Klein Stainless Steel Fish Tape Review
Klein Tools are known for their durability, ergonomics and robustness. In fact, when you reach for a pair of Kleins, it’s a good thing if you have the name brand, but if you don’t – the company has so infiltrated the market that the entire genre of lineman’s pliers have been renamed to “Kleins” by most professionals and tradesmen. We’re not sure how the company feels about that, but it’s certainly a compliment by anybody who’s not a lawyer or trademark protector by trade. We ventured out and grabbed a High Strength 240 ft. Klein stainless steel fish tape for a recent electrical rewiring job that we undertook on a 1920’s Colonial Style home. This home presented a tremendous amount of challenges to us for pulling wire from the crawl space to the second story attic.
Klein Stainless Steel Fish Tape Features
The high strength 240 ft. Klein Tools stainless steel fish tape is the kind of product that will offer a lot of solutions to a challenging series of tasks. This particular fish tape had a number of features that we liked right off the bat:
- Laser etched 1′ measurement markings for verifying conduit depth
- Durable plastic case and handle
- Raised finger grips
- Smooth, consistent and comfortable winding and rewinding
- Corrosion-resistant stainless steel fish tape
Taking a close look at the Klein stainless steel fish tape, we liked the way the handle raked back and gave a solid grip for both extending the wire and also reeling it back in. The tape remained smooth, even when over 50 feet of wire had been reeled out. Reeling the wire in and extending it out was a very natural thing – and you don’t feel as if the tape is fighting you, but rather that it is designed to allow you to accomplish your task unimpeded.
We also made good use of the laser-etched markings on the stainless steel 1/8-inch wide tape to gauge our depth within the wall cavities we were pulling through. We liked the balance between readability (once you knew where to look) and the fact that Klein maintained the strength of the tape. Had they imprinted the length markings deeper, for example, they would have created a weak point or snap point for the tape to break. They didn’t, and so the tape retains an incredibly high tensile strength that can pull very hard indeed on a bundle of 12/2 or 12/3 wire (we used it to pull up to 10/3 cable, in fact, as well as three 12/2 cables simultaneously).
And pulling on this stainless tape was extremely confidence-inspiring. It was a rare thing not to be able to punch this tape through an area – even when it had debris from the plaster and lathe walls. So whether pulling or pushing, we found the stiffness of the wire to be more than adequate and easy to work with.
We’re used to the ends of our fish tape breaking off, in fact it seems to be a part of life, but the Klein stainless steel fish tape never gave us the chance to re-bend the tip. It just kept working. In either case, the markings are nice in that even when you lose distance on the fish tape, you can still take depth readings and do the math to get you in the right place. It’s a great design.
This is a simple, but necessary tool – and one that you’re going to be able to use for a long, long time. The stainless steel construction and attention to detail make it live up to Klein’s reputation for building dependable products. And it’s a no-brainer for the professional electrician or other tradesman who wants to buy a fish tape once and use it virtually forever. Compared to the other models on the market, Klein also keeps themselves very competitive in terms of price. For that reason we gave them an above-average 8/10 Value rating. In terms of sheer Performance, an 8/10 seemed to adequately convey the robustness of the product and the exceedingly consistent results we had using it on our projects. If you need a good fish tape, consider picking up this one, you won’t regret it.