The Best Tape Measure in Australia

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A tape measure is an essential tool in the kit of any DIYer or tradie. If you are looking to buy one and aren’t sure where to start then read on. We’ll give you our top picks and explain some of the features to look for to ensure you get the best tape measure to suit your needs.


1. Stanley FatMax Tape Measure 10m (Top Pick)


The Stanley FatMax is one of the most popular tape measures on the market globally. It’s an excellent product that is more than suitable for most domestic and commercial tasks.

It has an extra-wide blade so it won’t kink or fold easily, and a multi-function Stanley power lock that grabs from three sides so you don’t have to worry about the blade slipping. 

The case is made from Tylon and is pretty sturdy; this can take a beating in your toolbox and it won’t break. The feel of the case is nice too. It’s ergonomic and fits comfortably in your hand so you won’t have corners poking into you while you’re working.  

It’s hard to go wrong with the Stanley Fat Max. This measuring tape is tough, reliable, and accurate.  


What We Like:

  • Tough case
  • Wide blade
  • Easy to use
  • Multi-point lock

What We Don’t Like:

  • Metric only

2. Milwaukee Magnetic 10m Tape Measure


This measuring tape from Milwaukee is pretty tough. It has a nylon case that is reinforced in five points, so it should survive a fall or two. The hook is magnetic, which can be convenient when you’re measuring on your own as it helps keep the end in place.  

It’s a good length at 10 metres and has an easy-to-use finger stop, so you can lock the blade quickly. The numbers are easy to read and the blade is fairly sturdy, so you shouldn’t get kinks or bends when you measure. 

Overall, this is a reliable tape measure that is good for most jobs.


What We Like:

  • Sturdy
  • Easy to read
  • Magnetic hook

What We Don’t Like:

  • Single lock

3. Milwaukee 8m Wide Blade Tape Measure


Here’s another great tape measure from Milwaukee. This one is 8 metres and has an extra-wide blade of 5.5 cm width. It’s tough and won’t bend or kink when you’re trying to work. 

The case is sturdy nylon that’s reinforced in five points so it’ll hold up for a long time. The first 15 centimetres of the blade is coated in nylon to prevent tears and keep things in good working order.  

Overall, it’s a great tape measure with the kind of quality you expect from Milwaukee.   


What We Like:

  • Extra-wide blade
  • Tough, durable case
  • Anti-tear coating

What We Don’t Like:

  • Only 8 metres

4. Measure King 3-in-1 Digital Tape Measure


This product is an innovative measuring device from Measure King. It’s a tape measure, but instead of a blade, it uses a laser to gauge distance. It can also measure curves by rolling it across the surface with the built-in measuring wheel, and it can measure around pillars and other supports with the use of a nylon cord. 

It’s pretty handy, and it’s quick to use. The accuracy is not perfect, but it’s good enough for most handyman jobs. This is something most labourers should try purely for its time-saving ability. The only downside is that it may not last long in the bottom of a toolbox. It’s a digital device so take care of it. 


What We Like:

  • Fast and easy to use
  • Measures straight and curved surfaces 

What We Don’t Like:

  • May not survive a drop

5. Stanley PowerLock Tape Measure 25-Foot


6 Pack Stanley 33-215 3.5m/12' x 1/2" PowerLock Tape Measure - Metric/Standard Graduations

The Stanley Power Lock is a classic measuring tape. It is 25 foot and has a stainless steel exterior which can take a beating and won’t break if it’s dropped.  

The finger lock is easy to use and the blade is pretty sturdy. This type of tape measure has been around for a long time; it’s a simple design but very reliable.  

Overall, it’s a good tape measure that works well and is time-tested. 


What We Like:

  • Stainless steel case
  • Reliable extension and recoil
  • Lightweight and compact

What We Don’t Like:

  • Can be difficult to find with only metric measurements

Tape Measure Buyers Guide


Blade length 

The length of the tape is the most important feature as this is what determines how useful the tape measure will be. Make sure to get a length that matches the kind of distances you will be working with.  

A good length for general purposes is 10 metres or 25 feet. This is enough to measure distances in most homes. 

Locking mechanism 

A good locking mechanism is important. If the tape slips a little, you can get a false reading in your measurement creating more work for yourself.  

Another consideration is safety. If the locking mechanism becomes disengaged suddenly, the tape can retract suddenly and whip your hands or face. Some tape measures have a multi-point lock, reducing the chance that it will become disengaged while you work.

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Features 

Many tape measures have additional features. Some are useful and some are more likely to be a hindrance.  

Belt clip. A good belt clip is a simple feature but is very useful when you are on a ladder or otherwise have your hands full with other tools and you need to put your tape measure somewhere.  

Auto-lock. Some tape measures will automatically lock when you draw out the tape blade. This is very convenient as you don’t have to worry about the blade suddenly retracting and messing up your measurement. It is also a useful safety feature.

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Measurement units 

Make sure you get a tape measure that has the correct measurements that you will be working with. Some use metric and some use imperial. You can opt to get one with both metric and imperial, but make sure the markings and numbers are clear and easy to read. Large, clear numbers are essential as you won’t always be able to hold the tape measure close to your face. 



Tape Measure FAQs


Are all tape measures accurate?

Not all tape measures are the same and you may find a variance of a few millimetres between different brands of tape measure. If you are putting up some shelves, you don’t need to measure with super accuracy. But if you are measuring multiple large distances, try to get the greatest accuracy you can as the inconsistencies add up.  
Tape measures come with accuracy ratings. In the European standard, an 8-metre tape measure of category 1 is accurate to 0.9 mm, category 2 is accurate to 1.9 mm, and category 3 is accurate to 3.4 mm.




This article was written by Jim Marsden

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