Finding a good tape measure for woodworking shouldn’t be so hard. But here we are.
The 25′ length is the most popular for all manufacturers, so that’s where you’ll find most of the variety and features. For general woodworking (at least in my opinion), a 25′ tape measure is too large. It hangs off your belt like a 6-shooter and knocks into everything – and inevitably winds up on the floor.
The Stanley 175th Anniversary Tape Measure came out in 2018 and was supposed to be a limited edition, but it appears that it’s here to stay. This isn’t a multi-purpose tape measure, but it’s perfect for woodworking. It does everything you need it to do.
The blade is just right. It’s a little concave for the sake of rigidity, but you don’t have to jockey it around in order to get it to lay flat against your work to make an accurate mark.
- 10-foot blade length
- 1/2″ width
- Hook end
- 1/16″ graduations on both edges
- Easy to read
There are no chunky rubberized grips, so it doesn’t look like a child’s toy. There’s no belt clip. The case is round and smooth, and easily fits in your pants or vest pocket. You also won’t find a blade lock on this tape measure. You may turn up your nose at that, too – but hear me out. How often do you really use that thing for woodworking anyway?
- 2-1/8″ diameter
- 7/8″ thickness
- Die-cast metal
- Chrome polished
Give one of these a try for a week in your shop. I guarantee you’ll toss that big chunk of plastic you’ve been using in the trash.
You can find the Stanley 175th Anniversary Tape Measure at Highland Woodworking for about nine bucks. If you’re feeling saucy, you can buy a 12 pack (for the price of 10).