Lowe’s has come out with a new Kobalt True Control tape measure, which has “intuitive blade retraction control,” as well as traditional locking mechanism.
Some tape measures have a finger-stop on the bottom, for manually holding the blade at its current position or for controlling return speed. The Kobalt True Control works on a similar principle, but uses the rotating outer housing of the blade spool for this purpose.
Basically, you apply pressure to the side of the tape measure to reduce or overcome the spring-action retraction force.
Additionally, the Kobalt True control tape measure also features a stainless steel blade and spring to resist rusting.
Images in Lowe’s review gallery show that the tape has markings on both sides of the blade – standard horizontal markings on the front, and vertically-oriented markings on the back.
There doesn’t look to be any special coating or “blade armor,” and so I wonder whether this new Kobalt tape measure is as durable as other brands’ leading tapes in the same price range.
Lowe’s website is reporting that the new Kobalt tape measure is in stock at stores and also available for free shipping with $45+ orders.
This might have just arrived, as it never appeared at any of my local Lowe’s stores prior to Thanksgiving. At the time of this posting, stores in my area are each said to have 50-70 units in stock.
It’s unclear if this is one of Lowe’s and Kobalt’s typical “new for the holiday season” types of tools that are only available for a limited time, or if this is part of a new focus or series of tools. If this is a holiday “special buy” type of tool, you’ll want to pick one up while you can.
And, if this is a limited time holiday special type of tool, kudos to Lowe’s for keeping the features list modest. In past years, this likely would have also featured a built-in light and utility cutter – at the least.
I don’t need any more tape measures, stainless steel or otherwise, but this one’s intriguing – I just might have to pick one up.
Note: You’ll have to play around with your Lowe’s store selection to see the best price – I’m seeing prices of $9.98, $12.98, and $14.98 depending on which local store I select when shopping online. I asked Lowe’s corporate why this was happening with all kinds of tools that are supposed to be on sale, but they weren’t able to provide a clear answer.
H/T Travis @ToolsbyDesign