A tape measure I didn't realize I needed.

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Review by SirFatty posted 05-19-2012 10:19 PM 4980 views 1 time favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
A tape measure I didn't realize I needed. A tape measure I didn't realize I needed. A tape measure I didn't realize I needed. Click the pictures to enlarge them

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:

  • 16’
  • 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.

-- Visit my blog at

View SirFatty's profile


547 posts in 3058 days

12 comments so far

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 3333 days

#1 posted 05-19-2012 11:13 PM

”Of course, the obvious down side is that the tape is completely limp and cannot hold itself up.”


-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View Scott Oldre's profile

Scott Oldre

1128 posts in 4278 days

#2 posted 05-20-2012 12:37 AM

I have that tape measure, and unless you’re doing flat work, it’s very difficult to keep in place and keep tight to get the measurement right. Because of this, you have to pull a little tighter and unless the item is fastened down, or long enough/ heavy enough, it moves the item.

Not staying I don’t like it, but it’s only used occasionally due to its lack of ridgidity.

I use it more for the pencil sharpener, because it doesn’t get lost easily :)

-- Scott, Irmo SC

View eddy's profile


939 posts in 4211 days

#3 posted 05-20-2012 01:29 PM

i have this one and i find myself using more than any other one in the shop like it a lot

-- self proclaimed copycat

View dustyal's profile


1320 posts in 4321 days

#4 posted 05-20-2012 01:53 PM

What, it doesn’t have a headlight so we can read it in the dark?

Sounds like it would do good for quick check of circumferences?

Can’t find one in our big box stores here, but I’ll around for it…

-- Al H. - small shop, small projects...

View interpim's profile


1170 posts in 4305 days

#5 posted 05-20-2012 02:05 PM

I have one of these and love it

-- San Diego, CA

View Milo's profile


869 posts in 4165 days

#6 posted 05-20-2012 02:51 PM

Pencil sharpener? BAH! That’s what my jointer and mitre saw are for!

-- Beer, Beer, Thank God for Beer. It's my way of keeping my mind fresh and clear...

View a1Jim's profile


118134 posts in 4423 days

#7 posted 05-20-2012 03:04 PM

View SirFatty's profile


547 posts in 3058 days

#8 posted 05-20-2012 09:21 PM

Dallas, I set myself up for that I guess.

-- Visit my blog at

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 3333 days

#9 posted 05-20-2012 09:24 PM

You sure did SF…. all I needed was the rimshot at the end of the punch line.

Don’t worry, I often leave myself open that way too! You’ll get your chance at me!

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View Retsof's profile


134 posts in 3082 days

#10 posted 05-21-2012 06:32 AM

I use the righty/lefty version of this brand of tape measure (it’s got a green label). I like that I can read the 1/16ths easily without counting because they number them for you. Now I just need to get about five more of them to leave all over the house so I can find one when I need it.

-- "There seems to be a black hole in my garage that swallows up pencils and tape measures as soon as I put them down."

View Pdub's profile


926 posts in 4026 days

#11 posted 05-21-2012 04:56 PM

I may have to go to Menards and look for one. Thanks!

-- Paul, North Dakota, USAF Ret.

View NormG's profile


6506 posts in 3850 days

#12 posted 05-22-2012 04:25 AM

Sounds like it has filled a niche, has accessories to boot and the money paid made that much more useful. Thanks for the review

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

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