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Best Measuring Tape

Proclive's picture

I know this is a personal preference that we all have, but what is the best tape you have ever used. I am using the Fatmax extreme with day glow and it sucks big time. The tape has too much of a roll on it to be useful and the coating is now covered in something that won't come off.

(post #127147, reply #1 of 74)

Call me a luddite but I like the plain old silver Stanley Powerlock II.  Can be had just about anywhere and last long enough for what you pay for them. 

(post #127147, reply #2 of 74)

I like that one too, or the powerlock contractor grade essentially the same tape in a yellow case, i don't think it is made any more.


I have a lufkin 25' chrome case red button I like so well I only use it in a pinch. Lufkin doesnt make that one anymore. I like it cause it is easier to lock and unlock than the powerlocks.


Webby 


 

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(post #127147, reply #16 of 74)

>...the same tape in a yellow case,<


I was going to mention those (I've got 3 of the old style boxy yellow all set up with plastic lam attached for note pads) but since I can't find that style anymore I didn't mention it.  Just recently got a 30' yellow box lever lock.  I used to really like the lever locks but they couldn't be found around here for a long time and for some reason this one just work for me, maybe it's the size of the box.

(post #127147, reply #18 of 74)

Tried the Lufkin in 1991 and never looked back.. Hate the Stanleys. And Lufkins version of Fatmax isn't as good as these, except maybe tougher.

They are available. This is where I've been getting them. And I keep spares.

Glenn
Glenn

(post #127147, reply #3 of 74)

I like the 25' Stanley maxsteel. I don't like the Fatmax--it doesn't fit the hand as well, and I don't really need the standout as much. It's preference.

(post #127147, reply #24 of 74)

I am with you.  Have at least one of most out there but have at least 4 of the Max Steel 25's.  A sleeper I found was a cheapie at Wal Mart, silver case and gray tape with big numbers.  Have not seen them again.

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For those who have fought for it Freedom has a flavor the protected will never know.

(post #127147, reply #26 of 74)

OK- Well, I gotta say that I am addicted to the 25ft Fatmax. Nothing else beats the standout and being able to run the tape up the side of a building, and I think that makes this a faster tape to use. I probably go through about three of these a year, I'm not a full time framer, though. Usually buy them when they're on sale for $17-$20, and I always have at least one new stock in the van ready to go into service. I just like 'em.

(post #127147, reply #4 of 74)

I have a pair of Stabias, and they suck, big time. Always freezing up.
The Lufkins are fine, and they work really well. Often I'll get a couple at the December sales (retapes).
I've never been impressed with the Stanleys. It's just me.
By far the nicest tapes to work with are either the Irwin tapes, or the ones from Lee Valley.

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Vancouver, Canada


 

Quality repairs for your home.

AaronR Construction
Vancouver, Canada

 

(post #127147, reply #5 of 74)

Here's where I make everyone jealous.


I don't buy my own tapes, unless it's for home use.


Per my union rules ALL tools are supplied by the contractor.


I have ran the gambit on tapes, & go through them quite often.


Chrome 25' Stanley has served me well over the years.


I did not care for the fatmax's when they came out as they were quite bulky.


My current job requires 30' & 35' for layout & the Fatmax's have faired better than the other tapes we have used. We do layout on oiled form plywood in the rain & massive amounts of dirt on the wood.


I usually get about 3 weeks out of the fatmax's & just one week out of the Lufkins & Chrome Stanleys.


Kobalt magtip 25' averaged about 2 weeks.


Chinese Empire's last about a day on my crew.



 

 

(post #127147, reply #6 of 74)

Craftsman Lever Lock.  I really like how it stays put until you squeeze the bottom to retrieve the tape.


And speaking of tape measures... anyone have any opinions on the magnetic tape measure clip as seen here:


http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=2&p=32556&cat=1,43513


I seems like a good idea, but I'm wondering how it works in the real world.


 

(post #127147, reply #7 of 74)

Took back the first fat max I got, then got a free one over a year ago. Don't know what they did differently, but I like it, especially for field work.

In the shop, Fast Cap lefty, excellent.

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(post #127147, reply #9 of 74)

A few of my guys gave those a try, but being in the steel stud world they have tendacy to pickup a lot of stuff you don't want stuck to ya.


Probably would be better in the wood construction area.



 

 

(post #127147, reply #11 of 74)

Someone abandoned one of these at a jobsite, I started using it and loved it:

http://www.komelonusa.com/#product=203;category=3;view=1;subcategory=200

It 'autolocks', the opposite of what I was used to, locks automatically with a pushbutton release. I wore that first one out, Lowe's carries them, so I got a replacement. Don't think I want to go back to the old style, where the lock button stops working after a while. I see on their site they have stainless steel models...

http://www.komelonusa.com/#category=1;view=1;subcategory=0;product=2

I keep finding more stuff on their site, like the 'magnetic' line...

http://www.komelonusa.com/#category=2;view=1;subcategory=0;product=0

Edited 1/1/2009 7:22 pm ET by PGproject


Edited 1/1/2009 7:24 pm ET by PGproject

(post #127147, reply #60 of 74)

http://www.komelonusa.com/#product=203;category=3;view=1;subcategory=200

I like that one too!

A co-worker has one that I've used a few times - it takes some getting used to though - you pull the tape out and then you want to push the button to lock the tape (like all the other designs), but it locks itself, so if you push the button (which unlocks it)it goes back in! It's a great idea though!

The best part about it is it locks the tape tight until you are ready to retract it. Unlike some other tapes I've used!

(post #127147, reply #62 of 74)

I tried one of those (carmeleon) and couldnt get used to it. I seldom use the lock button on a tape anyways, I just "pinch" the tape between my thumb and finger.

 I switch tapes, depending on the job. For most trimming I dont use a tape, I hold the piece in place and mark it. I usually work solo, so the fatmax tapes  (16' and 25') are used alot. I have a 25' Tajima that I like too. The fastcap are pretty good too, but the retractor springs go weak a little too soon.    

I started out with nothing....and I still have most of it.

(post #127147, reply #23 of 74)

I've got one of those Craftsman, too. It's a good one.


 


 


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(post #127147, reply #28 of 74)

Same here. I liked the Stanley lever lock that came in a bright green or orange case but they replaced that with a new version that is junk. Moved on to the Craftsman and like it a lot.

This place could use a good coat of fire.

(post #127147, reply #29 of 74)

Is that craftsman lever lock still made? I thought it was out of production.


Mine is pretty old.


I think it's a great concept.


 


 


Every car, truck and tractor in America should run on natural gas- it's the future.

"If you have enough energy you can solve a lot of other problems." - Charlie Munger, Berkshire Hathaway.

We have an abundant supply of domestic natural gas. Let's get busy solving problems.

(post #127147, reply #36 of 74)

Not exactly the same... here's what they have online

http://www.kmart.com/shc/s/p_10151_10104_9990000092739011P?keyword=craftsmen+tape+measure&sid=K-on-Sx20k061224x0000001

I have the old metal cased one... somebody left it at the jobsite of my old house... asked around, nobody claimed so I kept it for a "backup"... much better than that!

I don't understand why a lever lock isn't the standard vs. the push down button lock... just makes sense that once you extend the tape it should stay extended without having to flip a lock.

(post #127147, reply #37 of 74)

I had the metal case one, unfortunatly the spring broke.  Sears replaced it with that model you posted.  I liked the metal one better.


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(post #127147, reply #49 of 74)

That lever lock never seemed to catch on, Did it?


It was a good idea though.


Wish I had thought of it.


 


 


Every car, truck and tractor in America should run on natural gas- it's the future.

"If you have enough energy you can solve a lot of other problems." - Charlie Munger, Berkshire Hathaway.

We have an abundant supply of domestic natural gas. Let's get busy solving problems.

(post #127147, reply #41 of 74)

I just got a new one at the beginning of November - they let me trade in my old one because it would retract all the way. The case design may be different from what you have, if you've been using that one for a while, but I've been happy with the way this one works.

This place could use a good coat of fire.

(post #127147, reply #44 of 74)

Did a fair amount of framing a couple of years ago and found that the FatMax was best for that because of the standout and toughness, so I've been using them, the 25'.

I prefer the heft and size of the Stanley silver though, and that's what I've mostly used for almost 30 years. I do like the standout on the Fatmax I have to say.

I've tried most of the brands, in fact I was sent 10 of them for a field study once to use, try & report on. I kept coming back to the silver. I epoxy a white Formica square onto the one side of all my tapes to write numbers on.

(post #127147, reply #51 of 74)

Th new craftsmans are red colored with no warranty on the blade itself.  I've gotten as little as one hour out of the red ones.


Swear by craftsman hand tools.  Swear at craftsman power tools.


 


Mike


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(post #127147, reply #52 of 74)

I've gotten as little as one hour out of the red ones.


Really?  They seeem to hold up ok for me, but I'm not a framer, just an occasional trim carpenter.

(post #127147, reply #56 of 74)

The darn things just seem to sieze up.  It's a spring issue.


 


Mike


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(post #127147, reply #8 of 74)

I agree with John, the Stanley powerlock, plain silver chrome.
Simple....simple, simple. Takes a lickin still works time after time.
Plus it has the simplist read out.....big numbers...... and pretty reasonably priced  $7.00



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(post #127147, reply #10 of 74)

Starett and Lufkin in the shop. I still use a 25' even tho; most is well under that , just used to that size.


Field I have 4 or so in van, Stanley FAT max is marginal, Stanly yellow case most used, and an Irwin mag tip that I had to modify to get my finger hooked on the hook to pull it out..but I like the heft and the handy pc. of grafite for marking, that is built in. I prefer heavier tapes..dunno why.


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(post #127147, reply #19 of 74)

Hey...I think I'd rather take a poll and see how many people call em' "measuring tapes" or "tape measures".


I call em TM's...reckon technically they're tapes that measure so I spose' I've been callin' em the wrong thing all these years...wahh


(post #127147, reply #21 of 74)

  i  still call 'em rulers .... from my 6' folding rule days..... still got my  folding lufkin

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