Today's best tape measures must retain their accuracy while being subject to drops and other abuse that is a regular occurrence on jobsites everywhere.
The newest Stanley Fatmax tape measure features an outstanding 13-foot blade standout and an impact-resistant ABS case that is tough enough to withstand a 50 foot drop onto packed soil. The redesigned case imitates a baseball, for more comfort and better grip. Now manufactured in the USA with global materials.
Lufkin has updated their auto lock tape measures which are available in standard, metric, and magnetic models. All have a hi-viz orange case that is easy to spot on the jobsite, and the standard and magnetic versions feature vertical "quick read" markings that show both fractional and decimal measurements. The metric blade contains metric and imperial markings.
The new Auto-Lock tape measures from Milwaukee Tool feature a tape that automatically locks once it is extended to your chosen length. To retract the tape, just depress the lock mechanism. The nylon bond blade protection, and a 5-point reinforced frame offer tremendous drop protection.
The Dewalt is hefty and durable. Its first nine inches are reinforced with a clear thermoplastic and its end hook is gigantic, which means less cursing from slip-offs. It's easy to read, with big numbers, clear sixteenth-inch markings, and designations for stud and truss spacing.
The Komelon Gripper Speed Mark has added speed mark fractional graduations to the blade, and the thick rubber jacket surrounding its ergonomic compact case is a pleasure to hold.