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Best Tape Measure For WoodworkersWhat's the best tape measure for the woodshop?

What's the best tape measure for the woodshop?

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What's the best tape measure for the woodshop?

Will Sampson, editor of FDMC magazine and Woodworking network, talks about considerations for choosing a tape measure for professional use in a woodshop as opposed to general construction.

Read complete article for more details:

Best Tape Measure

In this Best Tape Measure Head-2-Head we put several 25’ premium tape measures to the test, to see who makes the best tape measure!

We evaluated 8 different tape measures from 7 different manufacturers. Five of the eight had magnetic tips.

The tape measures are:

Dewalt DWHT 36225
Klein 86225
Milwaukee 48-22-7125
Stanley FMHT 33865
Stanley Powerlock
Lufkin L1025MAG
Tajima G-25BW

Why 25-Foot Tapes?

While there are certainly many other tape measures to choose from, we choose to look at the more popular, pro-grade tape models. We also chose to look at 25-foot length models because they are the most popular length tape measures sold on the market. We put each tape measure through the following tests:

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  1. I refuse to use a tape measure that has both metric and standard. If I need metric, I want a metric tape, if I need standard tape measure, I want a standard only tape measure. I need to be able to be able to use both the front or back edge of a tape measure. Also, Milwaukee tapes a junk

  2. Milwaukee seems very gimmicky. Marketing is so SO evil. Over blown standout ratings and they even figured out a way to cheap out on no finger brake button and make it a hole you stick your finger on yet make it out like its an innovative feature. Maybe in construction for use with gloves, but for everyday wood shop use and when my fingers are being worn in doing other shop functions I ain't using my skin as the brake pad. Best tape I owned was a Stanley Power Lock. Lasted longest but it broke eventually. If you use them daily all will break or stretch. I have a Fastcap flat for layout and for framing and construction when I built an office in my basement I used a 1" thick 25' Lufkin that was on sale for $7 that replaced my broken Power Lock and has all the imperial and stud markings so that was good. Not sure I'd spend the big money on Fatmax either considering they are replacement items.

  3. He managed to skip completely over the single issue we are concerned with in the Shop; accuracy. Most tapes are equal in accuracy but not in the function that allows us to get an accurate dimension. Our main concern in our shop has been the width of the tip. The wider the tip, the more likelihood you will experience variations in measurements and simply because the tape may rotate out beyond the centering function of the tip. As such, we have compromised and use a Stanley 16' tape. It gives us enough length, and a small enough tip to mitigate variations when moving from piece to piece and from person to person.

  4. We buy boxes of the FastCap tapes and give them to employees. They hold up reasonably well. The belt clip is the best feature. We get the models with both " & mm. Sure wish this country had gone metric long ago. We have a steel bar mounted to the shop wall. I designed it to provide both short (1", 6") & longer (36", 1 meter) checks both in & out. It was made in a machine shop very accurately. Not much needs to be measured with a tape anymore. It's all electronic/CNC.
    Long ago when my wife worked in the shop with me we both had Stanley tapes. We got into an argument about accuracy one day. Upon checking we found that at short distances they were "close." But @ 10' they were off by about 3/16" against each other.

  5. They all break after a short time. the springs don't hold up with fastcap and festool. Milwaukee the spring is too wound up and breaks the tape.

  6. Comparing your results to other similar reviews, it is very obvious that various model numbers within the same brands have wildly different characteristics. For example, your Klein model compared to the 9225 performs drastically different in wear and other categories. Point being, viewers should not base purchasing decisions on one random model from any given brand.

  7. Great vid!
    I've been using fat max for years, the UK version, it does not fare well in the rain though,
    If you do`afterwards extend it fully and Wipe it down with paper towel.
    I get about two years life out of it.

  8. If you need really accurate measurements and you don't have a steel rule, blade slide is a non-issue. No tradesman is going to be using the first 10 inches/decimeter to take that measurement with. You measure from 10 inches on, or 100mm onward.

    Examples would be laying out and developing a hole pattern for a steel plate mount, perhaps fine/finish carpentry wood working, detail work where there's nothing to hide a even 1/32" miss in your cut.

    I would never, ever use the hook for anything needing precision like that. Would be the same as using the hook to scale off a print. Lol.

  9. I just bought a Lufkin because of price & feel. Hopefully it'll last as long as my Stanley did… 12yrs

  10. FatMax dont have numbers on both sides of the blade. Thats why I stopped using them. Mayor flaw that did not show on these tests. Great tool otherwise.

  11. The Milwaukee finger break is just amazing to work with. I'll go back to fat max if they integrate the opening in their tape. A strong magnet is a negative for me and normally end up removing it.

  12. I like tapes that automatically lock and retract when you press a button. ANybody else have an opinion on these?

  13. Milwaukee makes a good ANYTHING. You can’t go wrong and the bright red makes them easy to fond.

  14. So if I followed everything right, as an electritian, stick with the fat max, because i like the double side markings

  15. Holy shit! Geek central! I love it. Don't show this to a potential date. Lol! This is exactly what I wanted to see and was amazed at the intensity you went for. For me, readability and ability to stay stable on a surface are most important to me. I us the millwakees and love them. I got away from anything Stanley, a few years ago but looks like they are stepping up the game. All good to know! Great job on an amazing geek video! Hahaha

  16. My grandpa used Stanley,my dad used Stanley,I’m sticking with Stanley!I still use my dads old Powerlock 25


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