A tape measure is a practical tool for numerous applications when accurate measurements are necessary. From hanging a picture at home or the office, to working with building materials at a job site, the right tape measure is important to help get the job done right. Before beginning your project, make sure you have the right measuring, leveling and marking tools as well. For more involved carpentry projects, make sure to look at our selection of squares.
Most standard size tape measures come in a compact, enclosed case, making them easy to store and carry no matter what the use. First, select the length of measuring tape you will need and the units of measurement you wish to work with, whether SAE or metric. Choose a measuring tape with a lock button to ensure steady tape placement during use. Most measuring tapes have end grips, making it easy to measure the edges of objects such as frames and walls. Rubber grip cases and belt hooks are also useful features, as well as polymer-coated blades that resist dirt and moisture.
For uses requiring extended measurements, consider a reel fraction tape measure rather than a compact, enclosed unit. Reel units usually come in measurements from 100 feet and higher. They sit flat on the floor or ground and have handles for easy winding. Choose a reel tape measure with a rubber grip for easy carrying on the job site.
For engineering use, choose an open reel unit with an engineer's scale, which divides the foot by tenths and hundredths.