One of the most commonly used tools in the home tool chest is measuring tape. From hanging photos to building bookshelves and buying furniture to remodeling, there are countless ways you can put measuring tape to use in your home. If you are searching for the best measuring tapes in 2021 that are accurate and reliable to keep on hand for when you need them the most, we have all the information to help you make the right decision! Let's sift through some of our top picks and see what each one has to offer.
When it comes to measuring objects, measuring tapes are an indispensable tool which is why you shouldn't choose one at random. Ideally, it would help if you understood the options available to you and what each one has to offer. This guide will explore a few things you should look out for before buying a measuring tape.
What Are the Different Types of Measuring Tape?
Here is a breakdown of the different measuring tapes to appreciate each one's unique peculiarities better.
Cased Measuring Tapes
This ranks as both the most versatile and popular tape. It houses the blade inside a metal or rubber holder, easily clipped to a tool belt or stowed in a pocket. The standard 25-foot tape measure can be used with ease for different craft and building purposes such as hanging pictures, installing shelving and woodwork.
Open or Long-Reel Tapes
This tape is used primarily by contractors, engineers, and builders. It comes with a hand crack that helps for retraction and can reach 500 feet. They are made using coated fiberglass and have measurement markings in meters and feet. They may come with a bottom spike that helps with stability when measuring ground distance.
You should use a diameter tape with some similarities with a cased measuring tape to measure circular objects. However, it comes with an ultra-flexible blade of metal or clothes which can quickly wrap around the poles and pipes. D-tapes give an accurate measurement using pi to measure the diameter and circumference.
What Should You Consider Before Buying the Best Measuring Tape?
Finding the suitable measuring tape should not take you too long if you consider the following tips when shopping?
The primary reason for measuring tape is to get some correct measurements. Thus, accuracy should be your first focus. The good news is that most measuring tapes are very accurate, and the variation inaccuracy is often negligible.
However, if you are involved in a project that requires a high degree of accuracy and precision, you need to be sure of the tape's accuracy before you buy.
Measuring tapes are comparatively cheaper than other equipment and tools, but that doesn't mean you should be buying a new one every month. Any measuring tape you believe ought to be very durable and rugged to ensure that it can stand the site work demands.
In terms of durability, you have to be on the lookout for the tape's overall build. When searching for suitable material, you should consider the case and blade materials. Steel blades are the most popular because they are durable and rugged, while stainless ones are ideal for muddy and wet conditions because of their higher corrosion resistance.
Regardless of whether your tape is accurate, you should see if the measurements are visible and easy to read. More often than not, the standard black markings present on the yellow tape ought to give sufficient visibility. Except you have an optical issue, you shouldn't find it difficult reading the tap measures.
However, some brands use more significant numbers and make bolder markings that boost visibility.
The ideal measuring tape should have a hook that makes external and internal measurements easier. Less expensive measuring tapes often come with a flat end hook which lets the user hook it over an object. The problem here is that those hooks may not prove helpful when connecting things above or to the side.
The best options are the multidirectional hooks that are larger and more robust, which is more so when working alone. With this type of hook, you will hang objects below and above and to the side.
Aesthetics are essential when selecting a measuring tape because you need a tape to clip on your belt while on the move. Most measuring tapes come with a clip that makes them easier to convey. The tape design ought to easily slide off and on the belt quickly and without challenges. The hook should be made using a rigid material that can withstand regular unclipping and clipping.
Measuring tapes have some features which may not be entirely necessary to function effectively and give accurate measurements. But many of the components can be a bit useful as they can boost the ease of use or convenience of the tape. The extra features you should look out for include magnetic hook, nylon blade coating, auto-lock, and finger brake.
Tips to Help You Use a Measuring Tape
Here are some tips to help out maximize the use of your measuring tapes.
Effectively Use the Hook’s Slot
Always use the space to hang the tape using a nail as the anchor point, which will not come off. Also, you can use it to turn the tape into a compass.
The Blade Helps Draw Straight Lines
If you are hurriedly trying to make a straight-line cut and don't have a ruler close, you may use the straight edge of the measuring tape's blade.
Apply the Hook Like a Pencil
The hook located on the tape may be used like a pencil to use a pencil to mark a cut. All that is required for you to do is indicate the place you desire to cut.
Pull the Blade Out to Point Out
Regardless of whether you want to highlight some areas or show someone where they should add another nail, tapes are vital—pulling the blade out to point out makes use of the tape's standout.
Calculate With the Measuring Tape
If you need to do some measurement subtractions when working, you may use your measuring tape to expedite this process. You can quickly master this trick as it only requires using your eyes to spot the numbers.
The importance of using a good measuring tape in your toolkit cannot get overemphasized. A suitable measuring tape can have a considerable effect on your project's outcome. As indicated in this guide, finding the suitable measuring tape isn't rocket science, but you will need to consider durability, accuracy, hook design, and other factors.
This sturdy measuring tape is the ideal tool for home and work use. Its durable design is made to hold up to wear and tear while the shock-resistant feature guards it against damage if dropped. The tape has a retractable design for ease of use, and its sturdy structure prevents it from collapsing while you’re taking measurements.
This double-sided measuring tape features metric measurements on one side, and imperial on the other, a feature that might be convenient for some but not as user-friendly for others. It has a magnetic clip for more convenience and accuracy and is a relatively compact design for its impressive 25-foot length. The product also features a wrist strap, making it easy to carry with you wherever you go. This measuring tape is more expensive than the standard type, which can be off-putting if you want something basic and inexpensive for home use.
Has a rubber casing for added protection
Magnetic tip for accurate measurements
Retractable and sturdy design
Shows both metric and imperial graduations, which can be confusing to read
This basic measuring tape may not have any fancy features, but it can extend to 25 feet and is easy to use and carry around with you wherever you need to go. Fairly lightweight at just over one pound, this tape offers reliable measurements in a durable design. It has everything you need from a good measuring tape: clear readability, metric and imperial measurements, an easy recoil mechanism, and a simple, no-frills design that works.
Stanley’s powerlock measuring tape is an old-school one with a classic design and no fancy frills or features. The company was one of the first ones to make a measuring tape with a slide-and-lock design so you can rest assured that you’re only getting the best with this product. The chrome hard case is durable even when dropped and the polyester coating on the tape makes it more durable. However, the standard locking mechanism can stick after prolonged use, according to some of our testers. Additionally, the belt clip has trouble fitting on thicker materials and can slip off at times.
Slide-and-lock design for ease of use
Sturdy chrome case to protect the measuring tape from getting damaged
Polyester coating on the tape for durability
Standard locking mechanism can stick after prolonged use
With its fun color and design, this measuring tape is easy to read. Its updated recoil mechanism makes it easier than ever to pull out, lock in place, and utilize for a wide range of projects. This product’s fun color and design make it a unique and attractive measuring tape. The handy wrist strap prevents dropping and provides added control. Easy press and release locking mechanism along with an impressive 25 ft length make this a great tape for all.
This retractable measuring tape has a rubber case that makes it more durable and shock-resistant. The lock button is very convenient to prevent the tape from retracting while you’re still using it. Even though it has a wrist strap for ease of carrying, this feature is not made for larger hands and can be uncomfortably tight for some users. The basic belt clip can be difficult to use and may not fit well on all belt types. According to some of the users who tested this measuring tape, issues with the locking mechanism can develop after prolonged use. However, the measurements are pretty easy to read on this tape thanks to its anti-glare matte finish.
Anti-glare matte finish to read measurement easily
Belt clip and wrist strap for portability
Shock-resistant rubber case increases its durability
Blade locks and retracts with a button
The wrist strap might be too tight for users with wider wrists
Measuring Tape FAQ
Q: How do I read a measuring tape?
A: To read the measuring tape, note that the hook end is point 0, and from there, the markings will increase as you move the tool base from the tip.
Q: What makes measuring tapes loose at the end?
A: If your tape gets pushed against something, the hook's width comes in the measurement. In a case where the hook hangs over the edge of an item for outside size, the clip over the back on the rivet becomes loose at the end.
Q: What makes the measuring tape curved?
A: The measuring tape has a concave design which helps it retain its rigid shape even when it is not supported.
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