It can be quite tough to find a good tape measure these days – unless you have access to a Stanley Powerlock, that is. Powerlocks have a classic no-frills look and feel which make them easily recognized amongst hobbyists and pros alike.
Although tape measures are extremely ubiquitous, they’re not all built the same. In fact, there are so many mediocre (or worse) tapes from no-name brands around, that many people don’t even know what a good tape measure feels like!
Since this is a mini review, I will try to be concise. The following comments are based on a 25′ Stanley Powerlock that I have been using for about two years now.
Blade (25′ x 1′)
- Stanley claims a standout of 7′; we’ve repeadedly tested the standout to be ~7.4′, (but not without some typical sagging)
- Markings are bold, sharp, and clearly printed on the blade
- After two years of use, there is no discernable wear or fading of the blade
- Grooved grip around the metal body is simple, yet comfortable
- Blade slides out quickly and easily with little friction
- Blade retracts slower to prevent violent blade whiplash
- Sturdy lock holds blade securely
- Sweaty hands and smooth metal-bodied tape measures don’t always mix well…
Overall, I highly recommend Stanley’s Powerlock tape measures, especially given that they’re cheap enough to replace if or when they’re dropped too many times. Their 25′ Powerlock is a great go-to tape measure despite its single downside. If my Powerlock tape ever kicks the bucket, I’ll likely replace it with one of those Stanley FatMax bimaterial-grip versions.
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