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Tool Tip: Tape Measure0

I know. You’re thinking – really? A tip about a measuring tape? What wisdom is there to dispense – how to press the little red button so it comes back in?

Granted, it’s not an advanced piece of your tool arsenal. But nonetheless, I have to put in a plug for the value of a good measuring tape. There are several light years’ worth of cheap tapes out there… tapes that won’t hold their own weight past a couple of feet, tapes that dance all over the place as you retract them, tapes that won’t stay hooked on the end of what you’re measuring, so they’re almost impossible to use without a helper. So, in, um, short, get a good one – at least 12 feet, with a stand-out (how much of the tape will hold itself up without bending) of at least half that, markings down to 1/32″, and special markings at 16 inches for framing jobs.

I’m old-fashioned, I suppose, so I haven’t tried an electronic model, with lasers and the like, but they’re certainly out there and they probably work fine – whether they can be dropped on a concrete floor or thrown in the bottom of a tool box, as I have with this little one so many times, I’m not sure.

text and photo by Steve MacDonald


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