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  • Tape Measure

    My Stanley 33 foot tape measure finally failed. The tape tore at the one inch part.

    So...I'm looking at the usual places Home Depot, Lowe's, Ace Hardware, Harbor Freight, E-bay, Amazon.com
    I am overwhelmed as to the choices. I'm specifically interested in 25 feet, 35 feet styles as 33 feet
    no longer seems to be available.

    I notice the 1 1/4" wide style will stand out at 10-13 feet before bending..this is good.

    So..what is the popular brand/style you folks use?

    I have looked closely at the FAT-MAX style and the new DEWalt models

    Now..I'm also shocked at their prices!
    It's been quite a while since I purchased a tape measure.

    Anyone know of any made in USA???? OK I'll pay a premium for a made in USA
    only if it's a good quality one and a nice style.

    Any tape measures for left handed folks?

    Cactus Man

  • #2
    Re: Tape Measure

    Cactus Man--The left handed tapes are in aisle 4 with the left handed monkey wrenches!!

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Tape Measure

      Made in the U.S.A.? That would be nice, but what brand would that be?

      I have always used "Stanley" tapes over the years. I much prefer the Stanley "LeverLock" tapes with the locking release mechnism is sort of a levered bottom on the housing. I don't care at all for the Stanley's (or any other brand) that has the locking slide on the top facing the extension... just too cumbersome IMO.

      So, I have an old black and yellow Stanley LeverLock 16 ft that I've used for most of my carpentry and shop projects. I think I bought that back in the early 70's or maybe even the late 60's. Then I have a chromed Stanley that's 30 ft, IIRC. It has the lock on the top front face and I really don't care for it at all. That I think I got somewhere in the early 90's. I think both of those were made in the U.S. I also have a couple of 50 ft Stanley's, one blue and one black; but both have the same case design. The blue one was made in the early 70's and the black in the late 70's, early 80's. They're only about a 1/4-inch wide and are used mostly for outdoor projects. (They're also made in the U.S.)

      Last year I knocked my old Stanley black and yellow LeverLock and it cracked the tape at just about the 1-inch mark. It's still attached, but I've knicked myself a couple of times with it and don't use it much anymore. For replacement I now have four Stanley FatMax LeverLocks and they work nicely, but of course are made in China. I bought two 12-ft because I like their smaller size and also bought two of a larger size (but damn, I can't remember exactly what they are). I'm always leaving them in one place or another, so the best thing for me is to just have a few that I can grab, rather than spending too many minutes looking for the lost one... it always turns up anyway.

      I remember when my Dad would have his favorite "Stanley", and he always had one on his belt (people today, do that with a cell phone). He'd break the tape often enough, but back then you could just stop in to the hardware store and simply buy a replacement tape. I tried to do that with my favorite tape, but nobody carries just tapes anymore, or even know anything about it.

      Do any of you guys know about simply "replacing the tape"?

      CWS

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Tape Measure

        Stanley fat max extrême 25' Not cheap but durable and thé tape it self is * reflective green makes it super easy to read.. all i buy got probally atleast 4 no problems go out about 12' before they start drooping.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Tape Measure

          I stick with tape measures that have life time warranties. With my initial purchase of a craftsman over 20 years ago, I haven't had to buy another replacement tape measure since, until I wanted to try Lowes Kobalt tape measure recently, which is also lifetime.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Tape Measure

            i agree with CWSmith - I much prefer the leverlock style over the old-style with the lock on the top.

            Personally, I don't use a tape measure for anything that I need an extremely precise measurement - the tab at the end, even when new, is too much of a variable. If I have to use a tape, I try to measure from the 1" mark. Of course, you need a helper for this (and need to remember to subtract an inch - I've forgotten that a few times)

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Tape Measure

              Originally posted by Pipestone Kid View Post
              Cactus Man--The left handed tapes are in aisle 4 with the left handed monkey wrenches!!
              Who is the left handed monkey who is going to use the wrench?

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Tape Measure

                Stanley Fat Max is the only tape I will buy. If you are doing work where you take longer measurements by yourself it will save you a second man often times. Once you use one all the other smaller tapes feel like noodles.

                My experience with the Fat Max Extreme is that I don't like it for two reasons: One, because it is so wide it is hard to get into confined spaces, and two, the tape has such a dish shape that you have to lay it way over on its side the transfer a measurement to the material, and also that because it is so rigid they seem to crack and break sooner than the standard Fat Max.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Tape Measure

                  I've been using FastCap Tape Measures for years and really like them. I primarily use two different types of their measures. For most woodworking uses I usually will grab the 16' Flat Back Tape. I really like this tape because like the name says, it lays completely flat against the workpiece. For other uses, I also have their 16' Lefty/Righty Tape. You said you were looking for a left hand tape and this one would fit that order. You can also get the Lefty/Righty Tape in a 25' version. I also have some longer tapes but hardly ever use them as I don't often need to measure anything longer than 16' and the smaller sized 16' tapes fit my hands better too.
                  Teach your kids about taxes..........eat 30 percent of their ice cream.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Tape Measure

                    what only one tape measure, how do you live,

                    I normally I just go with the Stanley 25 foot tape, Stanley Hand Tools 30-454 25' Fractional Read Tape Rule I do like the fat max, I have one or two of them some where, (one of the reason they ended up pricing the tape refills up to the price of the cost of a new tape), (it appears the companies do not want to not have the parts to deal with), and if have any drops the center posts in that hold the spring in the Stanley is what usually breaks, and my guess most carpenters will have a few tapes with broken posts in them to have a replacement tape if you do cut or break the tape it self,
                    Last edited by BHD; 01-10-2012, 11:54 AM.
                    Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
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                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Tape Measure

                      Originally posted by Flux View Post
                      I stick with tape measures that have life time warranties. With my initial purchase of a craftsman over 20 years ago, I haven't had to buy another replacement tape measure since, until I wanted to try Lowes Kobalt tape measure recently, which is also lifetime.
                      i had craftsman for the longest time then they started to mage them cheeper and now they dont have them any more they give you a stanley and thats it .
                      i had a fat max 1 time until it got bent and they dont replace it and they cost to much .
                      so today i just got a SS Kobalt we will se how it does it was $15 and some co workers have them and i like the magnet on the end
                      Charlie

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                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Tape Measure

                        Originally posted by billmoy View Post
                        Who is the left handed monkey who is going to use the wrench?
                        I only see one who has his pic on this forum. ( just funning,of course)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Tape Measure

                          I recently bought a new tape that has a half scale along the bottom edge. I find it very handy for finding the centre of a workpiece or wall, without having to do the mental math.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Tape Measure

                            Thanks for all your comments.

                            I went to Hone Depot today and purchased two tape measures.

                            I went back to the good old Stanley 35 foot unit. This is the chrome one
                            without any bells and whistles. It's the closest replacement to my old
                            Stanley 33 foot tape measure.

                            I almost bought a tape with SAE and Metric but it was only 16 feet and
                            for whatever reason I don't like short tape measures.

                            I did buy the Husky brand 40 foot tape measure also. What I liked about it
                            was it has printing on both sides of the tape..on the back side the measurements
                            are printed so you can read them in vertical measurements! they claim a tape out to 13 feet
                            but mine bent at around 10 feet.

                            The Stanley 35 foot tape goes out to about 7 feet before bending.

                            The 35 foot Stanley is made in USA
                            the Husky is made in china

                            I looked at the Dewalt, Lufkin and some brand-X

                            It is interesting Stanley has tape measures made in USA and their
                            other styles are made in china!

                            I did verify both tapes read correctly..as I know from experience when you
                            start a project with one tape measure use it for the entire project ..if you
                            change tape measures you may find an anomaly with your measurements by 1/32 or even 1/16
                            of an inch.


                            Cactus Man

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Tape Measure

                              Originally posted by CWSmith View Post
                              I much prefer the Stanley "LeverLock" tapes with the locking release mechnism is sort of a levered bottom on the housing. I don't care at all for the Stanley's (or any other brand) that has the locking slide on the top facing the extension... just too cumbersome IMO.


                              Do any of you guys know about simply "replacing the tape"?

                              CWS
                              My tape always was a 25' Lever Lock. Cheap, durable enough, did well enough. A contractor friend lent me his 16' Fat Max, I was hooked. Keep your eye open around Thanksgiving and Christmas, a 25' and a 16' in a twin pack for $20..

                              My older Craftsman tapes I averaged two blade replacements per housing before the spring would die, then replace the entire thing. Finally they changed (read cheapened) the tape measure and stopped selling the old blades, traded it up for a new crappy one, and switched to the Lever Locks and gave the Craftsman to the ol lady. Last time the guy at Sears was shocked that I even knew they sold blades. I never had any luck playing with the spring tensioners, whats the point.

                              Originally posted by Flux View Post
                              I stick with tape measures that have life time warranties. With my initial purchase of a craftsman over 20 years ago, I haven't had to buy another replacement tape measure since,..............
                              They feel crappy, i'll just buy my Fat max. If they don't look too trashed, I return them to Home Depot for a new one. The manager said even if they are trashed, bring them back.. I was like WOW! I wind up loosing most tape measures before they break anyways, 1-2 per year.

                              Originally posted by jerkylips View Post
                              i agree with CWSmith - I much prefer the leverlock style over the old-style with the lock on the top.

                              Personally, I don't use a tape measure for anything that I need an extremely precise measurement - the tab at the end, even when new, is too much of a variable. If I have to use a tape, I try to measure from the 1" mark. Of course, you need a helper for this (and need to remember to subtract an inch - I've forgotten that a few times)
                              I miss the ability to choose the auto braking feature of the early Lever Locks,(and not having a run away tape when you drop it) but I like the Fat Max enough to not really care. I too have hosed myself in the game of burning an inch.

                              Originally posted by SewerRat View Post
                              Stanley Fat Max is the only tape I will buy. If you are doing work where you take longer measurements by yourself it will save you a second man often times. Once you use one all the other smaller tapes feel like noodles.
                              Amen!
                              We don't have preventative maintenance around here, we have CRISIS MANAGEMENT!

                              Comment

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