Craftsman has come out with new tape measures that promise a smaller case design, long reach, and “Blade Armor” for greater durability.
The new Craftsman Pro Reach Plus Blade Defense tape measures – and yes that’s quite a long name – will be available in 25′ and 35′ sizes.
Described as “the ultimate measuring tool,” these tape measures seem to be a durability-enhanced version of existing Craftsman Pro Reach and Pro-X tape measures.
You get a white blade with black markings, and it has double-sided printing.
The first 9 inches of blade have a “BladeArmor” coating for longer life in tough conditions.
Craftsman says that these tape measures have a “patented smaller case design.”
The 25′ tape has a 1-1/4″ blade and 16 feet of reach (which presumably corresponds to 13 feet of standout).
Craftsman Pro Reach Plus Blade Defense Tape Measures
- 25-foot: CMHT37925THS
- 35-foot: CMHT37935THS
Price: $28 for 25′, $38 for 35′
Buy Now: 25′ via Lowe’s
Buy Now: 35′ via Lowe’s
While the new Craftsman tapes seem alright, they’re priced the same as the new Dewalt ToughSeries tape measures (reviewed here), which offer a little longer standout, a more ergonomic case, and an exceptionally good blade lock.
Why buy the Craftsman 25′ at $28, when the Dewalt is the same price? This is also the same price as Milwaukee’s 25-foot Stud tape measure at Home Depot, at least between promo events.
In any case, this looks like it could be a good choice for users who tend to break their tape measures close to the hook. Plus, it’s slightly more compact than some other 25-foot tape measures, which could be the deciding factor.
More choices are always a good thing, right?
Do you think these tapes could indeed be the “ultimate measuring tool?”
I’m never going to need a tape measure that long. Why no 16′ at least?
This seems more like a Lowes vs Home Depot type thing. Like SBD wanted a tough series tape for Lowes to sell too.
Maybe it came down to shelf space. Looking online, there are soooo many different Craftsman tapes.
How come we keep seeing these companies coming out with heavy duty tapes? Why not new and improved smaller tapes like the stanley powerlock? Those big heavy duty tapes are great but I’m betting far more light duty are sold. I have powerlocks, fastcaps and Fatmax. The fatmax rarely gets used. The big issue with the heavy duty tapes is to get standout you haven’t put a big arch in the tape that makes using it for detail hard.
I’m thinking that brands and retailers look at sales data and decide to go with more of what’s proving to be popular.
Reminds me of the old adage talking about how military planners waste their time thinking about the *previous* war rather than worrying about what’s *next*. It would be nice if these companies focused more on innovation rather than me-too products.
I wonder if that’s because general contractors and framers lose and break them all the time therefore selling more. Every contractor I know has at least a dozen because they constantly lose then find them.
But people who with in shops key tighter control over them.
I have purchased 4 craftsman tape on impulse over the last few years. All have been thrown out when overcome by light use or given to my wife knowing their remaining life would be short and neglected.
Even at the higher price points, they just seem like bad tape measures. I think it unlikely I will give another SBD tape a shot, even when feeling impulsive.
More bulky unneeded crappy tape measures…. Not a tape measure available today that’ll do an accurate inside measurement. Is everyone just building decks or framing walls or do they just use 30’ 1.5” blade tape measures for installing kitchen cabinets because they are meathead carpenters?
Check out fastcap. They have a huge assortment.
Fastcap sells a tape (their tapes are made in China) supposedly optimized for European cabinet dimensions:
All of my Fastcap tapes have quickly fallen apart. Too bad Fastcap can’t take some their great ideas and source the tapes them from a quality manufacturer.
What are you doing to them? Mines are years old and mostly with fine, they do not like to be snapped back. We even use the big ones on jobsites and they last.
I’d like to see an “ultimate measuring tool” that had a metric scale on it so
I wouldn’t have to gamble on some brand I don’t know on Amazon. I know I’m in a minority on this, but sometimes I have projects that just go easier in metric.
Everything is just better in metric
I disagree. There are two types of countries: those that landed on the moon and those that use the metric system.
Imperial measurements allow you to defeat the world, split the atom, land on the moon, and most importantly make easy cheese. Hahahaha
In regards to a base 10 vs base 12 systems, on small sized measurements 12 is better. Twelve can be divided by 2, 3, 4, and 6, ten can only divided by 2 and 5. In our daily lives being able to divide things up evenly easily is a huge plus. Hence a dozen in baking for example.
But to each their own.
Back on topic…. does anyone still use the old foldable rulers with the little piece that slides out so you can get accurate inside measurements?
Never been able to get a tape measure as accurate. But never been able to get a ruler as convenient as a tape measure for distances over lets say 10 feet. Everything had tradeoffs I guess.
Some brands to consider for metric tapes:
Tajima make some good metric tapes in Japan.
Fastcap – metric tapes are made in China
Hultafors make theirs in Sweden:
Komelon – metric tapes are made in China
Lee Valley/Veritas has a lovely 8M Metric Tape. Haven’t checked in a while, but I think they may have more Metric-Only tapes.
You are not alone at all. I, too, prefer Metric. Imperial forces fractions to be used, instead of just moving decimals in equal units of 10.
I have a Lee Valley 8M tape. I like it. It’s not as tough as all these other brands, but it’s clearly marked, and accurately measures.
Mitutoyo digital caliper, 12″ Starrett stainless ruler, 6′ Lufkin folding ruler with brass extension, 16′, 25′, 35′ Stanley Fat Max tapes, 100′ reel type tape, and if you need quick rough measurements, some type of laser/sonic digital measuring device. This kit will cover just about any measuring need.
I teach electrical shop at a vocational school. If something is prone to break, the students will break it. I’ve seen some tapes last less than one day in the shop. Fat Max tapes (I recommend a 16′ for students) seem to last far longer than any other brand. On a job site, the occasional wipe with a rag with a quick spray of WD-40 can greatly extend the life of any tape.
My “ultimate measuring tool” is a set of 12 inch Mitutoyos with carbide jaws, so I couldn’t agree with you more.
This is pretty clearly a tape aimed at the trades and general construction.
Who drops their tape all the time and breaks the end of the blade off? Framers, siding guys, and drywallers.
Who needs a minimum 25′ tape and plenty of standout? Plumbers. You’ll get laughed of the jobsite if you bring a little 16′ tape to a rough in. Pipe comes in 21′ lengths.
I haven’t seen a blade armor system yet that really did the trick for guys that broke their tapes all the time. They just seemed to roll with it and keep a spare around, usually a Powerlock or FatMax.
granted i’m not in the trades and haven’t even broken the komelons we ordered a bunch of to have everywhere in our house, but the only tape measure that’s made me say “well hot damn!” recently are the newer milwaukee wide jawns. they have a cutout underneath so you can feather retraction with finger pressure and it’s p cool. just feels like a really nice tool in the hand
The dewalt product in other color for the other store. K – is the dewalt tape yellow or white. I assume yellow.
I love my fat max devices – see no reason to get others but visibility is becoming my main desire.
When I saw the title contained “Blade Defense” I got excited because I’ve been looking for tape that won’t rip the skin off my fingers when I let it retract too fast. Apparently, even after all these years, I’m incapable of learning not to do that so a little help from the tape designers would be appreciated.
Am I the only one who gets “bitten” by his tape?
The BigJohnson tape measures were simply the most accurate ones I’ve used a d had some great features. Primarily, a dead accurate pair of cursors to indicate exact inside measurements, a great blade release and a pretty decent built-in quick belt release.
Can’t get them any more, but I wish I bought up a bunch. Fastcap makes some decent stuff, but their tape measures are pretty flimsy.
I use a 25’ for framing or decks, a laser measure for base, crown, estimating, but fir most everything else I’m looking for the elusive accurate 12-16’ tape.
BigJohnson tape measure, for when your wood is to big.
Never knew Johnson level had a sense of hummor. Flashback to the 90s. Does everyone remember the “Big Johnson” T-shirts just full of innuendo?
Big Johnson scuba diving: dive deeper and longer with a big Johnson.
Hahaha sorry I still have the maturity of a 14 year old in some matters.
That was my first thought.
Those were made by Fisco, which are still available, although not quite as easily. They’re more widely available overseas.
I can’t tell from the pictures Stuart, do these have a lanyard hole?
They don’t mention it in the description, and I can’t see it in the images either. I would assume it does , but I wouldn’t bet your money on it.
Is it just me, or is this just a Craftsman Tough Series DeWALT tape?
Looks like a les tape measures to new, compared to ToughSeries, this has a flatter lock button, no magnet, less ergonomic case, less standout, no marketing about case/housing durability.
This one has an extra 3 inches of “blade armor” but I don’t know if that translates to actual durability benefits.
Fair differences, since they’re different SBD lines, but… Look at the the design… Dual-sided printing, slightly oval body, simplified blade… Like the casing is almost a recolour of the DeWALT Tough Series, but they’ve… “Craftsmanized” it? No, it doesn’t have the magnet, then again… It’s more of a budget-friendly brand than DeWALT is. There’s fewer bells, and whistles… but… Definitely looks like they’re kissing cousins as tape measures go.
This is, by no means, a slight against it. I’m just seeing a similarity that is uncanny, and wondering if anyone else sees it. It’s not a ripoff of the Tough Series, it’s clearly a Craftsman, with its own standards. That said… SBD really is making these brands into siblings of one sort or another quite rapidly.