Woodworkers must make certain considerations when choosing tape measures. If you run a woodworking business, look out for the following features:
- Quality ergonomics: woodworkers will typically use a tape measure multiple times throughout a project, so to reduce fatigue and aid productivity, investing in a comfortable tape measure with an easy-set lock and a strong retraction mechanism is essential.
- Blade strength: the blade is often the first part of a tape measure to wear out, with faded numbers and markings, so make sure to select a tool with a robust, durable blade.
- Consistency and accuracy: woodwork is a precise skill, so you’ll need a tool that can keep up! Choose a tape measure that is consistently accurate to ensure quality work.
Below, we’ve listed some of the best measuring tape options for woodworkers. All of these brands offer the features we’ve listed above, along with some unique pros and cons.
- Stanley PowerLock Tape Measure
The Stanley PowerLock is a durable and reliable tape measure enclosed in a high-impact metal casing. It comes in a variety of lengths, ranging from 3m to 10m, with both metric and imperial scales.
Some key benefits include:
- Shock-proof, chrome-plated ABS casing
- Class II accuracy with an error tolerance of +/-0,5mm at 1m
- Strong blade lock for a secure hold
- Self-adjusting, three-rivet end hook for accuracy
- Dust-proof spring return mechanism
- Belt clip for easy storage
In terms of cons, the metal casing may be slippery—but the pros far outweigh this small inconvenience.
- Stanley FatMax Tape Measure
The Stanley FatMax Tape Measure also comes in multiple lengths, ranging from 5m to an extensive 30m. Both metric-only and imperial-metric varieties are available.
These tape measures have Mylar-coated casing, significantly improving abrasion resistance when compared to typical lacquered blades.
Benefits of the Stanley FatMax include:
- Bi-material case and a cushion grip for comfort
- Larger end hook for a secure hold on all building materials
- Class II accuracy
- Blade armour coating on the first 150mm to reduce breakage risk
- Slide airlock for quick, easy locking
Overall, the Stanley FatMax Tape Measure lives up to its popularity. However, the larger size may take some getting used to, and the extended blade has some excessive curvature.
- Milwaukee 4932 Wide Blade Tape Measure
The Milwaukee 4932 Wide Blade is another popular option, available in 5m and 8m lengths with metric-only and metric-imperial options. It has reinforced, anti-tear coating along the first 150mm of the blade and nylon-bond protection.
Some other benefits include:
- Wire form belt clip for portability
- Patented finger stop
- Wide blade (33m) with a strong standout, even while moving
- Magnetic options for a stronger hold
- Scale printed on both sides for easy reading
There are no notable cons of these tape measures—they simply have fewer features than their competition. However, if you’re looking for a tape measure at a lower price point, the Milwaukee 4932 series is a safe bet.
Choosing the right measuring tape for your business
With this list in mind, you’ll be able to select a tape measure that improves productivity and quality of work within your woodworking business. Remember to look for measuring tape that’s durable, consistent, accurate, and ergonomically sound for the best results.