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Tape Measure | Measuring Tools

Updated on October 2, 2014

Measuring a distance with precision

A ruler is ok for small objects but since it does not bend it is useless for uneven and rounded objects. A long ruler will be made of folding segments and can be a couple of feet long but it breaks easily. And what if you need to measure the length of a bridge, height of a flagpole, or the width of a house?

In all these cases you need what is normally referred to as a "tape measure" which can be short pocket model, a long open reel tape, or a electronic long-distance measurement device. If you are looking for a useful DIY gift, this will probably be a unexpected but welcome item.

When you make your choice, don't forget to select a inch or metric measure tape depending on your preference.

Seen above is the open reel Komelon 100 foot tape measure

Best selling measure tape rule

Komelon SL2925 Self Lock Speed Mark 25-Foot Power Tape
Komelon SL2925 Self Lock Speed Mark 25-Foot Power Tape

25 feet of measure tape is enough for most contractor work and DIY projects.


Long Distance Measure Tools

Tape Reel or Laser Tool?

How to measure distance between two objects that are far away? You need either a remote measure tool such as a laser range finder, or a more traditional tape measure reel. My personal choice for all types of engineering and building projects is the laser distance measurer because of the extreme accuracy even when measuring very long distances. It is also easier to measure distant objects without the need for helpers. Speed is another point which makes the laser meter my choice. Point it at what you want to measure, click the button and read the display. Done!

The Bosch BLM80 laser measurement tool is an example of a very capable laser measurement with a +250 foot distance capacity.

Bosch BLM80 265ft Laser Tape Measure
Bosch BLM80 265ft Laser Tape Measure

Magnetic holder for tape rules.

MagnoGrip 002-290 Quick Snap Magnetic Tape Measure Holder
MagnoGrip 002-290 Quick Snap Magnetic Tape Measure Holder

Most measure tapes have belt clips but if you use it often at a construction site what you need is a magnetic holder. One part goes on your belt, the other is attached onto the measure tape. This now also gives your measure reel strong magnets which you can attach to metal surfaces and pull the tape out to measure your point.


How to measure plumbing and tubes

Anytime Tools Dial Caliper 6" / 150mm DUAL Reading Scale METRIC SAE Standard INCH MM
Anytime Tools Dial Caliper 6" / 150mm DUAL Reading Scale METRIC SAE Standard INCH MM

Neasure tapes and reels are good for almost everything - except getting a good read on circular objects. The caliper is a tool that has been around for ges and should be in everyone's toolbox. use it to measure screw and bolt dimensions, tubes and plumbing, etc


Small and cheap measurement tools

A simple fabric tape measure is something you will probably find in all family households, specially if you have a sewing machine. Extremely cheap and easy to use a 3 - 6 foot tape measure is a must-have tool of any tailor.

A measure tape has a printed scale on it that is normally aligned for right to left usage and reading. If you are left-handed you will probably find yourself reading the distance scale upside-down all the time, or be handling the tool in a awkward way.

There are some left-to-right tape measures on the market but they are surprisingly few.

Construction and folding rulers

Rhino Rulers Folding Modular Brick Spacing Ruler 6' Length - 55120
Rhino Rulers Folding Modular Brick Spacing Ruler 6' Length - 55120

A traditional builder's folding ruler which you will probably find in most homes.


Traditional carpenter ruler

A folding ruler is also something most people use at some point and is a excellent measurement tool for the home-owner doing smaller home improvement jobs.

Easy, cheap and portable, the downside is lack of durability and short reach for long distance measuring.

Great for smaller carpentry jobs and diy projects.

What kind of measurement tool do you use?

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    • kindoak profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      @anonymous: Thanks for the suggestion! Added a section above.

    • CoffeeWriter LM profile image

      CoffeeWriter LM 

      6 years ago

      An inexpensive one, so I don't worry about my four little kids disappearing with it!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Nicely done. My husband is left handed, so you might want to include a left handed tape rule. He loves the one I got him.

    • Camden1 profile image


      6 years ago

      I really a laser tape measure - I think they're really cool and would be very practical.

    • Bustler profile image


      6 years ago

      I always attached measuring tape at my waist. It look cool...

    • piedromolinero profile image


      6 years ago

      A laser distant measure is just perfect. I wouldn't want to miss mine and go back to a measure tape.


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