Best Tape Measure Reviews for 2024

Best Tape Measure Reviews

Tape measures are a staple in everyone’s toolbox from the most seasoned Pro to the greenest DIYer. Ranging in length and price, most cost less than $30, and there are options under the $10 mark. But are all tape measures created equally? Of course not. We’re breaking things down into the categories our Pro team says are most important when looking for the best tape measure.

Our Best Tape Measure Recommendations

Also in this Article

Think you know everything about tapes? Check out our article on how to read a tape measure and you may just learn something new!

Best Tape Measure Overall

Crescent Lufkin Shockforce Nite Eye G2

Best Tape Measure | Crescent Lufkin Shockforce Nite Eye

When we went looking for the best tape measure, we wanted it all: durability, standout, accuracy, visibility, hook grip, ergonomics, and features. While there are several great options, the Crescent Lufkin Shockforce G2 Nite Eye stands out above the rest for us. It’s not the best in every category, but it does everything well, and it has a fantastic blade color for those of us with less-than-ideal vision.

Our favorite version is the magnetic. However, there are also standard and Auto Lock versions if you prefer those styles. If the Nite Eye color scheme isn’t your cup of tea, you can get the same tape with a standard yellow/black blade.

Price: $35.99 (25-foot magnetic with Nite Eye blade LM1225B-02)

Best Heavy-Duty Tape Measure

DeWalt Tough Series Tape Measures

Best Heavy-Duty Tape Measure | DeWalt Tough Series

Some outstanding heavy-duty tape measures have hit the market over the last several years. Milwaukee’s Stud, DeWalt’s XP followed by its Tough Series, Crescent Lufkin’s Shockforce, and others have been pushing the durability expectations to new levels. So which one is the best?

In our opinion, it’s the DeWalt Tough Series tape measures. Solid housing construction combined with a generous layer of overmold to protect it stands up to just about anything we’ve been able to throw at it, including chucking as high as we could and letting it fall to the asphalt. With nothing more than a scratch for our efforts, it’s one tough measure.

More recently, DeWalt released a new version of this tape that includes a built-in rechargeable LED light. It’s a bit more expensive at $34.99, but that light is a unique feature we haven’t seen on other models.

25-Foot Price: $24.99 (25-foot DWHT36925S)

Best Magnetic Tape Measure

Milwaukee Stud Magnetic Tape Measures

Milwaukee Stud tape measure Gen 2

Crescent’s Shockforce and DeWalt Tough Series both have magnetic options we heartily recommend. However, the one we pick up most often in our shop is Milwaukee’s second-generation Stud. It starts with a durable Exo360 nylon blade coating that resists cracking and houses it in a durable frame. The magnetic hook grips steel surfaces solidly, and our team loves the finger-stop brake feature for extending and controlling the recoil on the way back in.

Price: $32.97 (25-foot magnetic 48-22-9725M)

Best Laser Tape Measure

Skil 65-Foot Laser Measurer with Wheel

Skil Laser Distance Measure

There are plenty of great laser distance measures, but not all have a tape measure function. If you want to measure traditionally without having an object to bounce the laser off, you need a wheel to roll across the surface instead. For that feature, look to Skil’s laser distance measure.

When you need more than just the tape measure function, you can measure in real-time out to 65 feet or calculate area for quick estimates. You get it all with an accuracy of ±1/8-inch.

For a deeper dive into these measuring devices, check out our best laser distance measure recommendations.

Price: $49.99 (ME9821-00)

Best Tape Measure for the Money

Stanley FatMax Tape Measures

Best Tape Measure Value | Stanley FatMax

Value is more than just price. It’s what you get for your money, and that accounts for the whole package: function, durability, readability, standout, and more. Over and over again, we hear from Pros in the field and from our readers that Stanley FatMax is the only model they’ll use. Why? Because it’s accurate, reliable, and affordable.

You can still find the classic 25-foot tape measure for just under $20, it’s Made in the USA using global materials, and we believe it’s the best bang for your buck.

Price: $17.99 (25-foot 33-725)

Best Budget Tape Measure for Home Use

Stanley 25-ft Tape Measure

Best Budget Tape Measure for Home Use

Stanley 25-ft Tape Measure

If you just need a tape measure to use around your home, it’s hard to bet Stanley’s basic 25-foot tape measure. There are trade-offs, of course. You only get a 7-fot standout and it doesn’t have the durability that premium tapes do.

On the other hand, it’s accurate. Perhaps more importanntly, it’s inexpensive—less than $10 (and we’ve even seen it as low as $5). For a tape measure to keep in your garage or kitchen drawer, it’ll do just fine.

Price: $4.97 (30-455S)

Best Tape Measure Brands

Ask Pros what the best tape measure brand is and several names pop up regularly. Milwaukee is massively popular owing to its brand reputation, quality, and wide range of models to choose from. Stanley is another one Pros rely on, especially the FatMax line. It too has a wide range of options and enjoys a reputation for excellent quality.

While it doesn’t get as much hype as the bigger brands, Pros in the know love their Tajima tape measures. Thanks to their high quality, they have a loyal following who refuse to use any other brand.

Best Tape Measure – More Recommendations From Brands We Trust

Best HART Tape Measure

HART has an impressive depth to its line of tape measures that includes keychain, standard, and chrome models. Our top choice is the Pro Grade model and it’s available in 16 to 30-foot lengths, though only the 25-foot is available in both magnetic and non-magnetic.

Sporting 11 feet of standout, easy-to-read fraction markings (single-side printing), and greater overmold protection than many tapes we’ve used, it’s also easy on your wallet with a price tag of just over $15.

Price: $14.97 (25-foot magnetic HHTMPN25)

Best Klein Tape Measure

Whether you’re an electrician or not, Klein makes some durable tape measures and its magnetic models hold stronger than most. Seriously, we’ve used a Klein as a magnetic grabber for dropped fasteners and small hand tools in the past. They have just one non-magnetic model (25-foot) covering 16, 25, and 30-foot lengths and a 7.5-meter model on the metric side for magnetic options.

Standout is excellent at 13 feet, the magnetic models feature a double hook that offers better top grabbing, and the nylon-coated blade has printing on both sides. Thanks to Klein’s focus on electricians, they also have a conduit bending table and a 3-phase layout guide on the backside of the blade.

Price: $29.97 (25-foot magnetic 9225R)

Best Komelon Tape Measure

Komelon tape measures are popular thanks to a price that’s very easy on your wallet. They’re great for around the house and for people who tend to lose them often. They also have a Contractor series that’s more appropriate for typical jobsite use and that’s the line we recommend.

It covers 16, 25, and 40-foot lengths, and only the 25-foot is available with a magnetic hook. They have a nylon-coated blade that’s 20% thicker and a stainless steel spring to help them last longer than Komelon’s less expensive tapes.

Price: $18.98 (25-foot magnetic M25LR)

Best Ox Tools Tape Measure

Ox Tools isn’t crazy-deep in the measuring tools category just yet, but we liked what we saw from its Pro Tuff tape measure. Its 13 feet of standout is solid, and it felt better in our hands than the bulkier version from a few years back. What opened our eyes was the improvement in durability for both the housing and the nylon-coated blade.

Price: $19.98 (25-foot magnetic OX-P506025)

Best Stabila Tape Measure

Stabila is known for the quality of its levels and that might make its tape measures fly under the radar a bit. Between the BM 100 and the BM 300 lines, we prefer the more durable 300 series. Its strong housing benefits from plenty of overmold. The blade is nylon-coated with printing on both sides and capable of a 10-foot standout. Stabila also adds a unique hook grip on the lower side to help keep it from slipping. It’s available in 16 or 26-foot lengths.

Price: $26.25 (26-foot 30526)

Best Tajima Tape Measure

Our favorite Tajima tape measures are in the GS Lock line. They sport a thicker steel in the blade that gives it the Extra Stiff designation. Printing is on both sides of the blade, and it’s tether-ready. But it’s the size and feel of the tape in your hands along with the ruggedness of the design that sets it apart and has created a loyal following.

Price: $42.08

Which Tape Measure is the Most Accurate?

A tape measure is only as accurate as the printing on the blade and the correct offset movement of the hook. That said, I can only remember one time that we had a legit accuracy issue, and it was on an engineering sample of a tape that was corrected prior to launch.

Most of the time, an inaccurate tape measure is due to a bent hook. Using a tape measure calibrating device (we use Lixer models) can help you bend the hook back in place and make sure you’re getting accurate readings.

In my experience, as long as you stick with quality brands and have access to a calibrating device, you can choose the model that best fits your needs and get the accurate results you need.

Is a Digital Tape Measure Accurate?

It depends. First, are we talking about tape measures with a digital readout (such as the Reekon T1 Tomahawk) or are we talking about laser distance measures?

Regardless of which one you’re using, there should be an accuracy rating to go with it. Many of the laser distance measures our team relies on are accurate to ±1/16-inch or ±1/8-inch at 33 feet. Since they are primarily estimating tools, that level of accuracy is just fine.

Most models with a digital readout are a bit more novel. Most Pros don’t use them and neither do I. Consumer-level electronics aren’t as accurate as a quality tape measure. When you’re measuring crown molding on a million-dollar build, 1/8 of an inch matters. You can get that and even higher accuracy from a tape measure, but the digital readout on one likely won’t be able to guarantee it.

There’s a big exception to that rule, though, and it’s the aforementioned Reekon T1 Tomahawk. Capable of reliably measuring to 1/32 of an inch and self-calibrating with marking indicators on the reverse of the blade, it’s the one digital tape measure I don’t have any hesitation using when accuracy is critical.

What Class of Tape Measure is Best?

If I had to pick just one tape measure to carry, it would be a 25-foot magnetic tape measure. It has the best combination of size, weight, length, and measuring versatility (plus, you can use the magnet to pick up small metal objects). It’s by far the most common class our crew carries every day.

What Should You Not Do with a Tape Measure

It might be easier to make a list of what you should do with a tape measure rather than what you shouldn’t. The list of things not to do is only limited by your imagination and the depth of depravity you’re willing to let your mind dive into. Still, there are some common things you might be wondering about that are worth addressing. There are several things to avoid for standard use as well.

  • Don’t use a tape measure to measure your body. The stiff nature of the blade won’t form to your curves and give you an accurate measurement. Use a tailor’s sewing tape instead.
  • Don’t let the blade snap back into the housing. It’s a good way to damage the rivets that hold the hook or bend the hook and end up with inaccurate measurements.
  • Don’t step on the blade. Simply stepping on the blade can crack it or break it off completely.
  • Don’t open up the housing. It’s tempting to see how the blade retraction works, but once that spring gets out, it’s not going back.
  • Don’t get your tape measure wet. While it’s not always avoidable, tape measure blades can begin to rust surprisingly fast.

Best Tape Measure Buying Guide


Best Tape Measure Shootout

Before you worry about anything else, a tape measure has to be accurate. If it isn’t, nothing else matters. Nearly every name-brand model is solid in this department. The ones that aren’t accurate usually have a bent hook that you can fix on a Lixer tape measure calibrating tool.


Best Tape Measure Shootout

Once you know your tape is accurate, durability is the next major concern. Most tape measures are capable of surviving dozens, if not hundreds, of drops onto concrete from workbench height. Drops from greater heights are where we begin to see the difference.

To get the best durability, look for a tape measure with at least four connection points on the housing and plenty of overmold to protect it. Also keep an eye open for at least three rivets holding the hook on, nylon coating over the entire blade, and additional coating over the first foot or so.


The best tape measure length is completely dependent on your needs, but we find a 25-foot tape is the best all-around. If you’re looking for something more compact, go with a 16-foot. Go with a 35-foot if you’re consistently measuring more than 25 feet at a time.

For greater distances in estimating applications, consider grabbing a laser distance measure instead of a tape.

Clip Design

Best Tape Measure Shootout

Having a good clip can make or break your tape measure experience. When they’re not in our toolboxes or on a workbench, we usually clip tape measures to our belts. The strength of the clip is part of the equation, a design that slides on and off your belt without too much difficulty is the other.

You can test the clip strength in the store by simply pulling on it while it’s in the package. The ease of sliding on and off is a little trickier, but we find that clips with a flare out at the bottom tend to work the best.


Best Tape Measure Shootout

If it’s accurate and it’s tough, you just need to be able to read the markings. In searching for the best tape measure, there are some interesting ways to improve visibility. You can go with bolder markings, reverse contrast, or even buck the trend of traditional black and yellow colors. Everyone’s eyes are different, and fortunately, you can easily see the difference for yourself in the store.

Standout and Throw

Best Tape Measure Shootout

Manufacturers love to tout the standout of their tape measures and there are plenty of jobsite jokes that go along with it. For our team, standout is important – up until 9′ or so. As long as the standout gets you beyond the length of sheet material, we’re pretty happy. You can make the argument for 10′ – 16′ lumber that you might work with, but you’re sliding the hook over those longer pieces most of the time.

Closely related, but rarely discussed is tape measure throw. Since the goal is to not have to walk from one end of the material to the other, the farther you can throw the tape’s blade, the better. Many Pros throw it out there, then continue extending the blade across the top of the material until it reaches the end. The downside of throwing the blade is that you often give up standout length because of the action.

Best Tape Measure Shootout

Ease it out for a better standout or throw it out for quicker work? It’s your call. The best tape measure will have a balance of the standout and throw and our Pros like 8 feet as a minimum standard for both. The more the better, though.

Hook Design

Best Tape Measure Shootout

A tape measure absolutely has to hook easily on the top and bottom. The best tape measure will give you solid hooking on the sides and even naturally turn so the edge of the blade is flush on your material. For the most part, the larger the hook the better, but you can overdo it. Too much mass will make the hook flip when you’re trying to grab on the side.


Best Tape Measure Shootout

Ergonomics on tape measures are less about the weight and more about how naturally they fit in your hand. Since everyone’s hand is different, there are a lot of different opinions about which size feels the best.

Price and Value

Best Tape Measure Shootout

It wasn’t all that long ago that paying more than $20 for a tape measure was a lot. Now, premium tapes can cost $30 or more. You certainly get better durability and features at those higher price points, but it’s up to you to decide what’s worth it.

Bonus Features

Magnetic Hook

A magnetic hook helps when you’re doing layout or measurement around steel. But there are also times when you might not want it.

Nylon Blade Coating

Nylon coating on the blade helps reduce the amount of wear that eventually starts rusting and peeling away.

Finger Brake

Some of the springs in these tape measures will give your finger a pretty good pinch if you’re not careful.

Dual Side Blade Printing

Best Tape Measure Shootout

Printing on both sides of the tape is helpful as you’re working around different scenarios.

Auto Lock

Love it or hate it, auto lock mechanisms stop the tape as you extend it rather than forcing you to use the thumb lock.

Bonus Markings and Scales

Some of these tapes give you a little more bang for your buck with additional scales for certain applications.

Why You Can Trust Pro Tool Reviews to Recommend Tape Measures

The are a whole lot of publications and authors out there trying to convince you that they know what the best tape measure is. Let’s give credit where credit is due—they use good SEO writers and may have even used a few popular models in the process.

But do they have more than a decade of experience using tape measures with an eye on comparative evaluation, understand the key features to look for, and have they experienced the differences in the quality of components in the field? Have they been around to see advances in standout, the development of innovative blade coatings, and how brands are dealing with durability issues?

We have. We’ve been testing and reviewing tape measures for more than 15 years, and they’re a core tool every Pro and DIYer should own.

So, you can take the advice of whatever Big Media company decided to offer product reviews designed first and foremost to rank for Google, written by someone who may or may not understand the full landscape of what’s available. Don’t forget to check up on breaking news, updates on the weather, and play a few games while you’re there.

Or you can trust Pro Tool Reviews because tools are what we do. When I recommend a tape measure for you, it’s because it’s the one I would buy. My primary motivation is to recommend what I genuinely believe is the best in each category based on more than a decade of experience and being involved in the power tool industry every day. And if you choose to buy something I recommend, I hope that it works exactly the way you expected when the time comes.

That’s how I hope to earn your trust. Not because I work for a high-profile media company with massive name recognition. But because I’m like you, and when I choose to make a purchase, I see the dollars come out of my bank account. I expect those products to work when I need them. I want authentic recommendations when I’m shopping, and I’m committed to offering you the best of my experience and knowledge when you see my name as the author.

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