Have you ever had to take measurements of furniture, walls, doors, windows, etc.? Unless you’re a carpenter or have recently gotten your house furnished, that is highly unlikely. However, the use of the best tape measures in 2021 is not really restricted to these few things. Want to get a tablecloth for the table you just bought? Want to buy new wallpaper for your room? Thinking about replacing the curtains to revamp your room? Bring out the mighty tape measures, and you are good to go!
Keeping all these points in mind, one can conclude that the apparently not-so-important instruments known as tape measures are, in reality, quite significant. Hence, choosing the best tape measure for you is important as well.
Not having a measuring tape that fulfills almost all the needs is the pain point of many professionals. If you own a measuring tape that is not even able to measure your required length, then what’s the use of having it? When heading to purchase measuring tapes, people tend to get the ones that will perfectly fit their requirements.
There are a lot of options available in the market, which makes it difficult for a person to choose the best measuring tapes. We have curated this buyer’s guide to help to make the best decision.
Which are some features to look for in the best measuring tape?
To make sure that you choose the best measuring tape, here are some essential features to look for:
Stand out blade
It refers to the length that the tape blade can extend to without collapsing. The blade of some tapes falls even after a little extension. On the other hand, some tape measures can extend to quite a long distance without external support. So, a better stand-out means that the tape measure should reach further as it is critical for a contractor, carpenter, or any other intense job. For simple DIYs or home projects, you can even ignore this factor.
The length of the tape
The length of the measuring tape is surely a very important factor because if you buy a measuring tape and it is shorter in length than what you need it for then, the tape is useless for you hence you should carefully look into the length of the tape before purchasing a measuring tape.
The readings are also a significant factor. The readings need to be very clear and properly marked. The readings are critical because if the tape is not labeled correctly, the data or the measurement measured will come out wrong and mess up your work. The marked readings also have to be very prominent so the user can check the measurement.
Belt holder or clip
If you plan to get your hands on cased tape measures, you should know that these are often equipped with a nylon or steel belt clip attached to the pocket or tool belt. Some professionals and DIYers might find the clip a bit annoying as it adds bulkiness. Moreover, the clip makes it harder to hold or stow the tape measures in the pocket. However, some models come with the option to unscrew the clip whenever needed.
When you are working alone or the space is congested, tape measures that automatically lock when you pull them out come in handy. For instance, the blade will lock into the position when you measure inside of a cabinet. Thus, it will ensure that you get an accurate reading. There is no rocket science in it. You just need to press the button, and the blade will fully retract or shorten, depending on when you are releasing the finger.
What are the different types of tape measures available?
You shouldn’t choose a tape measure at random. Different tape measures work the best for different types of projects.
Cased tape measures
It is the most versatile and popular design—the fiberglass or metal measuring strip in a metal or rubber holder houses the blade. You can easily clip it to your tool belt or stow it in the pocket. The standard size of such tape measures is 25-feet that can be used for crafting or DIY projects.
Open reel tapes
Such measuring tapes are usually used by contractors, engineers, and builders. These come with a hand crank for retraction and are typically made of coated fiberglass. These can be 25 to 500 feet long, having markings in both meters and feet.
These are usually used to measure circular objects or columns. D-tapes are somehow similar to cased tapes but have an ultra-flexible metal or cloth blade that you can wrap around the poles or pipes. These tapes provide accurate measurements using pi to calculate diameter and circumference. You can find D-tapes in a variety of lengths, ranging from 12 inches to 50 feet.
A vinyl or cloth model is more suitable for sewing projects as you can mold them easily to take measurements around the body. These come in a range of lengths from 60 inches to 120 inches. Sewing tapes can be simple strips having metal ends or housed in a retractable case.
What are some key considerations for choosing the best measuring tape?
Another important feature to look for in a measuring tape is its durability. This is a very important factor as measuring tape is being used in a construction site; it needs to be strong and durable because it will have to face many falls.
The retracting system of a measuring tape also needs to be smooth, and it also needs to be durable, so it doesn’t break down.
What is the price range of a tape measure?
For $3 to $5, you can find basic tape measures without a locking system. Sewing tape measures are cheap and fall under this category. With some more research, you may find some measuring tapes with an auto-lock feature, but these will be fairly basic.
By spending $5 to around $10, you can find more sturdy and lengthy tape measures that can be used for DIY projects.
If budget is not the major concern for you, then you can find top-quality tape measures with additional features in the price range of $10 and up. Architects, contractors, and engineers prefer to buy tape measures from high-end brands as they are likely to last for a few years.
If you are looking for a tape measure with not only excellent features but a bright and unique color as well, the Komelon Power Tape can be the right choice. Other than being one of the best tape measures, it comes in green color. The Komelon is easy to carry due to its lightweight and mobile size. In addition, the smooth mechanism of the Komelon allows the user to take measurements with minimal obstructions and difficulties. The blade extends smoothly. The retraction of the blade is smooth due to the presence of a push button.
Rubber case to prevent injury against blade’s retraction
Self-locking mechanism for hassle-free measurements
Offers a firm and comfortable grip
Extends up to 25 feet
Some people might not like its self-locking mechanism
Measuring up to 25 feet, this bad boy is one of the favorites of tape measure users due to its fine features and durability. The Craftsman Tape Measure is highly popular among construction workers and carpenters and is highly recommended for use. Its high rating of 4.7 stars on Amazon is a very clear indication of its competency. The self-locking mechanism maintains the length at whichever point you might want to fix it. The precise fractions marked on the tape make it easy to take measurements
Rubber covering offers extra grip for the holder
The metric system for measurement
Measurements are easy to read
Slow retractions keep the user’s fingers safe from harm from the recoil
Users often complain that it is a bit heavy to carry around
If your work includes measuring curved shapes, then this is the ideal measuring tape for you. Measuring up to 60 inches or 150 cm, the Soft Tape Measure is adequate for daily use due to its flexibility. It is made up of non-deforming, soft plastic material, which allows superior measurement consistency and prevents it from stretching unnecessarily. The metal tabs on each end of the tape make it easy to place the tape against the item to be measured.
Can be used for sewing, tailoring, body and waist measurements.
Flexible and easy to mold
Easy to carry and can be placed anywhere
Many customers complain about its inaccurate measurements when placed against rulers and other, more accurate, tape measures
Are you looking for a measuring tape that is handy, easy to use, a go-to tool for every day, and convenient for outdoor usage? This set of two measuring tapes can be used for body, fabric, sewing, tailor, cloth knitting, and home craft measurements. One of the main qualities of this tape is that you can save yourself from the hassles of retracting the tape back. Just click on the button, and you are good to go.
Two measuring tapes for the price of one
Wide application in home, school, and office supplies
Flexible but non-stretchable tape
Durable, precise, handy, and rolls up easily
The construction material is of not-so-good quality
It has a unique design and is black in color to give it a trendy feel. This measuring tape is made of plastic and is lightweight. So, you can carry it along anywhere. Its length is 150 cm. The tape is retractable; it can be retracted by clicking on the button in the middle.
Durable and wear-resistant
Doesn’t deform easily
Easy to read measurement
The metal tab frequently comes off, leaving no way to pull the tape out
Don’t you just hate it when you measure something, but the measuring tape keeps slipping out of your hands? If you face this problem, you need to change your measuring tape to the Stanley Tools tape rule because it has a cushion grip that provides a slip-resistant hold. The top-forward blade lock in it makes locking and unlocking very easy and quick.
If you are an engineer or an architect, you will be familiar with the struggles to measure a certain length when working solo. The tape ends just won’t stay in one place hence making taking the measurement a hassle. If you are also facing a similar problem then this MulWark 26ft measuring tape is for you. It has a powerful magnetic hook attached to its end to keep it in place while taking measurements. These measuring tapes have a high-impact ABS case with a top-grade rubber covering, which increases durability.
Dual-sided tape blade
Smooth and durable spring retracting system
Thick nylon-wrapped blade
It is not waterproof
Tape Measure FAQ
Q: Why is a tape measure curved?
A: The tape is curved and has a concave design which helps to keep the blade straight when extended. The curve helps you read the measurement accurately.
Q: Why are there 16 inches on a tape measure?
A: Wall studs are separated by 16 inches as per standardUS construction practice. It makes it easier for a carpenter or a worker to use the tape for its requirements.
Q: What are safety measures to consider while buying tape measures?
A: You should check that the sides of an open tape shouldn’t be sharp. To be on the safe side, it is recommended to keep your hands clean when measuring or retracting the tape measure. Also, supervise children while using the measuring tapes.
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