Industry Insight

What Are the Different Types of Tape Measures?

It’s about time to roll up your sleeves and start your next project. You’ve got your hammer, screwdriver, and a snack for break time. Now all that’s left is figuring out which tape measure is best for the job at hand.

What are the different styles? How do you choose the right one? Crack your knuckles and get ready to work with this helpful guide to finding an awesome tape measure!

Tape Measure Uses: What Are You Working On?

Before you can choose the right tape measure, it’s best to figure out why you need one. There are many projects that may require a bit of measuring.

Construction

Construction

A tape measure is tailor-made for the construction industry. You can even use the black diamonds or arrows on the tape to find the trusses on the roof or studs in the wall.

Home Improvement

Home Improvement

Whether you need to put in new flooring or expand your kitchen island, a tape measure is essential for making sure everything fits perfectly.

Arts and Crafts

Arts and Crafts

Are you making a diorama of the solar system for your kid’s science class? A tape measure is a good tool to you to use for this and many other creative projects.

Hanging a Picture

Hanging a Picture

Your house guests will notice a crooked picture frame on the wall or one that isn’t even with the rest. Keep things straight with a simple measuring tape.

Sewing

Sewing

Put love and accuracy in every stitch by using a tape measure during your next project. You can even find one that’s specially designed for sewing with more flexibility and a softer feel.

Measuring Your Kid’s Height

Measuring Your Kid’s Height

Little Billy is growing up so fast. Track his progress every inch of the way with a handy tape measure!

Advertising Your Company

Advertising Your Company

If you’re a business owner, custom tape measures make awesome giveaways for trade shows, fundraisers, and many other events.

No matter what, you’re going to need a great tape measure at some point in your life. Make sure you have as many as you can fit in your toolbox!

10 Different Types of Tape Measures

Just like there are many hammers, screwdrivers, and drills on the market, you’ll also find a variety of different tape measures. The most common styles include:

  • Pocket (Spring Return)
  • Surveyor (Long Tape)
  • Keychain
  • Double Hook
  • Rust-Resistant
  • Magnetic
  • Kids
  • Customized
  • Novelty
  • Digital
Pocket (Spring Return)

Pocket (Spring Return)

Spring return, or pocket tape measures, are a very popular style. They’re usually fairly accurate and come with a convenient thumb lock that’s super easy to use.

Surveyor (Long Tape) Source: www.tigersupplies.com

Surveyor (Long Tape)

A surveyor tape measure is designed to go the distance. It’s even been used to help create maps of the world. This style of tape measure needs to be wound up using a hand crank, so be sure to do your reps at the gym!

Keychain

Keychain

Take your measurements on-the-go with a portable keychain. These pocket-sized tools are best for small projects like figuring out a chair’s dimensions or determining the size of your friend’s head.

Double Hook Source: www.homedepot.com

Double Hook

The perfect option for multitaskers, a double hook tape measure attaches from both the top or bottom. This makes it easier for you to measure at any angle.

Rust-Resistant Source: www.houzz.com

Rust-Resistant

Do you have a project that requires a lot of time outdoors? Consider a rust-resistant tape measure, especially if you are working in the rain or snow. You won’t have to replace this style for a long time!

Magnetic Source: www.homedepot.com

Magnetic

If you’re out of space in your toolbox, a magnetic tape measure can stick right on the outside! This style is particularly handy for mechanics or anyone who spends a lot of time in the garage.

Kids Source: www.currentcatalog.com

Kids

Encourage your future builder with a tape measure that’s designed for kids. There are many options that come in bright colors and interesting shapes.

Customized

Customized

Some tape measures come with a logo, message, or design printed on the outside. This can be a fun way to add a personal touch to your event, whether it’s a trade show or a crafty wedding.

Novelty Source: www.interweave.com

Novelty

Go for a quirky look with a novelty tape measure. A unique style will make you smile, which is crucial during tough projects that make you want to tear your hair out in frustration.

Digital Source: www.sharperimage.com

Digital

This is a high-tech world, so it’s no surprise that you can buy digital tape measures. Now you don’t have to worry about all that pesky math that goes into reading a measuring tape.

You really can’t go wrong with any of these styles. Add as many as you can to your personal collection!

What Are the Different Tape Measure Sizes?

Tape measures come as small as 5 feet long and go all the way to 500 feet for some models. The size you choose really depends on your project and how much you need to measure.

To get a better idea of just how long a tape measure can be, take a look at three popular styles from Quality Logo Products®.

Round Tape Measure

Size: 5 Feet (60 Inches)

AKA

One Olsen Twin

Use it to measure:

  • Small pieces of furniture like chairs and rugs
  • Your kids
  • Picture frames
  • Art supplies like paper or cardboard 

16 Foot Tape Measure

Size: 16 Feet (192 Inches)

AKA

A Little More Than ½ a
Down in a Football Game

Use it to measure:

  • Medium pieces of furniture like tables and shelves
  • Windows
  • Doors
  • Apparel like shirts and hats

Construction Pro 25’
Tape Measure

Size: 25 Feet (300 Inches)

AKA

About the size of
an adult giraffe

Use it to measure:

  • Large pieces of furniture like couches and beds
  • Floors
  • Walls
  • Building materials like tile and wood

Size matters when it comes to your tape measure. After all, you don’t want a small five-footer if you’re putting up a new wall. Keep these differences in mind before choosing one for your next project.

What Are the Different Tape Measure Materials?

There are essentially two main parts to any tape measure: the case and the tape. The tape is typically made from fiberglass or cloth, while the case is made from any of the following:

  • Plastic
  • Metal
  • Leather
  • Rubber

Each material has its own advantages and disadvantages as evidenced the chart below.

Plastic

Metal

Plastic

Pros:

• Affordable
• Lightweight
• Can be customized with a logo or text

Cons:

• May break easily
• Super cheap versions aren’t always accurate

Metal

Pros:

• Durable
• Very accurate
• Can be customized with a logo or text

Cons:

• Heavy to hold

Leather

Pros:

• Stylish
• Can be customized with a logo or text

Cons:

• Slightly uncomfortable to hold
• Usually not as long as metal or plastic
• Sometimes difficult to wind up

Rubber

Pros:

• Lightweight
• Flexible
• Can be customized with a logo or text

Cons:

• May look less professional than other materials
• Sometimes difficult to wind up

You can get accurate dimensions using any of these materials. The decision really comes down to your personal preference.

How to Choose the Right Tape Measure

Now that you have a list of styles, sizes, and materials, the last step is actually settling on which tape measure to choose. You can whittle down the best option for you by figuring out:

Your Budget

Your Budget

Not everybody is made of money. Figure out how much you’re willing to spend on your tape measures before making any decisions.

Frequency of Use

Frequency of Use

Did you just buy a new house? Maybe you’re a carpenter with a long list of clients. Either way, it’s not a bad idea to invest in a high-quality tape measure that you can use time and time again.

Storage Space

Storage Space

If you have a whole shed for tools, you can get a variety of tape measures. Confined to just a cabinet? Go with only a few select choices instead.

Design Needs

Design Needs

You may want to print something on your tape measure like your name or company logo. In that case, you’ll need to look into ordering in bulk from a promotional products company like Quality Logo Products®!

Unless your house is falling apart or you have an advertising event around the corner, you’re really in no rush to make a good decision. Take the time to consider these factors before deciding on your next tape measure.

The Bottom Line

The tape measure is just like any other tool in your belt. You want to find the right one for a good price. Explore your options first before going to the store or making a big online purchase. It’s the best way to figure out which one measures up!

References

How Stuff Works. (2019). Tape Measure. Retrieved May 13, 2019, from
https://home.howstuffworks.com/tape-measure.htm

Home Stratosphere. (2019). 20 Different Types of Tape Measures. Retrieved May 13, 2019, from
https://www.homestratosphere.com/types-of-tape-measures/

Hubbard, B. (2018, June 20). The 10 Best Tape Measures. Retrieved May 13, 2019, from
https://www.thearchitectsguide.com/articles/best-tape-measure

Laser Tape Measure. (2019). Standard Measuring Tape Problems. Retrieved May 14, 2019, from
http://lasertape-measure.blogspot.com/2013/04/standard-measuring-tape-problems.html

Johnson, S. (2019). The Advantages and Disadvantages of Tape Measures. Retrieved May 14, 2019, from
https://www.ehow.com/list_6735942_advantages-disadvantages-tape-measures.html