Table of Contents
- View The Best Tape Measure Below
- Tape Measure Buyer’s Guide
- What is the Most Accurate Tape Measure?
- What is Standout on a Tape Measure?
- Are All Tape Measures Accurate?
- So what is the difference between a Type 1 and a Type 2 rated tape measure?
- How Do Laser Tape Measures Work?
- What Laser Tape Measure Qualifications Are There?
- Is a Laser Tape Measure the Best Tape Measure?
- How Good Are Stanley Tools?
- Which Kind of Hook is Best?
- Some General Last Minute Advice
There are more factors than you would think when you’re considering what would be the best tape measure for your needs. A tape measure is just a tape measure, right?
Well, there’s more to it than that, believe it or not.
We have compiled ten examples of the best tape measures you can buy, along with a buyer’s guide to help you decide which of these products would be best for you.
We hope you find this guide useful.
View The Best Tape Measure Below
1. Komelon Tape Reel
We have selected this 100-foot-long product as almost unquestionably the best tape measure you can buy, all round.
This tape blade measures in imperial and metric units. The blade coating is double nylon, meaning that it’s both waterproof and dirt resistant, as well as protected from abrasions and chemicals, which might affect how easy the scale is to read. The strong ABS frame housing contains a comfortable rubber grip for your hand. The hook at the end of the blade is versatile, and the product includes a stake so you can easily use it over long distances by yourself.
This tape measure is also available in 200-foot and 330-foot models.
Due to the lengthy blade, this tape measure is best suited to jobs where you have to measure large distances, and therefore is recommended for use on job sites and athletic fields in particular.
+ Heavy-duty ABS housing frame
+ Stake included
+ Tape measure blade length: 100 foot (with other larger models available)
+ Blade coating of double nylon prevents the scale from becoming difficult to read
+ Imperial and metric scales
Why We Like It – We chose this as the best tape measure you can get because it can be used for many situations, and its length means that you can record pretty much anything you want.
2. Bosch Blaze GLM Laser Measure
A laser tape measure is a great tool for quick use and consistent accuracy, provided it is used correctly. With both imperial and metric units, it can record up to 65 ft to within 1/8 of an inch. You can set this laser tape measure to record distance in either meters, feet, and inches, or solely inches. This measuring is done live, so as you move closer to or further away from a surface, the readings will change.
With just one button to press to begin measuring, the tape measure is simple to use. It’s also easy to store due to its compact size and fits into most pockets on items of clothing. The backlit digital display means that it is easy to read, even in dark environments.
Customer reviews report this laser tape measure to be incredibly useful and almost always very accurate.
+ Easy to carry and store
+ Laser records distance up to a length of 65 ft
+ Backlit digital display
+ Accurate to within 1/8 of an inch
+ Many 5* reviews
Why We Like It – We liked this tool because of its great features and because of the impressive reviews it has received, particularly regarding how accurate of a measurement tool it is. It’s worth keeping this one in mind.
3. SINGER Tape Measure
Sometimes the best tape measure for you is just something that, very simply, records distance and doesn’t do much else. This measuring tape from SINGER is a durable 5-foot long vinyl tape, with metric measurements on one side and imperial on the other. The black print on top of the pink color makes it easy to read, and the tabbed edges prevent the material from fraying.
SINGER is a brand that is all about sewing, and so this product has been produced specially for tailors and seamstresses. This is because it’s easy to measure both flat and rounded surfaces accurately, without being too long. It’s not difficult to handle.
+ Flexible and strong
+ Easy to read due to the black markings on pink background
+ Easy to hold for measuring short distances on both flat and rounded surfaces
+ Tabbed edges prevent fraying
Why We Like It – Sometimes it’s best to go back to basics with a tool for some jobs. If you work with measuring short distances, such as a seamstress or a tailor would, you will find this quick and simple measuring tape to be all you need.
4. CRAFTSMAN Tape Measure
This 25-foot long tape measure from CRAFTSMAN has the traditional chrome finish with an added rubber grip, so it is easier to hold. The blade is also coated to make it last as long as possible, and the tapes measure an inch across. The large writing makes them easy to read. At the end of the tape blade, the hook can attach to surfaces either above or below the blade – a very simple addition, yet also very useful in certain situations.
On top of all this, this CRAFTSMAN tape measure comes with a limited lifetime warranty. This means that, as long as you keep your proof of purchase, if the product fails “due to any defects in material or workmanship,” the company will replace it.
+ Tape measure blade length: 25 foot
+ Multi-purpose end hook which can attach to surfaces both above and below the blade
+ Coated blade
+ 1-inch wide blade so it is easy to read
+ Limited lifetime warranty
Why We Like It – We chose this product as the best tape measure because of the dual-sided hook at the end of the blade and features such as the limited lifetime warranty. The 1-inch wide blade is a nice addition to make everything on this tool clear.
5. Komelon Speed Mark Measuring Tape
From Komelon, we have another great measurement tool – this 25-foot tape measure. The white blade is coated in acrylic to make it non-glare, which means that it is simple to read, with fractional graduations that make measurements more precise. The grip is a chunky rubber one, meaning that this tape measure is both easy to grip and also heavy-duty and less likely to break.
+ Acrylic-coated non-glare white blade
+ Tape measure blade length: 25 ft
+ Heavy-duty rubber grip
+ Fractional increments on the blade for accuracy when measuring
Why We Liked It – The easy to read incremental markings on the blade make this one a must-have, as well as the reinforced housing.
6. Kutir Measuring Tape
Kutir has produced this 25 foot tape measure to be as useful as possible when one is working alone. The magnetic hook at the end is fairly unique in the tape measure market, giving it a particularly outstanding feature. The case is shock-absorbent, so if it’s dropped, it is very unlikely to break. Kutir has even gone as far as to test this in a laboratory for quality assurance purposes.
The blade will stand out for 7 or 8 feet to make measuring over open spaces as easy as possible. The bold print is also easy to read, and MID has verified the measurements as being accurate. As well as this, the tool comes with a smooth locking mechanism.
+ Strong, heavy-duty rubber coating making it unlikely to break
+ Tape measure blade length: 25 feet
+ Magnetic hook means it is easier to work alone
+ Bold print
+ Locking mechanism
+ Accurate measurements
+ 7 or 8 foot stand out
Why We Like It – We particularly liked the magnetic hook. This fairly unique part of the tool means that the blade will attach to some metallic surface ends more steadily than a usual blade end that is not magnetic.
7. Komelon The Professional Power Tape
This is a standard tape measure that Komelon quotes as being perfect for “anyone using a metric measuring scale.” It will measure up to 12 feet or 3.5 meters, so it’s small compared to some products on this list, but still covers more than enough ground for you to be able to complete most tasks accurately. The blade is nylon coated to protect it and comes with a triple-riveted hook.
This tape measure also comes with a sliding lock in case you need it. This lock will prevent the blade from extending or retracting any further.
+ Tape measure blade length: 12 feet
+ Smooth mechanism
+ Sliding lock
+ Stud markings along the blade
+ Ergonomic case
Why We Like It – We liked this tape measure because it does the basics very well. Komelon has named this “The Professional” because it was a tool designed for use by professionals, and so you can trust it to do a good job for you.
8. Home Planet Gear Measuring Tape
You know those occasions when you seem just to lose everything you put down? Well, those days might just be over, with this pack of 3 products.
In this pack, you will find three 10-foot-long tape measures. They measure only in feet and inches and come with stud markings and fractional readings, with the blades being nylon polymer bonded flexible steel. The ABS case is designed to comfortably fit in the human hand, with rubber grips and a sliding lock that can be activated with your thumb, as well as a “pause button.”
As well as this, as the best tape measure should, it comes with a lanyard and belt clip for ease when carrying it around.
+ Pack of 3
+ Standout up to 4 foot
+ Sliding lock and “pause button”
+ Lanyard and belt clip
+ Tape measure blade length: 10 feet
Why We Like It – We liked that you get three individual tools in this pack. Although the blade on each tool might be shorter than most others and with fewer additional features, you will find them to be useful and do the small jobs nicely for you. And also, with 3 of them, you are likely to be able to get your hands on one all of the time.
9. Stanley Tools Fatmax Tape Measure
Named the Stanley Fatmax, this high-quality ABS case is reinforced with rubber to make it a very durable tool. Able to measure up to 25 feet, you will find markings along each inch of the blade. There’s also stud markings every 16 inches and every 19.2 inches. The first few feet of the tape are reinforced with BladeArmor coating to make it last as long as possible.
A unique part of this tape measure is its particularly impressive 11 feet of length.
It also comes with a limited lifetime warranty.
+ ABS with a rubber case
+ Tape measure blade length: 25 feet
+ Stud markings along the blade
+ 11 feet of standout
+ BladeArmor coating
+ Limited lifetime warranty
Why We Like It – Stanley Tools is a well-known brand throughout the United States of America that, time and time again, produce amazing tool selections. This time is no exception. The Stanley Fatmax tape measure will do any job. One of its “standout” (haha, we’re sorry) features is the impressive 11 feet of standout.
10. TACKLIFE Laser Tape Measure
This laser tape measure can also switch between meters, feet, and inches. Able to measure up to 196 feet, and accurate to within 1/16 of an inch, it provides an impressive amount of cover. The laser tape measure also has several features that make your measurements ever so slightly quicker, including programs to calculate area, volume, Pythagorean three-point measurements, and more.
To save battery life, it will automatically shut down after 150 seconds without use. It’s a portable size and comes with a wrist strap. Also, the product is rated as IP54, which means that it is waterproof to splashing water and dust levels, but only in small quantities.
It should not be considered to be fully waterproof by any means. It’s also not recommended to use this device in direct sunlight. If you have to use it outside, the tips should be warmed up to make it more accurate. There are also a couple of small but useful design features included, such as a belt buckle, a mute button, and an orange design to make it easy to find.
A 24-month warranty is included in the sale.
This is a class 2 laser device.
+ Measures up to 196 feet
+ Accurate to within 1/16 of an inch
+ Multiple useful features and programs
+ 24-month warranty
+ Automatically shuts down after 150 seconds of inactivity to save battery life
Why We Like It – This is a great example of a laser tape measure. With a long-range and a large selection of features, this is one you should keep your eye on.
Tape Measure Buyer’s Guide
What is the Most Accurate Tape Measure?
In general, a laser tape measure is considered the most accurate but not universally. It’s dependent on the conditions in which the measuring is taking place.
A traditional tape measure is divided up into classes of accuracy, which are usually Type 1 and Type 2, or unclassified. See the section “Are All Tape Measures Accurate?” for a better, more detailed view of these.
A laser tape measure can be trusted to be accurate to within whatever specification the manufacturer gives. Usually, this is to within 1/8 of an inch, but they’re regularly more accurate than that. Certain factors do affect how well the laser tape measure records distance, such as sunlight, which is explained in the section entitled “How Do Laser Tape Measures Work?”. Sometimes they can be slightly more inaccurate than a high-quality tape measure at very close range as well.
Overall, if pinpoint accuracy is the most important thing to you when you’re looking for the best tape measure, we would recommend getting yourself a Type 1 traditional measure. Keep in mind that this is if you are only going to be measuring up to a few feet. If you are measuring anything bigger than this, a laser tape measure is the way to go.
What is Standout on a Tape Measure?
When you extend the tape measure and the blade holds itself without any support, that is called standout. This is most useful for you if you measure across open spaces, such as the dimensions of a room or things to go in that room, for example.
Every traditional winding-in-type tape measure will have a standout to some extent. Those that literally just tape obviously cannot support themselves and so will not have any standout. A Laser one also does not have any standout, as they don’t even utilize any blade or tape.
Are All Tape Measures Accurate?
They aren’t individually as accurate as you would think.
In the majority of cases, this isn’t particularly relevant. Provided the tape measure is reasonably accurate, if you were building something like a shelf to put up in a room in your house, it wouldn’t matter that much. Provided you use the same tape measure to do every single related measurement, including both the wood and the space in the room, you will find it makes essentially no difference at all. This is because everything will have been made or measured with the same percentage error, meaning that everything will be, relative to everything else, accurate.
So what is the difference between a Type 1 and a Type 2 rated tape measure?
Well, there are two classes of accuracy in a tape measure. These are conveniently called Class 1 and Class 2, as well as a tape measure simply being unclassified. Your average cheap tape measure is probably going to be unclassified – that is, it does not conform to any recognized standards.
Most professional products are Class 2. This represents a good level of accuracy, which is sufficient to produce good quality measurements consistently.
Even at this level, the EU tolerances are that when a tape measure is extended to 3m, there is a tolerance of + / – 0.9mm on the blade, which doesn’t sound like much. But if you make ten measurements which are all nearly 1mm off, you end up with a finished product that is potentially up to 1cm off. This is more than enough for a human eye to notice, and therefore for precision work, you will probably want to get a Class 1 tape measure.
These have a tolerance of + / – 0.4mm at 3m blade extension, so they are much more accurate than Class 2 or any other tape measure. They are, though, not absolutely precise.
Absolute precision is essentially impossible because, in every measuring device, it’s possible (and almost certain) that an error will be made, no matter how small a fraction of an inch it may be. As well as errors with manufacturing, there is always the risk of human error when it comes to taking down the measurement. This could come from the angle you are looking at the device from, from not setting up the tool properly, or even from carelessly writing down the wrong thing.
Therefore, to be completely accurate is impossible. All we can do is the best we can to get as close as possible.
How Do Laser Tape Measures Work?
A laser is extremely focussed on single-frequency light. The word laser is an acronym, meaning Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation – LASER. Because the wave pattern of a laser is just one frequency and it is so highly focussed, the light does not spread out like in most natural lights, such as that from the sun or a light bulb in your house. And, because it does not spread out, you will find that laser light can travel a very far distance, while still maintaining its color and precision.
Laser measures work by focussing this dot of light on a surface. The tape measure itself then uses this dot to work out how far away the surface it’s touching is.
It must, therefore, be able to see this dot. In bright sunlight, you will find it impossible to see this dot above about 30 feet, and in some cases, even a distance of 10 feet will be too much for the standard laser tape measure.
There is good news if your heart is set on a laser tape measure for outside use in a sunny climate. Some newer laser tape measures are specifically designed for this kind of situation. Many are equipped with features, such as a telescopic lens, which enables them to be able to see the laser dot more precisely, and therefore produce a more accurate measurement.
When it comes to laser technology, the best tape measures will usually not always measure the range they boast. Manufacturers set this range in optimal conditions, so when you use a laser tape measure on a bright day or in a well-lit area, you may find it doesn’t have as high a range as you thought it would do.
What Laser Tape Measure Qualifications Are There?
Almost every laser tape measure has a laser output that is less than 1mW. This is defined as Class 2.
Both of the products on our list above would be Class 2.
Is a Laser Tape Measure the Best Tape Measure?
As with everything, whether or not this particular type of measuring device will work for you depends on what you are going to be needing it for.
Laser tape measures are in their element when used for measuring rooms, large distances, and spaces, in particular indoors. Modern laser tape measures, in particular, can be trusted to be extremely accurate, and would probably be the best tape measure you could find for accuracy any further than a few feet. Measurements can be made quickly with a very high degree of accuracy, which saves you time and therefore money in whatever you need the device for.
There are, as always, disadvantages to laser tape measures, though. For example, you will need to have batteries with you in case it runs out of power, where nothing of the sort is needed with a traditional tape measure that utilizes a blade or some simple tape.
Here is a list of some further disadvantages of the laser tape measure:
• You might not know if something is wrong – particularly when you measure long distances. If the laser incorrectly measures something, you may not know. This kind of error is not usually found in traditional tape measures, where errors in numbering are almost unheard of.
• There are restrictions to laser products, as well as health and safety concerns – laser products can damage your eyes, as well as the eyes of anyone else who happens to look in your direction when you are using it. Lasers must always be used responsibly, and never pointed at helicopters or used for any other misdemeanors. These could all result in prosecution if you are caught doing anything illegal. Always read the label, use the laser tape measure for what it is there for, and then turn it off and safely put it away. You can seriously damage yourself, in particular your eyes, with the improper use of lasers.
• If you use it in direct, strong sunlight, this might affect range and accuracy – please see the above section, “How do laser tape measures work?”.
How Good Are Stanley Tools?
Stanley Tools are a trusted company that has served the USA since 1857. Since then, it has produced a great line of trusted tools used by professionals, including measurement tools such as tape measures, featuring some of the best out there.
Any product purchased from Stanley Tools can be trusted to be good. Most Stanley tape measures are made to Class 2 standards.
There are several options from Stanley Tools available for you when looking for the best tape measure. Their main products are the Stanley FATMAX, Stanley LeverLock, Stanley PowerLock, and Stanley DualLock.
The Stanley Fatmax is one that features in our above list. “Fatmax” is a term that Stanley Tools use to describe their premium products, which are made for professionals. The Fatmax family, as Stanley Tools call it, contains products of premium quality.
The other most popular search for a measurement tool within Stanley Tools is for the Stanley PowerLock. The Stanley PowerLock first came into existence in 1963. It got its name from the innovative sliding lock feature, which was the first of its kind. Since then, Stanley PowerLock measuring tools have gone through further developments, such as the Tru-Zero (rights reserved) end hook, which attaches to the end of the blade to make measurements as accurate as possible.
Which Kind of Hook is Best?
You will notice that there are several types of hook on several different tools above. You may find that some work better for what you need than others.
Some types of end hook include:
- Simple hook
- Magnetic hook
- Dual hook
- Variable hook types on one blade
- No hook
- and more
Depending on the job that needs doing, you may want to consider which one of these best fits your tasks.
Some General Last Minute Advice
The market for measuring tools is becoming saturated. When you’re looking for a great tape measure, we would recommend using trusted brands if accuracy is what you’re after. Look to Stanley Tools with their Fatmax and PowerLock brands, or Bosch, or Komelon, among many others. If the tool you are looking to purchase comes with a manufacturer warranty, that is a better guarantee of quality than if it does not have anything like this.
Think about whether you plan on using it once or multiple times. Think about what environment you plan to use it in, how long it should be, what kind of hook it should have, and whether or not it should be of a high-quality and high-accuracy.
Find a tape measure with the units you are most comfortable with. If you have always used and only know anything about the imperial system, then make sure your new tool doesn’t solely measure in metric. That would likely be almost useless to you. Most measuring tools offer both options.
Read customer reviews for a true representation of the tape measure. Reviews can be skewed sometimes, but in general, will give you a good overview of the true value of the tool you are buying. By comparing the good reviews and the bad reviews, you can make up your mind about whether or not the product is really what you need.
If you consider all of the things mentioned above, it will lead you to whittle down the many options available until you find one that is best suited to you.
The best tape measure for your needs will do what you need it to do – it’s as simple as that. Whether it be a traditional tape measure, measuring tape, laser tape measure, or any other measurement tool, you will find something that works.
If you get some high-quality additional tools to assist you and your new measuring tool, you are in a great place to get to work on whatever project you need to complete.
We hope this guide has been useful for you, and we appreciate you taking the time to read it.