, 09:06 PM   #11
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Re: Best Tape Measure


Extreme (Silver) will stand out to 13', Max (Yellow) will extend to 11'
Extreme is much more curled to acheive that additional 2' standout, making it more difficult to make your marks - you have to press the tape down onto the wood so you can mark right next to your measurement.

That being said, my favorite is the 30' Extreme BECAUSE of the standout. When trying to hook joists halfway down the deck, I'll take all the standout I can get. Like 2ndGen, I've had problems with the tapes breaking...however, my tool store here has absolutely no problem exchanging busted tapes. I'll buy a new one every 18 mo. or so but within that time, I'll have probably exchanged two busted ones. The tape curl has a lot to do with the breakage I think.

Mac

Last edited by BuiltByMAC; 02-20-2008 at 09:07 PM. Reason: 2ndGen, not 2Gen
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Old 02-20-2008, 09:58 PM   #12
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Re: Best Tape Measure


Quote:
Originally Posted by BuiltByMAC View Post
Extreme (Silver) will stand out to 13', Max (Yellow) will extend to 11'
Extreme is much more curled to acheive that additional 2' standout, making it more difficult to make your marks - you have to press the tape down onto the wood so you can mark right next to your measurement.

That being said, my favorite is the 30' Extreme BECAUSE of the standout. When trying to hook joists halfway down the deck, I'll take all the standout I can get. Like 2ndGen, I've had problems with the tapes breaking...however, my tool store here has absolutely no problem exchanging busted tapes. I'll buy a new one every 18 mo. or so but within that time, I'll have probably exchanged two busted ones. The tape curl has a lot to do with the breakage I think.

Mac

If I could've gotten 18 months out of one, I would've been a happy camper.

I'm really hoping Stanley figures it out. I sent them a detailed letter about my gripes, not to complain, but to give them the issues they needed to address so that they could produce a better tape.
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Old 02-20-2008, 10:43 PM   #13
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Re: Best Tape Measure


the little blue ones 25' from lowes (can't think of their name right now) with the magnets on the end. just gotta keep the magnets wiped off to be accurate. must have for metal studs, hanging signs-measuring down from grid ceiling wall angle letting it hang with no hands.

big tapes are for guys with small..........hammers.

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Old 02-20-2008, 11:01 PM   #14
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Re: Best Tape Measure


I just dropped and cracked my first ever 40' Fat Max....there goes $40. Now I'm back to my 35' and 30' ers.

My 40'er was the first tape to be able to measure any hip I could come up with.

Last edited by wallmaxx; 02-21-2008 at 12:10 AM.
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Old 02-20-2008, 11:55 PM   #15
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Re: Best Tape Measure


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tin Cup View Post
big tapes are for guys with small..........hammers.
Nah, just for guys with big projects... why take two or three measurements when one will do?

That being said, this thread is like the "Best hammer" thread - guys in dif. trades need dif. tools, no one tape measure will be the "best" for everyone. I have absolutely zero need for a magnet on my tape measure, folks who deal with metal framing probably can't live w/o one...

Mac
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Old 02-21-2008, 12:12 AM   #16
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Re: Best Tape Measure


Quote:
Originally Posted by Journeyman T View Post
What would you say is the absolute best tape measure and why? Please provide a link or picture if available.

My favorite tape measure is the 25' Stanley PowerLock II.

I like it first of all because manufacturers vary slightly in their increments. (If you take three tape measures from three different manufacturers and align them side by side you will see a difference of at least 1/32" within the first 12'.)
To be honest, when it comes to how much they differ, doesn't matter if your using the same tape for everything. If you're using the same tape to measure for everything, then it's going to be correct every single time. If you measure with one tape, then measure your cut with another tape, then you might have problems. As far as ergonomics go and preference, I'm still figuring that out.
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Old 02-21-2008, 07:22 AM   #17
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Re: Best Tape Measure


I like the Stanley Fat Max Extreme. Since I'm usually working by myself I like the longer standout. The extra curve of the blade is a pain but it's the price I have to pay for the standout. That being said, if I've got a helper to catch the other end, I'd go with the basic stanley to save the weight and bulk on the tool belt.
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Old 02-21-2008, 07:34 AM   #18
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Re: Best Tape Measure


35' Fat Max...only one to own.
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Old 02-21-2008, 11:04 AM   #19
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Re: Best Tape Measure


16ft fat max
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Old 02-21-2008, 01:34 PM   #20
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Re: Best Tape Measure


25' or 35' fat max extreme. i love the bright GREENish color of it, easier to read the numbers.(are my eyes getting worse?)

what i miss are the old yellow ones that used to say Contractor Grade on them. they weren't so fat, lasted a long time and the metal was thick. then they took the contractor part off and they became crap. think, flimsy. it was all a marketing effort so they could get us to buy the fat max's which i have a harder time getting them out of my apron compared to the old ones.
one thing I don't like about the extreme is that I can't write on the back of it for a measurement like I could with the yellow ones.

Another contractor i know puts a white piece of formica or something similar to it on the front of it, to make short little numbers or notes etc. instead of carrying a note pad or paper.

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