Stanley’s new LeverLock tape measures feature a squeeze-lock design. Or rather, it’s a squeeze-unlock design. Squeeze the lever at the bottom of the tape measure to release the tape, and let go to lock the blade in place.
The push-release self-locking mechanism helps to control blade retraction, and can be faster to use for quick measurements. Instead of having to reposition your thumb to lock and unlock the tape measure blade, you simply squeeze or relax your hand.
These new Stanley LeverLock tape measures also have a write-on label that’s meant to be used with carpenter pencils.
Additional features include a stronger anti-glare blade, non-marring frictionless base, and heavy duty housing.
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25′ x 1″ tapes have 7 feet of standout, and the 16′ x 3/4″ tape has 5 feet of standout.
Stanley LeverLock Sizes and Styles
- 25′ x 1″ center read tape STHT30758L
- 25′ x 1″ engineer’s read tape STHT30759L
- 25′ x 1″ (standard) tape STHT30825
- 25′ x 1″ magnetic tip STHT33281
- 16′ x 3/4″ tape STHT30812
- 12′ x 1/2″ tape STHT30810
- 30′ x 1″ tape STHT30830
Closest Competitor: Lufkin Auto-Lock tape measure ($9 at Amazon)
I cannot say I recall ever trying the original Stanley LeverLock tape measures, but I have used similar squeeze-lock/unlock tapes before. They’re convenient for making a lot of quick measurements, but they’re not exclusive for that type of use. With these types of tapes, you either love ’em, or you don’t.
The new LeverLock tapes look to be a solid update. They’re still basic tape measures, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
The good news is that these tapes are inexpensive. The 16′ tape, 25′ tape, and 25′ tape with magnetic tip are currently $10 to $13 on Amazon.
Home Depot’s LeverLock tape selection is slim right now, but they’re offering the 25′ center scale tape for just $8. Not everyone needs a center scale tape, but center scale tapes and rules can be useful for quickly splitting measurements without having to do math.
The bad news is that these tapes only offer 7′ of standout. On the other hand, that’s plenty for a lot of users. When I reviewed Stanley’s PowerLock tape measure 6 years ago (wow, has it really been that long?), it was one of the better tape measures I’ve used. Since then, I’ve bought a couple of better Milwaukee tape measures (here’s my video review) and used a bunch of others. But I still like using that Stanley PowerLock, and the second one that I bought in more recent years. The short standout doesn’t really bother me.
If you want longer standout, there are better tape measures out there, such as from Milwaukee, Dewalt, and Stanley as well.
These look to be decent tapes, especially at the $10-15 price points for the 16′ and 25′ models.
We knew the new tapes were coming, ever since seeing them as part of Stanley’s 2013 logo redesign, but didn’t think it would take so long for the new tapes to hit the market.
Want more than these tapes offer? The Stanley Auto Lock tape measure doesn’t have a squeeze release, but it does have dual auto-locking and slide lock functionality. It also offers greater standout and more premium features, such as a detachable large hook. The 25 footer is $25, and Stanley recently launched 16′ and 30′ sizes.
While we’re on the subject, are you a fan of squeeze-lock or auto-lock tapes? At the prices these LeverLock tapes are selling for, I might be easily convinced to buy one.