A tape measure is one of the most essential items to have in your home. Whether you’re simply hanging two pictures and want them spaced evenly or you’re taking on a large-scale DIY project, a tape measure is an item that should always be on hand. Need to order a new curtain rod? You’ll need a tape measure. Trying to figure out what size you are in dress shirts? You’ll need a fabric tape measure. Can your new couch fit through the door? Trust us, you’re going to want to measure the opening before lifting the couch.
What To Look For In A Tape Measure
Clear markings are important. You want a tape measure that can easily and quickly be read since you’ll likely be using it for years.
Size is important. The average tape measure is 12 to 25 feet long, which is suitable for standard projects. For bigger-scale renovations or homes with high ceilings, you may want to opt for an extended tape measure, which is typically made from fiberglass.
Look at what the tape measure is made from when deciding which to purchase. Steel is the most economical and great for anyone who needs a basic tape measure. Stainless steel is more durable and better suited for wet or muddy jobs.
Fabric tape measures are also a good tool to have on hand for measuring clothing sizes or small objects. These tend to be the most economical and are great to keep on hand when shopping for furniture.
How We Picked The Best Tape Measures
We’ve included a range of tape measures that hit various price points, lengths, and materials to showcase a selection that will work for any budget or project. We only included highly rated options that customers have consistently praised and would purchase again.
1. CRAFTSMAN Tape Measure
When it comes to quality tools, Craftsman knows what customers need. The trusted tool brand has spent years making durable and affordable tools for both amateur and professionals and that includes a high-quality tape measure. The self-locking blade will remain extended, making it a great option for solo projects. Fractions and measurements in inches are clearly printed directly on the blade for quick reference. Available in 12, 16 and 25-foot options, the rubber cover on the Craftsman tape measure adds extra protection for accidental drops. We also like that the red and black tape measure is easy to spot in a toolbox.
Pros: Affordable and durable, self-locking, includes rubber cover for added protection.
Cons: The measurements are only printed on one side which can be annoying if the tape measure flips.
2. eTape16 Digital Electronic Tape Measure
There’s a saying in construction that you should always measure twice to cut once, but with the eTape16 Digital Electronic Tape Measure, you only have to measure once. The highly accurate tape measure includes measurements printed directly on the tape as well as a digital readout that provides the exact measurement with fractions. A memory function allows users to record the three most recent measurements, which adds a major convenience factor. Users can switch between inches and centimeters and the tape measure is housed in a weather-resistant polycarbonate plastic case for added durability. A steel belt clip makes it easy for users to attach the tape measure to their pants or belt.
Pros: Accurate digital readout, memory function, weather-resistant case.
Cons: The eTape16 is more expensive than most tape measures and the longest option available is 16 feet.
3. iBayam Tape Measure
The iBayam Tape Measure set is every seamstress and furniture hunter’s best friend. The two-pack includes a soft sewing measuring tape that is typically used by seamstresses and finished in a bright pink that makes it highly visible. The fabric tape measure is made from durable fiberglass and includes one side with inches and one side with CM markings. The second black retractable tape measure is also double-sided and is a lightweight, pocket-size option that is ideal for use around the home or when shopping for home goods, like furniture. Both tape measures can also be used to take body measurements and can be contoured to fit around just about any object.
Pros: Affordable, portable, includes centimeters and inches.
Cons: The retractable tape measure makes a loud noise when retracting.
4. TackLife Laser Tape Measure
The TackLife Laser Tape Measure is a user-friendly, high-tech tape measure that makes it easy to measure a variety of projects. TackLife has included a traditional 16-foot tape measure with clear markings in inches and centimeters. The tape measure also includes a 131-foot laser tape measure that provides a continuous distance measure which can easily be ready on the large digital screen on the top of the tape measure. Double sensing holes improve the tape measures’ accuracy and users can opt for the display to be read in millimeters, inches, or feet. The battery-powered tape measure will automatically turn off after a period to help conserve power. The tape measure is encased in a soft rubber wrap and ABS plastic and includes a self-locking button, a retractor button, and a magnetic hook.
Pros: Includes laser measurements up to 131 feet, large digital screen, features self-locking button.
Cons: The TackLife doesn’t provide a digital display reading for the 16-foot tape portion.
5. DEWALT Tape Measure
DeWalt is another trusted name in tools, which is why we are big fans of their 100-foot tape measure. Built for tough, dirty jobs, the tape measure features a rust-resistant coating on the blade and a dirt removal window that allows users to empty any dust particles that may have made their way inside the tape measure. The Dewalt features a retractable blade arm that allows users to wind the tape measure five times faster than comparable tape measures. A blade-release button allows for fast extension and a durable stainless steel crank arm is easy to use.
Pros: Extended length, rust-resistant coating on the blade, includes dirt remover function.
Cons: At 1 pound, the Dewalt is one of the heavier options on our list.