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 measuring tape in 2023 is not 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? For every type of home improvement project, bring out the mighty tape measures, and you are good to go!
Keeping all these points in mind, one can conclude that the not-so-important instruments known as measures tape, in reality, are quite significant. Hence, choosing the right 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 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.
To make sure that you choose the best tape measure, here are some essential features to look for:
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.
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.
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.
You shouldn’t choose a tape measure at random. Different tape measures work best for different types of projects.
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.
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.
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, a durable metal tape is effective for covering thermal insulation or shielding.
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.
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 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 $10 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.
Our top overall pick has a unique design, featuring dual-sided measuring, with feet on one side and meters on the other, and is available in multiple lengths. Crafted with a strong crank shell, these measuring tapes are crafted from durable vinyl fiberglass that is made to last. This superior-quality measuring tape resists stretching for accurate measurements, while the high-quality metal spike ensures it is always stable as you take those measurements.
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 in such areas. 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, while the precise fractions marked on the tape make it easy to take measurements
If your work includes measuring curved objects, then this is the ideal measuring tape for you. Measuring up to 60 inches or 150 cm, this option 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 you’re measuring.
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 fully featured and robust laser measurer features long-range measuring with extreme accuracy and measures distances up to 165 ft. This laser measurer provides default real-time measurement that adjusts as you move, plus it has ten measurement memory to keep track of distances.
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 is a great choice. 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 and retracts smoothly due to the presence of a push button.
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. This heavy-duty tape measure 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 Dewalt measuring tape is for you. It has a powerful hook attached to its end to keep it in place while taking measurements.
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.
A: 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.
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.
Our research process included reading the following articles to provide the most helpful content possible:
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