Who makes the best woodworker's tape measure?

My old tape measure is just about done. I thought I'd get a Milwaukee since I like things they make, but the reviews are not that good. What is the best 16-foot tape measure?
Thanks.
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On Fri, 17 May 2019 19:12:16 -0700 (PDT), Michael

I've had good luck with Stanley FatMax. I don't know how durable they are--I tend to lose them long before they're worn out--but they do everything I want them to do. Only real downside is that to get the standout they achieve they've got a lot of dish in the tape.
If you want one that's flat, FastCap has several options, including some that are made so you can write on them like a "story pole".
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On 5/17/2019 11:28 PM, J. Clarke wrote: ...

...
I've had a lot of trouble with them kinking trying to use the standout feature...they don't recover gracefully at all as some others will. One kink and that blade is done in my experience while others have the temper to recover. This seems more evident with later versions -- like they've tried to cheapen the manufacturing by less expensive blade material--I don't have old to compare to but my intuition and recollection makes me think are thinner blades than used to be...
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On 5/17/2019 10:12 PM, Michael wrote:

I don't particularly care who makes my tapes, I have a ton of them. My main gripe is all of them I have have 1/32" increments in the first foot. This is useless, no, worse than useless, imo.
I seldom work on carpentry projects any more, but in my cabinet shop I like a small tape, 12' is more than enough. I prefer Stanely, they always made good tapes, and that's my goto tape, a 12' Stanley Power lock. I also have a 16' Fastcap "old Standby" that is OK. The Fastcap return spring is too strong. Stanley has prefect return spring tension.
Both of these have those dammed useless 1/32" markings in the first foot. I hated those when I was young and could actually see them clearly. I have zero problems making accurate marks between 1/16" lines. I guess they figure if you measure more than a foot, you don't need 1/32" accuracy.
Also, as I mentioned, I have a ton of tapes. One day I compared all of them for accuracy. Stanley and Fastcap were right on, many of the others were not. Doesn't matter much if you only use one tape, but keep that in mind. Cheap tapes in the bargain barrel are generally inaccurate, but good idea to check each tape you have.
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Jack
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On 5/18/2019 8:21 AM, Jack wrote:

I used them often. For my use the tape would be no good without them. I can get that with a 12" scale but a tape is easier to carry around. So, your opinion does not matter to many of us.
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On 5/18/2019 10:18 AM, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

So, I reckon you can't make accurate measurements with anything over a foot in length unless it lands exactly on a 16th? Pretty sad, in my opinion.

He asked for opinions, I took the time to give him mine. I guess you took a survey of "many of us" to see if my opinion matters to anyone?
If my opinion doesn't matter to you, then don't read my posts. Pretty simple.
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I wouldn't count on a tape measure to be more accurate than that anyway. They aren't micrometers.

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On 5/19/2019 6:41 PM, snipped-for-privacy@notreal.com wrote:

True, and it depends on what you are measuring. It is comon in some industries to have a closer tolerance on part up to 12" or so than for larger parts.
Just to confuse Jack a bit, in my industry for a part to measure a true 48" when I check it will measure 48 1/4".
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On 5/19/2019 6:41 PM, snipped-for-privacy@notreal.com wrote:

True dat. But, they ain't micrometers under a foot either, so 1/32" marks in the first foot doesn't turn them into micrometers either, so while the marks aren't needed in over a foot measurements, they're also not needed under a foot measurements.
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On 5/20/2019 1:08 PM, Jack wrote:

Not for you but what about others? Tape measures are used for many things aside from woodwork. Surely you recognize that others have different needs than you.
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On 5/21/2019 9:38 AM, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

I only give MY opinions based on MY 60 years experience in woodworking. Are you suggesting I give someone else's opinion?
Keep in mind I didn't say no tape on earth should ever have 1/32" markings only in the first foot, only that MY opinion is those markings are not needed (by me, nor has any one said they are) and that it is HARD to find a short tape w/o those damned things. Also, why aren't they there for over a foot, or at all on tapes over 25'?
Tape measures are used for many

True enough, but always used in woodwork, which btw, is the focus of this group. People needing finer than half way between 1/16", which is easy for any woodworker to measure accurately enough for wood work, use other means. For example, a machinist uses dial indicators, calibers and so on. Woodworkers mostly use tapes.
If a woodworker truly needs fine measurements less than halfway between 1/16" they should rely on machinist measuring tools, rather than using a magnifying glass to mark between 1/32" marks, and not bother ME with that nonsense.
Again, this is MY opinion, not someone else's.
Surely you recognize that, don't you.
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Jack wrote:   I guess they figure if you measure more

I would rather "copy" a length than use a tape measure under those circumstances. Except admittedly, it's hard to measure a circumference that way. Did they have tape measures in the 17th and 18th century? If not, I guess we don't need them! ; )
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On 5/19/2019 1:31 AM, Bill wrote:

I don't know what you mean by "copy" a length? Are you saying you don't use a tape if you need 1/32" accuracy over a foot because there are no 1/32" markings?
In over 60 years of woodworking I have not found a need for those 1/32" measures in the first foot, they just get in the way. Regardless of length, 6" or 20', I can put a mark half way between two 1/16" lines. My 30' tapes don't have 1/32" marks, so I guess they,(the morons making tapes) think accuracy is only important in the first foot on short tapes. Truth is, 1/32" lines are mostly just an unnecessary nuisance both under and over a foot measurements.

I wasn't around then, but sometimes it feels like I was. I know they didn't have digital calibers, that's for sure.
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On 5/19/2019 9:43 AM, Jack wrote:

FWIW and, yes, I know there are other ways to skin this cat; how about measuring a sheet of 1/2" or 3/4" plywood for setting a dado? Rarely is plywood exactly what it is sold as. It can vary by a 16th or 32nd.
Sure, it's easy enough to cut the baby in half as you suggest but if there were no 32nd" marks on the tape you can bet the manufacturer's would probably hear gripes about their absence.

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On Sun, 19 May 2019 11:35:29 -0500, Unquestionably Confused

Or somewhere in between. For that I find a micrometer is more efficacious than a tape measure. But if the fit really matters trial cuts and adjustment are time consuming but the "right" way to do it.

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On Sunday, May 19, 2019 at 12:32:14 PM UTC-7, J. Clarke wrote:

I've had good results from cutting a joint slightly too loose, using feeler gages to measure the gap, then adjusting my fence for the difference. A thousandths-of-an-inch dial gage can tell you how far the fence is moved...
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On 5/19/2019 2:32 PM, J. Clarke wrote:

Sneaking up on the fit is a band aid fix for improper measuring up to that point. I certainly sneak up on fit in many cases but it is usually when considering inconsistent thicknesses on sheet goods used in multiple layers.
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For the aforementioned case, I'd probably sneak up on the correct stacked-dado/shim combination required to match the plywood rather than trying to measure the stacked dado + shims.
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On 5/20/2019 11:26 AM, Scott Lurndal wrote:

Yes, that's what I do. I'm gunna try the dial calipers next time though. Been watching a lot of machinist videos on YouTube:-).
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Jack wrote:

Try Hobby-Machinist.com I've been thinking about whether I might be able to make some plane parts. I don't own a lathe or a mill though, so far. But I am keeping my eyes open for a "deal" while I learn.
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