Home Depot has started shipping 3 new Dewalt “ToughSeries” tape measures in 16′, 25′, and 35′ sizes.
The new Dewalt tape measures, DWHT36916S, DWHT36925S, and DWHT36935S, are said to be the brand’s first to feature double-sided markings.
With these being the newest high-performance tape measures from Dewalt in quite a few years (see also: Dewalt XP tapes), there’s more than just new back-of-tape printing.
All of the new Dewalt Tough Series tape measures feature a removable magnetic hook attachment.
It looks like the magnetic hook can remain on the tape measure when it’s retracted, but where do you store it when it’s removed?
Here’s what the 16′ tape measure looks like with its standard hook, sans attachment.
And here’s what it looks like with the magnetic hook attached.
Here’s a look at the 35′ Tough Series tape measure.
The tapes all have a standard belt clip, along with what looks to be a hole for a lanyard or tether accessories.
The tape measures’ all look to have the same 1-1/4″ blade width.
Tough Series Tape Measure Specs
- 16-foot: 16′ max reach
- 25-foot: 17′ max reach
- 35-foot: 17′ max reach
Here’s where I got confused. If all of the tapes have a 1-1/4″ blade, why does the 16′ tape have a different “reach” spec? Well, with the 25′ and 35′ tape measures advertising 17′ of reach, you can’t exactly do that with a 16′ tape measure, can you?
Dewalt defines “reach” as the “maximum extension of an average end user,” which seems to be standout + 3 feet. So, I would then assume that the max standout – if you want to compare these against other brands’ tape measures – would be 14′ for all of the tapes.
I can hardly ever achieve blade extension as long as max standout or reach specs, but it’s still a good factor for comparing tape measures from different brands. Even if max reach specs are hard to see in real-world applications, longer values typically reflect a stronger and stiffer blade.
Tough Series Tape Measure Features
- 6-inches of Rip-Shield blade coating for increased durability
- Ultra-Tough housing
- Double-sided blade printing
- Removable magnet attachment
- 100-foot drop rating
I’m sorry, a 100 foot drop rating?
Built to survive anything you throw its way, this ToughSeries™ 25 ft. Tape Measure is strong enough to endure a drop from up to 100 ft.
I look forward to seeing how YouTubers and social media influencers test this out.
Pricing: $22, $28, $39 for 16′, 25′, 35′ sizes, respectfully
Buy Now: 25′ via Home Depot
Buy Now: 16′ via Home Depot
Buy Now: 35′ via Home Depot
Home Depot is offering free no-minimum ground shipping on each model.
[These Tough Series tape measures] include a removable magnet for the hook and patented hook connection technology that allows you to choose when to deploy it on the jobsite.
Yes, until someone like me loses it.
That’s one thing I’m particularly curious about – Dewalt does not describe if or where you can store the magnet when it’s not in use. It can presumably be kept in place on the hook, but where do you keep the magnet when you don’t want or need it attached to the hook? There are times when a magnetic hook can be a hindrance, and not just a “there in case you need it” type of feature.
However, the magnet looks easy enough to install and remove that users could probably keep it on the tape unless or until they wanted it removed.
The Dewalt Tough Series tape measures definitely look to be interesting. It seems that they’re targeting the Milwaukee Stud series tapes specifically, with double-sided printing and a drop-rating that one-up’s Milwaukee’s.
It’s also worth noting that these are only the FIRST of Dewalt’s new ToughSeries hand tools.
Compared to Milwaukee Stud Gen II
It seems that Dewalt is specifically targeting their new Tough Series tape measures against Milwaukee’s Gen II Stud tape measures.
Milwaukee Tool has followed Dewalt and Stanley Black & Decker’s transition from “standout” to “reach” as a measure of a tape measure’s maximum extension before a tape blade buckles.
The Milwaukee Stud Gen II 25′ tape has a 1-5/16″ blade and promises 17′ of max reach.
Milwaukee advertises their Stud Gen II as being the Industry’s Most Durable Tape Measure, and it is said to have an 80-foot drop rating.
The Stud features an EXO 360 anti-tear and wear-resistant coating to reinforce the first 6-inches of the blade for greater durability.
Milwaukee says the Stud Gen II has a geared design in order to achieve a smaller size. It also features a wire form belt clip, 2-sided printing, and finger-stop tape retraction control.
With respect to features and specs, Dewalt’s Tough Series tapes boast a 100-foot drop-rating to Milwaukee’s 80-foot rating. Is that enough to upset Milwaukee’s claims as the Stud Gen II as being the industry’s most durable tape?
Milwaukee has a finger-stop for blade retraction control, and the Dewalt has a removable magnetic hook.
There might be ergonomics or ease of use differences, but I won’t know until I’ve had a chance to test them side by side. It probably won’t be long before users can test both in stores for themselves, as tape measures often come in “try me” packaging.
Pricing: $25′, $30 for standard and magnetic versions, respectively
Buy Now: Milwaukee 25′ Stud via Home Depot
Buy Now: 25′ Stud w/ Magnet via Home Depot
Just guessing, but it appears that the hook that is not being used can be stored in the slot at the backend of the tape measure.
I assume that’s a lanyard/tether loop.
Milwaukee should of been worried years ago, their tapes were never any good…
I was under the impression that the new Wide Blade tapes were quite popular, but I may be mistaken. I’ve used Milwaukee tapes for a while, and you truly get what you pay for with them. The smaller ones with fractions that are often on sale or bundled are not very good, and depending on the tape, not completely accurate. The Compact magnetic aren’t bad, but from what I’ve seen, the Wide Blades are better. They’re basically a Milwaukee FatMax, but with some nicer features. The Studs are for people who are really burning through tapes, I think. Basically, what I’m trying to say is that there are price tiers, and that Milwaukee has upped their game in the last few years. I’m curious how this release by DeWalt will affect the next generation as well. Hopefully the tapes don’t become huge so they can withstand crazy long drops. I guess we’ll see.
I have a various pile of Milwaukee tapes (keep buying them on sale until you don’t have to search to find one) – and I find the “fat” ones annoying. The normal ones are fine
I second that
Found a 25′ magnetic milwaukee tape on sale for $15. I was excited thinking it was a great value… after using it I feel ripped off. The thing just plain sucks. Retraction is weak, and “reach” is non-existent. It will seriously buckle at around 5′-6′. It twists every chance it gets.. never again.
I have an old dewalt 16′ tape that’s my go-to now.. I’d much rather add together two measurements than be infuriated by one
One more accessory to loose
I have a DeWalt tape measure and it sucks: the winding spring isn’t strong enough. I seem to always go back to the $5 Stanley tapes.
You won’t be disappointed with this tape from DeWalt I’ve had one for a couple of months now and it truly is a great tape, the stand out is great and so is the return spring, also I’ve dropped mine several times from about 20ft and it didn’t miss a beat awesome tape imo
Personally I don’t care for any of these covered in over-molding behemoths.
Too big and dirt collecting prone. I don’t share tools with careless employees so I can keep mine in better shape far longer then a roving crew can.*
So no dice. But thanks, big generic power tool companies, anyway.
Tiny bit of sarcasm. But only a tiny bit.
*Yesterday I had a contractor friend visit socially and I returned five figures worth of his employees left behind on the job site materials. And he wasn’t shocked.
Thank you! I feel the same way. My contractor friend recommended a Milwaukee stud because it’s “Actually really good” – I hate that thing – its freaking huge. I love the Lufkin tapes though. Nice hand feel and not super bulky.
The magnet option is okay if it’s fully thought out, but I think I still prefer the Milwaukee for its double ended hook. Get the 16’ magnetic, the 25’ regular, and if either one falls more than 80 feet… I better be getting paid enough not to miss it.
I’m kinda worried where someone could be that a tape could have a 100’ drop without being tied off – hope those down below are hard hatting!
If I wasn’t already familiar with Milwaukee’s typical marketing tendencies, I’d wonder where they’re concluding that they’ve got the “most durable” tape lol Lufkins shockforce has had a 100′ drop rating for a pretty long time, plus hi-vis and the double sided marking. Wasn’t the stud “demonstrated” with a video that cut away after the drop, and back to it landing on grass? I liked DeWalts last premium tapes, XP, great snap back, good heft, but the 16′ never materialized and I’ve lost interest in keeping track of how many sub-line “brandings” they like to make, hype, and then forget on an annual basis. Flexvolt blades and hole saws come to mind, flextorq before and after maxfit somehow, and I assume the XP tapes now. Looks like a good tape, I guess. Last ones were good tapes, and whatever they rename them in 2 years will likely follow suit.
Sunny leveson jones
It’s the retailers who want exclusive product lines, so sbd paints some black and doesn’t on other or adds some overmolding, so it’s technically distinct
I was a big fan of the Dewalt tapes that had the extended sides on the hooks. Looks like they’re doing away with it. Made it easier to hook something a ways away
Never found a tape that I truly like. They all seem to move just a fraction when I lock them. Maybe it’s just me? Was using Auto-lock styles for a while but a slight knock and they retract. Was doesn’t anybody make an auto-lock that can them be locked like a regular tape? Not a problem if you are just reading a measurement but if you are transferring the measurement to a work piece all tapes I have used come up short (pun intended). I find the Milwaukee finger stop style the best tape so far.
Lufkin Power Return tapes (might be discontinued now) are very good in this regard. You lock it, and it stays in this position no matter what.
Newer Crescent Lufkin ShockForce tapes seem to be as good as the aforementioned one, but I couldn’t find an imperial-metric version, thus don’t have much experience (other than trying it out in a Lowe’s store last summer).
Fastcap ProCarpenter is also very good (locking in place), e.g.
I’ve got several tapes from Fastcap and the pro carpenter is really good but I’ve had a couple seize in the shop. I really liked my Bostich tape but they are no longer available. I have a couple of Milwaukee’s, the stud is great, the auto stop blade tore so not so good. I did get a Lufkin and am really liking that one. I ended up getting the high visibility one.
Skye A Cohen
What an interesting criticism. I can’t quite understand how it would matter but i know we all use these tools differently. In my world of tape measurer use i take a measurement, wind the tape back up, usually take a few more and write them down but sometimes just one, then go to a saw and mark up the board and cut it or usually make a few cuts.. I don’t underatand why the movement of the tap when it gets locked would matter
Koko The Talking Ape
Stanley Power-Locks work fine, in my experience. But I’ve never needed them to stay locked precisely where where. In my use, what matters is the measurement (so that includes the hook and the tiny bit of play in the hook rivets), not the precise amount of extension.
If I need a physical measure of some distance, I use a previous workpiece (like when I’m cutting two long aprons for a table) or a bar gauge, either improvised, or something like this:
I’ve never worn out or broken a tape but I’ve lost plenty. For me it seems that tapes are one of the first tools to grow legs and disappear from a shop or site. Tapes, squares, pencils/markers/etc, and utility knives fall into that category of no matter how many I buy or how much I yell at people about putting them back where they go it seems they’re never around when you need them. In the machine shop that can be extended to squirt bottles of coolant, 3/32nds allen wrenches, and swivel knives as well.
As such I try to avoid buying junk quality tapes but I don’t worry one bit about having the latest and greatest, it’s just not that common of a tool for the work that I do.
Tough series tape measures not compatible with tough case, tough case+, or toughsystem. How many things will be in the series? Just 3? Miniseries? SBD branding decisions continue to elude me.
Sunny leveson jones
It’s cause someone wanted an exclusive so sbd took a tape measure slapped a new case on it and gave it a different name
Skye A Cohen
I think the removable magnet is fine without onboard storage. I imagine people will either have it on all the time or chuck it, i personally don’t like those things but to each their own.
My big gripe about this and the Milwaukee is that the face is not smooth so you can’t stick a scratch pad on it. I can’t imagine working without one. For me the fatmax is the only game in town because it has a flat face and a wide stiff tape with good standout and no fractions.
It would have been more effective if they rebranded a fatmax. It looks very much like the previous versions. They removed the fractions, and added some more over mold. I’m not too fond of the attach/detach donggly-do-da. At least the tape isn’t that ugly hiViz green. The old version with the fractions has many faults, but it has the fractional marks and doesn’t make your eyes burn.
There was probably no other tool that elicited more different opinions from the guys than tape measures. In the remodeling business many of the guys seemed to dislike magnetized tools other than those specifically designed to pick up nails. When we’d buy tapes like the Fat Max – some would complain about its bulkiness. When others said they liked more compact Lufkin or Komelon tapes – others would moan. Bulk, readability, standout length, premature wear and spring action were all common complaints.
Looking back at some old inventories, I see that we tried tapes from Bontool. Dewalt, Fastcap, Johnson, Keson, Komelon, Lufkin, Stanley, Starrett, Tajima and U.S.Tape.
We never found the perfect one that satisfied everybody. What they wanted was a narrow tape – easy on the belt and/or pocket that was extremely easy to read even in low light, had great standout, was stiff when you wanted it to be – but flexible too, came in a lightweight housing that was extremely durable, could survive a drop from a roof and sported a spring that never failed to fully retract the tape – but did so ever-so-smoothly, with a hook that grabbed perfectly – but only when you wanted it too and yielded spot on accuracy for both inside and outside measurements. If they guys thought about it they might have also wanted it to be electrically non-conductive. More than ten years ago when I was still buying these things – I’m not sure that Milwaukee was making tapes – so I don’t know how theirs compare to that wishlist.
Koko The Talking Ape
If the magnet is powerful enough to resist the pullback spring in the tape measure, I could see it being useful. You could drive a nail where you want to measure from, stick the tape end to it, and walk the tape measure back. I personally don’t need that ability, but I could see how other people might.
But I don’t know. A lot of houses have been built and renovated with Stanley measuring tapes, and not even the Powerlock or FatMax models.
And on that DeWalt, the smaller and doubled 1, 2 and 3 are there just to accomodate the DeWalt logo and the length of the tape (which is already on the tape case.) It looks like 4 and up isn’t repeated though. Which is annoying. You don’t see that on the Milwaukee. But maybe I’m being persnickety. I’m sure it doesn’t matter in actual use.
Koko The Talking Ape
I mean the doubled 2 and 3 are annoying, not the single 4.
At this point its tough for me to pass on the 2 for $20 deal lowes and home depot have on the 25′ fat max. Other tapes might be nicer but not for the cost.
Had a few of Dewalt’s previous tape models. Didn’t care for them. Tried many different brand tapes. Always seem to go back to Stanley Fat Max.
Now days, I refuse to buy a tape that doesn’t have the finger slot instead of a button on the underside. I find the direct touch to control the blade more satisfying and controlling. My only thing is that I cannot find an excellent Metric and Standard combo tape. I work on Italian yachts, so I use metric a fair bit.
Have you ever tried one of these? Available in 5 and 8 meters, 16 and 26 feet.
After I wrote that post, I instantly began a real search and bought exactly this @16ft.
I hope it works out well for you! It’s supposed to be pretty good.
Looks like a solution in search of a problem. Been using FatMax for years and have never broken one by dropping it. As a former tower climber, I’d find a lanyard attachment point more useful than a 100′ drop rating. Drop it that far and who’s going to pick it for you? Not that dead guy down below.
Surely they are better than Milwaukee’s tapes.. I have a drawer full of fat bodied red tape measures that stopped retracting fully. Not just an inch or two but a foot or few. My attempts to try to take the cover off and wind the spring end in a big tangle of steel tape that goes to the garbage. I’m talking very limited uses before they broke. This is the only red tool that I’ve had bad experiences with. I picked up a Ryobi 16’ the other day and so far I’m liking it.