Milwaukee Stud tape measure Gen 2 News & Opinion

Tape Measures

Build Quality
Ergonomics
Standout
Visibility
Accuracy
Value
Final Thoughts

The Milwaukee Stud tape measure fits Pros looking for the best top to bottom durability in a tape. The Gen 2 model brings with it double-sided printing. You even get an Architect scale on the bottom along with the expected stud and truss indicators.

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Milwaukee Stud Tape Measure Review


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.

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Pros

  • Excellent housing durability
  • Outstanding blade durability
  • High contrast whole inch markings
  • Double-sided with Architects scale
  • Perfect accuracy

Cons

  • Minimal hook design

Recommendations

This is the tape for Pros that are looking for the best top to bottom durability in a tape measure. 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.
Milwaukee Stud Tape Measure: New Tool Tip-Off!

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 StudGen 2 Stud
Blade Width1-1/16 in. (27 mm)1-5/16 in. (33 mm)
Standout10 ft.14 ft.
16′ ModelYesYes
25′ ModelYesYes
35′ ModelNoYes
5m ModelNoYes
8m ModelNoYes

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.

Field Testing

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.

Milwaukee Stud Gen 2 Tape Measure stand out

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.

Stud Gen 2 tape architects scale

The accuracy measures perfectly at the 6-inch mark on our Lixer Master tape measure calibration tool.

Get Hooked

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 Stud Wide Blade Tape Measures

Clip Design

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.

Milwaukee Stud tape measure belt clip

Ergonomics

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.

Milwaukee Stud Tape Measure Review

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.

Milwaukee Stud Tape Measure Review

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.

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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:
    • 16 ft. STUD Tape Measure 48-22-9716—$19.54
    • 25 ft. STUD Tape Measure 48-22-9725—$23.79
    • 25 ft. STUD Magnetic Tape Measure 48-22-9725M—$25.49
    • 35 ft. STUD Tape Measure 48-22-9735—$33.99
    • 5m Stud Tape Measure—$22.99
    • 8m Stud Tape Measure—$27.99
  • Available lengths: 16, 25, and 35 ft. plus 5m and 8m
  • Blade width: 1-5/16 in. (33 mm)
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Robert Pellegrino

I’ve been a Stanley man for 40 years. I don’t care for the Fat max versions. I thought I would try The Milwaukee stud. It is huge. I’m not thrilled with the size of the case. Totally unnecessary, the Stanley tapes in the regular size cases are really big enough. I’ll use it and see about the durability. I can always be swayed. I was a tester for Rigid and always gave a fair assessment. All the cheap knock off brands including Craftsman are awful.

David Rafferty

One of the best and most useful parts of a tape measure is the belt clip. I depend on a tape measure on my side almost 24/7. The one on the “stud” tape measure broke the 1st day with the cheap little tiny screw that holds on a piece of twisted wire as a belt clip. I haven’t touched another ” stud” tape since they came out. I’m a Milwaukee die hard. I have just about every tool that Milwaukee makes. I won’t get caught using anything else. I do use other Milwaukee tapes but would love to see Milwaukee… Read more »

OldDominionDIYer

Since I’m not a professional carpenter I probably don’t need this level of durability but it’s nice to see Milwaukee continuing to improve their products, I own the 7125 (2 of them) and love it, as a DIYer I appreciate the double sided printing and large hook. As a less frequent and probably less abusive user than probably most pro’s, I find the 7125 to exceed my expectations. I also own the Lufkin black widow (all 3 in 25′ lengths) and have found that tape to be excellent as well. The issue for me as a DIYer has been the… Read more »

Nathan Meredith

I hope it’s better than their other tapes.