Stanley FMHT33865S FATMAX 25′ Magnetic Tape Review
Tape measures and hammer brands probably are the cause of more arguments on the job site than anything else. I can see why, when you use a tool daily, hourly, or more. you become attached to it.
The STANLEY FMHT33865 Fatmax True Zero Magnetic 25′ Tape is one of those attachments, and it’s easy to see why.
A close inspection of the Fatmax reveals a 1-pound, robust, tape measure that features a three-rivet, corrosion-resistant end hook, with a strong rare earth magnet. The tape measures 1-1/4 inches wide with large, and crisp measurements for my aging eyes. That’s a real concern as we carpenter’s age in the trades.
Close Look At the Tape Blade
The tape measurements work off a 1/16” scale and feature 16 and 19.2 stud center markings for framing applications. The tape has a BladeArmor coating which protects the blade and reduces breakage and a Mylar blade coating which extends blade life and helps to prevent rust. The first 3-inches of the top of the tape, this is a common wear area, that has been reinforced durability.
We performed an aggressive abrasion test in the shop and the tape held up well. One interesting observation was that every 2-inches the tape showed a heavy wear spot. Our assumption is that the tape construction process creates a bend or high spot during manufacturing.
The Stanley Fatmax takes, on average, 1.32 seconds to recoil when fully extended. While we do not recommend retracting tapes this fast we wanted to test the recoil spring – it’s strong, and fast. Almost too strong. On one recoil test we actually knocked off the magnet from the tape assembly.
Stanley boasts an 11-foot stand out but after several attempts, with no hand support, we were only able to reach 10.5 feet in our testing.
One weird thing I noticed is that Stanley took the time to imprint the body of the tape with the 3-1/8” mark. This is the measurement of the tape housing and can be used for adding to inside measurements. The only issue I have with this is that Stanley hid this measurement under the belt hook.
The belt hook measures 1-1/2” deep and has a flared end to easily engage your pocket, belt or tool bag clip. The belt clip is strong and holds well – a feature that matters a lot to me.
SlideLock and Magnet
The Fatmax’s slideLock feature holds blade securely when needed. We tested this lock and found it to be able to hold 4-pounds of pressure. Additionally, the magnet is able to hold 5-1/2 lbs. of weight, applied to it – that’s strong!
You’re probably saying why would I care if the magnet can hold 5.5 lbs. We’ll that means that it is strong enough to hold while you extend this tape to full extension. That’s feat that not too many competitor models can boast.
Another nice feature that often goes unnoticed, is that the Fatmax sits flat without rocking or tipping over. This is one of these features that goes unnoticed, until you don’t have it.
Overall I was impressed with the Stanley Fatmax, enough that I replaced my Powerlock with one. At least I kept it in the same family!