Cabinetmakers tape measure review - Stanley 33-116

Figured I'd post this here seeing as how it's sort of on topic. Product can be seen here... (Amazon.com product link shortened)
After going through several other different sizes, brands and styles of tape, I've pretty much settled on this one for my day-to-day user in the shop. At 16' it's the perfect length for what I do - very rarely do I encounter wood longer than that. It clips on my belt in the morning and is with me all day, every day. A 25-footer is just too bulky for me. The fit and finish are pretty nice on this tape too. It's solidly built, accurate and repeatable - the latter being very important. The hook is darn accurate for both inside and outside measurements - at least until you drop it on it! And since we work in Imperial measurements only, not having the metric scale on the other edge is an absolute MUST. What if you need to measure from the other direction?! Gotta have the marks continuous across the width of the tape IMO.
There are a couple of small things I'd like to see. First, they need to get rid of the 1/32" markings on the first foot. There's no way a tape is going to be accurate to 1/64", nor would a tape - any tape - be the tool you'd use if you were working to such a machinist's spec. I wish they would just have the 1/16" marks like they do for the rest of the tape. This allows you to work to a 32nd" (split the lines), and is much, much easier to read than trying to figure out which little hash mark is which. The more I think about it, the more I'd really like to see this. The other thing might be a small rubber shock absorber where the hook of the tape hits the body upon retraction. Right now it hits flush on the hard plastic body. I don't know if this is severely detrimental to the hook over time, but it certainly can't help.
Overall though, this is the best tape I've found. Yet. If they got rid of the 32nds I'd give it 5-stars, instead of 4.
That said, if anyone has a good 16' tape that doesn't have the 1/32" markings, please give me a call. (so to speak)
JP *************************************** You use a TAPE MEASURE?!!!
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Jay Pique wrote:
I like the Fast Cap products. I have a 16' Story Pole and a 16' "Flat Back" Story Pole. They work great for me and are accurate enough, cheap, and include a pencil sharpener and note pad.
And yes, I too use a tape. I also use rulers, folding rulers, yard sticks, fingers, dividers, calipers, dial indicators...
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Same as I use. But buy when you can compare accuracy of the tape. I foung 3 that read exactly the same, out of 8 or 9. Bought 'em and gave my old ones to our community garage sale. Now I know all read the same. Accurate?? Reading the same is all that matters.
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wrote:

Totally off topic, but I get a big chuckle out of a whole wall full of cheap outdoor and indoor thermometers at the Chinasian Store and VERY few agree on what the actual temperature is.
Angela doesn't quite understand why I stand there and smile at the thermometers....
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LOML is the same way. We go to Lowe's for fertizer, lawn spray etc., and I will check out the thermos and laugh my butt off.
I am remembering something silly like those "Naked Gun" or "Airplane" movies where they show the wall with a bunch of clocks with all the international times on them.
There's always on clock that has absolutely nothing to do with anything as far as time keeping goes.
That's what I see with the thermos.
Robert
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wrote:

Indeed, the Chinoid Stores are full of sight-gags.
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The hygrometers (humidity) are even worse. At least with thermometers you can kind of, sort of find a cluster around the mean and hope that those are most accurate.
When I was trying to buy a cheap hygrometer to check on the progress of my basement dehumidifier, the readings were all over the map from 55% to 85% with no clustering or symmetry.
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"Jay Pique" wrote

For the shop I find all I need is the same model, but a 12' instead of the 16' ... and I have two of them, for the most important reason of all:
That particular 12' Stanley model coincides precisely throughout 52" of its length with my table saw's fence tape ... to a midget gnat's butt.
There are a number of tools in my shop I would give up before that, and there are few things in woodworking life more useful than that correlation.
--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 5/14/08
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To the horror of my compatriots, I still use a tape to build everything. I have 2-3 nice graded, stainless steel rulers, but old habits die hard.
I learned from an old ace when we were out on the job to use the tape as a ruler. Since all of us NEVER used feet unless it got out around 10' when measuring, the transition was easy.
I used the 10" mark as my zero, and added 10" to all my measurements. 43 3/4" became 53 3/4" etc. Works like a champ, and never any adjustment for the hook being bent, worn, sitting on a nub of something etc.
In other words, your tape is your ruler as well. The same 25 foot chrome bodied Stanleys we all loved so much 10,000 years ago were used for every aspect of measuring. It never mattered the condition or placement of the hook since the printed 10" was the new zero.
Handy.
Robert
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wrote:

What _ he_ said.
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I definitely use the 1" or 10" mark from time to time, but it's a little tough to measure more than a couple feet that way. My arms just aren't long enough.

I find it decidedly un-handy to have to make accomodation for a bent hook. It's like when a guy once told me "never trust the scale on any of our (table saw) fences". For me it's more efficient to have dependable equipment.
JP
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

10" is way better than 1", as the math mistakes are obvious.
DAMHIKT
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It is MUCH better to make a 10" screw-up. That leaves room for biscuits and Kreg holes in order to fix...yup.. I vote for 10" Also... if 10" 'kinda-slips-by-ya'... maybe a career in lawn care?
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10" is quite a bit in lawn care. That's half of a 20" mower width! ;-)
Maybe truck driving would be a better career... if you take 10" out of the other guy's lane most of the time it's not more than an unsafe annoyance. :-)
Puckdropper
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To email me directly, send a message to puckdropper (at) fastmail.fm
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