|Review by SirFatty||posted 05-19-2012 10:19 PM||3509 views||1 time favorited||12 comments|
I was at Menards looking for a smaller tape measure (I have a Kobalt 30’ and a Craftsman 30’). For the vast majority of the time, I only need a 12’ tape like the chrome Stanley version. Well, it’s surprisingly hard to find.
My son pointed out the Fastcap, and I thought it too gimmicky, with the built-in writing area and pencil sharpener. But then I pulled out the tape and was floored. A flat tape measure! Genius! And for less than $5, it was worth taking a chance on it.
First, a list of the features:
- Completely flat tape
- two tape locks, one on the bottom which is a momentary type and a more traditional thumb lock
- a built-in pencil sharpener
- a scratch pad area on the side
- re-enforced hook
- lever action belt clip
Made in China, of course!
So, doing some work today, I have to say that so far this is a fantastic tape measure. It’s no longer necessary to tilt the tape measure so the markings will be close to the wood when using a pencil. It’s like using a ruler.
Of course, the obvious downside is that the tape is completely limp and cannot hold itself up. That’s not really a huge downside, as I intend to use this primarily for woodworking. Well worth the money.. I just hope it lasts.
UPDATE: So, I’ve been using this tape measure more and have a few observations. First, you can’t let this tape retract on it’s own because the tape does not maintain its shape. This causes the hook to whip side to side as it get closer to the body. When it does that your’re thumb nail will take a direct hit, and it doesn’t feel pleasant.
The second thing is that the hook is securely fixed to the tape and cannot compensate for an outside vs. inside measurement. I found that out the hard way.
Lastly, the built-in pencil sharpener is completely handy. I thought it was kind of gimmicky, but I use it frequently.
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