When you’re in construction, an electrician, a carpenter, or want to hang a painting straight on your wall, a tape measure is a necessity in your toolbox. Also known as a flexible ruler, a tape measure is a long thin object made of flexible material.
There are so many different types of tape measures available on the market today, it can be hard to decide which ones you should buy for yourself or as a gift for someone else.
If you’re looking for something specific like a retractable measuring tape or maybe a magnetic measuring tool, then this list of the ten best tape measures we tested out will help you find what you need at an affordable price.
Our Top Tape Measures of 2023 Picks
- 1. Best Overall - Milwaukee Compact Auto Lock Tape Measure
- 2. Best with Bluetooth - BOSCH Blaze Outdoor Laser Tape Measure with Backlit Display
- 3. Best Rewind - DEWALT Fiberglass Long Tape Measure
- 4. Easiest to Carry - GDMINLO Soft Tape Measure
- 5. Best Durability - Stanley PowerLock
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1. Stanley PowerLock Tape Measure
The Stanley PowerLock tape measure is a bright-colored model coated in a rubbery material. The PowerLock has a strong locked-in-place hook, and the blade is made from rust-resistant steel. This tape measure we tried out is very lightweight, making it easy to hold for long periods.
Its sturdy, chrome-plated case and Mylar-coated blade stand up to even fairly rigorous use. The blade lock lets you set a stopping point on the measuring tape right where you want it. The compact size easily fits your hand or tool belt, and it’s small enough to take on the go.
This tape measure also has a Stanley’s Tru Zero hook, starting the measurements at the beginning of the tape, giving you better accuracy when measuring long distances. Measurement markings go down to 1/16 inch, but this tape measure doesn’t include metric measurements.
The Stanley PowerLock Tape Measure and the Komelon Tape Measure are both basic tape measures that are suitable for measuring small to medium-sized objects. However, the Stanley PowerLock Tape Measure is more durable and has a longer blade, while the Komelon Tape Measure is less expensive and has a thinner blade.
- Stud markings
- Sturdy construction
- Blade armor coating
- Durable rubber case
- No metric measurements
2. Komelon Tape Measure
If you’re looking for a tape measure with not only excellent features but a bright and unique color, the Komelon power tape can be the right choice. Other than being the best tape measure, it comes in green color. Thanks to its lightweight and mobile size, this tape measure we tried out is also easy to carry.
The professional extends up to 12 feet and is imprinted with both imperial and metric measurements down to 1/16 inches. Its ergonomic design fits comfortably in your hand, and the attached belt clip allows you to keep it within reach. There’s a lock to keep the nylon-coated, metal blade extended to where you want it. Once released, the blade automatically retracts back into the sturdy plastic housing.
Comparing the Komelon Tape Measure and the Stanley FATMAX Magnetic Tape Measure, both mid-range tape measures that are suitable for measuring larger objects. The Komelon Tape Measure is more affordable and has a smoother blade, while the Stanley FATMAX Magnetic Tape Measure has a stronger magnetic hook and a wider blade.
- It offers a firm and comfortable grip
- Rubber case to prevent injury against blade's retraction
- Reasonable price
- Measurement metrics
- Non-glare blade
- Some people might not like its self-locking mechanism
- Short length
3. Stanley FATMAX Magnetic Tape Measure
With a strong magnet on the end of the hook, the Stanley FATMAX attaches securely to studs and other metal surfaces. And since you don’t have to hold it in place on one end, thanks to its auto-lock feature, you can complete various jobs single-handedly.
The auto-lock also provides precision and control during the tape blade extension, measurement, and retraction. If you don’t want to use the auto-lock, you can use the manual mode for speed marking. Reading and taking measurements is easy due to the large size of the number.
It has a cushioned, slip-resistant design that fits comfortably in your hand and an easy-to-use blade lock. This tape measure has only imperial measurements and not metric measurements. The hook can be stored inside the tape measure when not used, so it doesn’t snag on anything.
Compared to another option we evaluated, the Stanley FATMAX Magnetic Tape Measure and the DEWALT Fiberglass Long Tape Measure are both heavy-duty tape measures that are suitable for measuring large distances. The Stanley FATMAX Magnetic Tape Measure has a wider blade and a more powerful magnetic hook, while the DEWALT Fiberglass Long Tape Measure has a longer blade and is made of more durable materials.
- Long standout
- Magnetic hook
- Durable rubber case
- Blade Armor coating
- Large font numbers
- No metric measurements
4. DEWALT Fiberglass Long Tape Measure
The DEWALT Fiberglass Tape Measure is a heavy-duty tape measure that stands up to daily use. It’s made from fiberglass that can stand up to high impact and pressure. This tape measure has a blade armor coating, which helps resist water and other liquid corrosion. The rubber coating on the outside of the tape also makes it easy to grip and hold in wet conditions. The blade is rust-resistant, making it a great choice for use in damp conditions.
The side crank rolls up the tape measure quickly and easily and is ergonomic for comfort when you’re finished measuring. There’s also a professional-grade stake hoop for convenient outdoor measuring and a carabiner so you can clip the tool to your belt or toolbag.
After testing both the DEWALT Fiberglass Long Tape Measure and the Ryobi Tape Measure with Overmold and Wireworm Belt Clip, both are heavy-duty tape measures that are suitable for measuring large distances. The DEWALT Fiberglass Long Tape Measure has a longer blade and is made of more durable materials, while the Ryobi Tape Measure is more affordable and has a belt clip that makes it easy to carry.
- Metric measurements on one side
- Easy rewind
- No running tally of inches
5. Ryobi Tape Measure with Overmold and Wireworm Belt Clip
The Wireworm Tape Measure we tested is an excellent choice for contractors who need to take measurements in the field. The blade is made of rust-resistant stainless steel and has a rubber casing protector to keep it free of damage when you’re carrying it in your tool belt or out in the elements.
The tape casing has a reinforced rubber over mold for impact resistance and comfortable grip, plus a wear-resistant nylon coating over the blade. Unlike other tape measures, this measure has fractions of an inch indicated with numerals and not small lines. It measures in imperial units only and not metric. There are seven feet of standout meaning, you won’t need somebody else to hold the blade in place up to that point.
The Ryobi Tape Measure with Overmold and Wireworm Belt Clip and the Stanley PowerLock Tape Measure are both mid-range tape measures that are suitable for measuring smaller to medium-sized objects. The Ryobi Tape Measure is more affordable and has a belt clip for easy carrying, while the Stanley PowerLock Tape Measure is more durable and has a longer blade.
- Shows fractions in numerals
- Rubber overmold
- Short standout
6. GDMINLO Soft Tape Measure
Weighing less than four ounces, this is considered one of the lightest tape measures on the market today. The blade retracts smoothly and easily back into its protective casing with the help of an internal spring. If your work includes measuring curved shapes, this is one the best tape measures for you.
The non-deforming, soft plastic material we evaluated allows superior material consistency and prevents it from stretching unnecessarily. The metal tabs on each end of the tape make it easy to place the tape against the item to be measured. This tape measure is versatile and convenient for needlework, clothes making, tailoring, taking your body measurements, and small measuring tasks around the house.
- Reasonable price
- Metric measurements on one side
- Easy to carry and be placed anywhere
- Flexible and easy to mold
- Slightly inaccurate
7. Milwaukee Compact Auto Lock Tape Measure
Most tape measures have small lines to indicate fractions of an inch, but that can be tough to read. If you need precise measurements without squinting at tiny lines, Milwaukee auto-lock is the right choice. Unlike any of the other best tape measures, this one has a fractional scale, meaning it has the fraction printed right onto the nylon blade so that you can see indicated 1/8, 1/4, and 1/2-inch numerals.
This 25-foot tape has a 12-foot standout and automatically locks into place for quick, accurate readings before retracting back into the case. This tape measure we tried out measures only in imperial units and not metric.
- Shows fractions in numerals
- Long standout
- Some people complain that auto-lock doesn't work well
8. BOSCH Blaze Outdoor Laser Tape Measure with Backlit Display
The BOSCH Blaze Laser tape measure is one of the best tape measures you can find. With the click of a button, this professional-grade tool projects a laser beam as far as 65 feet with an accuracy of up to 1/8 inch. This makes it easy to measure large spaces and allows you to get a precise reading without assistance.
You can set the device to metric or imperial measurements. It’s also much faster than using a standard measuring tape. This portable tool we tested fits your pocket or tool belt, and the wrist strap frees up your hands between measurements. The backlit screen also allows you to see your measurements at night or in poorly lit spaces.
- Metric measurements
- Pocket size design
- Upgraded color display
- Bluetooth connectivity
9. Fastcap Pro Carpenter Metric Tape Measure
This tape measurer we tested has great features, making accurate measurements for carpenters and non-carpenters alike. With both standard and metric measurements on the tape measure, you won’t have to switch up depending on what you need measurements for.
The dual locking system allows the tape to stay in place, but some have found the retract mechanism could use some work, making it easier to manually push it back in. With a built-in pencil sharpener and an erasable notepad, you can write down your measurements to remember them.
The high-contrast tape also makes taking accurate measurements quick and easy. The heavy-duty belt clip is also a huge plus because not only is there a thumb lever to pinch the hook open to attach to thick belts or pants pockets, but it also has two holes so that it can be mounted to a wall or workbench. So, if you’re building your own house, this is the tape measure for you.
- Pencil sharpener
- Rugged and compact design
- Standard and metric measurements
- Retract mechanism not powerful
10. Mulwark Measuring Tape
This measuring tape is for you if you’re an engineer or an architect. This tape has a powerful magnetic hook attached to its end to keep it in place while taking measurements.
This measuring tape we tried out has a high-impact ABS case with a top-grade rubber covering, which increases durability.
- Dual-sided tape blade
- Smooth and durable spring retracting system
- Thick nylon-wrapped blade
- It's not waterproof
Things to Consider When Buying Best Tape Measures
Laser vs. Standard Tape Measure
While you may need a regular tape measure, laser tape measures offer better accuracy and can measure further distances but can also be recalibrated. Laser tape measures also provide the option of measuring area, volume, and even triangular shapes.
They’re also easy to carry around, unlike standard tape measures. Best digital tape measures are loaded with features such as memory, a backlit display, calculating abilities, and your choice of measuring units.
Standard or Metric Measurements
When looking for the best tape measures to add to your toolbox, decide whether you need your measurements to be in a standard or metric system. There are some that have one and others with both, so double-check when making a purchase.
If you’re on a budget, finding the best tape measure shouldn’t be a problem. Most of them are very affordable. Double-check to ensure the tape you select has the features you want, whether it’s a double casing, nylon blade, or a lock lever. If you want a laser or digital tape measure, they can be quite expensive.
|Beast Tape Measures||Laser vs. Standard||Standard or Metric||Cost|
|Stanley PowerLock Tape Measure||2/5||5/5||5/5|
|Komelon Tape Measure||2/5||5/5||4/5|
|Stanley FATMAX Magnetic Tape Measure||2/5||5/5||3/5|
|DEWALT Fiberglass Long Tape Measure||2/5||5/5||3/5|
|Ryobi Tape Measure with Overmold and Wireworm Belt Clip||2/5||5/5||4/5|
|GDMINLO Soft Tape Measure||N/A||5/5||5/5|
|Milwaukee Compact Auto Lock Tape Measure||2/5||5/5||3/5|
|BOSCH Blaze Outdoor Laser Tape Measure with Backlit Display||5/5||N/A||2/5|
|Fastcap Pro Carpenter Metric Tape Measure||2/5||5/5||4/5|
|Mulwark Measuring Tape||2/5||5/5||4/5|
FAQs on the Best Tape Measures of 2023
Why is a tape measure curved?
A tape measure is curved and has a concave design to help keep the blade straight when extended. The curve also helps you read the measurements accurately.
What is the price range of a tape measure?
For $3 to $5, you can find basic tape measures without a locking system. Sewing tape measures are cheap and fall under this category. With some more research, you may find some measuring tapes with an auto-lock feature but these will be fairly basic.
Final Thought on the Best Tape Measures of 2023
As you can see, there are many different tape measures out there that you should add to your toolbox. Make sure you consider the type that will best suit your needs, regular or laser, budget, and whether you want one with standard or metric measurements. Also, consider the additional features that will make your work easier as well as learn how to organize tools in your house.
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Ben is an experienced content writer with a passion for kitchen remodeling. He loves writing about latest kitchen designs & trends so that he can educate our readers make the best decisions possible when it comes to kitchens.