Accurately measuring items is an important part of any construction or DIY project. Without a reliable tape measure, it’s hard to make sure everything fits together correctly; with so many options on the market, it can be hard to choose the right tape measure for your exact project or everyday needs.
In this review, we’ll go over some of the best tape measures of 2023. We’ve carefully selected our top picks based on features, accuracy, and durability. We’ll also cover the types of tape measures available and the features to look out for when shopping for one. Whether you’re a professional tradesman, a novice DIYer, or just a homeowner who is always updating their space, we’ll be sure to help you find the perfect tape measure for all of your needs.
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 purchasing a measuring tape, you’ll need to get one that will fit your requirement.
There are a lot of options available on the market, which makes it difficult for a person to choose the best tape measure. We have curated this buyer’s guide to help you make the right decision.
Tape Measure Features
To make sure that you choose the best tape measure, here are some essential features to look for:
Stand out blade
It refers to the length that the tape blade can extend 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.
Length of the tape
The length of the tape measure is 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. You should carefully look into the length of the tape before making your purchase.
The readings of measuring tools are a significant factor. Available in both standard or imperial units and also in metric units, the readings of tape measure 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 in a standard tape measure 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 a tape measure in your 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 position when you measure inside a cabinet. Thus, it will ensure that you get an accurate reading. There is no rocket science to it. You just need to press the button, and the blade will fully retract or shorten, depending on when you are releasing the finger.
If you want to learn more about tape measures, such as the markings of the tape measure, check the video below by TightWadDIY.
Different Types of Measuring Tapes
You shouldn’t choose a tape measure at random. Different tape measures work 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 a tape measure is 25 feet which 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 on both meters and feet.
Synthetic measuring tapes
Similar to open reel tapes, these can measure long distances. Because of their ability to stretch and distort accurate measurements, they are more often used than tape measures containing steel when measuring around hazardous areas, such as railroads.
These are usually used to measure circular objects or columns. A D-tape is somewhat similar to a cased tape measure but has an ultra-flexible metal or cloth blade that you can wrap around poles or pipes. These tapes provide accurate measurements using pi to calculate area. 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.
Laser tape measures are specialized measuring tools that send out pulses of laser light to a defined target and then record the time it takes to get a reflection of light. This way it records accurate readings over very long distances. A laser tape measure is considered more accurate than the traditional fractional tape when you record heights, widths, and lengths not exceeding 198 meters.
In addition to the types discussed above, a simple cloth tape is used as a bandage, for sealing walls, and for electrical and plumbing tasks. On the other hand, durable metal tape is effective for covering thermal insulation or shielding.
Key Tape Measure Purchase Points
One of the most important features to look for in a measuring tape is its durability. If you work in construction, home renovation, or simply find yourself completing many woodworking tasks throughout the year, you’ll need a tape measure that withstands constant usage.
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.
Tape Measure Price Range
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 $7 to around $12, you can find more a sturdy and lengthy tape measure that can be used for DIY projects.
If budget is not a major concern for you, then you can find a top-quality tape measure with additional features in the price range of $25 and up. Architects, contractors, and engineers prefer to buy tape measures from high-end brands, like Craftsman or Stanley, as they are likely to last for a few years.
The Komelon 30′ Self-Lock Tape Measure is the perfect tape measure for any home project or work site. The self-locking mechanism allows the blade to be extended smoothly and with ease. The blade itself is constructed with a durable nylon coating, providing maximum durability throughout extended use. Additionally, the bright color of the blade ensures that it stands out and is easily visible no matter where you are working.
The dual end hooks make it easy to measure in both directions and the ergonomic design makes it comfortable to use. It’s equipped with a rubberized sure-grip casing that guarantees that your hands don’t slip while working. The flip-open belt clip makes it easy to store and makes sure that you always have it on hand when you need it.
Our team ranked Komelon number one on our list because it felt like more than a measuring tape (actual quote from our team); the slick feel and features almost make us want to measure everything in sight.
The Stanley 16′ Leverlock Tape is an excellent choice for those looking for a reliable and accurate measuring tool. Its polymer-coated blade is highly durable, making it ideal for most measuring tasks that require precision. The blade itself is 16 feet long with a 3/4-inch thickness, giving it the perfect size and flexibility to measure a variety of objects with ease.
The most impressive feature is the Tru-Zero hook end which enables you to get an exact measurement. This means more accuracy and less guesswork when measuring. Additionally, the push-release, self-locking mechanism ensures that the blade retracts smoothly and quickly when you’re done taking measurements.
This tape measure also has a high-impact ABS case with rubber bumpers that provide extra protection in tough heavy-duty environments. This makes it highly durable, so it can withstand repeated use in challenging conditions.
The Prexiso 2-in-1 Laser Tape Measure is a versatile and precise measuring tool that is ideal for home, construction, and industrial use. This product combines a 135ft laser measure and a 16ft tape measure that provides both accuracy and convenience.
The laser measure is highly accurate, with readings given within 1/8 inch. With 6 laser measurement modes including measurement distance, continuous, area, and volume, Pythagorean Method two points, and Pythagorean Method three points, the Prexiso can effectively meet any user’s needs. It is also certified as a Class II laser product, with an output lower than 1mW.
This product also includes other unique features such as a USB Type-C charging port, a removable belt clip for carrying, an easy-to-use three-button operation system, and a backlit color display for improved readability in lower light conditions. Additionally, the rechargeable lithium-ion battery allows 5000 measurements after one full charge.
Overall, the Prexiso Laser Tape Measure is an excellent choice of product as it provides exceptional accuracy and convenience in both home and industrial settings. Its combination of features makes it an effective tool that any user can appreciate.
The Champion Sports Open Reel 100′ Measure Tape is a versatile, durable, and reliable tool perfect for measuring and marking sports playfields and project sites. The dual-sided tape measure features feet on one side and meters on the other making it easy to convert between imperial and metric systems.
The superior-quality vinyl fiberglass measuring tape resists stretching for accurate measurements and is housed in a strong crank shell for longevity. It features a convenient hand crank that makes it easy to wind up when you are done measuring, while the high-quality metal spike ensures the tape is always stable while measuring.
Overall, the Champion Sports Open Reel Measure Tape is an essential tool for any professional who needs to be able to trust their measurements quickly and accurately. The durable design with superior-quality material guarantees it will be reliable every time it’s used. Perfectly suited for sports training or construction projects, this open reel measure tape will provide precise measurements each and every time.
The Klein Tools Tape Measure is a heavy-duty measuring tape that provides the precise measurements you need. This tape measure has a 13-foot standout of wide and tough nylon reinforced blade, with uncluttered and easy-to-read bold lines marked every 1/8 inch. The heavy-duty, durable nylon coating on the blade allows for increased protection and long-lasting performance. Additionally, the retraction speed brake keeps fingers away from the blade while also controlling its speed.
Klein Tools included two measurement scales printed on the front and back sides of the blade for versatility in taking different types of measurements. Users can also take advantage of the double hook, which can secure the tape to items such as studs, conduits, pipes, etc., on either the front or back side of the blade. Furthermore, a strong magnet on top of the hook attaches to ferromagnetic objects such as steel studs, doors, panels, and conduits for easy measurement. If you’re looking for a reliable tool from a reliable brand that won’t let you down—this Klein Tools Tape Measure is a perfect choice!
Bold lines marked on the blade every 1/8-Inch
Retraction speed brake
Strong magnet on hook attaches to ferromagnetic objects
The CRAFTSMAN 25 ft Tape Measure is the perfect tool for anyone who needs to measure in smaller sections. Printed fractions on the blade provide added convenience when taking measurements, and its self-locking blade stays extended while you’re measuring. This feature makes it quick and easy to take accurate measurements without having to worry about keeping the blade extended. On top of this, the tape measure has a rubber over-mold for extra grip, making it easier to hold and use the tool efficiently.
Those who are looking for a reliable and convenient way to take measurements will find that the CRAFTSMAN Tape Measure is a perfect choice. It is durable, lightweight, and provides accurate measurements every time. With its added grip from the rubber, this product is sure to be a great asset in any toolbox.
Make quick measurements with the 1/8-inch sections
The Spec Ops Tools 25-Foot Tape Measure is a product designed with military-grade quality in mind. It features a 20% more compact, ultra-durable housing made with military-grade composite material and features a MIL-X coated 1 1/8″ blade for up to 2x blade durability. The high-visibility white blade has double-sided markings for clear and precise measurements and the non-slip hook is designed with burrs that reliably grip surfaces. The precision speed lock allows for quick release and the integrated belt hook attaches easily to tool belts or pockets.
In addition to offering superior reliability and accuracy, the Spec Ops Tools 25-Foot Tape Measure also makes a meaningful contribution to veterans. 3% of all of the company’s purchases are donated to veteran and first responder causes. This product is further backed by a limited lifetime warranty, providing peace of mind for even the toughest job sites.
Up to 20% more compact, military-grade housing
MIL-X coated, 1-1/8″ blade for up to 2x blade durability
The Bosch 65ft Laser Distance Measure is a powerful and accurate tool for any workspace. Its one-button operation makes it easy to use, and its live measuring function allows it to be used like a tape measure with real-time adjustments. The accuracy of the GLM20 is impressive, with distances measured up to 65 feet within 1/8 inch. The backlit display is extremely helpful for reading measurements in dark areas and the unit fits comfortably in your pocket or in any flat surface.
For anyone looking for an accurate and reliable distance measure, the Bosch GLM20 is a perfect choice. With its simple one-button operation and live measuring feature, this device simplifies even the most complex measuring task. The battery life is great and will last a surprisingly long time on a single charge; with its great accuracy and compact size, you’ll never have to worry about getting accurate measurements wherever you are.
Long range measuring up to 65 feet with extreme accuracy
The beyond by BLACK+DECKER Tape Measure is a reliable, long-lasting, and user-friendly tool that makes measuring tasks a breeze. With its unique GripRelease Technology, you can use it with one hand, while the textured rubber coating provides a secure grip. The tape measure also features a True Zero end hook that offers precise measurements and accuracy.
The 25-foot blade of this tape measure is designed to withstand physical impact, and its Tylon blade coating ensures many years of blade life. For added convenience, this tape measure also has an Autolock feature that keeps the blade extended for as long as you need it to. This allows for superior control when measuring distances.
Textured rubber coating
Protective nylon blade coating
Common Tape Measure Questions
Q: How do I use a tape measure?
Using a tape measure correctly is essential for accurate measurements: start by placing the end hook against the fixed point you want to measure from, then keep your body behind the scale to avoid pinching it; hold the beginning of the blade by its base firmly against said fixed point and pull outwards until the desired measurement is reached – if necessary use other hand’s free index finger/thumb to help guide blade down as far as possible before reading off specific mark indicated!
Q: Why is a tape measure curved?
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: What do all the markings on a tape measure mean?
Standard markings found on most general tapes include inches (measured in fractions), both sides calculated up in 1/16” increments; metric (calculated out in millimeters & centimeters) which follows the same principle except using decimals instead – may also find additional notches cut into the blade itself at different points—these act as handy reference markers when trying to estimate size ranges quickly without having rely solely upon actual scales imprinted onto surface itself!
Q: Why are there 16 inches on a tape measure?
Wall studs are separated by 16 inches as per standard US construction practice. It makes it easier for a carpenter or a worker to use the tape for its requirements.
Our research process included reading the following articles to provide the most helpful content possible:
The Woodsmith Review Team’s product reviews and in-depth guides are here to help you choose the best tools and gear to build great-looking projects confidently. The content is created by The Woodsmith Review Team. Woodsmith’s editorial staff is not involved. Woodsmith is reader-supported: When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Inquiries regarding specific articles or product testing should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org