A button, located where the normal toggle would be, retracts the tape. We’ve added them to the Competition section. The Komelon also had an over-engineered protective case and was the most futuristic-looking tape we found. In late 2018, we tested two new tapes from Milwaukee: the 25 ft. Stud Tape Measure and the 25 ft Compact Tape Measure. It needs to be comfortable in your hand whilst also protecting the potentially delicate inner workings of the tool. The measuring blade is nice and wide but is also a little thin. 78 Most tapes have some sort of protective coating, but over time, it gets worn off. We also didn’t spend much time looking at tapes with additional gizmos, gadgets, and added functions. We also checked the stand-out of the tapes by extending each one to the breaking point four times and taking the average. After all, as we pointed out in the review of this product above, this design originated way back in 1963. This is a really cool little tool, huh? Aside from the length and dual markings, this is in truth a pretty basic tape. Everyone thought that the 1¼-inch tapes were bulky and heavy. It consists of a ribbon of cloth, plastic, fibre glass, or metal strip with linear-measurement markings. We actually heard it laughing at us.” DeBoer, in the PTR roundup called the FatMax “the rugged ubiquitous tape to beat.”. In Clement’s experience, “they tend to roll the tape over when you’re extending to hook something. This is a simple but very well built measuring tape. To give credit where it is due Komelon have clearly taken a look at other tape designs, and had a think about possible improvements and upgrades. A detachable piece turns the standard FatMax tang into a much larger one. The Stanley PowerLock is the best tape measure for a number of reasons. If it can read the distance between you and the house and you and the second-story window (for example), it can tell you how high the window is off the ground. Then, take your pencil and hold it at the 10-inch mark and spin it around. Unfortunately, neither one measured up to the success of the General Contractor Tape Measure. I can hold the [PowerLock] in my hand, pay out tape, and bend the tape—say for measuring across a floor or from floor to ceiling—in a fluid motion without having to readjust the tape in my hand.”. The other tapes, which cost more, all had failings—a poorly protected blade, a gigantic tang, a lame stand-out, or an impossible belt clip. Now you use the tape measure itself to make the marking line. How does it stack up against its older brother the PowerLock though? If (say) you’re planning an addition and want to mark out the proposed dimensions in the grass, or you’re measuring the perimeter of your property for a fencing project, the added length makes these much easier to use than incrementally measuring with a 25-foot tape. Anything less than an inch, though, is going to be flimsy, while the fatter blades (those above the 1-inch mark) make for a much bulkier tool. The thumb-operated blade lock is smooth, strong, and easy to operate with one hand, unlike some other more cumbersome models. We understand that these tapes are critical to your profession. So it certainly doesn’t look as good as the Powerlock, but it is rugged and easy to hold. This means that you can’t pull the tang out by coming at it from the side. This jobsite standard has proven its durability on countless occasions, and its wider 1¼-inch blade not only stands out unsupported farther than our pick, it also has a tougher coating and a larger tang that can grip an object from more positions than our pick. It makes sense to just learn that little trick and then have the full range of tape motion if you need it. For all of this goodness, the PowerLock still has a couple slight flaws. We would not be surprised in the least if that was the case. We also recommended avoiding magnetic tangs. For length, we only looked at 25-foot tapes. There are metric measurement lines, but they not marked with numbers or other indicators. In fact, since this model is very much the template for modern tape measure design, you could almost say that other manufacturers are simply playing catch up to Stanley – and none have quite managed to catch them yet! After dropping, extending, and scrubbing the blades of 19 different tape measures with 60-grit sandpaper, we found that the best one is the classic 25-foot Stanley PowerLock Tape Measure. None of the Johnson tapes performed well in the abrasion test. That’s because the PowerLock delivers the best basic combination of durability, ease of use, and accuracy—and all for a very low price. Problem was it only lasted 5 months. 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