I always buy the silver cased 30 footer from Stanley. I'm always replacing it. Best part is I have a lumber yard that still warranty's them and when it's broke I hand it to them and they hand me a new one for free.
I prefer the FatMax for general construction hands down. I would love to have the money Ihave spent on construction tapes and have bought them by the case in the past. My experience says nothing even comes close for general construction to the FatMax for durability, blade extension, recoil strength and smoothness, ease of reading, and accuracy of the sliding rivets allowing for inside/outside measuring.
For woodworking I reach for my Tajima G-Lock. I prefer the white background it has as a bonus to it's high quality hardy construction.
Having just picked up a Fatmax.... I like it too.... But I do have Craftsman ones as they're a Lifetime warranty one............. but the local sears closed... and don't get me started on the whole Kmart thing.... (they won;t Honor Sears giftcards.... yet you can buy the things there)
FatMax is made by Stanley. It boasts an 11' standout. There's also the FatMax Extreme that has a 13' standout. Isn't there an Ultra Extreme version out there too? Anyway, these are aproaching the $30 for the longer ones.
My personal favorite is the Klein 918-25RE (25') or 918-30RE (30'). They were sold by Lowes under the Cobalt name. Now, unfortuneatly, Lowes carries the cheaper version.
What I like about it is it is labeled on both sides of the tape and you can also hook both sides. It has a rubber coating so it won't slide down the roof (personal experience with my chrome Stanley).
I kinda recycle my tapes. When one starts to get cut up and ugly I move it to the truck and use it for estimating. I have a couple of the Fat Max tapes now. The standout is great. And it is easy to read. I think I like this one better than the green Stanley in the truck.
I've been seeing this tape that is flat don't know the name off hand but looks like it might be a handy tape for the flatness alone. Puts the mark on the surface not 1/8" off like the standard tapes do. With older eyes it might just help.
I had a Blue Point tape years ago that was great. The back had alot of conversion tables and even a circumference rule. I, too was in a machine shop at the time. It was as durable as a standard tape, but alot more features.
I've not herd of a Blue Point either. Guess I'll have to take a look through the wish books and see. I did see in a sales flier a Stareet (sp?) 1" wide by 25' for $8.99. Now this is a top of the line tool company but that just seems to cheap. Wondering if they too are now buying form overseas.
at work (i'm a millwright) i use the standard stanley 25'. at home in the shop, i use the smaller stanley 12'. i have an electric buggy to cart around my tools at the job, but at home in the shop i like the smaller tape because it fits nicely in the pocket of my shop apron and with the belt clip removed, it is low profile as well as almost weightless.
I would be ecstatic if I could get a fat max or any other tape too last a year.:thumbsup: I live on the oregon coast so in the winter I'll go through 3 of them easy. The rust factor is unreal. I wipe it down daily with teflon spray and they still rot up. It's actually is gettin' pretty old. My arm is gettin' a workout framing with galvies too.
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