Milwaukee Tool’s newest tape measure (48-22-0428) has a built-in LED light, making it easier to read in dark spaces, and it can also double as a hands-free worklight.
The Milwaukee 25ft Compact Wide tape measure also features a magnetic hook, 2-sided printing, finger-stop control, and an anti-tear coating on the first 6″ of the tape blade for increased durability.
It has a 1-1/16″ blade width and its “reach” is said to be 15′. (Tape measure “reach” is generally the maximum standout length plus 3 feet.)
The light delivers 100 lumens of brightness and with a full charge it can deliver up to 2.5 hours of continuous runtime.
The LED lens is rated to IP54 dust and water resistance, and is also impact resistant – as is the tape measure.
The built-in battery recharges via USB. (I asked and are waiting to hear back whether this is USB-C or a different charging port standard.)
Update: the charging port is micro USB.
It also has a wire-style belt clip and lanyard-read tether attachment point.
The tape comes with a USB charging cord, you’ll need to source your own power adapter.
Street Pricing: $30
ETA: Winter 2022
Milwaukee also has a 10ft tape measure keychain with built-in LED light.
Milwaukee Tool is not the first brand to come out with a full-sized tape measure with LED light and rechargeable battery, but they do describe theirs as offering the “brightest and clearest measuring.”
Komelon launched a 25′ tape measure with built-in LED light, and Lowe’s launched a Kobalt model earlier this year.
At the time of this posting, the Komelon 25′ LED light tape measure is regularly $20 and is discounted slightly for the holidays.
Let the tape measure brightness wars begin! I’ll wait for the True View model.
Went through home depots site and couldn’t find what USB port.
They’ve done everything they can to avoid mentioning it.
Micro usb would be a fail.
I would buy it the next time I’m in store if it’s USB-C just to try it out. I like my 16′ tapes due to the weight and am curious how this feels.
I couldn’t see it in any images either. I asked and hope to hear back.
Sometimes specs like this are omitted innocently.
When I talked to one brand about whether their new tools were brushless or not, they told me they stopped explicitly mentioning it because they thought it would be redundant given how ubiquitous brushless tools have become.
If this charges via micro USB, that would indeed be a disappointment. New designs these days should implement USB-C unless there are obvious and significant reasons for the contrary.
The roundness LOOKS like it could be USB-C based on some of the other cords from them, but I couldn’t find any service parts listed anywhere.
I have a KO alt one it used a micro usb pretty sure the others did as well.
What, no One-Key Bluetooth connectivity?! 😂
But really, it’s fun to see them pushing boundaries and inventing/refining novel tools that no one else is.
That last dusty shot looks like they managed to crack the LED housing.
lol, but in fairness, it lasted multiple minutes before it broke.
when someone makes a USB C rechargeable tape that has electroluminecent dye on the tape for night visibility . . . . . .
It’s a neat idea I guess when you consider you might most of the time have a tape on you – it might as well have a light.
I’d much rather have a digital tape display and maybe a laser measure.
Tape measure lying around is always a quick grab. I bet 9/10 of these fail at the charger port.
Wonder how focused the beam is. If it’s more of an area light it would come in very handy on a tool belt.
I just want a tape measure that doesn’t get stuck (the hook catches on some 1mm edge…I mean, when you WANT it to catch, it doesn’t…right?). I want one that I can read (I don’t 20/20 anymore). I want finer fractions and metric option versions (reaches for my bike tape measure that is in metric). Finally, I want one that when it retracts, slows down for the last 2 feet. Not some knuckle wrapped whip…sure we all appreciate a fast tape return…but man some are…well…
Oh, and my dewalt 25′ that I trusted, is now peeling on the bottom.
What is recommended that is not need of power?
(do you measure in the dark? I don’t. And if I have to, I have a headlamp..)
stanley fat max is my go too
I am 99%+ against unnecessary laws & regulations, but I wouldn’t mind seeing micro-USB being banned from all new products. With the capabilities of USB-C, there is no reason to not standardize it universally now.
I have enough micro-USB cords that I guess it’s not a big deal, but they have to stop using old tech sometime.
Eu voted in October to standardize usb c as a requirement for all phones, tablets, and cameras by the end of 2024.
Since most tech products are global and produced in the same regions, that change is coming rapidly without US regulation.
SEB TECH DIY
Yes thats a good thing, even iphone will have to ditch their lightning cable in europe, so like you said usb c may comme the norm faster here im north america.
I bought a bunch of small adapter ( usb c to micro usb ) so i can ditch those micro usb cables, some adapter come with a “strap” to keep them on your usb c cables
2 of the Komelon 25LED tapes were among my stocking stuffers last Christmas. I never heard back about either one – so I guess that they were neither terrible nor fantastic.
My Xmas list for last year says that they were $19.99 plus tax.
I see that the Milwaukee version has a magnetic hook. That would have been a no-go for some of our carpenters who hated the detritus that magnets collected.
Maybe make a tape that’s not crap to begin with. Dewalt, Milwaukee, etc… none of their tapes, be they $12 or $29 last more than a few weeks without the blade somehow getting a little twist in it near the end meaning you can barely get a 6’ standout much less some silly 12-14’ standout.
I got one of the Komelon ones last year. It charges with a USB-C cord.
It is actually useful, but I sometimes forget it has a light, as I am not used to a light on a tape measure.
Light brightness is a good balance between being bright enough to be useful, but not so bright the glare makes it hard to read the numbers on the tape, or ruins your night vision.
Very handy for under cabinets and such, where you don’t need a trouble light, but rather just enough light to be able to read the numbers on the tape.
The light has decent spread, but not much distance. I would suppose you could change a tire with it on a dark night, but it isn’t bright enough to walk by, or anything like that. Useable light for a few feet is about all you get.
The light still works after a year and a couple charges, FWIW.
I think it is kind of walking the line between ‘usefulness’ and ‘gimmick’. A penlight, or even a decent keychain light will be brighter, but on the flipside, the light is always there, and does not take an extra hand to use. The light illuminates the tape well enough to read in a dark corner. You may have to twist the body of the tape to get the light to shine where you want it, but at least it doesn’t take an extra hand to operate.
If you need a light on a tape you’ll need area lighting like a headlamp anyway in my opinion.
Christian Reed (REEKON)
Looks like they’re not the only ones at the party! Saw this DeWalt one on HD Canada
Reminds me of when Volcano and Dante’s Peak came out at the same time.
Maybe I missed it: Does it operate via a button or does it illuminate when you pull the tape?
My Komelon has a button. I assume this would be similar.
Looking at the first image at the top of this article, there appears to be a slightly recessed button just to the right of a light graphic on the side of the tape. I assume this to be an on/off switch for the light.
There looks to be an on/off button on the right side, and covered USB charging port on the left.
If you look at the second image, the light is activated without requiring the tape to be touched, allowing the tape to serve as a worklight in a pinch.
A 25′ tape that weighs more than a 30′ tape. Another battery to charge. Another useless gimmick to fail.
This’ll be great at leveraging Home Depot to push good tapes off the shelf for this “new high tech gadget you have to have”
Just get 20 3-AAA flashlights and some duct tape. Saves the charging hassle. Might as well add lights to all your hand tools. Spirit levels, hammers, saws…
LED-lighted Spirit level:
I’ve seen screwdrivers with a light, and both my jigsaw and reciprocating saws already have lights on them.
I have a tape measure with an LED light and its not a game changer, but it has saved me from having to crawl out from under something and look for a light.
In my opinion adding an LED light to a power tool is usually a no-brainer. The tool is already electric so there’s a power source readily available. It adds negligible cost to produce the tool and the light is often very handy, even if it is something simple like helping you see your cut line a little clearer. There’s no real reason not to add the light. But on something other than a power tool? That’s where the benefits may be outweighed by having to charge a tool that normally doesn’t require charging.
I won’t be buying this tape, the last thing I want to have to worry about is plugging in my tape to charge it up. However, I’d be a liar if I said there weren’t a few times when it would have been handy to have a light like this, I’m sure that there are probably some applications it would be great for.
Looks like a Sears-Craftsman holiday gimmick. The non-replaceable battery is another turn-off.
Theres always someone crying about Dewalt or Milwaukee tapes not lasting long. Who cares? Every couple of months there is a more improved one to buy, longer reach, wider blade, LED light. A tape only has to last until the next one comes out. Not rocket science. If you cant afford a new and improved tape measure every quarter, then tape longevity isn’t your problem.
One more reason for them to replace it under their Limited Lifetime Warranty
Built-in not user replaceable battery?
Correct. Probably a small LiPo pack.
It won’t work in real life, and Milwaukee will lose money on it. Tapes usually don’t last more than a year. Now you end up with tapes with fancy stuff that breaks every year instead. I would of course love a tape like this if it would last min two years. But I change tape every 7 months
Agreed, a framer or carpenter wouldn’t bother with this, tapes are disposable items. But Milwaukee has a substantial ‘lifestyle’ customer base, and this product will last them years
Myself? I can see how this would be handy, but I take some satisfaction in not having to charge my hand tools.
I have one of these that’s in my pocket most days. Uses a coin battery
Would be so cool if rolling and I rolling the tape measure charged tue battery
✅ chicken dinner!
I’m not a fan of highly disposable tools with built in batteries. Just more stuff to go to a recycling center more frequently but I’m sure lots of guys just throw them in garbage bins since they can’t be bothered or don’t care.
The sad thing is that even the best intentions by individuals at recycling sometimes come to naught as many municipalities cannot find suitable outlets for their “recycled” waste. That doesn’t mean that we should not keep trying to do our best as consumers – but we also need to find better solutions all along the supply and disposal chain. Not only does that old tape measure end up in the landfill – but so does the plastic blister pack that it came in – along with all the other one-use plastic items we take for granted.
I imagine the battery is replaceable with a little motivation.
With that said, even if the batteries go bad, why does it sound like everyone’s first step after that is tossing in the trash. It still functions as a tape measure I thought.
Hopefully it doesn’t turn into a BMW heated seat subscription 😆
You’re right that probably only the most jaded user would toss out a still-functional tape just because the battery/light had died. But I recall a time when Lufkin and Stanley sold replacement tapes and perhaps even rewind springs to fix broken tapes. If they still sell these items – I suspect that few would go to the trouble of fixing a broken tape. It is all about our perception of value, what our labor and time is worth, and when it is better to scrap versus repair the old.
In some societies, particularly less affluent ones, repairing or repurposing the old is much more appealing. I marveled to see umbrella repairmen in India fixing the sorts of cheap umbrellas that you see in street trash bins here in the US after they encounter a severe wind gust. I’ve also been in countries where the poor make their living off of what they can reclaim from garbage dumps. While I don’t advocate earning a living either way, I suspect that we’d leave the world a better future if we became a bit more frugal and circumspect about recycling.
Very good points, fred.
One thing I think is ironic is that while many people are big on “recycling” these days, they often forget that “recycle” comes after “reduce” and “reuse” in the common mantra. Recycling is all well and good, but it is better yet if we never generate that waste in the first place, or find a way to repurpose it before we spend energy recycling it.
I’ve repaired many tape measures by replacing their springs and/or blades. Are replacement blades not a thing anymore? It’s been years since I looked.
I do agree we seem intent on making more “non recyclable” trash.
Hey Stuart shouldn’t the second paragraph say it’s a 25ft tape instead of 15?
Thank you! *fixed*
I consider myself an experienced tape measure user, having used one nearly daily for almost 20 years. In that time I have never thought, wow, it would be great if this tape measure had a flashlight!
To me this is the same as the hokey stuff craftsman releases around this time of year for people who don’t know what to buy their tradesperson family members as gifts.
Now we just need it in Cacodemon format; it’s almost the right color already.
I don’t see a particular desire to buy this thing, but once it’s “about as cheap” as another I’ll probably grab one.
Update: the charging port is micro USB.