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Once you know your tape is accurate, durability is the next major concern. Most tape measures are capable of surviving dozens, if not hundreds, of drops onto concrete from workbench height. Drops from greater heights are where we begin to see the difference.
To get the best durability, look for a tape measure with at least four connection points on the housing and plenty of overmold to protect it. Also keep an eye open for at least three rivets holding the hook on, nylon coating over the entire blade, and additional coating over the first foot or so.
Everyone who is going to seriously engage in sewing needs to choose a high-quality measuring tape with a guarantee against shrinkage and disappearing marks. The fabric measuring tape must be strong, but flexible, not twisted or stretched, and not easily torn.
We also recommend that you select a tape with the scale that starts with a unit 1 at both ends: then no matter what end of the tape you take, the beginning of the scale will always be in your hands.
Be sure to check the accuracy of the scale on the tape measure. Accuracy is a basic requirement for any measuring tool. The markings must be bright and clear so you can see the numbers very well.
A measuring tape scale can be applied both in inches and centimeters. A double scale can be useful to you if you often sew with patterns from magazines or websites of countries where the metric scale is adopted.
These removable, adhesive-backed measuring tapes are used for marking fabric or sewing tables for quick measurements while cutting or trimming. They are printed in Imperial and Metric markings. The tape does not adhere well to damp or wet surfaces, so make sure the surface is relatively clean and dry. I use this along the edge of my sewing table for quick measurements.
Why measuring tapes were made mainly in a case I think everything is simple here. Those vintage measuring tapes were made from fabric, usually silk, and had ink marks (which were printed on them manually) and of course, the case with some kind of a return mechanism provided some safety.
The ProCarpenter Tape Measures are developed with 7 innovative features: Lever action belt clip, Pencil sharpener, Dual locking system, Erasable notepad, Heavy-duty 1-inch blade, High-contrast tape & Rugged compact design. Available in Old Standard, Standard Story Pole, Standard Reverse (Lefty/Righty), Metric Standard, & Metric Reverse (True32) blade styles.
Case durability is also important, but less so for a homeowner. Any quality tape can handle a normal 4-5-foot fall, and the heavy-duty construction ones, most outfitted with a rubbery padding, can go from four or five times that height. For my Popular Mechanics piece, I dropped a Stanley FatMax 25 feet onto asphalt and it only showed some scuff marks.1
To check the durability of the blade itself and to simulate the destructive grinding that takes place once dirt and grit make their way into the case, we extended the tapes and dragged a piece of 60-grit sand paper, weighed down with 5 pounds of pressure, down the blade for a distance of 1 foot. We performed this three times with each tape. On some tapes the coating and printing came right off, but others held up admirably to the abrasion test.
Again, the most important characteristic of a superior tape measure is the durability of the blade. The Stanley blade is coated with a Mylar polyester film, which our testing proved to be superior to most of the other tapes. Remember, this is the key point in the durability and longevity of a tape measure. When we dragged the weighted sandpaper over the PowerLock, the coating showed some surface scratching, but the printing remained fully intact. On many of the other tapes, like the Johnsons and the FastCaps, the printing came off like we were erasing a pencil mark. The Stanley was in the small class of tapes that held up to this abuse.
For all of this goodness, the PowerLock still has a couple slight flaws. First, the belt hook is a simple metal clip. This is a standard design on tape measures, and when clipped and unclipped repeatedly on a pocket, it starts to fray the fabric. However, this is only a concern if the tape is being used on a very regular basis.
As stated earlier, the PowerLock has been around for over 50 years and the one thing that has changed over time is the case. Somewhere along the way, most likely for cost reasons, Stanley stopped making them out of metal and started making them out of plastic. In our research, we found that many longtime users of the PowerLock wistfully long for the days of the metal case. The fact is that plastic cases are simply the norm these days, and they offer enough durability to get the job done. Of the tapes we tested, only the Johnson Big J had a significant amount of metal in the case and at no point did we get the sense of any significant added durability.
In late 2018, we tested two new tapes from Milwaukee: the 25 ft. Stud Tape Measure and the 25 ft Compact Tape Measure. Unfortunately, neither one measured up to the success of the General Contractor Tape Measure. The Milwaukee Stud is gigantic and simply too massive to easily handle and grip. The Compact Tape Measure is a perfect size, but the blade lock is really difficult and we often had to use two hands to operate it.
The Komelon also had an over-engineered protective case and was the most futuristic-looking tape we found. The tang was very large and had a vertical piece that could hook from underneath. Both the knobby rubber over-mold and the huge end clip made this one tricky to use compared to simpler models.
FastCap tapes are available with a variety of marking styles, from the standard 1/16 scale to the Lefty/Righty explained above. They also sell tapes that have no rigidity in the blade, so they lay flat on your workpiece. For the most part, these oddballs are geared to the trades.
Crescent Lufkin brought you the unstoppable Shockforce Nite Eye Tape Measure, but that only scratches the surface. Check out the full line of measuring products including power tapes, rules, long tapes, oil gauging tapes, measuring wheels, chalk and reel, squares, and special-purpose tapes available for commercial and industrial use.
The Ti-Tape is simply the smallest titanium tape measure in the world. Slightly larger than a US Quarter, it is the perfect tape measure for everyday carry. Why Because it is super TINY, ultra-durable, and extremely lightweight. It also includes a removable keychain clip, so you can attach it anywhere to keep it with you at all times. As if that wasn't enough, the user-replaceable 3' measuring tape ensures you will never have to buy another portable tape measure again. Ever.
The Ti-Tape was designed to be as small and lightweight as possible, making it almost invisible on a keychain or tucked away in your pocket. The titanium housing will ensure it will last virtually forever, far superior to those cheap plastic or heavy steel tape measures. And what happens if your measuring tape gets worn or bent Not a problem! The user-replaceable design allows you to change it out so you can start with a fresh tape that is ready for action!
Think about your average day, and how many times having a tape measure would come in handy. Whether it's trade related (i.e. carpenter, engineer, interior designer) or just being able to measure a piece of furniture at the store to see if it will fit in that special place, it is one of those little tools that can make a big difference.
But the benefits of the measuring tape is multilayered for me. Yes, it improves my online shopping accuracy, but it also, ironically, makes me less hung up on the effects of those size numbers on my vanity. Besides the obvious inconvenience factor, not knowing whether I am going to fit into an eight or a zero when buying jeans is a weird kind of low-grade emotional flogging that surely cannot be good for my mental health in the long run.
Measuring a well-fitting belt you already own is the best way to determine your belt size. Lay the belt on a clean, flat surface. Start the tape measure at the hole you use and measure to the end of the belt, where it meets the buckle. Belts are measured in inches and you should round to the nearest inch. If you measure 36 inches, you will want to purchase a size 36 belt.
You could say a digital tape measure is to a traditional tape measure what a pocket calculator is to a slide rule. Digital devices are automatically more accurate than analog ones, while incorporating functionality impossible to include in manual tools.
Strictly speaking, a digital tape measure is a tool that measures length and displays it on an LED screen. Readings can be in decimals or fractions, and most models can switch between them. Readings are typically accurate to within 1/16-inch (1.5-mm).
An increasing number of digital tape measures send out a laser beam and time how long it takes the beam to reflect off a solid surface and return. This provides a more efficient way to measure long distances. Tape measures with this capability can usually store data and perform calculations.
Combo tape measures (AKA two-in-one tape measures) have metal tape with graduations and built-in lasers. You can use one of these like a regular tape measure, or go with the laser function. Laser measures typically calculate area and volume, save readings and calculate height and width of wide or tall structures via triangulation.
If your digital tape measure has an actual tape and an LED screen, use it like a conventional tape measure. Hook the end of the tape onto a piece of wood or a countertop, stretch the tape to measure, then read the measurement on the screen.
You can carry this Mileseey Measuring Tape on your tool belt and use it like a conventional 16-foot tape measure, but its laser can measure distances up to 131 feet. The LED display, which works only with the laser function, converts between meters, inches and feet.
There are two different sty