A Buying Guide For The Best Tape Measure

A Buying Guide For The Best Tape Measure

Whether you’re in the plumbing or carpentry business, or just a regular handyman, a tape measure is a must-have for every box of tools. This item is more useful than people think and most might even take it for granted. However, there’s no doubt that engineers wouldn’t dream of working without it.

Despite its size and cheap cost in the market, it’s essential that you get a reliable one by spending the extra dollar. By opting for cheaper alternatives, you make the grave mistake of getting a tape measure that won’t last very long in harsh work environments such as those of carpentry and plumbing.

What you ought to do is purchase a durable and heavy-duty tape measure that can last long at the workplace. That is easier said than done, and if you're inclined to buy the first thing you see online, picking out the best suitable tape measure is going to be difficult.

Tape measure.

source: protoolreviews.com

Moreover, there’s an unusually large number of products in the markets that you’re likely to see, and if you're the type of person who gets quickly overwhelmed by excessive variety, then you need a helping hand in picking out what's best for you. 

If you do a little research, you'll find that even the best tape measures aren't of a single type. There are conventional tape measures, laser ones, and even the digital variety. If you're working with wood and other handy work around the house, then a regular tape measure will do fine.

On the other hand, if you work with longer distances and need to make the switch to something more practical, then a laser type is just the one. Digital tape measures can serve some purposes as well, and they stand to be more accurate than traditional ones, and many workers are making the switch.

Now that you’ve determined what type you need, we can help you figure out what product you should buy.

Best Tape Measure

Now that you’ve determined what type you need, we can help you figure out what product you should buy.

Winner: Kutir Tape Measure

Workers and handymen who operate in rough conditions require tools and equipment that can withstand the wear and tear that comes from intense use. In that case, the Kutir Tape Measure fits the bill with its durable construction and features. Based on its pool of users; skilled handymen and carpenters, in particular, have nothing but good things to say about the product.

One of the features of this best tape measure is its end that’s made up of a powerful magnet, which makes it much easier to take measurements with increased accuracy. Construction workers no longer have to worry about taking incorrect sizes that are always the result of guesswork and not using the right tape measure.

Kutir Measuring Tape

source: kutirgroup.com

You can have peace of mind knowing that you won’t need to purchase a new replacement anytime soon, considering that this tape measure is long-lasting. The magnetic end is chrome plated to protect the inner magnet from rusting and losing it effectiveness.

If that's not enough, then you should know that the measuring blade is heavy duty stainless steel that will last a good number of hours in the field. With all these high-quality components, the Kutir Tape Measure surely proves its longevity.

The shock absorbent case that this tape measure has gone through a series of drop tests that all prove it’s safe from breakage. The price, however, is a little high due to the quality of construction and materials that go into making just one tape measure. But considering the features, one can say it's definitely worth the price.

If you're interested in adding the Kutir Tape Measure to your collection, you can order it from Amazon and avail fabulous discounts as well.

Pros

  • Features powerful magnetic end for accurate measurements
  • Long-lasting; measuring blade made of stainless steel and the magnetic closing is chrome plated
  • Comes in a shock absorbent casing

Cons

  • Pricey

Runner-Up: Milwaukee Magnetic Tape Measure

When looking for equipment that they'll interact with every day, most people opt for ergonomic design and features that can make working with it convenient. In that regard, the Milwaukee Magnetic Tape Measure is considered to be the best product around.

Based on the feedback from the brand's broad customer base, it's found to be extremely handy because it makes the difficult job of taking measurements much more comfortable. One of the reasons for the immensely positive feedback is because there are dimensions are marked on both sides of the measuring blade. That allows users to take accurate readings.

Other professionals have described this best tape measure as their go-to tool because of its smooth retraction feature that makes the process quicker. The measuring blade retracts smoothly without any dangers of bending and helps users take speedy measurements without compromising on accuracy.

Compared to its rivals, the Milwaukee Magnetic Measuring Tape has become a more sought after product for having a locking mechanism that isn't impossible to work with and figure out. Instead, it's found to be very ergonomic and convenient, and the process only takes one hand.

Milwaukee Tool 48-22-7125 Magnetic Tape Measure

source: milwaukeetool.com

Construction workers who need to take necessary measurements at a height need a safe way to carry their tape measures with them, and although these mechanisms are present in some models, they are always inadequate. The Milwaukee Measuring Tape is a step up from regular models because of the wire belt hook that feels more secure.

Other safety features in the design include the finger stop that keeps your pinchers protected from getting caught when the tape snaps shut. There are, however, some downsides to the model of this tape measure. While professionals may consider a bigger size and heavier weight to be part of the package, a regular handyman may prefer to leave the extra bulk.

The premium price is also considered to be too high by someone other than a professional, but otherwise, it's widely regarded as worth the performance. If you're looking to get the Milwaukee Tape Measure, you can purchase it from Amazon.

Pros

  • Has ergonomic features like a smooth retraction
  • Includes safety features like finger stop
  • Wire belt hook feature
  • Easy to understand locking system

Cons

  • Heavy and big
  • Expensive

Best Laser Tape Measure

Winner: Bosch GLM 20 Compact Laser Measure

The award-winning compact laser tape measure by Bosch is an innovation in the work of measurement taking. Based on its performance, it lives by its promise of being a faster, efficient and accurate means of measuring. That is due to its advanced features that are meant to surpass those of the traditional tape measure. 

Of all its features, what sells this laser tape measure the most is the default real-time measuring setting that automatically adjusts itself based on the distance at which the user is, from the target. Once this setting is in place, you can get readings in real time, as you walk the gap that has to be measured, just like how you’d use a tape measure.

Similar to how you locked the needed measurement in your old tape measure, the Bosch Compact Laser Measure lets users do the same. Moreover, the measurements on it are highlight accurate within 1/8 of an inch, so you can relax knowing that sizing-up anything will be a success.

The Bosch GLM 20 Compact laser Measure is a step up from conventional tape measures in more than one way. One way is the apparent difference of range.

While tape measures have a lower range due to some reasons laser measures have over double at least.

The laser tape measure at hand, Bosch GLM 20 is an excellent example; it has a range of 65 feet, making it ideal for bigger jobs.

While many builders and workers associate advanced methods to be complicated, the Bosch GLM 20 Compact laser Measure is precisely the opposite.

The ergonomic and portable frame is comfortable to hold and carry around with you. What’s more is that it starts operating at the click of a button.

Bosch Compact Blaze Laser Distance Measure, 65-Feet GLM 20

source: boschtools.com

You can leave behind the days when only wide open spaces allowed for accurate and easy measurement. With this best tape measure, you can conveniently take readings from dark corners and tight areas that are hard to reach. However, if you’re willing to use this model, you should remember to record measurements as you go since it doesn’t save them.

Even though laser measures aren’t relatively new in the market, it’s true that they aren't cheap either. Considering their massive range and other versatile features, Bosch has delivered an affordable solution. 

Pros

  • Higher range compared to a tape measure
  • One click operation
  • Ergonomic design makes it easy to hold and portable
  • Versatile

Cons

  • Doesn’t store previously recorded measurements

Runner-Up: General Tools ToolSmart TS01 Laser Measure

Some jobs require you to measure dimensions of reasonably large spaces and call for more than the average tape measure. Tape measures, while convenient, cannot do so because most of them only have ranges of around 25 feet.

Laser measures are all the rage nowadays, not just when it comes to measuring larger dimensions but also around the home with increased accuracy. The ToolSmart TS01 Laser Measure from General Tools is an excellent example of an advanced laser measure that can get the job done quickly.

General Tools TS01 ToolSmart Laser Measure

source: generaltools.com

With a high range of over 100 feet, this model blows other starter laser measures out of the water, at a price that’s only a little higher.

Some perks come with this model, such as a QR code on the back that you can scan, to get access to some instructions and tips for better usage.

You can use this model from the ToolSmart range along with the ToolSmart app, which you can download on your smartphone for free, upon getting your desired product.

The app has a from the range ‘My Projects’ section under which you can have access to your current job, and get accurate results as to how much of a material such as paint or wood, you need to get the job done.  

Another Smart feature on this model is the one-touch Bluetooth transfer that sends all the data about your measurements from your laser measure to the app on your phone. The LCD screen on this laser measure device is backlit to allow users better vision of measurements in darker areas or low-light spaces.

The price, also, is immensely attractive for a laser measure this advanced. So if you’re interested in adding the General Tools ToolSmart TS01 Laser Measure to your collection, place an order on Amazon today.

Pros

  • Higher range than starter laser measures
  • Bluetooth transfer feature
  • Backlit LCD for vision in low-light areas
  • Connects to SmartTool app for quick access to project details

Cons

  • Price can seem higher for non-professional

Alternative: Tacklife HD60 Classic Laser Measure

Tacklife made the HD60 Classic Laser Measure with a strategic design - made to be compact and durable.

Coming in at a height of 1", width of 2.4", and weight of 4 oz., this laser measuring tape is extremely lightweight. As a contractor or construction worker, you know how heavy your tool belt can become. Any way to reduce the weight of your work belt is a plus. Tacklife got this down with their laser tape measure. 

The exterior of this tool is composed of composite, bi-injection rubber and plastic combination. This is important, because it plays a major factor in saving the measuring tape from breaking in a fall (rubber absorbs much better than plastic casing). Not to mention, the rubber exterior allows users to have a firm grip while using this tool. 

Tacklife Laser Measure Review


This model features a built-in horizontal and vertical spirit bubble, ensuring all measurements are taken in a straight line (reduces the chance of recording a vertical measurement by accident). As far as battery life goes, two AAA batteries will continuously provide this laser measuring tape with power for up to 8000 single measurements. So, you won't need to worry about replacing the batteries anytime soon. 

It's LCD digital display screen, at it's base level, will display the tool's remaining battery life, 3 most recent memory registers of previous readings, the current measurement reading, units of each reading, and an icon - indicating if the mode of operation is linear distance, volume, area, or distance. These modes are determined by one of three Pythagorean constructions.  

Pros

  • Ensures high accuracy and leveling with two unique bubble levels
  • Designed with compact, light-weight, and durability  in mind
  • 24-Month Warranty
  • Large LCD back-lit screen that provides essential stats

Cons

  • Reviews indicate this tool may be better if it included   a tripod mount for steadiness

Best Digital Tape Measure

Winner: eTape Digital Tape Measure

Like all other conventional methods of getting things done, even tape measures have gone digital, so you can go from reading a scale to getting a direct measurement. However, it's not only the measurement reading process made more straightforward; it’s a whole lot of other things as well.

The outer frame is weather resistant and durable design that's constructed out of polycarbonate plastic. To be able to see readings clearly, the digital display has been designed to be more substantial with more prominent digits as well.

eTape16 ET16.75-db-RP Digital Tape Measure

source: etape16.com

This model also features memory settings that allow users to store their taken measurements in the device’s memory. Also, you won’t be missing on the usability of the traditional tape measure because the digital version revolves around the same idea. The only difference is that readings appear on the display so that you can view them. 

You can rest assured that this digital tape measure won't fail you because it incorporates the use of a coin battery that powers it for over 60 hours of use. Another reason why users prefer this digital take on the traditional tape measure is its ability to measure when heading into the corner.

That means you no longer have to bend the tape, and the tape measure will account for the rest of the distance, till the edge, on its own. 

It also has some options when it comes to taking measurements and one of them the ability to change readings to other metric units. Despite its many benefits, the price is considered by many users to be very high. However, if you do find the amount to be worth a digitized tape measure, the eTape Digital Tape Measure can be purchased from Amazon.

Pros

  • Accurate measurements into corners
  • Measure in different units
  • A single coin cell can last for over 60 hours of continuous use
  • Memory to hold previous analyses
  • Large reading display
  • Durable, weatherproof construction

Cons

  • Expensive

Runner-Up: MulWark Digital Tape Measure (LCD Display)

If you're looking for a digital tape measure, another great option to consider is made by the tool company MulWark.

MulWark released it's digital tape measure with a serious claim: This tool can survive a 100 ft. drop onto solid concrete without breaking. Now, that's durability at it's finest! Another major plus is it's ability to withstand a full 92 ft. of standout without bending. So, whether you're measuring the length of a portrait, or the length of a new house, the MulWark Digital Tape Measure has your back.

The end hook on this tool is diamond coated with a two-sided blade that is both water and fire resistant. It was designed specifically to endure just about any situation, continuing to perform perfectly. Not to mention, it is composed of anti-rust materials.

MulWark Digital Measure


Additionally, this model features a "saved memory" function, allowing users to store all measurements taken within the devices internal memory. This is a lifesaver for anyone who doesn't have the time or patience to write down each and every measurement they take, but still need that data saved. Simply look through the stored memory and you'll have access to all of your previous measurements. For household projects, this can be a major time-saver.


As we all know, tape measures generally provide both standard and metric units. Well, this MulWark digital measuring tape takes this a step further - by providing centimeter, inch, and feet-unit conversion. Measuring just got a whole lot easier to convert.  

Pros

  • Features precise and accurate measurements - displayed on a back-lit LCD display screen
  • Long-lasting "coin-cell" lithium battery, lasts for over 80 hours of use
  • Design is totally durable, water and fire resistant

Cons

  • Pricey

What Features To Look Out For

Now that we've covered the basics as to what products you should consider if you're looking for the best tape measure, it's time to know what exactly makes them the ‘best.' Some aspects make a tape measure stand out from the rest. You should consider these based on what your priorities are.

The Type Of Tape Measure

There’s a wide variety of tape measures out there, with some of them not even being in the tape category. Regular tape measures come in a good many types on their own, but the most commonly used ones nowadays are the magnetic ones that feature a magnetic end. That allows users to take accurate measurements without worrying about the end moving around. 

Tape measure.

source: inchcalculator.com

Digital tape measures are similar to regular ones, except they incorporate specific digital features such as a digital display and memory that holds readings. Users who have sight and visibility issues can use these because of the large screens that merely show the text rather than requiring the user to read it himself.

Laser measures are a step above all the previous methods because of their advanced features and high ranges that make them well-suited for measuring large spaces.

The Range

Every tape measure can take measurements up to a specific range. For most conventional tape measures, this is around 25 feet.

Digital tape measures also feature a range that is around the same which is what makes these two types of best tape measures ideal for taking measurements around the house. They're comparatively inexpensive compared to their advanced counterparts, and most handymen prefer them around the house.

If you're a professional and measuring larger spaces is part of your job, then it's crucial that you invest in a product that is advanced and has a higher range.

Laser measures are highly preferred, and the General Tools ToolSmart TS01 Laser Measure is an excellent example of a device that has a range of over 100 feet.

The Size

When it comes to measuring, it’s a comparatively repetitive process that’s highly important but needs to be dealt with quickly. Also, if you're a professional that's always on the move, you need to carry equipment that's as portable as it is useful. In that case, a well-sized tape measure is necessary.

Surveying tape measure.

source: hyphendesign.com

If it's too big, the locking mechanism will be too hard to work with, and it'll be difficult to carry around. On the other hand, if it's too small, it'll be difficult to take readings accurately and without human error.

Advanced Features

While it may be outrageous to expect advanced features from a small tape measure, it isn't far from the growing needs of today's society.

If you’re a hobbyist that enjoys completing home renovation projects on your own, you may not require those many advanced features. However, you may have a preference for extra perks that make the process more convenient, so it's best to go with your gut.

Professionals that are working in the fields with tape measures do require a good number of advanced features to improve the results of their hard work. Transfer of important details to a smartphone app through Bluetooth and memory storage of previous readings are all helpful additions that can take the guesswork out of completing a project.

Battery Capacity

Digital tape measures and laser measures use coin cells or AA/AAA batteries.

Even though going digital may seem as more efficient, you're not more productive by using a digital measure that needs its batteries replaced every few days.

For this reason, it's essential to purchase an energy-efficient device that can last longer on one change of batteries. Even if your preferred product does claim to have a higher battery capacity, it's still advisable that you be prepared to carry extra batteries with you.

Metric Or Imperial Or Both

It's likely that you'll want to purchase a tape measure based on what system of units your region follows.

However, if you're a professional that occasionally switches from one mode of units to another, then it's considered a smart idea to buy a tape measure with both the metric and imperial system.

Conclusion

Tape measures are considered to be highly crucial whether the task at hand is a simple at-home DIY or a corporate project. Despite the rigid guidelines, there's no fixed answer as to the question about ‘the best tape measure.'

6 tape measures.

source: thisiscarpentry.com

The answer varies based on your needs, and we've covered quite a few products that can help you get started, in case you're not one to research items yourself.

Also, you’re in the mood to look up the right tape measure for yourself, we’ve highlighted all the factors you should consider before buying, in our complete buying guide.