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October 21, 2021

Professional Tool Reviews for Pros


Johnson 25′ PlanReader Architect Series Power Tape Review

Oftentimes, when out in the field, it can be difficult to measure plans to verify dimensions. With the new Johnson 1819-0025 25′ PlanReader Architect Series Power Tape, you have both 1/8″ and 1/4″ architectural scales built right into the bottom of the tape. With larger, easy to see numbers on the top side of the tape, you can do your regular measuring and layout work. When you need to go back to the drawing board to check some dimensions or verify the size of something on the plans, just flip the tape over and you have the two most common architectural scales at your fingertips.

Johnson 25' PlanReader Architect Series Power Tape Review

Oftentimes, when out in the field, it can be difficult to measure plans to verify dimensions. With the new Johnson 1819-0025 25′ PlanReader Architect Series Power Tape, you have both 1/8″ and 1/4″ architectural scales built right into the bottom of the tape. With larger, easy to see numbers on the top side of the tape, you can do your regular measuring and layout work. When you need to go back to the drawing board to check some dimensions or verify the size of something on the plans, just flip the tape over and you have the two most common architectural scales at your fingertips.


Johnson 25′ PlanReader Architect Series Power Tape Features

Johnson 25′ PlanReader Architect Series Power Tape

At first glance, the Johnson 25′ PlanReader Architect Series Power Tape appears much like other measuring tapes on the market. The blade is 1-1/16″ wide and is covered with a protective nylon coating called Blade-Gard that is supposed to extend the life of the blade by making it more abrasion resistant. The numbers on the top-side of the blade are extra large which makes for quick accurate reading of the numbers. Flip the tape over, and on the bottom you have both 1/8″ and 1/4″ architectural scales that run for the first 10 feet of the tape. Just for fun, that means that you can measure 1/8″ scale prints out to 960 feet or 1/4″ out to 480 feet! We don’t know what kinds of projects Johnson Level expects people to be working on, but they’ve definitely got you covered. The overall body of the tape measure is made of chromed impact-resistant plastic with the entire outside perimeter covered in a thick black rubber overmold. It looks like it can handle a significant drop… or two or three… and keep working. When held in the hand, the blade lock sliding button is perfectly positioned for easy control with your thumb. The blade lock work well, was easy to move yet held the blade firmly until the lock was released. The overall size of the 25′ tape is comfortable to hold in your hand and the spring loading on the tape retraction feels authoritative. While it is not in the specifications for the tape measure we found that the maximum blade stand out was on average just a few inches over nine feet.

Testing and Use

Johnson 25′ PlanReader Architect Series Power Tape - testingHaving worked at an electrical and mechanical engineering consulting firm for over 10 year presented many opportunities to use a tape measure like this – of course it didn’t exist when I needed it! Often we would be called onto the job site to either do field work, draw as-built plans or resolve conflicts that had to do with the coordination of the building trades. Most all the plans that our company produced were done in either 1/8″ or 1/4″ equals 1 foot architectural scales (which, we agree, are probably the two most common scales used today). So when we would show up on job sites, we would have a roll of plans under one arm, a tape measure and our architectural scales in the other hand. The idea of being able to combine a regular tape measure and the architectural scales makes so much sense! What we really liked about this new Johnson 25′ PlanReader Architect Series Power Tape is that it is still a full fledged tape that you can use for all your regular layout and projects. It has a sturdy build quality that feels like it will hold up well in any application.


Johnson 25′ PlanReader Architect Series Power Tape application
Using the Johnson 25′ PlanReader Architect Series Power Tape to scale some building plans

Conclusion

Johnson 25′ PlanReader Architect Series Power Tape application - 1

The Johnson 25′ PlanReader Architect Series Power Tape is one of those tools that just makes so much sense. Anyone that has been in any facet of the building business has undoubtedly run into situations where they had to go back to the plans to check a dimension or verify something. Also, if you are on the design side of things, it can be handy just as well to be able to measure something out in the field and then sketch it to scale using the tape. For our Value rating we gave this tape measure a solid 7/10 since it offers good value in its new-found versatility. For our Performance score, we gave the tape an impressive 8/10 because of its robust build quality combined with features that just about any contractor or designer can appreciate.

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