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Best Tape Measures for Woodworkers in 2024

Matt By Matt February 10, 2024

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It doesn't matter whether you're building furniture, making cabinets, or working with wood, having a quality tape measure is essential. But most tape measures aren't made for woodworking. They're designed for measuring lumber, not cutting wood.

If you've never used a tape measure before, then you probably won't understand why you should buy a new one. In fact, you might find yourself using the same old tape measure over and over again.

In this article, we'll look at the top tape measures available for woodworking. We'll also compare each tape measure based on features, price, ease of use, durability, and overall quality.

You'll find that the most expensive tape measure will not necessarily be the best choice for you. Instead, choose the tape measure that has the features that matter to you. And remember, you can always upgrade later.

To create this article, we spent hours researching product data and user reviews for different tape measures for woodworkers. After reviewing the data, we've compiled a list of our top picks.

Tip: If you need help, then we recommend skipping ahead to our buying guide which lists important things to consider when purchasing a tape measures for woodworkers.

Best Tape Measures for Woodworkers: Our Top Picks

FastCap PSSR25 Measuring TapeFastCap PSSR25 Measuring TapeBest OverallLength: 25 feetMarked Scale: 1/16 inch incrementsNotable Feature: Erasable NotepadVIEW LATEST PRICERead Our Analysis
Komelon LED Light Tape MeasureKomelon LED Light Tape MeasureBest LED TapeLength: 25 feetMarked Scale: 1 inch incrementsNotable Feature: LED LightVIEW LATEST PRICERead Our Analysis
LEXIVON Laser Tape MeasureLEXIVON Laser Tape MeasureBest Laser Tape MeasureLength: 16 feet tape or laser 140 feetMarked Scale: 1/8 inch incrementsNotable Feature: Laser MeasurementVIEW LATEST PRICERead Our Analysis
CRAFTSMAN (CMHT37325S)CRAFTSMAN (CMHT37325S)Tried and TrueLength: 25 feetMarked Scale: 1 inch incrementsNotable Feature: 7' Retractable StandoutVIEW LATEST PRICERead Our Analysis
Spec Ops Tools Tape MeasureSpec Ops Tools Tape MeasureMilitary GradeLength: 25 feetMarked Scale: 1/8 inch incrementsNotable Feature: Military-Grade CaseVIEW LATEST PRICERead Our Analysis
Crescent Lufkin CommandCrescent Lufkin CommandNite Eye TechnologyLength: 25 feetMarked Scale: 1 inch incrementsNotable Feature: Nite Eye TechnologyVIEW LATEST PRICERead Our Analysis

More Details on Our Top Picks

  1. FastCap PSSR25 Measuring Tape

    FastCap PSSR25 Measuring Tape

    Best Overall

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    Measurements aren't always easy to remember, especially when you don't have a ruler handy. Luckily, FastCap has created the PSSR25 measuring tape, which allows you to easily record measurements without needing to carry around a separate device.

    This tape measures in increments of 1/16th of an inch, making it incredibly useful for recording measurements such as shoe sizes, doorways, and even the thicknesses of walls. Plus, since it's built-in with a notepad and pencil sharpener, you can write down measurements directly on the tool itself.

    If you're a lefty, you'll appreciate the fact that this tape measures in the opposite direction of most tapes, allowing you to quickly and accurately measure distances.

    With so many features and benefits over the competition, this tape measure easily wins our award for best overall.

    • Length: 25 feet
    • Marked Scale: 1/16 inch increments
    • Notable Feature: Erasable Notepad
    • Self Retracting: Yes
    • Belt Clip: Yes
    • Additional Feature: Pencil Sharpener
    • Additional Feature: Standard & Reverse Marking
    • Additional Feature: High Contrast Tape
  2. Komelon LED Light Tape Measure

    Komelon LED Light Tape Measure

    Best LED Tape

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    If you're working on a project in a dim area, you might find yourself struggling to read the numbers on your tape measure. Luckily, Komelon has created the LED Light Tape Measure, which illuminates the length of the tape measure, making it easier to read the measurements.

    This tape measure is 25 feet in length, so you can easily cover large areas. Plus, it has an automatic shut off feature, so you don't have to worry about turning it on accidentally and wasting batteries.

    When you're finished measuring, simply press the button on the side of the tape measure and the LED lights turn off automatically. So whether you're measuring for a home improvement project or taking inventory at work, this tape measure is the perfect addition to your toolbox.

    • Length: 25 feet
    • Marked Scale: 1 inch increments
    • Notable Feature: LED Light
    • Self Retracting: Yes
    • Belt Clip: Yes
    • Additional Feature: Quick Recharge USB
    • Additional Feature: 3 Hours Runtime
    • Additional Feature: Nylon Coated Steel Blade
  3. LEXIVON Laser Tape Measure

    LEXIVON Laser Tape Measure

    Best Laser Tape Measure

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    If you're tired of spending hours measuring everything from doorways to windows to furniture, then you should consider investing in a digital laser tape measure. These handy tools allow you to save time and effort by providing accurate measurements in seconds rather than minutes.

    This particular model from Lexivon offers you a variety of useful functions, including a built-in backlight display, a large measurement range of up to 140 feet, and a precision blade coated with nylon for increased durability.

    Plus, it's compact enough to fit easily into any home or office, making it ideal for measuring smaller spaces such as closets, hallways, and even corners. So whether you're working on a renovation project or simply trying to find a specific item, you'll be able find exactly what you're looking for with ease.

    • Length: 16 feet tape or laser 140 feet
    • Marked Scale: 1/8 inch increments
    • Notable Feature: Laser Measurement
    • Self Retracting: Yes
    • Belt Clip: Yes
    • Additional Feature: Backlit LCD Screen
    • Additional Feature: Double Sided Tape
    • Additional Feature: 3/4" Nylon Coated Blade


    Tried and True

    Shop Now at Amazon

    If you're looking for a quality tape measure, look no further than Craftsman. They've been making tools since 1927, and this tape measure is no exception.

    This tape measure is designed to last, thanks to a sturdy metal construction and a durable coating on the blade. Plus, it has ergonomically curved handles that fit comfortably in your hand.

    Plus, it has a classic chrome finish that adds some style to any workspace. So whether you're a pro or a hobbyist, this tape measure is sure to please.

    • Length: 25 feet
    • Marked Scale: 1 inch increments
    • Notable Feature: 7' Retractable Standout
    • Self Retracting: Yes
    • Belt Clip: Yes
    • Additional Feature: Durable Blade Coating
    • Additional Feature: Chrome Design
    • Additional Feature: Rubber Grip
  5. Spec Ops Tools Tape Measure

    Spec Ops Tools Tape Measure

    Military Grade

    Shop Now at Amazon

    If you're looking for a tape measure that's built tough, look no further than the Spec Ops Tools Tape Measure.

    This tape measure is designed specifically for use in the field, which means it's built to last. It's engineered to endure extreme temperatures and humidity, making it ideal for measuring in the desert, jungle, or even underwater.

    Plus, it's packed full of features that make it easier to read measurements. For instance, it has 1/8 inch increments markings on the tape, so you don't have to guess whether you're getting close to the mark.

    And since it's made from military-grade materials, it's built to withstand the toughest conditions. So if you're planning on using it in the field, you can rest assured knowing that it's ready to go wherever you send it.

    Now, if you're wondering why it's called the Spec Ops Tools Tape Measure, well, it was actually created by veterans and a portion of the proceeds from each sale is donated to support veterans and first responders.

    • Length: 25 feet
    • Marked Scale: 1/8 inch increments
    • Notable Feature: Military-Grade Case
    • Self Retracting: Yes
    • Belt Clip: Yes
    • Additional Feature: Mil-X Coated 1.25" Blade
    • Additional Feature: Designed by Veterans
    • Additional Feature: Engineered in the USA
  6. Crescent Lufkin Command

    Crescent Lufkin Command

    Nite Eye Technology

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    If you're a woodworker, chances are you spend most of your day measuring stuff. Whether you're building something or working on a project, you probably have a tape measure in your hand every few minutes.

    That's why it's important to find a tape measure that's built to last. A good tape measure should be sturdy, accurate, and durable.

    This tape measure does exactly that. It's built to withstand the rigors of the jobsite, making it ideal for woodworkers and anyone else who spends a lot of time using a tape measure.

    It's also designed to be used in different environments. Its Nite Eye technology ensures that it remains highly visible even in low light situations, which helps you avoid accidents and save money on eye injuries.

    Plus, it's backed by a strong warranty, so you don't have to worry about buying another one anytime soon.

    • Length: 25 feet
    • Marked Scale: 1 inch increments
    • Notable Feature: Nite Eye Technology
    • Self Retracting: Yes
    • Belt Clip: Yes
    • Additional Feature: 360 Degree Endhook
    • Additional Feature: 1 3/6" Coated Blade
    • Additional Feature: 360° Grip End Hook

Tape Measures for Woodworkers Buying Guide

A measuring tape is essential for woodworkers. It helps you measure everything from length to width to thickness. But not every measuring tape is created equal. Some are made with cheap materials while others are made with high quality materials.

Introduction Transition and thesis: There are many factors to consider when buying a measuring tape for woodworking. Here are some of the most important factors and help you make the right decision.


  • Tape Measure Length
  • Blade Marked Scale
  • Blade Durability
  • Consistent Measurement
  • Self Retracting vs. Auto Lock
  • One-Handed Ergonomic Use
  • Belt Clip
  • Built-in Pencil Sharpener
  • Magnetic

Tape Measure Length

When buying a tape measure, consider length. There are three main types of tape measures: long, short, and pocket. Long tape measures are great for measuring large areas, such as walls, ceilings, and floors. Short tape measures are ideal for small measurements, such as door frames and cabinet heights. Pocket tape measures are perfect for measuring items that won't fit inside a standard tape measure.

If you're looking for a tape measure that fits in your pocket, consider a pocket tape measure. They're compact, lightweight, and easy to carry around. However, be careful when selecting a compact tape measure because some models are too small to use comfortably. So, take a moment to review the features of each type of tape measure before making a purchase.

Long tape measures are usually made out of metal, plastic, or wood. Metal tape measures are heavy and durable. Plastic tape measures are lighter than metal tape measures, but not as sturdy. Wood tape measures are typically cheaper than metal or plastic tape measures, but they may warp over time.

Short tape measures are usually made of metal, plastic, wood, or cardboard. Metal tape measures are heavier than plastic tape measures, but not nearly as heavy as wooden tape measures. Wooden tape measures are often sturdier than metal tape measures, though they tend to be pricier.

Pocket tape measures are usually made from thin plastic or paperboard. Some pocket tape measures are very light weight, while others weigh quite a bit. Paperboard tape measures are usually inexpensive, but they may tear easily. Plastic tape measures are usually the most expensive option, but they last forever.

Tape Measures for Woodworkers Length Comparison:
LEXIVON Laser Tape Measure16 feet tape or laser 140 feet
CRAFTSMAN (CMHT37325S)25 feet
Crescent Lufkin25 feet
FastCap PSSR2525 feet
Komelon LED Tape25 feet
Spec Ops Tape Measure25 feet

Tape Measure Blade Scale Markings

Woodworking tools are often used for measuring things like lengths, widths, angles, and heights. But what about fractions? A tape measure with fraction markings makes it easier to measure small amounts of space. And while many woodworkers already know how to use a tape measure, some people find it challenging to read a scale without fractional markings on the tape.

A good tape measure will include a wide range of markings, such as inches and centimeters, along with millimeters and microns. These are known as "blade markings." Blade markings allow you to read the distance between marks without having to count individual increments. For example, a tape measure marked with 3/4", 5/8", 7/16", etc., allows you to quickly convert between those units.

You may want to use a tape measure with numbered divisions on the bottom side of its blade. Use this to keep an eye on how many times you've gone over a certain number. When you measure several feet, you might realize that you have already exceeded the required length, so you need to add another fraction.

With a tape measure that includes numbers on the bottom of the blades, you won't have to worry about accidentally skipping an increment. And if you ever do skip a mark, you'll know exactly how far away you went because you'll see the corresponding number on the bottom of the tape.

Tape Measures for Woodworkers Marked Scale Comparison:
ModelMarked Scale
CRAFTSMAN (CMHT37325S)1 inches
Crescent Lufkin1 inches
Komelon LED Tape1 inches
FastCap PSSR251/16 inches
LEXIVON Laser Tape Measure1/8 inches
Spec Ops Tape Measure1/8 inches

Blade Durability

The tape measure blade should be made of durable material and most tape measure blades are made of metal.

If you're looking for a durable tape measure blade, consider buying a nylon coated blade. Nylon coated blades are usually made of metal coated with nylon and are designed to resist scratches and dents. They come in various sizes and lengths, making them perfect for measuring anything from inches to feet.

Nylon coated blades are great because they last longer than non-coated blades and are very affordable. Making them ideal for heavy use while woodworking. So if you plan on using your tape measure often, consider investing in a sturdy nylon coated blade.

When shopping for a tape measure blade, keep in mind that some blades are scratch resistant and others are not. Look at the blade carefully and compare it to similar blades. Some blades have a coating applied directly onto the blade itself making it more scratch resistant.

Finally, consider the durability of the blade. Blades that are thicker and heavier tend to be more durable than thinner and lighter blades. Also, blades that are wider and longer tend to be more durable. So if you're planning on using your tape measure frequently, consider buying a thicker, heavier, and wider blade.

Consistent Measurement

While it's true that the tang on your tape measure is there to help you make accurate measurements, it's also important to understand why the tang is there in the first place. The sliding tang of a tape measure ensures you're getting an accurate measurement, whether you're measuring inside or outside dimensions.

You might be tempted to think that one way to get around having to push or pull the tape measure's tang would be to simply leave it on one side and not move it at all—but the floating blade can cause problems for even experienced carpenters. When you're taking inside measurements, for example, the blade should always be pushed in so that it's between your workpiece and where you're measuring from.

However, if you leave the blade out and only push it in when trying to take an inside measurement, you'll find that one side of the tape won't lay flat against your workpiece—one end will stick out farther than the other. This results in inaccurate measurements because instead of being parallel with your workpiece's edge, the blade will be closer to perpendicular. If this happens often enough or consistently enough, it could easily throw off your entire project.

Self Retracting vs. Auto Lock

There are two types of tape measures available today: self retracting and auto lock. Self retracting tape measures require manual retraction after each measurement, while auto lock tape measures automatically retract after measuring. Both types offer advantages and disadvantages, so it's important to understand the differences before making a purchase.

Auto lock tape measures are typically easier to operate since they retract themselves after every measurement. However, they tend to be less accurate due to the lack of manual control over the length of the tape. Self retracting tapes are generally more precise and reliable, but they require more effort to set up and use.

Ultimately, both types of tape measures provide benefits depending on the situation.

Tape Measures for Woodworkers Self Retracting Comparison:
ModelSelf Retracting
Crescent LufkinYes
FastCap PSSR25Yes
Komelon LED TapeYes
LEXIVON Laser Tape MeasureYes
Spec Ops Tape MeasureYes

One-Handed Ergonomic Use

Tape measures are used every day by professionals who rely on them to perform their jobs. But if you're someone who uses a tape measure regularly, you might notice that it takes some extra effort to hold onto the measuring device while doing other tasks.

This is especially true if you're left-handed. Lefties tend to have stronger grips, making it harder to hold onto a tape measure. So if you're struggling to hold onto a tape, consider investing in an ergonomic tape measure. These models feature handles that allow you to grip the tape measure with either hand, giving you greater control over the measuring device.

Ergonomic tape measures aren't just useful for lefties; they're also helpful for those who suffer from arthritis or carpal tunnel syndrome. Tape measures that are comfortable to hold can help prevent injuries associated with repetitive motion.

Tape Measure Tool Belt Clip

There are several different types of tape measures available today, each with their own pros and cons. Some are very accurate while others are easier to read. But no matter which type you choose, you should always consider the clip that holds your measuring tape.

For example, if you plan on making furniture, you'll probably want to invest in a tape measure that features a belt clip. These clips allow you to attach the tape measure to your pants or waistband, making it easy to carry around.

But if you plan on doing other projects, you might prefer a tape measure with a clip that attaches directly to your belt loop. This allows you to hang the tape measure off your shoulder instead of having to hold it down with your hand.

Regardless of whether you buy a tape measure with a belt clip or a clip that goes onto your belt loop, it's important to remember that both options offer advantages over traditional tape measures. So pick whichever option fits your needs best!

Tape Measures for Woodworkers Belt Clip Comparison:
ModelBelt Clip
Crescent LufkinYes
FastCap PSSR25Yes
Komelon LED TapeYes
LEXIVON Laser Tape MeasureYes
Spec Ops Tape MeasureYes

Built-in Pencil Sharpener

One of the biggest challenges when working with wood is measuring accurately. When cutting pieces, it's easy to lose track of the exact measurements needed, especially when trying to cut multiple pieces at once.

To avoid this problem, consider investing in a tape measure with a built-in pencil sharpener. These sharpeners allow you to sharpen your pencils while still keeping track of the length of the tape. With a sharpened pencil, you can then write down the measurement you need to cut each piece.

This method is ideal for projects that require precise cuts, like making custom furniture. But it's also useful for other types of projects, including framing photos, building shelves, and creating art projects.

Magnetic Tape Measure

Tape measures are useful tools for measuring distances and angles. But they aren't just used for DIY projects; they're also handy for professionals who need to accurately measure objects.

One of the most common features found on tape measures is a magnetized end. These magnets allow you to attach the tape measure to metal surfaces, such as steel studs, making it easier to hold onto while working. There are other types of magnetic attachments available, including ones that connect to a wall or ceiling.

Magnetized ends are especially helpful when measuring long distances, since they let you hang the tape measure off the edge of a table or countertop instead of having to hold it against the surface. Another benefit of magnetic attachment is that it allows you to measure over large areas without worrying about losing the tape measure.

There are plenty of options when it comes to choosing a tape measure, so shop around until you find one that suits your needs. Make sure that the tape measure includes a strong magnet so that you can attach it to metal surfaces. Also look for a durable design that will stand up to heavy use. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about tape measures for woodworking.

Are all tape measures accurate?

Tape measures aren't always accurate. Most tape measures are designed to give a rough estimate of measurements, but they're not precise. A tape measure should never be used to measure something exactly. Instead, it should only be used to give a general idea of the size of an object. If you're measuring something like a door frame, you'd probably want to take multiple measurements to ensure that you got the right dimensions. However, if you're trying to figure out the height of a wall, you wouldn't need to take many measurements. The same goes for any measurement that involves math. If you're working with fractions, you may need to take multiple measurements to get the correct result.

What are the Best Tape Measure Types?

Tape measures are tools used to measure distances. There are many different kinds of tape measures available, but the two most popular ones are the metric scale tape measure and the imperial tape measure. Metric tape measures are generally smaller and lighter than imperial tape measures and measure in metric units. Both types of tape measures are commonly used in construction projects, carpentry, and home improvement. Most tape measures have a hook on the end that attaches to a measuring stick, allowing you to easily measure distance without having to hold the tape measure itself. Some tape measures include a ruler on the side, which is great for measuring angles and lengths.

What are the benefits of using a tape measure?

Tape measures are great tools for anyone who works with wood. Whether you're working on furniture, cabinets, or something else, having a good tape measure is critical. A good tape measure should be accurate, durable, easy to read, and easy to store. There are many different kinds of tape measures available, ranging from inexpensive plastic models to high-end metal ones. Whatever type you choose, you'll want to look for features like a large display window, a comfortable handle, and a locking mechanism.

What is the best tape measure for woodworking?

The best tape measure for woodworkers is going to depend on what type of woodworking project you're working on. There are many different kinds of tape measures available, ranging from traditional metal ones to digital versions. Some tape measures are designed specifically for woodworking, while others are meant for general purpose measuring needs. Regardless of what kind of tape measure you end up choosing, it's always good to invest in a high quality tool. A cheap tape measure isn't worth much, since it may break down quickly or wear out prematurely. Make sure you pick something sturdy and durable that will last for years to come.

What Tape Is Best for US-Based Furniture Making?

The best tape for measuring lumber is the 3/4 inch wide type. This tape is made specifically for measuring lumber. It's easy to read and doesn't stretch out like thinner tapes. It's also inexpensive and available everywhere. There are many different brands of this tape, but the only ones we recommend are the ones that say "3/4 inch". These tapes are designed to last and perform well. They're also great for measuring other materials such as plywood and drywall. We highly recommend getting a few rolls of these tapes and keeping them around the shop. They're a good investment!

About the Author
Matt is an engineer and outdoor enthusiast. He believes that one of the greatest pleasures in life is being outside and working hard. In his spare time, he enjoys working on new projects and home improvement.
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