Everybody needs a tape measure in their home. As a product that’s been pretty much the same for the past 100 years they are a staple of any tool box owned by any well-together dude, just like you. Even if you never do any DIY around the house, you still need a tape measure. You never know when that day might come where you need to find measurements. They’re such an inexpensive addition it seems foolish not to have one, so if you’re after the best tape measure, we’ve got the list for you. Whether you’re looking for one for professional projects, or just something that will save you in an emergency – and saves you admitting that you don’t own one – we’ve compiled a concise but awesome range of potential options to think about, and help you feel a little more prepared should something need measuring. You can’t use your kids’ school rulers forever, man.
The Best Tape Measure
Established in 1963, the Stanley Powerlock did nothing short of revolutionizing the humble tape measure, introducing the world to its innovative slide lock technology which made the process of measuring faster and easier than ever before. The design has stood the test of time and the Powerlock 25” is still loved the world over, delivering reliable performance combined with a classic design.
Featuring a Tru-Zero end hook, it doubles as a pivot if you need to trace out circles and arc designs. The tape measure is housed in a high-impact, attractive chrome ABS case for durability while the tape itself is coated with a polyester film known as Mylar which helps to protect the lifespan of the entire blade against abrasion and repetitive use. Other features include a belt hook for easy access, an easy to read and highly visible 1-inch blade plus 16-inch and 19.2-inch stud markings. It’s highly portable, consists of a lockable blade and allows you to carry out precise measurements with minimal slippage.
High-impact ABS case
Mylar coated tape
- Weight0.96 ounces
There’s little that had been done to reinvent the measuring tape until Quickdraw came along with their built-in pencil feature. No more fumbling around, tape measure in one hand, trying to locate a pencil so that you can take a marking. With built-in graphite dispensing wheel right at your fingertips, the job of quickly making your marks with pinpoint accuracy just got a whole lot easier. To activate this function, simply lock down the Try-View Sight, move the measuring tape back and forth on the spot and a precise, visible mark will be made.
The tape measure is fast and easy to reload delivery a strong recall every time and the blade itself is highly durable and is coated with a rugged nylon finish. The locking design is easy to use and with 25-feet of steel tape, it should be more than adequate to accommodate most professional needs and those of DIY’ers around the home.
Tough plastic case
Built-in graphite pencil
Rugged nylon blade
- Weight15.2 ounces
If you’re looking for a tape measure that puts you entirely in control, the Komelon Self Lock with its innovatively engineered self-locking mechanism may well be the tape measure for you. Part of the brands Self Lock Series, this 25-foot tape measure extends and retracts again smoothly with just the touch of a button. This makes it the ideal measuring tool for all kinds of professions as well as keen hobbyists and committed DIY’ers. It comes in additional sizes should you require something more specific to deal with the project you’re working on.
The case itself is made from impact-resistant rubber to provide an even higher level of protection and it’s comfortable to hold and operate thanks to its ergonomic design. The deliberate choice of a highly visible green color should also mean that you are highly unlikely ever to lose your tape measure. No more fumbling around to try to find it in your tool bag. For ease of use, durability and impact-resistant, this tape measure is hard to beat.
Impact-resistant rubber case
Nylon coated blade
- Weight3.2 ounces
If you’re looking for a tape measure that can handle getting beaten up on a busy jobsite, the Stanley Fatmax 25’ is the tool for you. Like all tools made by Stanley, it’s designed to be super durable. It has a thick plastic case with a rubber non-slip grip that’s virtually indestructible. It might start to look a bit worn after a few years, but it won’t let you down. The tape is coated with Mylar polyester film, chosen for its long-lasting durability, and it has BladeArmor on the first three feet. This material is used to protect the rotor blades on a Sikorsky Black Hawk Helicopter, so it’s definitely tough enough for your measuring tape. If that doesn’t convince you, perhaps the fact that it comes with a limited lifetime warranty will. This measuring tape is definitely one of the toughest on the market, so it should be the last tape you ever buy.
Thick plastic case with rubber grip
Mylar coated blade
BladeArmor on the first three feet
Limited lifetime warranty
- Weight1.18 pounds
The Craftsman CMHT37225S Tape Measure is a simple and affordable tool, perfect for DIYers. It’s not the toughest or the most feature-laden product on this list, but we think it’s perfect if you’re just looking for a simple measuring device. The most impressive feature is the self-locking blade that stays extended when you pull it out. This makes it easy to operate with one hand and also avoids that terrifying moment when you accidentally release the blade and it comes hurtling back towards your hand. The blade can also be locked to provide extra tension or unlocked for a controlled retraction. Plus, just in case you’re worried about the durability, it comes with a limited lifetime warranty for peace of mind.
Blade can be locked or unlocked
Rubber overmold for added grip
Limited lifetime warranty
- Weight12.7 ounces
The Craftsman CMHT37316S is the most affordable tape measure we’ve featured. At just 16-feet long, it’s shorter than most measuring tapes, which makes it ideally suited for carpenters, decorators, and anyone else that works with smaller materials. We like it because it’s lightweight and small enough to fit in your pocket, so it’s perfect for taking quick measurements on the go. It has a classic chrome aethstetic with a modern rubber overmold to improve the grip. Plus, the blade is coated for added durability. Another subtle feature that really impressed us was the multi-catch hook, designed to grip onto surfaces on both sides of the blade.
Classic chrome finish
Limited lifetime warranty
- Weight9.6 ounces
This entry from Komelo is their Monster MagGrip, a 25-foot measuring tape with a powerful magnetic end for easy one person, precise measurements. It’s also conveniently printed on both sides to ensure accurate marking and measurements can be recorded no matter what position you’re in.
The nylon coated blade is durable and hard-wearing, protected by an impact-resistant rubberized casing. The coating provides rust-resistant protection and ensures the longevity of your purchase. The actual blade is made from high-grade carbon steel for consistency and uniformity which goes through both a cold rolling process and a subsequent heat treating stage to provide superior resistance against kinking and bending. Suitable for a wide range of professions from electricians to plumbers, heating engineers to framers, the Komelo Monster is an excellent choice.
Magnetic dual-end hook
Printing on both sides
Impact-resistant rubberized case
- Weight8 ounces
While not as futuristic of a tape measure as the eTape16, you shouldn’t over the classic design for its simplicity and effectiveness (and price!) There is a few things you need to think about when buying a new tape measure. They include durability, reliability, and length. At 25 feet, this is one of the longer tape measures on the market, and is ideal for those planning substantial projects, or just like hearing the clattering slither of the tape rolling back into the case.
The exterior case is sturdy, and Kutir has designed it to be entirely drop-proof from pretty much any height – it hasn’t been tested on the Burj Khalifa yet – thanks to a shock absorbent rubberized material protecting it from damage. It might not have the fancy LCD screen, but the bold numbers and markers are easy to read and contrast with the tape itself like you’d expect.
- ModelKUTIR 56-7525
- Weight14.1 ounces
The eTape16 is a digital tape measure that‘s likely to completely transform the way you look at tape measures. It’s basically the tape measure of the future, and while looks like it took design inspiration from the iPod Nano (don’t tell Apple), it does a little more than play music. This is the original digital tape measure and is at the forefront of taking the indecision out of your measurements. With the LCD display, it presents clear and accurate data that ensures you’re never off by a couple of millimeters.
Completely revolutionizing the industry, it is the most accurate tape measure you can find. The days of rounding up between markers are gone. The days of using random people off the street to hold the tip for you while you get it straight are gone. With the eTape16, you’re in total control. It’s simpler, more straightforward, and a heck of a lot easier than ever.
- Weight9.8 ounces
For a tape measure that gives you simple and comfortable features and a design that feels like tape measures of your youth – because we’re sure you spent many weekends playing with one instead of out on your bike with friends – the Komelon Speed Mark Gripper is a great, inexpensive option. Able to measure up to 25 feet, it provides ample distance for a variety of projects both professional and domestic, showing a versatility and purpose you may miss out on with other brands.
The Gripper design is well-regarded around the construction and architect community, and some consider it a revolutionary improvement in the world of tape measures, which is either super cool or totally uncool, depending on how you feel about tape measures. Either way, it’s heavy-duty and has an easy-to-read tape with large, bold numbers, making it an essential budget addition for anyone putting together their first tool box.
- Weight2.08 pounds
While 25 feet is a decent distance to measure, for unrivaled and stress-free measuring ability, you’ll need something like the Komelon Monster MagGrip Measuring Tape. You might not think an extra 5 feet would do much difference, but having this extra distance can completely transform your projects. Not only will you win those silly, uber-masculine Whose Is Bigger? Contests, you’ll also save time and have the accuracy you need to ensure you complete your work with no issues.
The first thing that catches your eye is that it’s more lightweight than the Gripper, despite providing further distance in its measurements and feeling much larger. We know that tape measures aren’t the heaviest things you’ve ever seen, but less weight means it’s easier to wear on the tool belt all day, even if you don’t think it’ll make too much of a difference. The rubber casing also makes it robust and durable and, like the Gripper, the numbers are large and easy to read. Unlike the Gripper though the Monster MagGrip features markings on both sides of the blade for precision and line drawing.
- Weight1.05 pounds
For true heavy-duty results, an assured long life, this Milwaukee Tool Magnetic Tape Measure could be the one that will survive all the bumps, knocks, drops, and scrapes of intense construction sites and mammoth home improvement projects. For one, it’s huge, so not only will you never lose it, but it’ll also withstand more than your average, perhaps a little weak – in comparison – tape measure ever could. The casing is thick and tough, and as soon as you pick it up, you know you will have this for a long, long time.
It’s not just the casing we believe in, though. The tape blade is also durable and is crafted using a nylon blend that protects it from the elements and the expected wear and tear, especially with tools. This means you don’t have to buy and buy again every year (or sooner) and gives you much more for your money than you might expect. As for accuracy, the 5 point reinforced frame helps to stabilize the blade while the magnetic hook keeps in in place at the end target.
- BrandMilwaukee Tool
- Weight0.16 ounces
Big by name and big by nature, this Century Drill & Tool Big Blue Tape Measure does exactly what you’d expect it to. The blade reaches a massive 33 feet, making it the longest tape measure we’ve selected, and the widest, measuring one and a quarter inches for clear reading and bold markings. These markings provide both decimal and fractional measurements which increases accuracy and gives versatility, helping you adapt to whatever kind of measurement you require.
For its size, you’d expect it to be durable, too, and it’s not surprising to anyone – except maybe someone who doesn’t know what any of those words mean – that is is robust enough to withstand, survive and ask for more abuse than your average tape measure. Impact-resistant case keeps it protected from knocks and drop, while the non-slip rubber casing doesn’t mark the surface it lands on, keeping both the tape measure and the project safe from harm.
- BrandCentury Drill & Tool
- Weight1.25 pounds