Caring For Your Tape Measure

By Robert Robillard on Contractor Advice, Tool and Product Reviews

Tape Measure Care and Maintenance

We recently performed Head-Head testing on 8 different brand tape measures. After the testing it was apparent to me that these devices need proper care, in order to provide you with accurate, reliable measurements. Caring for your tape measure is easy, here are a few steps for properly maintaining your tape measure.


It is never a smart idea to let the tape measure blade whip back into the case. During our testing we tested recoil from 25-feet. A few of these tapes hooks tore completely off the tape, others had their blade twisted.

Your tape measure isn’t designed to withstand a short, sharp shock over and over.

Full speed rewinding can cause also damage to the inner workings, the end hook and the blade markings. It’s also dangerous: you can injure your fingers, eyes and the people around you.

Control the speed of the blade return, and you’ll get longer life out of your tape measure.


Keep your tape dry. Water that gets on the blade of a tape measure can work its way into the mechanism and cause rust. Wipe down the tape as its rewinding, if wet.


Carry out these regular checks to make sure your tape measure remains accurate:

  • Check for worn away markings and numbers.
  • Check the hook. It should have some amount of play, but not too much. If the hook moves too much, it won’t be accurate.
  • Inspect the blade for bends, tears and kinks. These defects will cause an inaccuracy, and can also cut your fingers.

Caring for your tape measure is easy when you follow these three simple steps can ensure that your tape measure stays functioning and accurate for a long time.

Caring For Your Tape Measure – Video Tips

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About the author

Robert Robillard

Robert Robillard

Carpenter / Remodeler / Editor / Writer / Video Talent

Robert Robillard is a remodeler, general contractor, and principal of a carpentry and renovation business located in Concord, Massachusetts. He also writes the "Ask the Carpenter" advice column in the Boston Globe, and serves as the Editor of Tool Box Buzz and founding editor of A Concord Carpenter . Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review - Tool and Product Review - Video Channel, , where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the remodeling industry. The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob <a href=""

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