What is the Best Tape Measure for Woodworking?
Top Rated Measuring Tools for Your Shop (2024)

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In my years of experience in woodworking, I’ve come to realize the undeniable importance of a reliable tape measure. They come in various designs, but truth be told, not all of them stand the test of time and precision. Using an inferior tape measure has, on occasion, thrown off my projects. That’s why I’ve personally selected the best tape measures for woodworking and construction use.

Best Overall Tape Measure
Milwaukee 48227225 HP8-26Mg/27 Magnetic Tape Measure
Best Innovative Tape Measure
Prexiso Laser Tape Measure 2-in-1 Laser Measure
Best for Ease of Use
Craftsman Tape Measure 26-Foot (CMHT37726S)
Milwaukee 48227225 HP8-26Mg/27 Magnetic Tape Measure
Prexiso Laser Tape Measure 2-in-1 Laser Measure
Craftsman Tape Measure 26-Foot (CMHT37726S)
The Milwaukee tape measure is compact and ergonomically designed to make woodworking measurements convenient. It’s durably designed to withstand job site abuse.
This 2-in-1 tape measure features the regular tape and laser to provide detailed measurements. It’s durable, and the blade is boldly marked to facilitate readability.
Craftsman Tape Measure is ergonomic and rubber-coated to maximize gripping. It’s lightweight and has a magnetic hook to prevent blade retract when measuring.
Best Overall Tape Measure
Milwaukee 48227225 HP8-26Mg/27 Magnetic Tape Measure
Milwaukee 48227225 HP8-26Mg/27 Magnetic Tape Measure
The Milwaukee tape measure is compact and ergonomically designed to make woodworking measurements convenient. It’s durably designed to withstand job site abuse.
Best Innovative Tape Measure
Prexiso Laser Tape Measure 2-in-1 Laser Measure
Prexiso Laser Tape Measure 2-in-1 Laser Measure
This 2-in-1 tape measure features the regular tape and laser to provide detailed measurements. It’s durable, and the blade is boldly marked to facilitate readability.
Best for Ease of Use
Craftsman Tape Measure 26-Foot (CMHT37726S)
Craftsman Tape Measure 26-Foot (CMHT37726S)
Craftsman Tape Measure is ergonomic and rubber-coated to maximize gripping. It’s lightweight and has a magnetic hook to prevent blade retract when measuring.

Reviews of the Top Tape Measures for Woodworking

1. Milwaukee 48227225 HP8-26Mg/27 Magnetic Tape Measure

Milwaukee is one brand that you can trust when it comes to making durable and innovative tape measures. This 26-foot tape measure comes in an improved compact and ergonomic design. It feels light in the hands, making handling so much convenient.

The Milwaukee 48227225 HP8-26 Mg/27 Tape Measure is marked on either side of the yellow blade, and the clarity of the scale is impressive. The marking is bold and is not difficult for a woodworker to read.

Having spent considerable time with various tools, I’ve grown particularly fond of the double magnet at the head of this tape. It genuinely simplifies measurements by allowing me to effortlessly hook the tape onto flat surfaces.

What I Like

What I Don't Like

2. Prexiso Laser Tape Measure 2-in-1 Laser Measure

If you want to add laser measuring to your woodshop, I recommend the Prexiso Laser Tape Measure.

This tape measure delivers accurate measurements whether you use the laser or the regular tape. The laser extends up to 135 feet while the typical blade is 16ft long, enough for most woodworking use.

The laser tape measure is equipped with a rechargeable battery and charges through a USB. Once fully charged, the tape can provide up to 5000 measurements.

This 2-in-1 measure is made of ABS material to enhance durability and provide comfortable gripping. It is compact and extremely light, making it convenient to carry.

What I Like

What I Don't Like

3. Komelon 49121M The Professional 12-Foot/ Metric Scale Power Tape

This Komelon 49121M tape measure has great features to deliver accurate measurements at a low-budget price.

From my experience, its durability is truly commendable. I’m impressed by its rugged construction. The blade, coated with nylon, stands up remarkably well to accidental drops, rough handling, and abrasion.

Thanks to its ergonomic yellow case, carrying the tape is extremely convenient. Its design fits into the hand for maximum use.

The tape uses a metric scale measurement, and the numbers are clear to promote readability. Best of all, you don’t need to worry about a retracted blade, as it comes with a slide lock.

What I Like

What I Don't Like

4. Craftsman Tape Measure 26-Foot (CMHT37726S)

Craftsman 26-Foot Tape Measure (CMHT37726S) comes in a patented dual-spring, small case construction for comfortable handling and improving ergonomics. The small case is rubber coated to improve resistance against job site conditions. Also, it helps to improve gripping for optimal use.

In addition, the metric numbers on the tape are clearly marked on the white blade for readability [1]. The tape stays extended until you release the locking button. However, the locking button is hard to use.

For a more convenient measurement, the tape measure features a magnetic hook that you can lock onto a flat metal surface. It helps to prevent the blade from retracting when extended.

What I Like

What I Don't Like

Tape Measure for Woodworking Buyer's Guide

Even seasoned woodworkers like myself can slip up when buying a tape measure, often overlooking the specific features that truly matter. Over the years, I’ve come to understand what to look for, and I’m here to break down the essentials you should consider before settling on the perfect tape measure for woodworking.

Accuracy

The point of buying a measuring tape is to take accurate measurements. However, not all tape measures are precise, as the tangs may be loose and dull. 

The tang is a projecting part of the tape measure that is fastened to the handle. When buying a tape measure, ensure the tang is tight and that the blade stretches at full length.

Reach/Length

Most conventional tape measures such as from the Hart company come with a 15-foot length and 25-foot length, although you can find 30-foot length tapes too. 

While it’s always good to get tape measures with longer lengths, a 15-foot tape measure is enough for most workshops.

Locking Button

Tape measures come with either an automatic lock or a manual lock. The downside of automatic locks is that the tape retracts if released when fully extended. With a manual lock, you can press it down to hold the tape when stretched.

Durability

Always check for tape cases that have rubber coatings. These rubber-coated cases provide exceptional durability and can withstand the rigors of heavy use and work abuse.

Ease of Use

Each tape has a measurement style. Most tapes are measured in inches at the top and metric at the bottom. Some have a blank space at the back for marking, while others read measurements from either side of the tape. 

Choose the one that you can work with comfortably. When you know how to read the tape measure you have, the easier and quicker your work will be.

Accessories

Some tapes come with a belt clip. Belt clips enable you to fasten the tape to your belt easily. This allows for convenient measurement.

Price

Tape measures have different price tags. Although the factors above affect the prices, you should pick the one that comes with the features you need. It will limit your spending.

FAQ

What is a tape measure used for in woodwork?

A tape measure used in woodwork is a flexible ruler, consisting of a blade with linear markings for taking distance measurements in woodwork. 

The difference between a tape measure used in woodwork and for other measuring purposes is the markings. For other purposes, the tape measure is marked in meters instead of inches like that used in woodwork.

My Top Pick for a Tape Measure for Woodworking: Milwaukee 48227225 HP8-26Mg/27 Magnetic Tape Measure

Considering their features, pros, and cons, I conclude that the Milwaukee 48227225 HP8-26Mg/27 Magnetic Tape Measure is the best tape measure for woodworking.

This tape measure comes in a compact and ergonomic design to make handling and usage easier.  Also, its durable blade measures 26 ft in length with bold metric markings for improved readability.

Most importantly, the measure doesn’t retract when the blade is fully extended. The magnetic hook plus the locking button ensures your measurement isn’t tampered with.

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Robert Johnson is a passionate furniture maker & carpenter, sought after for his knowledge on the craft.
You’ve probably seen his down-to-earth wisdom in USA Today, Bobvila, Family Handyman, and The Spruce, where he has shared commentary and guidance on various woodworking topics.

Robert is the brain behind Sawinery, where he aims to share tips, tricks, and a passion for all things carpentry.

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