Posted On Fri, Nov 3, 2023

There are several factors that should be taken into consideration before purchasing a Measuring Tape. Below we have listed a few to help you make an informed decision: 

Length of the Measuring Tape 

One of the most important considerations when choosing the right tape measure for your job, is the length of the tape. Measuring Tapes range from 1m to 100m, and the most popular sizes include 5m, 7.5m, 10m, 30m, 50m and 100m tapes. Longer tapes are more suitable for larger projects such as landscaping or when measuring longer distances. On the other hand, shorter pocket measuring tapes are more convenient for carpentry or DIY. 1m and 2m measuring tapes are usually available as part of a keychain. 

The width of the tape should also be considered. Wider tape blades tend to be more durable, have better standout and are easier to read.   

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Material of the Tape blade 

Majority of the Measuring Tapes today are manufactured with a Steel tape blade. Whilst the quality of steel is largely the same regardless of the manufacturer and model, the thickness and protective coatings are not. Most unbranded Measuring Tapes will feature a tape blade with a basic coating that does not guarantee a long life. For the highest quality tape blade in your tape measure, opt for FREEMANS Dura-coat tape blade. 

Fibreglass Measuring Tapes feature a tape ribbon manufactured from fiberglass yarn coated with tough, weather resistant PVC.  The fibreglass tape is non-conductive and thus suitable for measuring in areas with potential electrical hazards. As fibreglass tapes are tear and water resistant, they are an ideal choice for outdoor measuring such as surveying and engineering.  

Stainless Steel Measuring Tapes are specially designed to be measure under water and other liquid solvents. These tapes are highly rust and corrosion resistant.  


Most steel tapes will have Unbreakable ABS cases, to protect the tape blade and the integrity of its components. For superior comfort and non-slip grip, opt for a pocket tape with bi-material casing –this is an unbreakable ABS case overmoulded with rubber.  

Fibreglass Tapes usually feature two types of casing – Open and Closed. Open reel designs make them ideal for work in muddy environments as any dirt can be easily rinsed or wiped off the exposed blade.   


Be sure to consider the graduations or markings on your tape blade before making a purchase. Depending on your jobsite requirements, tape blade markings can include Metric or combined markings (In India, the official system for measurement is the Metric system, the additional scale is for reference only). Tape blades with fractional graduations are also gaining popularity, as they allow for quick-reading and require minimal conversions. 

Locking mechanism

The most economical pocket measuring tapes are likely to not feature a lock. In these tapes, the tape blade will automatically retract unless it is firmly held in place. However now several locking mechanisms are available in the market. These allow the user to take measurements single-handedly and promote safety on the jobsite: 

  • An Auto-lock system for a measuring tape is a mechanism that allows the tape to automatically stay in place once it has been extended to a desired length 
  • The traditional Click-lock mechanism uses a manual button to hold the tape blade in place 
  • Tapes may even feature a finger stop protection, which allows you to control the speed of the retraction of the tape blade using your finger


The European Commission has established a non-compulsory classification system for determining tape measure accuracy. Whilst most unbranded tapes would be unclassified, branded tape measures would usually fall into one of three classes of accuracy: Classes I, II, and III. The accuracy class of a tape measure indicates its error within a specified measurement range. 

End Hook

Measuring Tapes feature a range of end hooks with different features. All end hooks have a play, that is, end hooks move in and out to adjust for internal and external measurements. However, users can choose measuring tapes with specific end-hooks, depending on which features would be useful to them on the jobsite: 

  • Normal copper end hooks on the most tapes. Almunium end hooks, which are similar in their function to copper end hooks. 
  • Magnetic hooks clasp onto steel surfaces, allowing the user to take measurements single-handedly. 
  • Bull hooks are double-sided end hooks which allow you to measure from both sides of a tape blade. They are used on double-side printed measuring tapes. 
  • Nail scriber end hooks are manufactured with a small hole in the end hook, where a single nail can slot in. The nail can then hold the tape while you take measurements single-handedly. The serrated edge of the bottom of this end hook is a scribing tool. This serrated edge/scriber can be used to mark up any materials the user is working on.  
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