Shown here is the new Stanley FatMax tape measure (25′) for 2018, model FMHT36325, which Stanley says is the brand’s most ergonomic and longest-lasting design in its 175 year history.
Features include 13′ of “straighter blade” standout, a new slow-wearing blade coating, an impact-resistant case that can withstand a 50 foot drop into packed soil, and ergonomically-designed case that simulates a baseball-style grip.
Stanley says its MaxShield blade coating is the longest-lasting finish they’ve ever applied to a FatMax tape measure. The first 6 inches feature a Bladearmor coating for extra protection where the tape’s most vulnerable.
The blade is 1-1/4″ wide, which is pretty standard for a 25-foot tape measure. This new FatMax tape also has a Twin-Core dual return spring, which allows for a smaller tape case.
Shipping Now (Press materials give a May 2018 ETA, but a search of the model number doesn’t show much yet.)
See Also(Similar Dewalt Tape via Amazon)
16′ and 35′ versions are expected to be released in late 2018.
The tape is made in the USA with global materials.
Looks familiar, doesn’t it?
Could this new Stanley FatMax tape measure be an updated version of the Dewalt XP tape measure, reviewed here?
See Also: New Dewalt XP Tape Measure – is it Worth the Hype?
Both Stanley FatMax and Dewalt tape measures have 1-1/4″ wide tapes, 13′ of standout, and Dual-Core (Dewalt) and Twin-Core (Stanley) spring return mechanisms.
I wasn’t a fan of the Dewalt tape measure and the recoil felt in my pinky finger.
Looking at Stanley’s marketing images, where they show the new tape being held like a baseball, I suppose that is how I hold my tape measures – in a baseball-like grip. So… maybe this tape is designed with improvements to the recoil too? I’m open-minded.
The $30 price tag is going to invite a lot of grumbles. But, if the tape measure is as durable and long-lasting as claimed, and comfortable too, pro users might be able to justify the expense. A lot of users will be happier if the tape is bundled in holiday season promo 2-packs at the same $30 price, but who knows if that’ll happen.
Here’s a marketing blurb, with the heading One Tape Fits All:
Whoever you are, and whatever your goal, the 25-foot STANLEY® FATMAX® Tape Measure is designed to help you thrive. It’s our most ergonomic and durable tape measure ever, evolved from the FATMAX tapes you already know and trust. Whether you’re estimating how many shingles you’ll need or installing crown molding, this tape will outlast and outperform, so you can overdeliver every time.
One tape fits all? I’ll take that challenge. The Dewalt XP tape certainly didn’t fit that description. SBD’s hand tool team had plenty of time to tune the design, and so I’m optimistic.
Would I buy something like this sight unseen? Probably not. Then it’s a good thing it’ll be available at select nationwide retailers and Amazon, which tends to have a flexible return policy. It’ll be available at Lowes, Ace Hardware, Acme Tools, and Amazon.
So, who’s in for one?
Got mine at lowes, I have had it over a month now and it is legit. The major difference from past models, aside from the “baseball curve” feel is the belt clip. It’s wide and straight, it clips in place with a plastic bump out on body of the tape so it slides over belts with ease. 13 foot standout is a little exaggerated 13 with a 1 foot drop. But it has held up from every day abuse so far.
Early feedback I’ve seen seems mixed, leaning towards the negative. A few reported lock failures, and most problematic is the rounded bottom so it won’t stay upright on its own
I’ve seen a few people posting about the bad lock. So I looked at it myself when I was at Lowes. On one tape the lock was visibly broken the thumb knob wasn’t’ seated in its groove. When I pulled the tape out it spit out a chunk of plastic at me. It was a tiny bit of yellow plastic that was pretty thin. When the lock was activated it didn’t hold the tape.
I’m not sure if this is the same failure that other people are seeing, but it’s a bad design if something like that can happen. Sure, people abuse tools in the store, but is it any worse than at a job site?
Just wish they would print on both sides of the tape.
They make tapes like that for diy guys, pros don’t use that lind
Not true. I’ve been in the biz for over 30 years and find the back side markings very useful.
Don’t know of anyone else I know that has a use for it…
Milwaukee tapes are printed on the back side.
It seems it might be a regional, trade specific, or both preference. Where are you from and what do you do? Everyone I know in electrical, plumbing, or HVAC use Milwaukee or Klein tapes and maybe a few others. The framers and concreters still use the Fatmax. If they made a magnetic Fatmax with finger brake, double sided printing, and the removable oversize hook I would be all over it as I miss their standout and durability. I am quite surprised SBD hasn’t started printing on both sides of the tape as a quick google search shows everyone else is.
I did architectural sheet metal and other exterior finishing, and I found use for the back side markings all the time. I no longer work in construction, but do a ton of metalworking and woodworking at home, and no longer find any use for the backside markings. I cannot wrap my head around the idea that it’s for DIY guys and not pros.
I agree. I wish both sides were printed as well. Lot’s of advantages to that. I’ve always been a Fatmax guy! It’s a no gimmicks, proven with pedigree to back it up tape measure! It’s a raw tape measure that will last you the longest out on the jobsite with all the abuse and daily wear and tear. “Period “.
Love my DeWalt xp’s, I don’t get the grumbles. Had the 25′ and 35′ working since my home Depot premiered them. Ergonomic, strong return, great stand-out, US manufactured: again, I don’t understand what people are disliking in them. To each their own.
The way I see it… I have the model just before the DeWALT XP tapes… So, since I love that one, I can’t NOT Love the XP and this Stanley version… They’re the 2017/2018 version of the one I love from 2015/2016… A few colour changes, some ergonomic molding changes, a different spring… But they’re still my go-to tape underneath. So, While I’m not jumping on buying them, it doesn’t mean I don’t really like them and recommend them.
My take is that tapes are a much abused, often lost or damaged and much maligned tool. Maybe our expectations are too high – hyped up by the manufacture’s claims about ergonomics, standout capability and longevity. When I was buying – I looked for what was the best we could get at the best price – buying 20 or more at a time. I had guys who loved it when a shipment of FatMax tapes came – and others who hated their bulkiness. Now I prefer a shorter tape – stuck in the pocket of my apron. Doing cabinets that is often a Fastcap True 32 – 5 meter tape – or otherwise a Komelon SL2912 – 12 foot tape.
When I need longer – for what I do now (retired) I usually switch to a laser (Disto810).
I’m gonna start this again..
I don’t understand why no one makes a tape measures for right hand people!
It’s a no brainer. .
I want it be held on my left while my pencil is right. I grab the tape with my left hand, hook it, hold. Grab my pencil with my right hand and mark the desired measurement.
Let the tape loose and put back on my left.
Fastcap makes some “reverse reading” tapes – PSSR16 AND PSSR25
I have it, Fred.
But it still has a hook on the other way so not quite what I want.
Also not quite strong for construction in general.
I like Fascap tapes for around the home shop – but don’t think they are particularly rugged .
what do you mean by hook on the other way???
Because about 4 people would buy it
Lee Valley has some options. The 33′ is no longer available. Not enough demand?
Had mine for a while and I’m not a fan of the clip. I do like the ergonomics of it. One thing I’ve heard people say is that it’s similar in size to their 16’ tape measure and that’s not true at all.
Tapes don’t last for construction and framing…doesnt matter how they make it..it’s all about a good tape with a good return policy….. DeWalts 90 day is great..new tapes every 90 days
Where do you get it to be replaced? Anywhere you bought or dewalt factory service shop?
They’d replace it with just a normal wear or broken something??
I have no problems paying $30 for a fully featured tape measure designed for toughness AND MADE IN AMERICA.
I have one of the 1st generation 25′ Fat Maxes from when they really started pushing the 13′ stand-out. So it’s probably 5-6 years old and foreign made. It’s still looking nearly new from those 5-6 years of moderate DIY use.
No problems whatsoever replacing my perfectly good old tape with a new MADE IN AMERICA tool at a decent price.
I didn’t like the xp either. The ergonomics are terrible as with most 25′ tapes. 16′ Dewalt! 16′! And the blademax armor shield crap is nothing more than a real thin layer of saran wrap type stuff that started to peel off in less than a couple of weeks of use. I wouldn’t buy it again. Nobody buys materials longer than 16′ for the most part, so why the 25? Makes no sense. They need to figure out how to make a kink proof blade, not a different branding of the same tape measure that they made last year. But at least they have enough sense to offer a 16′ tape with the fatmax. But I still wouldn’t buy it.
Build a house lol frame, run conduit, layout a stemwall, I’ve used 25/35/100′ for years, all the time. Piped truck shop oil burners from their disconnects this week, 25′ straight up the wall got me my drop lengths. There’s plenty of use for larger tapes, and I’m still waiting for the 16’xp lol
This is hilarious! Nothing is sold longer than 16′? Maybe not a Home Depot, but plenty of structural steel, commercial plumbing supplies, and other materials come in 20′ lengths. Regardless, what do you do when you’re using those 12-16′ length materials on a span that is longer than 16′?? Just mark on the wall or whatever where your tape measure ran out and try to hold it there while you measure the other 14 feet or whatever is left? That is a comical mental image, especially from an account named “ToolOfTheTrade”.
Even better if you’ve ever dealt with roll-formed sheet metal products which can be as long as you need. Seamless roofing, wall, and ceiling panels, gutters, soffit, etc.
The longest drywall panel I’ve ever installed was 16′. But I wouldn’t dream of trying to measure for drywall with less than a 25′. 40′ was my go-to for large projects.
“25′ tape measure makes no sense.” That’s the funniest thing I’ve read in a while.
I’ve always liked the FatMax tapes.
Made in the US? Same price as oversees, but high quality, tapes?
Yeah – thanks Stanly!
Nothing like a good Stanley tape measure! Most widely used tape around
While not this 2018 version, this months MAC flyer has a 2 pack of FatMax tapes (26 and 25 footers) for $30. Maybe other retailers would match it. It’s on page 6 of the flyer.
That seems to be a Father’s Day promo. Amazon has something similar:
2x 25′ tapes for $16
25′ and 16′ tapes for $20
Stanley had patent on its blade size for many years which provides 11ft and above stand out.
And I hear it expires soon. All the competitors will be coming up with 11-14ft stand out soon with cheaper price. The only way for Stanley to make a new price position for themselves is creating new price point with new features which is new spring mechanism. I opened one up and realized it got two spring inside.
For me Komelon tapes work well all the time. They have new tape called Powerblade ll and very durable and compact tape with good price.
Bought one of these at Lowe’s a few weeks ago, the lock broke after a couple of measurements. Got it exchanged and the new one broke on the first day. Same thing, faulty plastic lock mechanisms. So much for “made in the USA”.