Measuring Made Easy: How to Choose the Right Tape Measure for the Job

There are many people that work in skilled trades such as carpenters, construction workers, plumbers and electricians that rely on their tape measures on a daily basis. These tools are available in a number of different sizes and shapes and offer different features. When choosing a new measuring tape for your job, here are some of the most important factors to consider.

How a Measuring Tape Is Constructed

Tape measures are made of different components that come together as one to form a useful tool that can take accurate measurements. The major parts of a measuring tape include the following:

  • Blade
  • Case
  • Hook
  • Locking mechanism
  • Gradations

The blade is the long metal strip that is marked with metric or imperial units or a combination of both. The case is the housing that holds the blade when it isn’t being used while the hook is found at the end of the blade and is used to anchor the tape measure against an object. A locking mechanism may be in the form of a small button or a lever on the case and the gradations are the blade markings that appear in the form of black or red lines.

Most Common Types of Tape Measures

There are various types of tape measures available to meet the needs of any tradesperson. The 2 most common measuring tapes are pocket and surveyor tapes.

Pocket (spring return):

This measuring tape is very popular and comes with a thumb lock that is easy to use.


Surveyor tape measures are much longer than pocket tape measures and do not come with a spring return mechanism. Instead, a hand crank is used to wind up the blade when it is no longer in use.

Consider Length First When Choosing a Tape Measure

There are tape measures that have been created for more intricate and shorter jobs while longer measures are meant for larger jobs such as construction and surveying work. A dressmaker, for example, would require a short yet accurate measuring tool while a construction worker would need a tape measure that is at least 8 metres long. Many carpenters would feel comfortable using a tape with an intermediate length of 5 metres.

Accuracy Is Vital

Many tradespeople must take measurements with absolute precision. Estimates or rough measurements won’t do and even the difference of a few millimetres could cause a big problem. Choose only measuring tapes that have been properly calibrated to ensure that all of your measurements are precise.

Decide on the Gradations You’ll Need

All tape measures produced in Europe and in the UK must contain metric markings. Many tape measuring tools also have imperial markings. Decide whether you’ll need to take measurements with both or whether you’ll only require metric gradations. A metric-only tape measure will feature metric measurements on both blade edges, which allows for more accurate and quicker measurements.

Choosing the right tape measure for the job will make your work easier while increasing your production. It will also save you the frustration and problems associated with using tape measures that just aren’t right for the job.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button