Ryobi Tape Measure Review RTM25
The Ryobi Tape Measure won't blow you away with any of the bells and whistles that might come with a more expensive brand, but it's accurate, it's comfortable, it's durable, and at under $9, it offers an incredible value.
Many of you know about Ryobi’s corner of the cordless power tool market. If you drew a Venn diagram where one circle represents “professional market,” and another circle represented “DIY market,” Ryobi would exist in that area where the two circles overlap. They make really affordable cordless tools and they have a really deep stable of tools that operate on the One+ battery platform. They’ve found a really great niche in the cordless tool market where Pros and DIYers will both use their products. Maybe you’ve noticed that I’ve used the term “cordless” a bunch so far. That’s because, up until now, Ryobi has really only existed in the cordless market. In fact, the Ryobi Tape Measure is the company’s first foray into the hand tool world. And, characteristic of the way the company approaches tool making, the Ryobi Tape Measure is functional, accurate, and durable. It might be devoid of frills but at less than $9 a piece, who really cares?
Accuracy is at least half of the equation when it comes to effective tape measures, and probably the more important half. Rest assured that the 25′ Ryobi Tape Measure has accuracy for days. We double checked it using the Lixer Master calibration tool, and the measurement markings on the blade were right on the money.
Ryobi Tape Measure Blade
Like we said earlier, the 25′ Ryobi is a really bare-bones approach to the professional grade tape measure. Some other tapes feature a nylon coating, or double-sided blade printing, architectural scales, or finger brakes, but not the Ryobi. One thing that the Ryobi does do that we don’t see everywhere: fractional markings on the blades. These markings help take the some of the guesswork out of reading the tape.
The Ryobi Tape Measure features a compact design that fits comfortably in the hand. The rubber overmolding feels good, and because of the more compact size, the thumb lock is easily accessible.
The downside to this ultra-compact design is that there has to be a compromise somewhere, and Ryobi chose to use a relatively narrow tape in the design. The slimness of the tape affects the tape’s standout, which punches in at about a foot less than we would prefer for a pro model.
We also would’ve preferred a bigger clip. Functionally, there’s nothing wrong with the wire clip design. Milwaukee utilized a wire clip that worked really well and wound up being one of our favorites. The problem with Ryobi’s revolves around its size. The clip has the appropriate amount of strength and rigidity, but it is a bit undersized.
Ryobi shines in the value department. This is generally the case with the Ryobi brand, and the tape measure isn’t any different. It retails for around $9, making it the clear winner in the value category of our recent Tape Measure Shootout. Aside from the 25′ Empire model, which ran about a dollar more than the Ryobi, everything else punched in around $20 or more.
For Ryobi’s first hand tool, the 25′ Tape Measure is a pretty valiant effort. It’s accurate, it’s compact, and it’s ergonomic. There’s a little room for improvement since the blade width affects its standout and the belt clip is a little too small.
But where this tape measure really shines is in its value rating. $9 is easily the cheapest tape measure we looked at in our recent shootout, and most tapes were twice the price as the Ryobi. Granted, the more expensive tapes do generally offer more features, but if you’re more budget conscious, and all you really need is an accurate-out-of-the-box tape measure, the Ryobi Tape Measure might be your best bet.
See how it stacks up against the competition in our shootout!
Ryobi Tape Measure Features & Specs
- Model: Ryobi RTM25
- Length: 25′
- Mark Lines: 1/16″
- Warranty: Limited Lifetime
- Price: $8.97