Milwaukee is coming out with a new line of compact tape measures. Well, compact and less expensive.
First came their magnetic tape measures. Apparently there were non-magnetic versions too, but I’d never seen them,
Then there were new models at aimed at contractors. They gave up some features, gained better stability, and were priced lower.
A second generation of improved premium tape measures recently hit the market. I picked some two 25-footers during the 2-for-1 holiday sale at Home Depot, and have a few test samples around here. Let me know if you have any questions! I’ll get around to a post on those hopefully soon.
Like Tools? Tool Deals? So do we. Sign up for our Newsletter!
And now, there’s a 3rd product family of Milwaukee tape measures. Here are the notable claims:
While continuing to deliver best-in-class durability, these new tape measures are up to 30% more compact than previous Milwaukee tapes and other competitors on the market.
Okay, so they’re durable and up to 30% smaller than previous Milwaukee tapes. Smaller than competing tapes? Which competing tapes?
Because of our focus on advanced next generation manufacturing technology, we’re now able to deliver a 25’ long tape in a 16’ housing! This allows for much better ergonomics while minimizing weight on tool belts.
Wait, what? A 25′ tape measure the size of a 16-footer?
Milwaukee’s tape measures are ginormous. For casual use, I’ll sometimes carry around a Stanley hi-viz tape that I picked up during the holidays. It doesn’t feel very durable, but it’s small and lightweight, which can be very desirable at times.
These new tapes are the next generation and rolling change to our General Contractor Tape Measure lineup.
Oh, so this ISN’T a brand new tape measure lineup? You know what, I’m counting it as if it is. Rolling change? The general contractor tape measures are pretty big too. I don’t have one in front of me, but the last time I held one, it felt comparable to the magnetic tape.
Here’s a helpful image from a Milwaukee tape measure deal I posted about a while back. Judging from the size of the locking lever, the two tapes look to be scaled accurately. This was a Home Depot image, so maybe the scale wasn’t preserved when the images were added together, but I think it looks about right.
These new compact tapes, measuring “up to 30% more compact,” definitely seems to be a do-over, rather than a do-better. Maybe the general contractor tapes weren’t selling well? The price point was lower, but perhaps not enough lower.
Here’s what the back side and pocket clip looks like. This is the 16′ tape measure.
I wonder what the standout is on these tapes. I guess we’ll find out soon!
As with Milwaukee’s other tape measures, these new ones have a proprietary Nylon blade protection coating, and a 5-point reinforcement frame for great drop protection.
There will be 5 models:
- 16’ Compact Tape Measure (48-22-6616) – $10.99
- 25’ Compact Tape Measure (48-22-6625) – $14.99
- 30’ Compact Tape Measure (48-22-6630) – $19.99
- 5m/16’ Compact Tape Measure (48-22-6617) – $10.99
- 8m/26’ Compact Tape Measure (48-22-6626) – $14.99
ETA: January 2017 (This Month!)
What do you think about Milwaukee’s approach to hand tools? They have been continuing to come out with new hand tools, and have been rolling out improved models, sometimes as a rolling change that most users won’t notice.
For example, I own the 48-22-4200 tubing cutter, and noticed that they came out with the 48-22-4202. When I asked Milwaukee about this a while ago, they said that the change was made in favor of a stronger design.
I haven’t had any problems with my Milwaukee cutter, but I’ve seen some images of what can happen if too much leverage is applied to that lower jaw, causing it to break.
With the general contractor tape measures, the goal was to appeal to a different audience, and to address some of those users’ complaints or hesitations with the premium tape measures.
It looks like these new compact tape measures address those same complaints or hesitations, but take things in a slightly different direction. And if they’re just as durable, but only smaller, that sounds good to me.
Would it have been better if these tape measures were released alongside the general contractor tapes?
If you’ve been using one of those Milwaukee tape measures, please chime in!
Or is the greater differentiation the better way to go?
Personally, I’m excited to see these new tape measures. It’ll be interesting to see how they compare to Milwaukee’s more premium offerings, and other like-sized tape measures currently on the market.