Every job you do either on the building site or around the home is going to require a quality tape measure. Whether you’re choosing furniture, doing DIY home improvement or building a house from scratch.
If you get the measurements wrong, it is going to cost you a lot of money!
So which is the best tape measure out there right now? It’s a tough choice and important addition to your tool box, so we put together our favourites for you.
eTape: The Go-To Favourite
The eTape Digital Tape measure features a sturdy polycarbonate outer casing, and easy-to-use tactile buttons, with a rubber top of durability. It has features that include unit measurement changes from inches to centimeters, a read, and hold button as well
How to Choose the Right Tape Measure for You?
One of the biggest considerations when selecting a tape measure is length. Starting from small tape measure sizes of 2-3 metres long, this length is designed for portability, even fitting on a keyring. This is a great choice for the people who are measuring smaller items out when shopping for materials.
A Woman Showing How eTape16 Digital Tape Measure Works
The next length is regular, or 5-8 metres long, these are the most common length and the easiest to find, often used by everyone from home improvement lovers, to architects and builders on a day-to-day basis (1). Going to the more industrial spectrum, there are large lengths of 10 metres, often used by foremen and tradies in larger home projects. If you are in the market for a long tape measure, they do come in sizes ranging from 30-60 metres, usually intended for large level construction jobs and even roadworks.
With each different style comes different levels of portability. Although first time renovators and new interior designers might think they don’t need to take their tape measures with them anywhere, it is a good idea to take a tape measure with you when buying furniture or art for your space, and portability becomes important.
If you’re only shopping for simple, and smaller pieces of furniture and artwork, a 2-3 metre tape measure can fit on a keyring, and it’s small size means it can literally fit in your pocket for ultimate portability.
However, if you’re out and about and you don’t want to complicate things with your tape measure not quite measuring up, the standard 5-8 metre tape measure is the smartest choice. Still small enough to clip to your belt comfortably or sit in your handbag, it’s the best all-round size.
Unfortunately, if you need anything longer than 8 metres, the size of the tape measure quickly becomes cumbersome, and the 30 metre to 60 metre sizes measure up to 20cm long for the frame of the tape measure alone, and best suit toolboxes, not handbags.
Although designed for ease of use, tape measures can easily be used incorrectly, leading to inaccurate readings and this can lead to expensive mistakes. As technology improves overtime, lasers can be used to measure distances, and many tape measures either have a laser attached alongside the traditional tape or have a digital reader to ensure you read the tape measure correctly (2).
When shopping for a tape measure, it is important to check that the tape measure starts at 0, and doesn’t contain any numbering errors, a common issue with cheaper tape measure brands, often sold from unverified buyers.
The Best Tape Measures
|eTape16 Digital Tape measure||
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|Stanley Tylon Tape Measure||
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|Tacklife Laser Tape Measure||
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|Spear & Jackson Tape Measure||
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There is clearly a lot to consider when choosing the best measuring tape, and although this always boils down to personal preference, there are some clear front runners in the market worth bringing to your attention. If you were wondering where to buy a measuring tape from, online is the best choice for ease, simplicity (and laziness), and we’ve provided handy links to make it even easier.
This tape measure from eTape is not only a more affordable option, but it is also a hybrid. In the world of tape measures, hybrids are a cross between physical tape measures and electronic features, almost blending the best of both worlds to give you an option that is versatile, and up to date with modern day technology. For us, this is the best overall option due to its lower price point, it’s hybrid nature and the manner in which it is built.
The eTape Digital Tape measure features a sturdy polycarbonate outer casing, and easy to use tactile buttons, with a rubber top of durability. It has features that include unit measurement changes from inches to centimetres, a read and hold button as well as useful accessories that include a belt clip and locking function as well as the ability to retain last measurements and select inside or outside measurements as well as dual memory functions, making it a great all rounder for people whose needs change from a simple tape measure to more intensive jobs.
The most traditional style standard tape measure, this Stanley Tylon 5 metre is an industry favourite and you can find it anywhere.
If you are in need of a brainless choice, and have your heart set on a traditional style tape measure, Stanley is a great choice. Founded in 1843, Stanley is a trusted brand and brings to the market this traditional style tape measure.
With a maximum length of 5 metres, this tape measure is a great length for the home improver, interior designer and tradie alike. Made with sturdy materials and in vivid yellow and black colours, this one stands out in your toolbox, and features a bright yellow tape with black markings for standard measurements and red details for 20cm intervals and per metre, making it durable and easy to read.
Portable and light, this tape measure is only 204 grams heavy and features a locking function, automatic retraction of the tape itself, and a tylon wrapped coating on the tape for durability and the brands renowned Tru-zero end hook. The only detractor we can think of for this tape measure is that it’s a little outdated considering the hybrid options out there, but if technology isn’t your strong suit, or you’re a traditionalist, this is the tape measure for you.
If you have needs that go above and beyond the starter choices we have provided, the Tacklife Laser Tape measure is an industrial choice. A hybrid tape measure, it contains both a physical tape and a laser tape, with the physical tape measuring 5 metres, and the laser measuring almost 40 metres.
If accuracy is the key for you, and you don’t want to lug around a massive physical tape measuring 40 metres, this is the choice for you. It has a continuous measuring laser that will measure while you move, as well as a physical tape with a magnetic hook for ease of use. This product also comes with everything you need, batteries, a screwdriver to open the battery compartment, a wrist strap, manual and service card. The tape measure is even cased in TPR soft rubber over an ABS plastic case for durability and self-calibrates with alterable unit measurements.
To be honest, this would be our top pick, but it comes in a little bulkier in size than other tape measures on our list and is slightly heavier. In terms of the price range, it is on the higher side, but we think it’s fair considering the all-rounder nature of this product. That being said, if you aren’t using all of the functions, this tape measure may not be worth the investment, and so, we recommend it to the truly industrious of people.
We understand that not everyone can afford to splurge on a tape measure, and if you are in the market for a super simple, budget friendly tape measure, this Spear & Jackson tape measure is a market leader.
For the price range however it is important to note that you do sacrifice some functionality in terms of portability, it is the heaviest of all the options on this list, coming in at 400 grams and also is the least portable due to this. It measures 8 meters and has an auto-locking blade that might take some getting used to, but it is still super accurate and does the job for less.
The Best Tape Measure: Our Pick!
In our humble opinion, you can’t go past the eTape Digital Tape Measure for simplicity. It is affordable, durable, easy to use, and accurate. Whether you use the physical tape or the digital reader, it will make your life easier wherever measurements are required!
The sides of an open tape measure can be quite sharp, it is recommended that you keep your hands clear when retracting the tape measure and when measuring use the lock function to avoid any accidents and supervise children using the tool.
This can be quite complicated, as most tape measures have both inches and centimetres, to put it simply, pick a style of measurement, and try your best to align the tape measure correctly, keep in mind that the tape measure is meant to bend on corners, and try and keep it level when measuring.
This is called the end hook, and it’s designed to catch a hold of corners, nails, screws and help you get an accurate reading. If you don’t have a pen or marker handy to mark your measurements, the end of the hook is also a scribing tool, and if you use this serrated end to mark a spot by running it back and forth (3).
- US Tape (2021, March 21). Hidden Features of Measuring Tape. Retrieved from https://www.ustape.com/hidden-features-of-measuring-tape/
- Dale, T. (n.d). How to Use a Tape Measure (and Read it’s Results). Retrieved from https://www.bobvila.com/articles/how-to-use-a-tape-measure/
- Robillard, B (2018, April 26). Best Tape Measure. Retrieved from https://www.toolboxbuzz.com/head-to-head/best-tape-measure/