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
They are made by Komelon as are most Kobalt tapes. I’ve been buying them for a few years. Excellent quality for the price. They last almost as long as a Fatmax for half the price, and I prefer the markings on these. Not as much standout, but I use a laser for anything over ten feet anyways.
Idk you get that 2 for $20 on the 25 foot fatmax which looks like a similar deal to this Kobalt.
I bought a couple of those Fatman 2 for 20 deals, none of the 4 retract well. The Fatman I purchased as single, no special packaging or holiday stuff going on, all work great. So either I got a bad batch or stanley is cheaping out on the holiday specials.
If they’ve sourced it – the same as other recent Kobalt tapes – then it’s made by Komelon. A UPC on the package – satring with 650056 would confirm this.
UPC is 650056 134251 so confirmed.
My store has it out in the black Friday Lane price at “was 17.98, new litter price 12.98”
Has pretty okay feel in the hand
I wonder when this country will discover the metric system. It is weird since the Army went metric about sixty years ago. Good idea with the stainless tape though.
Komelon to the rescue, again!
Especially if you don’t need 25ft tape every day.
Milwaukee has a few metric/imperial tape measurers you can get through Home Depot, but you pretty much have to online order all of them. My local HDs only stock the metric/imp pocket size
This country (USA) “discovered” the metric system during the time of Thomas Jefferson – but we rejected t back then – perhaps because of its links to the more radical aspects of the French Revolution. It was a pity – that we did not recognize it as an advance. Once we became the preeminent industrial power it became much harder to switch. Today, it seems that construction trades and materials are still one of the major impediments to further migration – while automotive and military applications have all but abandoned Imperial/Inch measurements. In our pipe/metal fabrication business – we did everything to metric standards – with principal clients in the aerospace and defense sectors – but had to convert to inches for things like pipe railing systems for commercial buildings.
At least we don’t call out our body weight in “stones”
Yes, and again in the 1970’s an attempt to convert the USA wholly to the metric system also failed. We started teaching it more in our public schools, but today we are left with more of a mix of the two systems. Truly a shame.
The result of that attempt, was that liquor bottles were changed from ounces to liters. That was about it.
That was popular with the distillers.
A “fifth” (0.200 gallons) now became 0.75 liters saving 0.002 ounces per bottle for the millions of bottles sold.
BTW – I’ve heard that the equivalent of over 500 million bottles of bourbon are sold each year.
Off Topic: Home Depot has a Ridgid tool set on sale. Hammer drill, Impact driver, (2) 4.0 max output batteries (1) 2.0 max output battery, charger, bag. Sale price $229.00! (Model R9208): It looks like good pricing to me, check it out for yourself.
Does it seem like retail stores still have most of the stock that they would normally have sold out of on black Friday? It’s kind of weird, feels like they have just stocked it and black Friday is still coming up.
Maybe it’s because the buying public did not find the deals so compelling, or they are worried about inflation and want to save their dollars for other needs. To be fair, I think that Home Depot offered some better deals than many others. Some of the 5% or 10% off deals – with restrictions – seemed a bit lame to me – but I did act on some others.
My Lowes store is just surreal though, it seems like they sold through maybe 25% of what they stocked and they’re still getting more . The tradestack towers are slowly taking over the store. Honestly I’ve usually found the best Lowes deals happen when they clearance the black Friday stuff but this looks like too much inventory even for Lowes to spuriously discard.