Harbor Freight’s Hercules brand has entered the hand tool space with two new tape measures – a 25′ tape and a 25′ tape with magnetic hook.
Described as a premium tape in Harbor Freight’s social media videos, the new Hercules tape measures are said to be built tough enough to survive an 80ft drop.
The Harbor Freight Hercules tape measures both offer an impressive 14ft reach and 11ft standout.
The tapes feature a 1-1/4″ wide blade, double-sided printing, and a multi-angle blade hook. The magnetic tape has a magnetic hook.
Price: $15, $17 for magnetic
Harbor Freight says that their Hercules 25′ tape measure compares to the Stanley FatMax 33-725Y, and their magnetic tape compares to the Stanley FatMax FMHT33865L.
The tape measure industry is hugely competitive, with Stanley, Milwaukee, and Dewalt being the biggest players.
If you need a new tape measure and find yourself at Harbor Freight, it’s good to have new more premium-featured options.
From a performance standpoint, Harbor Freight and their Hercules brand will have to do a lot to prove themselves in this product category.
The Hercules tape measures are backed with a lifetime warranty*.
* Harbor Freight’s website previously stated that the warranty is 90 days. They informed us that the Hercules Magnum tape measure is actually covered by a lifetime warranty,
If you need a new tape measure, would Harbor Freight be your first-choice destination?
With a 90 day warranty, they don’t seem to have a lot of confidence.
Correct. The question I always ask is “If they don’t think it’s going to last longer than 90 days, why should you?” I’m not big on buying tools based on warranty, so long as it’s typical or competitive (in this case 3 years to lifetime). But 90 days? Standard Harbor Freight. Pass.
Right? Its even weirder because all but one of their Bauer (their better line) tape measures have a lifetime warranty. Maybe it has something to do with the Bauer’s being rebadges of Komelon tape measures; but who knows with Harbor Freight these days.
Went to Harbor Freight today to buy their largest tool tote. Coupons now are so extremely targeted that unless you are a club member or applying for one of their credit cards you won’t find one unless it was Presidents’ Day.
No wonder the store was so empty. Even the free flashlight is now a $ 1.79.
I’m trying my best to buy American made products. So this one is out.
“Magnum”… Like the condom size… Overcompensating for a lack of *Ahem* Necessary Equipment. Same marketing strategy anyways.
“Ultrawide”, for her pleasure
Hey now I love my ultrawide monitor. ;-p
I hate to bring this up (because it is really my fault), but I’ve bought many measuring tools over the years from HF (various reasons but it didn’t always come down to the “cheap one time use” factor).
And the problem is that most of them were not very accurate. Now, I don’t expect NIST accuracy, and I’m using the benchmark of “most of these measure the same so they are probably correct”. But I’ve had significant variances from the HF products, even from the same models. The worst was when I bought a couple framing squares and the two legs didn’t agree with each other in the first six inches. (I know how to adjust them for square so I wouldn’t expect them to be square from the store.)
I also have had several Milwaukee tapes that didn’t agree with our crew’s tools by 1/16″ at 10′. Minor and could be temperature related, but it can be annoying.
Again, HF’s prices will have to be better to compete, because during sales I can get known good tapes at those prices (and I usually stock up). Once they’re cheap enough, I can determine their suitability based on the accuracy I observe.
Tape measures are expendable tool products if you get over a year that means you didn’t drop it that often but that said I like the Stanley fatmax
I prefer the fatmax as well. The 16′ is my favorite.
agreed on price. just as an example, ace will often have stanley tapes of a known quality on sale for 10 bucks or under. i generally have an abundance of tape measures around and often times one or two new ones in the package.
yeah I can’t possibly buy a measuring thing from HF. Bought an 02 socket once because I needed one and the HF store was nearby. Didn’t fit right – for 5 dollar more and more time wasted since we had to go get another one – thing from Autozone fit right and worked fine.
Some time later neighbor had HF combo wrenches – helping him do the brakes on his mini-van for some reason his 15mm wrench wouldn’t work the bolt and the 16mm was obviously too sloppy. Yet my 15 wrench fit perfect and worked fine. No he’d never used all the wrenches in the set but yeah never know which one it’s matched right.
so those 2 things have me never buying measured items from HF.
What the world needs… more tape measures… and at a price higher than when Stanley and Milwaukee run specials.
I “had” a little cheapie HF tape measure of some sort– had trouble working w another guy… finally pulled both tapes out and the HF one was different–grabbed another tape and it was the same as the other guy’s….
Which is why I said “HAD”…
No way, not ever.
Same, off about an inch over 5 feet.
If everyone on the jobsite is using the same inaccurate tapes – that are out-of-true by the same amount – you might live with that. But if the carpenter is measuring for casing with one tape and the helper is cutting at the miter saw using a different tape that doesn’t match – then be prepared for lots of swearing.
HF used to give away Pittsburgh branded tapes for free with a coupon, I hated their so called easy-read scale – but also found them to be off by a wee bit compared to a known accurate yardstick and a wee bit more at 6 feet etc. Ok for measuring the size of a rug – but wouldn’t want to use it for trim carpentry.
Question – What is the widest tape measure (of this type) that you’ve seen produced?
Maybe the Milwaukee Stud and Wide Blade tapes?
Milwaukee’s widest tape measure blades measure 1-5/16″ wide. Dewalt Tough Series tapes have 1-1/4″ blades. https://toolguyd.com/dewalt-toughseries-tape-measures/ Dewalt’s older premium tape also had a 1-1/4″ wide blade. https://toolguyd.com/dewalt-xp-tape-measure/
1-1/4″ seems to be popular for wide long-standout/reach tapes. 1-5/16″ isn’t significantly different.