It’s that time of year again – Stanley FatMax tape measure promo time!
Over at Amazon, they have 2 promos, both featuring Stanley FatMax tapes. These are the previous/other tape measures, not the new 2018 version that’s priced at $30 each.
These are very good tape measures, although I did get one with a defective or at least less effective tape lock once. I couldn’t return it either. The first tape was great, and I didn’t try the second until months later, when I misplaced the first. Moral of the story? Check both tape measures as soon as you get them.
Promo 1: 25′ and 16′ bundle pack, for $20
Promo 2: 2x 25′ tape measures for $16 (as of the time of this posting)
How does this 25′ tape measure compare to the newest FatMax tape? It has a little less standout, 3″ of the special extra tough blade coating instead of 6″, and it presumably has the typical 1 return spring instead of 2. These tapes are quite durable, although the newer has more boastful marketing claims.
Price-wise, you can get a 2-pack of these tapes for $16. The new 2018 FatMax tape is $30 each, and it doesn’t look to be available anywhere yet.
I should mention that these 2-for-1 FatMax 25′ tape measure promo packs are typically $20, making this current deal a little sweeter. The deal *might* pop up at other retailers and home centers, but it’s not certain.
As an aside, I wish the new FatMax tape has a special name. Somehow I doubt that it’s going to replace these current FatMax tape measures. So what do I call these? The regular FatMax tape measures, and the new one could simply be described as the 2018 version? But what happens when 2019 rolls in? That’ll be awkward.
Buy Now(25′ 2-pack via Amazon)
Buy Now(25′ & 16′ bundle via Amazon)
Maybe FatMax 33 and FatMax 36???
Is QA and QC a thing of the past in tool manufacture? I see Stuart’s comment that 1 out of the 2 tapes that he bought had a defect. On the prior post Benjamin – posted about bad tapes in samples he looked at when shopping at Lowes. Others comment – here or in reviews (Amazon and others) about inconsistent markings, poor finishing, bad locking mechanisms etc. on tapes that they got. I realize that Stanley may not have a six sigma program going for a lowly tool like a measuring tape – but you would think with so many years of experience with tape manufacture they should be able to get it right more consistently.
Unfortunately, quality control and testing is something that gets ignored in many industries.
A thorough test drive after finishing a car repair will often reveal issues, but is often the least important thing on the managers priority list.
Good qc starts at the top and flows down as an uncompromising standard, but it’s super hard to implement in a corporation that answers to shareholders that only care about the return on their money.
Quality control, it dept, customer service, cost of goods, electricity bill, etc are all just expenses to be minimized when viewed from the executive level.
I’m sure Stanley farms out the manufacturing of their tape rules, just like everyone else. In house QC is easy compared to keeping foreign suppliers at heel. Especially at the prices they demand. This from someone who had a lifetime career in QC.
Odly enough I just grabbed a 25’/16′ kit at lowes on clearance for $9.99, and after reading your post I double checked both my tapes. Low and behold the 25 does not recoil right and has an extremely weak lock, so back to the store it will go. Thanks for mentioning to check them because I did not need them, but the price was too good so they would have sat around for a while and I probably would have not noticed the issue until it was too late.
So much for USA-made quality. We often decry the poor quality of stuff made in China – but it seems we can look at shoddy stuff made here too.
I doubt they are completely manufactured in USA.
The why do they say “Made in USA” and put a picture of the flag on the case? Even when folks say “made in USA from global component” – one would think that the QA/QC responsibility rests with the USA assembly plant.
Crapping on Americans who make this ,really? I’d rather it be made here and provide jobs then China. At least you can contact the company to complaint maybe see better results.
I’ll crap on whomever deserves to be crapped on, just like fred. Why would I support someone who does a half assed job? County of origin isn’t the only determinant of my purchasing decisions. If my neighbour can’t perform or execute something in a satisfactory manner, then I’m going to get someone else to do the job right. On the flipside, if they’re going to charge Made in USA prices, then the quality and QC better be there.
I’m “crapping” on no one. But uncaring manufacturers who focus on profits, rather than quality bother me. We should be proud of the tools we make in the USA – and strive for the highest quality.
When I worked, my partners and I employed several hundred workers across 4 businesses – all proud to do an exceptional job everyday. In our contracting and light manufacturing businesses, we all teamed together and accepted nothing short of high quality work. I like to think that company ownership and management provided the needed incentives, encouragement, training and the tools that allowed those actually doing the work to excel in what they did. But we all (including company owners, management, worn machinery etc. ) can make mistakes – and we need to put systems in place to catch those mistakes and bad raw materials before they become customer complaints, callbacks or other issues. We were hardly ever the low cost bidder – but were successful nonetheless because we had a reputation for quality. Maybe it was easier for us, since our businesses were not large publicly traded entities (like SBD) – and we could try to do what we thought was right rather than focus entirely on quarterly P&L reports.
Koko The Talking Ape
Re Joe’s comment: I don’t think that pointing out American-made stuff can be low quality is crapping on Americans.
And sure, buying American-made stuff, quality aside, does help American workers. But if the stuff is crap, then ultimately the American worker loses (because China or Pakistan can also make crap, but for less cost.)
Americans can make things as well as or better than anybody in the world. If we make crappy stuff, not only is there no excuse, it is also a bad business decision in the long run.
Similarly, I think we also need to provide superior customer service. We can do that, as Joe suggests, but sometimes we also don’t. That’s just dumb.
Nothing is perfect, no brand is infallible.
For the most part, based on my private conversations with them, I believe that Stanley Black & Decker cares, and that when problems come to light, they investigate and try to improve things.
With things like tape measures, if there’s a defective batch, or random issues with locks, do you think most people will tell them about it, let alone care?
I don’t know what came of it, but when I found a batch of unusable 16′ FatMax AutoLock tape measures at Lowes, they investigated, and a rep visited the store to pull the stock. https://toolguyd.com/stanley-fatmax-16-auto-lock-tape-measure-problems/
With those, it might have been a poorly scaled design, or a subtle but significant defect. Or maybe that’s just the way they were supposed to be. The problem was that I couldn’t grab the hook. I’d try, and it’d push itself upwards.
Just got the 25ft double pack (previous version) for 14.98 at Lowes.
Today’s Lowe’s ad has the 25′ two pack at the $14.98 price point. There are also a number of $99 deals on cordless tools.
The 25′ two pack is currently 14.98 at Home Depot as well.