The other day we talked a little about some of the best tape measures, and received lots of great comments about readers’ favorites. Surprisingly, there were more FastCap mentioned than I expected seeing.
As promised, I started working to dig out some other tape measures that were misplaced, buried in toolboxes, or otherwise forgotten about. One of the tape measures I was reacquainted with is Stanley’s Auto-Lock take measure, model FMHT33338.
How could I forget about my Stanley Auto-Lock!? This Stanley FatMax Auto-Lock tape measure deserves special consideration, not just because it’s a good tape measure, but because it’s also so different. I first posted about it 2 years ago, just before it came out, and it’s time for another look.
In my best tape measures post, I briefly mentioned Stanley’s LeverLock tape measure, which is a decent and inexpensive self-locking tape. Well this FatMax tape – it’s much better, although that should be expected when you’re paying more than double the price.
What I like best about the Stanley Auto-Lock tape measure is how it caters to nearly every user preference.
Do you like self-locking tapes? This one auto-locks (hence the name) when you pull the tape out. And it’s a strong lock too, holding the tape in place firmly.
Don’t like self-locking tapes? You can disengage the Auto-Lock feature by sliding back on the silver button. Do that and this can be used manually like any other traditional slide-lock tape measure.
What about your hook preference – do you like ’em big or small? You get both with the Stanley FatMax Auto-Lock. A big hook accessory attaches to the smaller built-in hook, or to the tape measure housing for safe keeping.
I have only briefly reacquainted myself with the FatMax Auto-Lock, but will try to keep track of it for as long as possible. Maybe I’ll even buy another, or maybe a smaller 16-foot size. The one mentioned here is a 25-foot tape with 11-foot max standout and 1-1/4″ blade width.
Is there a downside? Sure, there must be, right? I just haven’t found it yet. Maybe blade durability? Possibly not, as Stanley claims their Blade Armor gives the tape 10X longer life. Comfort? No… this one’s pretty user-friendly and comfortable to use. Oh, I know – is it priced at a premium but made overseas? Nope – it’s made in the USA with global materials.
I wish that I had relocated this tape before my best tape measures post, but at least now I have more of a reason to update that post in a couple of months as I’ve tried to do with some of my other tool guides.
I’m going to make darned sure that I don’t lose this tape measure again. While I’m not ready to formally review it, I can confidently recommend it. The Stanley FatMax Auto-Lock has quickly become a strong contender for consideration as my favorite tape measure, and I only become reacquainted with it a day ago. It’s a versatile model without any obvious compromises.
If you’re a little unsure about whether the Auto-Lock is right for your needs, you can try it out hands-on at most Home Depot store locations.