Tape measures used in construction come in many styles, sizes, and shapes, but a 25-foot tape (like the Stanley 25-footer shown below) is perhaps the most popular at the job site. They are inexpensive and durable, and fit easily into tool belts.
The 25-foot tape measure is perfect for every day carpentry work. You can measure just about any framing and trim materials used in construction with a 25-footer.
I have owned my Stanley 25-foot tape measure for nearly 40 years. It is pretty banged up, but it continues to work like a champ. I have wanted to upgrade to a 30-footer for a long time, but could never justify the purchase, since my 25-footer was still very functional and could do everything that I demanded of it.
Not long ago, I received the Stanley 30-foot tape measure as a birthday gift (I suppose someone got a hold of my wish list). It was perfect timing for my new 16' x 30' free-standing shelter project. The extra 5 feet really helped out on the long measurements and, since the size of the instrument didn't change significantly, it still fit nicely in my tool belt.
While the 25-foot tape measure is the most commonly used measuring device in tool pouches, there are clearly reasons to own other types. I have a 50-foot and a 100-foot tape for measuring and squaring larger objects, like slabs and foundations, that I keep them stored in my truck toolbox.
Other Tape Measures
I carry a compact 12-footer in my glove box that I sometimes take into the hardware store to measure materials, etc. My wife carries a small 3-foot tape measure in her purse for measuring items she is planning to purchase for her craft projects.
While I don't use my 50-foot and 100-foot tape measures every day, they are unquestionably essential carpentry tools. When you need them, you need them. Try measuring an 80' slab with a 25' tape measure. You can do it if you have to, but the lost precision, measuring the 80' length 25 feet at a time, could be significant.
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