Milwaukee has come out with new long tapes, in closed-reel and open-reel styles. Both Milwaukee long tapes are said to provide ultimate durability and accuracy.
Milwaukee says that the new long tapes were designed to address a frequent concern with other long tapes, and how they tend to jam up due to debris and contamination in the reel mechanism.
There’s an industry-first Grime “Guard” blade cleaning system, featuring a wiper that can keep dirt, mud, and other gunk out of the reel housing.
The 100-foot closed reel long tape, shown above, is constructed with a metal frame housing that helps to protect it from drops.
Milwaukee’s press materials say a little more about the 100-foot and 300-foot open reel long tapes, which feature reinforced metal handles and a 3:1 planetary metal gear system (same as the closed reel) for quicker tape retrieval.
The open reel long tapes feature a steel blade with extruded nylon coating, manufactured using a proprietary process, that gives it 50% less stretch for best-in-class accuracy and blade durability resulting in up to 10X longer blade life.
The blade is 1/2″ wide and kink resistant.
100′ Open Reel Long Tape Dimensions: 1.75″ thick x 7.75″ wide x 10.5″ height, weighing in at 2.47 lbs.
The long tapes are all available now.
- 100ft Closed Reel Long Tape, 48-22-5101, for $20
- 100ft Open Reel Long Tape, 48-22-5201, for $30
- 300ft Open Reel Long Tape, 48-22-5230, for $50
Metric versions are also available – 30M closed reel, 30M and 100M open reels.
Buy Now(via Home Depot)
Buy Now (via Acme): 100′ Closed Reel || 100′ Open Reel || 300′ Open Reel
I’ve been familiarizing myself with test samples of the 100′ closed reel and open reel long tapes, and they feel sturdy and user-friendly.
But I could probably count on one hand how many times I’ve used long tapes before, and all of them were in a controlled not-real-work setting.
Open reel long tapes see use in outdoor layout and measuring applications, often in the dirt. And the closed reel tapes… what would you use a closed reel long tape for? I suppose when a 25′ or 35′ tape measure won’t do, and a laser distance measuring tool isn’t suited. Maybe for spacing things out in an indoor commercial setting?
That’s not a rhetorical question, I’m really asked you – what would you use the closed reel long tape for? The open reel long tape? What’s your current brand of choice? Would you give these new Milwaukee tapes a try?
I can’t see much difference in how you would use an open vs closed reel other than style/looks. I need it occasionally in landscape industry to measure where trees are on a property (relative to a house). But often times I’ll use my wheel (which Milwaukee has now, too) or actually will use an online MeasureMapPro app for ipad. The app is sometimes not usable because in dense tree areas, the tree canopies all run together and make it hard to see where the trunks are located.
The closed reel tape is considerably more compact.
I’ve used closed reel tapes for taking measurements in existing buildings for remodeling projects before I bought my Hilti laser measuring tool. It still gets used from time to time when the laser just won’t work for a number of reasons – no good target, lighting / visibility, reflective surfaces, etc. Closed reel tapes just don’t last when they start getting used outside in wet and dirty conditions – no matter how careful you are and what blade cleaning gizmo the manufacturer adds to the unit.
My 100 ft closed reel is a Stanley FatMax that has performed without any issues as long as I keep the blade out of water and mud which means its limited to interior use only.
I have a project coming up later this spring where I’ll be increasing the height of 1600 feet of concrete flood protection wall so long tapes will probably be used pretty regularly to check daily / weekly production.
I currently have a 300 ft (might be 200 ft can’t remember) open reel Stanley that is OK but the only reason I bought it was I was in a hurry, needed the tape immediately, and it was the only choice available.
I don’t have a lot of experience with Milwaukee tapes but I like what I’ve seen so far and would definitely be willing to try the 300 ft open reel model since I would have the most use for it.
I used to use 100′ open reel tape measures extensively for layout of survey grids back when I did geophysical surveys. I still use them fairly frequently in my outside lab areas for teaching.
I will likely buy one of Milwaukee’s after I pick one up and see how it is made; the end of my current one broke off recently and I currently use it but you have to subtract a foot from whatever the measurement says.
I do not see any reason to buy a closed tape of this size. I feel that regardless of any dirt/mud cleaning tools on it, it would end up impacted with mud fairly quickly.
Used long tapes plenty of times. Squaring up the layout for a pole shed, measuring the length of a yard for a chain link fence to get the spacing just right for an exacting customer, etc. (Just remember to divide distance by the number of posts plus one. If you have the corners set and want 6 posts between, divide by 7). I have also used them for measuring grain volume in a bin. In some cases it is impractical or even unsafe to climb into a grain bin, so the best way to measure the grain inside is to measure around the bin and divide by pi for the diameter, then measure the overall height of the bin and then subtract the distance from the top of the grain to the eave to get the depth of the grain inside the bin. Not something we do often, but a long tape is the most practical solution.
We have a 200 or so foot job that is older than methusula and I’m pretty sure it’s a Starret or Stanley product. Works well and is open. Never seen a closed reel longer tape – I think I would like that for some things namely protection of the tape.
I think however long tapes are probably going to go away over time – with the cheaper laser distance jobs.
Doing layout for fly tables, gang forms, and scaffold hoarding, a long tape is required in order to do layout efficiently. Tapes are not only for measuring point A to point B.
We use long tapes everyday framing houses,measuring long walls and squaring them also squaring foundations…closed is better for us it adds some protection from denting the side of the tape reel…also the cleaner sounds nice…currently we use a towel to clean the tape as we wind it up ……I’d try one…got a free one to give out ?
I also use a Stanley 100′ closed tape when framing houses to mark of the walls and to double check the project to the print. I like the closed tape because it’s more compact so I can carry it around in my nail bag.
I also prefer using the enclosed type for ease of carrying in pouch while checking layout.
I use a closed-reel 40′ Husky tape for finding centers on 39′ sticks of railroad rail. saves measuring twice, once from each end. I do volunteer track work for a museum railroad and replacing jointed rail happens once in a while. You have to locate center to know where to place the lifting clamp. HD doesn’t sell the 40′ Husky any more, so I’m reel careful with mine! ;>)
What!? Another tape measure!? At these prices I would expect more features. I might pick one up when they are $5, they are way overpriced for what you get. It wouldn’t cost them much to add am/fm tuner and charger to these. Oh, and a heavy duty plug, not a wall wart.
JK, these look great. Don’t have a need for one in my job but kinda wish I did…..
Long tapes like this are great for fishing into a long pipe run to get a very precise wire length. When a few extra feet would cost a lot, a few minutes to fish in a long tape can save $.
We use both in the architectural field for existing conditions documentation, both interior and exterior. For us, the more compact nature of the closed reel is convenient for stashing in a go-bag.
I personally prefer open tapes simply because they tend to be easier to wind in, and when you’re winding 50+ times per site visit, it gets old trying to us the the little crank. Might be due to my big hands, though…
Made a comment earlier but i guess it didnt post or it got caught in the spam filter….
Im glad to see they are making metric tapes! My company installs temporary tents for special events. We metric tapes for our metric tents from germany which the specs are in metric units and SAE to metric isnt always reliable as you would think it is. When setting them up the base plates(foundation) has to be dead on the money, even 1/4″ off will mess up the tent.
We preffer open tapes because they are less prone to mold and mildew than in a closed case. On a setup we have to use two metic tapes and almost ALWAYS one seems to get broken. These milwaukee tapes look rugged and up to the task. I will 100% pick up a couple if i see some in metic. I looked on the HD link you posted and NOPE no metric to be seen.
Funny story…. we picked up a closed case metric tape for a setup. The tent came out super crooked and upon inspection of the double sided tape(sae one side- metric the other) the metric ‘0’ was 3″ OFF the end of the tape…. i dunno who thought that was a good idea when it was approved to manufacture…. but that cost us at least $1k to fix
I use a Millers Falls closed 50′ tape for residential framing layout. Metal tape is more accurate than the open tapes, which tend to twist and stretch. I’ll use a 100′ open tape for measurements requiring less precision, but if I’m doing long diagonal measurements and checking for square I need the metal tape to get within acceptable tolerances. Open non-metal tapes WILL lie to you.
I recently purchased the Milwaukee 100′ closed reel tape. And I’ve got to say I really like it! I am a carpenter working mostly in Concrete Form work, and I’ve been using this tape reel for about 3 weeks now and so far it is performing top notch. My job sites are pretty muddy when we are laying out footings and grade beams, no problems so far with the mechanism but I haven’t dropped it in water but the tape portion has gone swimming a couple of times. Only gripe I have about it is when you reel out the tape it’s a bit awkward to hold because the reel handle sticks out further than the diameter of the reel tape body. But comes with a nylon strap so I guess no big deal. Big Pro is the 3 to 1 gear ratio saves time and wrist wear.
All in all
Where can I purchase the 30m metric version?
300m? Buy Now via Acme Tools
I’m sorry, I’ve been under the weather and completely misread the question.
You’re right – I can’t seem to find purchase options for the 30m tape.
There’s a 30m fiberglass open reel long tape, 48-22-5330, but I’m having trouble finding a steel tape version. I’ll look into this further.
Unfortunately, the 30m has been discontinued. If you want a 30m long tape, only the fiberglass version remains, model 48-22-5330. I hope this helps!