We’re just going to put this out there: this Milwaukee 25′ Magnetic Tape Measure is the best tape measure we’ve ever used. We love everything Milwaukee’s done with the design of this tape, from the ergonomic grip, to the 4-way magnetic hook, to the clever finger-stop mechanism, to the virtually indestructible case — we think Milwaukee has hit a home run with this tape and are sure you’ll love it too.
Stuff Lawyers Made Us Say: We’re partnering with The Home Depot to provide candid reviews of tools from a wide variety of manufacturers. The Home Depot is both providing the tools for free and compensating us; however, the opinions we express here are our own. Remember, we’ll always be up front with you when we’re receiving a free product, compensation, or both. And of course we always strive for objectivity in our reviews.
Here’s a look at the five features we think make this tape fantastic. Each one of these contributed to our including this tape in our Top 10 Gifts for Father’s Day.
Feature 1: The Guarded Finger Stop
Don’t you cringe when someone lets the hook on a tape measure slam against the housing of the tape? We do too. It’s a surefire way to shorten the life of the tape or create slight inaccuracies in measurement by repeatedly putting force on the rivets that hold the hook to the blade. Most competent tool users have learned to do some variation of the “finger slow down” where you use your index finger to slow the blade just as the hook is approaching the case. Milwaukee’s design for this tape incorporates a cut out for your index finger that gives you precise control over tape retraction speed and even prevents the hook from slamming into your finger. Pretty smart!
Feature 2: The Magnetic 4-way Hook
Like many competitors’ tapes, Milwaukee’s tape includes a 4-way hook that allows the hook to grip in any orientation. But in Milwaukee’s design, the hook also includes a powerful magnet which makes measuring between steel beams or other metal objects quicker–and sometimes reduces it from a two-man job down to one. We found that when affixed to steel, the magnet was strong enough to hold the hook while we pulled the tape away.
Feature 3: Clear, Double-Sided Markings
Of all the great features of this tape, our favorite are the tape’s clear, easy-to-read, double-sided markings. So many times when we’re measuring something, it’s more convenient to have markings on both sides of the tape. On this tape, the back side markings are shown perpendicular to the tape because Milwaukee thinks you’ll get the most use out of those markings when measuring height (i.e., distance from the floor).
Both sides of the tape are marked with all of the standard features including:
- Yellow-on-black labels every 12″ (foot markers)
- Yellow-on-red labels every 16″
- Black diamonds every 19.2″.
- Red inch labels after the first foot.
- Markings down to 1/16″ the length of the tape.
Feature 4: A Ridiculously Rugged Case
Like other premium tapes, the Milwaukee features a five-point connection between the halves of the frame creating a very rugged design. Here’s a short clip from The Home Depot event we attended in April where Milwaukee was showing off the ruggedness of their tape vs. lower-quality competitor tapes using a 20-foot drop simulator:
And here’s an up-close shot of the 5-point reinforcement (note: 1 of the points is hidden behind the belt buckle).
Feature 5: A Price We Can Live With Considering the Lifetime Warranty
The best part about this tape measure is that it comes in under $20 at The Home Depot which is a steal for a tool of this caliber, especially considering it includes a lifetime warranty. The Milwaukee 25′ Magnetic Tape Measure comes in at just $19.98 at Home Depot. Here’s the link:
- Long-life Nylon bond blade protection.
- Architectural markings on the reverse for 1/16 and 1/32 scale measurements.
- Belt Clip