We first got to put our hands on the Milwaukee Stud Tape Measure at their NPS 2018 media event. Now, the company updates the line with a Gen 2 model. It features a wider tape, more options, and improved features like an Architects scale and double-sided printing.
- Excellent housing durability
- Outstanding blade durability
- High contrast whole inch markings
- Double-sided with Architects scale
- Perfect accuracy
- Minimal hook design
The big deal surrounding the Stud is all about the blade. According to Brandon Miller, Director of Product Marketing for Milwaukee, their team identified tape tear as a common failure point. Using the name EXO360 for the upgraded blade, Milwaukee Stud tape measures wrap their nylon coating 360° around the blade.
The result is a blade that Milwaukee claims is rip and tear resistant with 10 times the abrasion resistance of their current tape measures.
Some of the other features we’ve seen before from Milwaukee include their 5-point reinforced frame, impact resistant overmold, and 10′ standout. Milwaukee tells us that this tape can survive an 80′ drop onto packed soil.
Expect the new tapes to run $19.99 for a 16′ and $24.99 for a 25′ – pricing that’s in line with their typical premium tape launches.
Milwaukee Gen 1 Stud vs Gen 2 Stud Tape Measures
|Gen 1 Stud||Gen 2 Stud|
|Blade Width||1-1/16 in. (27 mm)||1-5/16 in. (33 mm)|
|Standout||10 ft.||14 ft.|
After releasing a rather tough first-generation Milwaukee Stud tape measure, the Gen 2 models have their work cut out for them. As it turns out, feedback indicated a desire for a wider tape. Milwaukee obliged, increasing the tape width by a full 6mm—roughly a 1/4-inch. This increased the standout by a full 40% to 14-feet. They also put out several new sizes, including a 35-foot tape and two models in 5m and 8m lengths.
Standout and Throw
I ran through our standard throw and standout tests. With the Gen 1 Stud tape measure, the best throw I sent out was right at 123 inches. That actually matches Milwaukee’s mark in our shootout using the 48-22-7125 that was beaten only by Klein.
For standout, the Gen 1 tape fell short of the 10 feet Milwaukee claims by 5 just inches. The Gen 2 model let us hit the claimed 14-foot standout after a few tries. All models exceed our 8-foot baseline expectations easily. 115 inches tops the 7125 by an extra 10 inches and is perfectly acceptable at the Pro level, though it is middle of the pack. As Milwaukee seems to be phasing out their first-gen tapes, we’ll mostly focus on the latest models from here on out.
Blade Markings and Accuracy
The Milwaukee Stud uses nice bold number markings along with fairly standard increment marks between whole inches. The Gen 2 tape brings with it double-sided printing. You even get an Architect scale on the bottom along with the expected stud and truss indicators.
The accuracy measures perfectly at the 6-inch mark on our Lixer Master tape measure calibration tool.
The hook is much improved on the Gen 2 Stud tape. The meat of it is on the bottom, so you’ll get excellent hooking from the bottom and both of its corners. Hooking from the top and top corners is pretty much non-existent.
Milwaukee sticks with their standard wire clip. That can be a hit or miss move, but it’s stronger than it looks. It secures with just a single screw that holds with surprising strength.
I have medium-size hands, and the Stud is a little larger than I prefer. However, the overall footprint forms into your hand well and the Finger Stop and lock are both easy to operate with one hand.
Let’s Break it Already!
The test Milwaukee showed us at NPS 2018 involves folding over the tape and stepping on it, so I repeated it and took things a little deeper. Bending and stepping on even a premium blade like what Milwaukee puts on the 7125 is pretty much a death sentence. Even though it doesn’t fully separate, these blades crack and you can finish them off with just a quick bend or two.
When I tried the same thing with the Milwaukee Stud, it bent but didn’t crack. I was able to bend it back into a useable form and continue making measurements without an issue.
But a bend in the blade is still damage and I set to work out if I could break it from there. I take some back and forth bending work, but the blade will eventually crack and break. Still, the claim that it’s 10 times tougher seems pretty accurate with this level of abuse.
The Bottom Line
There’s little doubt that the Milwaukee Stud has the toughest blade out there right now. The rest of the design is in line with the durability of their other tapes, so I don’t have any concerns about its ability to stand up. Priced between $20-$34 depending on length, it’s in the premium tape measure class. If you tend to lose your tapes before you break them, that might be a tough pill to swallow. If you use a tape all day, however, it’s a great tool and an easy choice for any Pro who needs a bit of extra standout and durability.
Milwaukee Stud Tape Measure Feature Set
- EXO360 Blade Technology
- Fully Reinforced Body
- Impact Resistant Frame
- Survives up to 80′ Drop onto Packed Soil
- Up to 14′ Standout
- Wire Form Belt Clip
- Zero Tolerance Hook
- Lanyard Ready
- Finger Stop Brake
Milwaukee Stud Tape Measure Specifications
- Milwaukee Stud Tape Measure models:
- Available lengths: 16, 25, and 35 ft. plus 5m and 8m
- Blade width: 1-5/16 in. (33 mm)