The Best Tape Measure for 2023

Get precise measurements for all of your personal and professional projects with one of the best tape measures on the market!

Measuring tapes are useful for everything from simple handcrafted projects to complex home remodeling. A good measuring tape is a useful tool for getting accurate measurements of just about anything.

However, knowing which one to buy can be pretty stressful. That is because tape measures are calibrated differently and span a lot of professions. You don’t want to see an engineer marking your basement with a tailor’s measuring tape.

To make the buying decision easier for you, we’ve gone the whole nine yards and found a few accurate and functional tape measures.

How We Picked

  • Length

    On average, tape measures range from 15 to 50 feet in length. To ensure that you do not run out of inches, we picked measuring tapes that were long enough.

  • Accuracy

    How a tape measure is calibrated has a direct effect on accuracy. Inaccurate measurements can often be detrimental, especially for projects that require precision. Therefore, we considered the units of measurement and other features that might affect precision while making our selection.

  • Material

    Tape measures are made with steel, fiberglass, or flexible vinyl depending on the intended use. The tape's durability relies on the material it's made of, both that of the blade and the tape's case. We considered the material type to make sure that your pick lasts you a long time.

  • Cost-Effectiveness

    Tape measures don’t cost much, but that doesn’t mean you want to keep buying or replacing them. Getting a tape at a great cost and of excellent quality was one of our most important selection criteria.

Our Top Picks

Our Top Pick

Stanley 25 ft. PowerLock Tape Measure

Stanley 25 ft. PowerLock Tape Measure

This tape measure provides unparalleled flexibility and convenience in any circumstance.

The Stanley 25 ft. Powerlock comes with a locked blade, belt hook, 1-inch-wide blade, and 16- and 19.2-inch stud center markings, which are all standard features that ensure accurate measures and prevent the tool from slipping while in use. In addition, Stanley has also included a heat-treated spring to further extend the tape's useful life.

Buy Now for $13.95

This high-quality tape measure is ideal for both professionals and the occasional do-it-yourself enthusiast.

Our Runner-Up

Stanley 25-Foot Fatmax Tape Measure

Stanley 25-Foot Fatmax Tape Measure

The Stanley Fatmax tape is the ideal size for your toolbox, your palm, and your work.

With a protective coating throughout the entire blade and an extra layer of BladeArmor at the hook, this tape can withstand more wear and tear before showing signs of wear. Because of its conventional stud marks and large, easy-to-read numbers, the 25 ft. durable Fatmax Classic Tape Measure is for use in any setting.

Buy Now for $21.99

This reliable tape is 14 feet in length and comes in a rugged, high-impact casing.

Most Cost-Effective

Komelon Self Lock 25-Foot Power Tape

Komelon Self Lock 25-Foot Power Tape

No longer will there be a need to fumble around with locks.

The Self Lock Series is an exceptional series of measuring tapes. Blades in this series have an innovative self-locking mechanism that allows for smooth extension, and a push-button release ensures full control when retracting the blade. In addition to its impact-resistant rubberized casing, the series' blade is coated in nylon for even more durability.

Buy Now for $9.99

After pulling out the blade, it will automatically lock into position, and you will just need to push a button to retract it.

Everything We Recommend

Our Top Pick

Stanley 25 ft. PowerLock Tape Measure

Stanley 25 ft. PowerLock Tape Measure

This tape measure provides unparalleled flexibility and convenience in any circumstance.

$13.95

Buy Now

Our Runner-Up

Stanley 25-Foot Fatmax Tape Measure

Stanley 25-Foot Fatmax Tape Measure

The Stanley Fatmax tape is the ideal size for your toolbox, your palm, and your work.

$21.99

Buy Now

Cost-Effective

Komelon Self Lock 25-Foot Power Tape

Komelon Self Lock 25-Foot Power Tape

No longer will there be a need to fumble around with locks.

$9.99

Buy Now

Who This Is For

Tape measures are for various types of people and their uses span several professions, from DIY home activities to real estate and engineering. As such, several types of tape measures exist. However, they can be categorized into four major groups.

Encased measures: The most common kinds of tape measures are those that come in a protective case. There is a retractable blade inside a plastic or metal housing that displays either imperial or metric measurements. With so many potential uses, a tape measure of this type is an indispensable addition to any homeowner’s toolset.

Reel measures: Surveyors and other professionals who often measure expansive areas frequently utilize reel tape measures. The blade on these instruments can be several hundred feet in length, but instead of being stored in a case, it is retracted onto a reel with the use of a hand crank. It’s not the kind of tool most do-it-yourselfers would use, but it comes in handy when you need to measure a lengthy fence or deck.

Flexible measuring tapes: These tapes are flexible and come without a carrying case, such as the sewing tapes used for measuring fabric. The versatility of these instruments makes them useful not only for sewing and related undertakings but also for measuring the human body, measuring objects with curved surfaces, and doing other household measurement activities. A standard sewing tape measure is 5 feet long, but you can find ones that go as long as 12 feet.

Laser tape measures: These are a convenient substitute for traditional tape measures when determining the dimensions of a room’s width, length, or height. The user projects a laser onto the surface to be measured (e.g., a wall, ceiling, or board) and presses the measurement button. Distances within a range of 0.1 inches to 0.5 inches can be determined using the laser measure. Although these tape measures are commonly used by real estate agents, appraisers, and adjusters, their lack of accuracy makes them less than ideal for projects like carpentry.

Why You Should Trust Us

We used a few criteria to determine which tape measures made the cut, such as resilience, ease of use, and additional functionality. Because tape measures see heavy use on construction sites, we prioritized products that stood the test of time and had protective surfaces. Most models feature a thick layer of rubber to cushion the item in the event of a fall.

We then looked into practical details, including the blade’s length, the presence of a lock mechanism, and the sort of belt clip included. Many became quite floppy after a certain point of extension. Therefore, we prioritized alternatives that prevented this. We also picked out belt clips that can be attached to a wall, as well as being sturdy enough to be worn on a wide belt or slipped into a pocket. Finally, we took into account extra features like integrated measurement systems and secure locking mechanisms.

How We Picked

Length
It’s not always the case that the longer tape measure is superior. Cased tape measures often come in lengths of 25 feet because this is sufficient for measuring the length of most rooms’ walls and floors without being too cumbersome to carry about. However, shorter tape measures are available for people who just need one for occasional use.

Accuracy
Depending on the precision of your measuring device, the most precise length estimation you can achieve is an approximation. In circumstances where extreme precision is necessary, it is possible to evaluate your tape measure’s accuracy with a tape measure calibration device. Accuracy on a tape depends on the tang. Unlikely as it may seem, the tang should not be riveted closely to the blade. Instead, the tang must have a smooth back-and-forth motion to ensure that the tape is accurate for both pull and push measurements. To achieve precision for all forms of measuring, the amount of movement should equal the tang’s thickness.

Easy to read
Markings on the side of every tape measure show the various predetermined lengths. Most commercially available tape measures we tested only came in imperial units (inches and feet). However, some also provide metric measurements, so if that’s a priority for you, make sure to double-check before making a purchase. On a standard tape measure, you’ll find both inches and feet marked off, along with tiny lines to denote decimal places. While some fraction representations use lines, others use numbers, making them more readable.

Material
The blade of a cased tape measure is typically composed of steel or fiberglass and is coated with nylon or a comparable substance for durability and water resistance. Metal or plastic could be used for the case. If made of plastic, the item must be resilient enough to resist repeated use and the occasional drop. Metal housings add extra weight but are far more durable. Both materials benefit from having at least some of their surface wrapped in rubber, which serves to improve grip and protect the tool from cracking if it is dropped.

Snap-back
For your convenience, the blade of most cased tape measures can be locked in its extended position with a simple push of your thumb. There are, however, models that have a built-in blade lock that keeps the blade securely extended until the user actively retracts it. Because both choices are equally viable, we didn’t prioritize this feature as much as others, like length and accuracy.

Price vs. quality
Finding a high-quality tape measure that doesn’t break your bank is not impossible since most can be found for a few dollars. However, for convenience’s sake, make sure the tape you buy has all the characteristics you need, such as a rubber coating, a nylon blade, and a lock lever.

Style/design
The measuring tapes we tested had great features, but the design was another thing that we considered when making our pick. The class and color, combined with their features, provided the feeling that came with using a tape measure for a type of work.

Hook type
The metal point at the end of a cased tape measure is known as the hook or tang. The tape measure may be held in position while being extended thanks to the hook that allows you to grab the end of the instrument. A good hook is sturdy enough to stay put when necessary without being so big that it snags unintentionally. In addition, hooks that have pointed prongs are more likely to snag things besides the object you are trying to measure. While the magnetic hook on some tape measures is convenient for measuring steel and other magnetic metals, it can be annoying if the magnet ends up sticking to something other than the object you intend to measure.

Unit/s of measurements
When shopping for a tape measure, determine whether you’ll need standard or metric measurements. Check to see if the item you’re interested in has one of these features before you buy it. There’s no point in having to keep track of different measurement scales or perform extra calculations to switch between imperial and metric units of measurement.

Easy to use
Our picks are ergonomically designed for simple, one-handed operation. We considered that if the housing is small enough, it can be held in one hand, and the blade may be set and retracted with that hand, freeing up the other. We also considered the lock mechanism and clip, which will make it easy to use and hold without being inconvenient.

Our Picks For You

Our Top Pick - Stanley 25 ft. PowerLock Tape Measure

Our Top Pick

Stanley 25 ft. PowerLock Tape Measure

Stanley 25 ft. PowerLock Tape Measure

This tape measure provides unparalleled flexibility and convenience in any circumstance.

The Stanley 25 ft. Powerlock comes with a locked blade, belt hook, 1-inch-wide blade, and 16- and 19.2-inch stud center markings, which are all standard features that ensure accurate measures and prevent the tool from slipping while in use. In addition, Stanley has also included a heat-treated spring to further extend the tape's useful life.

Buy Now for $13.95

Who It's For

The Stanley 25-foot PowerLock tape measure is the best option available for those who need to make precise measurements.

Why It's Great

As a result of its many features, the Stanley PowerLock is undoubtedly one of the best tape measures on the market. The long-lasting blade, practical tang, sturdy standout, reliable locking lever, and belt loop are just some of its many features.

Potential Flaws

Despite all its benefits, the PowerLock has a few drawbacks. For starters, the belt hook is merely a metal clip. This is a common style for tape measures, but it can quickly shred when fastened and unclipped from a pocket. Aside from that, the tape doesn't include metric markings. For the closest and best alternative, we recommend the Stanley 25-Foot Fatmax Tape Measure.

Other Features

With its minimal design, the PowerLock is both portable and efficient. We found that this tape combined high quality with low cost better than any other option we considered. It is also popular, which makes it available in almost all merchant stores. The PowerLock has a sturdy blade lock and a stainless steel body, and its extended blade stays put without slipping. Unlike thinner blades, which bend at 5 feet or less, the sturdy metal of this one allowed us to extend it to nearly 10 feet before it bowed. The PowerLock has a blade with solely imperial measurements in 1/6-inch intervals and a 3-rivet reinforcement tang for precision.

It has black markings every 19.2 inches and premarked (in red) 16-inch notations for finding studs quickly. The Stanley tape measures in both feet and inches after the first foot (12 inches), and it also keeps track of the total number of inches you've measured. There's also a clip included, so you can attach it to your belt or pocket.

You should know that a long-lasting blade is the most crucial feature of a high-quality tape measure. Through our testing, we determined that the Mylar polyester film that coats the Stanley blade is the best of the tapes we tried. We also discovered that the PowerLock's blade is resistant to general abuse, in addition to grit and dirt.

The PowerLock's tang is small yet powerful. When we tested it, it was as accurate as could be expected. The locking lever is sturdy and simple to operate, and its pleasant feel helps keep the thumb from slipping. The blade's lock may also be operated with a single hand. When the tape was fixed in place, not even bouncing it on its weight could get it to unwind. It also has a slightly loosened piece of black plastic on the bottom of the case, just where the tang sits, which cushions the impact when the tang is retracted back into the case.

Product Specifications

Dimensions: 7 x 4.5 x 1.8 Inches
Weight: 0.06 Pounds
Blade Length: 200 Feet
Blade Width: 1 Inch
Blade Coating: Mylar
Measurement System: Imperial

Our Runner-Up - Stanley 25-Foot Fatmax Tape Measure

Our Runner-Up

Stanley 25-Foot Fatmax Tape Measure

Stanley 25-Foot Fatmax Tape Measure

The Stanley Fatmax tape is the ideal size for your toolbox, your palm, and your work.

With a protective coating throughout the entire blade and an extra layer of BladeArmor at the hook, this tape can withstand more wear and tear before showing signs of wear. Because of its conventional stud marks and large, easy-to-read numbers, the 25 ft. durable Fatmax Classic Tape Measure is for use in any setting.

Buy Now for $21.99

Who It's For

If you're looking for a tape measure that gives value for money, the Stanley FatMax Tape Measure is a good choice. Everything from utility to longevity to legibility to uniqueness is factored into the value proposition.

Why It's Great

The Stanley 25-Foot Fatmax Tape Measure is a great choice if you need a tape that is both long-lasting and simple to use; its 14-foot reach makes it especially useful for single users. Even the blade itself is built to last.

Potential Flaws

Although this measuring tape has a lot of useful functions, it is somewhat bulky and may be uncomfortable to use for some people. In addition, it does not make use of metric units of measurement. If the size of this tape will be a major drawback, you should consider purchasing the Stanley 25 ft. PowerLock Tape Measure instead.

Other Features

The Stanley 25-Foot Fatmax Tape Measure is more expensive than our pick and is readily available on multiple merchant sites. However, it comes at a great price for a measuring tape with the features it provides.

The Stanley FATMAX's hook is equipped with a powerful magnet, allowing it to firmly adhere to metal studs and other fastening points. You can use it for multiple tasks without needing a helper to hold it steady. If you need to work with studs inside the walls, you can find helpful markings for both 16-inch and 19.2-inch centers.

The FATMAX can also be extended up to 25 feet in length and has a standout of 14 feet. The Tru-Zero hook on this Stanley tape measure ensures precise readings every time. Additionally, the blade lock is simple to operate, the grip is padded for comfort, and the first six feet of the tape are coated to provide added durability to this specific area.

The wide tape's larger than normal numerals make it simple to read from afar. This tape is great for one-person use because of its long length and multiple-catch blade hook, which is especially useful for measuring in confined areas. The included rubber case makes it less likely that you'll drop it by providing a firm grip. This feature makes this tape ideal for usage inside, where more durable tapes can damage the floor if dropped.

The tang at the top of the FATMAX is designed to catch onto objects. The FatMax has a relatively narrow tang compared to other measuring tapes. Two small horns protrude from the top of the tang, higher than the concave side of the tape. These are useful for snagging things from underneath.

Product Specifications

Dimensions: 7.1 x 4.6 x 2.2 Inches
Weight: 1.2 Pounds
Blade Material: Alloy Steel
Blade Length: 25 Feet
Blade Width: 1 1/4 Inches
Blade Coating: Mylar
Measurement System: ‎Imperial

Most Cost-Effective - Komelon Self Lock 25-Foot Power Tape

Most Cost-Effective

Komelon Self Lock 25-Foot Power Tape

Komelon Self Lock 25-Foot Power Tape

No longer will there be a need to fumble around with locks.

The Self Lock Series is an exceptional series of measuring tapes. Blades in this series have an innovative self-locking mechanism that allows for smooth extension, and a push-button release ensures full control when retracting the blade. In addition to its impact-resistant rubberized casing, the series' blade is coated in nylon for even more durability.

Buy Now for $9.99

Who It's For

For those engaged in DIY projects, the Komelon Self Lock 25-Foot Power Tape is the best option. With the Komelon Self Lock 25-Foot Power Tape, you can measure accurately from either side of the blade without having to guess.

Why It's Great

The Komelon Self Lock 25-Foot Power Tape is made with a revolutionary self-lock mechanism. At the touch of a button, the blade of the Komelon Self Lock tape measure series expands smoothly and retracts with complete control.

Potential Flaws

Though many have found success with this tape, it does not include metric measurements, and the auto-lock mechanism is less reliable at greater distances. For precise measurements, we recommend our top pick due to its inexpensive price range.

Other Features

The Komelon Self Lock 25-Foot Power Tape is the most affordable tape measure among our picks. Since this tape measure is best suited for small projects and other less professional activities, it is very cost-efficient and available for sale on multiple sites.

The self-lock function of the Komelon, which activated when we retracted the tape, is a nice touch. The Komelon's blade lock operates automatically, eliminating the need for the operator to touch a button. When you are done with the results of your measurement, you can press a luminous green button, and the blade will smoothly withdraw.

When testing different lengths, we noticed that the auto-lock feature was less reliable at greater distances. For instance, the blade became engaged at 4 feet, but at 20 feet, it slipped slightly. Despite the occasional slide, the measurements are very reliable, and the green button allows us to manually secure the blade. The Komelon is also ideal for common framing measurements because of its visual notations every 16 inches and 19.2 inches. Overall, it was a good tape measure for the money, with a firm blade standout of slightly over 7 feet.

Product Specifications

Dimensions: ‎2.4 x 4.8 x 6.8 Inches
Weight: 0.8 Pounds
Blade Material: Assorted
Blade Length: 25 Feet
Blade Width: 1 Inch
Blade Coating: Nylon
Measurement System: Imperial

Almost Made The Cut - Bosch Blaze Pro GLM165-40 Laser Distance Measure

Almost Made The Cut

Bosch Blaze Pro GLM165-40 Laser Distance Measure

Bosch Blaze Pro GLM165-40 Laser Distance Measure

Accurately measures distances of up to 165 feet with its laser accuracy technology and real-time measurement mode.

With this measure, there's room for up to 10 different readings, and it allows the user to manipulate the measures in a variety of ways. By default, the Blaze Pro operates in real-time measurement mode, which automatically adjusts the measurement as the laser gets closer or further away from the target.

Buy Now for $78.49

Who It's For

If you need precise measurements down to 0.0625 inches, go no farther than the Bosch Blaze Pro GLM165-40 Laser Distance Measurer, which also boasts a significantly greater range than a standard tape measure.

Why It's Great

The built-in inclinometer measures angles (minimum, maximum, and double indirect) in addition to length (which is measured in real-time and adjusts as you travel closer or farther from the target).

Potential Flaws

Even though this tape has a large range, an accurate digital display, and built-in 10-measurement memory, it is pricey, needs batteries, and cannot measure flat objects. One major shortcoming of this design (and of all laser measuring devices in general) is that the laser must be bounced off of a surface to function. Consequently, its overall utility is reduced, and a regular tape measure is still recommended. To get the best tape measure alternative, we advise that you opt for our recommended pick.

Other Features

While the Bosch Blaze Pro GLM165-40 Laser Distance Measurer might be available for sale on several merchant sites and the manufacturer’s site where occasional discounts are available, it is expensive and requires maintenance.

During our tests, we discovered that laser measuring may not be as convenient as tape, but it provides the same level of precision. Bosch's laser measuring devices have a stellar reputation for precision and ease of use. For instance, when you need to cut drywall while standing on a ladder and measuring between ceiling rafters, this model will come in handy. A task that, armed just with a tape measure, would be next to impossible to complete alone.

Furthermore, the display updates in real-time are a great addition. The gadget automatically fine-tunes itself as you rock it back and forth. In the event that you find yourself without a pen and paper, you can store up to 10 measurements.

Product Specifications

Battery: 2 AAA Batteries
Height: 4.125"
IP Rating: IP 54
Product Dimensions: 1.63 x 1 x 4.13 inches
Laser Beam Color: Red
Length: 1.625 Inches
Measuring Accuracy: Typ. +/-1/16-in (1.5 mm)
Range: Up to 165 feet.
Weight: 0.39 Pounds
Width: 1.0 inches
Measurement System: Imperial

Care and Maintenance

Use measuring tapes with caution
To avoid injury, you should familiarize yourself with the many components of the tape measure and learn how to properly use it. When you’re done measuring, push the button to retract the tape; just don’t press too hard and send the tape flying back, since the mechanism that regulates the blade’s return may be damaged by this rapid motion.

Aside from that, if the tape has a metal blade that is not coated, it might snap back and cause an injury, since the blade can swing back and strike you or someone else in the face if you lose control. Objects in its path can also be smacked, knocked over, or broken. To retract the tape without losing control, press the button slowly while guiding it back.

How to accurately use a tape measure
To use a tape measure accurately, grab one side of what you’re measuring with the hooked end. Take note that the zero mark on a retractable tape measure is typically indicated by a small metal notch towards the end of the tape. To keep the tape in the right spot while you measure, it can be helpful to catch it on the edge of the thing you’re gauging. On the other hand, this metal slot can be pressed into one side of an object to measure its dimensions if it cannot be hooked onto it.

Next, use the tape to cover the surface of your object. As soon as the zero mark is in position, you can pull back on the body to release additional tape. As you wind back the tape, you can use one hand (or a helping hand) to hold the end in place. Extend the tape measure so that it covers the entire area you wish to measure. If you let the tape sag, the measurements will be off. After that, use the tape as it is to get a reading.

Holding the tape straight and reading the measurements
If you’re using a retractable measuring tape, be sure you’ve activated the lock function. To measure from the inside of a case, you need to extend the tape to the point where the case’s side meets the end, then lock the tape, and read the number from the top of the case.

Next, locate the endpoint on the tape and write down the corresponding value. Many measurements will show more than one unit of measurement; be sure to double-check which one you’re using (inches, centimeters, and millimeters, for example). It’s always a good idea to check the line on the tape before writing it down to make sure you have it right.