We just came across something surprising and new – Dewalt tape measures that are said to be built in the USA with global materials. There are three sizes – 16-foot (DWHT33924L), 25-foot (DWHT33975L), and 35-foot (DWHT33976L).
Features include a 1-1/4″ blade, ToughCase housing with “more rubber, more metal, more screws,” a high carbon steel ToughBlade blade with 13-foot standout, large and easy to read markings, 3M heavy duty thermoplastic and Mylar blade coatings, a large multi-sided hook, and an oversized metal impact wear plate. There’s also an integrated lanyard slot.
All of the new tapes are specifically said to be built in the USA. Made in the USA would be better, but Built in the USA is still nice to see.
Pricing: $20 for the 16-foot, $25 for the 20-foot, and $35 for the 35-foot tape measure.
It will be interesting to see how these tapes will perform, especially since during some holiday seasons you can get a Dewalt small parts organizer and 25′ tape measure for less than the price of the new 25′ tape. For the extra money, I expect a smoother blade, and not just a tougher case that’s simply said to have “more rubber, metal, and screws.”
A while back I compared Milwaukee and Dewalt tape measures, and really liked the Milwaukee a bit better. Since then, I have almost exclusively used Milwaukee 16-foot and 25-foot tape measures. That these new tapes are built in the USA isn’t enough to sway my preference, but if they perform as well – or better – then maybe they’ll be worth the extra premium.
I’m still hesitant to spend more than $10-12 on a tape measure, but greater usability and durability can often justify prices as high as $25 for a 25-footer.
It is probably no coincidence that these tapes were priced on the same level as Milwaukee’s magnetic tape measures, although these tapes have regular non-magnetic hooks. It seems that Dewalt conducted a bit of field research, and found a similar pricing ceiling that users would pay for premium tapes.