Magnogrip Tape Holder ... A great concept, poorly implemented

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Review by PASs posted 01-19-2013 05:39 AM 6021 views 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Magnogrip Tape Holder ... A great concept, poorly implemented Magnogrip Tape Holder ... A great concept, poorly implemented Magnogrip Tape Holder ... A great concept, poorly implemented Click the pictures to enlarge them

I purchased the Magnogrip Quick Snap Magnetic Tape Measure Holder a few weeks ago.
I loved the concept, a quick release for my tape measure.
I constantly fight with my tape measures, fumbling to hook them on my belt or pocket, or cussing the tape pouch/holder on my tool belts. So the possibility of just snapping in on was a big draw. And at less than $10 at Home Depot I figured I’d give it a try.

I tried a couple of tape measures on the tape holder, they slipped on easily, and didn’t slip back off.
The magnetic buttons grabbed the belt holder very tightly with minimal movement required to ‘click’ the holder into its secured position.

This past week I had a contract job to build some shipping crates. It seemed the perfect opportunity to try the tape holder out. So I put an old 25 foot tape on and clipped the belt holder onto the 1 1/4 inch leather belt I wear on my work jeans.

On these jobs I’m constantly using the tape measure (my motto “Measure 5 times, still cut it wrong). I got set up and grabbed the tape measure for my first cut. NICE, the tape came away right in my hand. I made the measurement, and went to slap the tape back on my belt. DRAT, I pulled the tape UP instead of pushing it DOWN, so the whole assemble had pulled up in my hand. OK, my bad, the directions say to push down and I pulled up, so I’ll remember to do that the next time.

Next time I’m zoned into the measure and cut quick mode (time is money)...DRAT, I pulled the tape UP again and it all came away in my hand. Cussed myself for doing what I’ve done for 40 years, pulling the tape up, and vow to do it right the next time.

50 times later I realized this was a total and complete failure on the part of Magnogrip to make sure their design engineers actually used the tools that they sell.

Here’s the fail on two counts…
1. The holder clip for the belt is a bad design. It’s exactly like the spring clip on your tape measure, designed to slip off quickly. My Toughbuilt phone holder has an OUTSTANDING clip. The bottom of the outside part of the clip is turned completely back toward the inside part and back up, forming a J shaped hook at the bottom of the clip. I have to put my fingers in my belt and push that part away to get the holder off. THAT’S the way to make a stay-on belt clip. The Magnogrip just slips right off if you forget to push DOWN on the tape. AND the belt portion of the holder is a hollow back molding, so when you go to put the holder back on you have to reach in and pull the spring clip away from the molding to put it ON.

2. The holder clip for the belt is too short. I wear an 1 1/4 leather belt on my jeans. Not really that wide, certainly not as wide as a tool belt. The clip on the Magnogrip isn’t even wide enough to fit completely over the leather belt. On a tool belt it would only clip onto the belt, not lock around it (and yes, the cell phone holder will hook around my tool belt…it’s 2 1/4 INCHES wide.) So the Magnogrip belt holder isn’t even securely on my work belt to start with, hence the ease with which I kept pulling it off.

And the third issue is that asking woodworkers to change decades old habits to use your gadget speaks to me of bad design implementation. Did they field test any prototypes in this configuration to see if professionals, or even hobbyists liked the reverse motion required.

In summary, if they had a clip that was big enough, and hooked enough to stay on the belt if the user pulled the tape the wrong way, this would be and OUTSTANDING tool. I did get myself into the habit of pushing down on the tape by the third day, and the whole thing works GREAT, off in a second, back on in a couple of seconds. But it would have been easy to just take it back for a refund if I hadn’t decided to keep trying to work it right.

And now you’ve probably guessed it….I KNOW I’ll try pushing my other tapes off my belts now.

-- Pete, "It isn't broken, you just aren't using it right."

View PASs's profile


600 posts in 3902 days

9 comments so far

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


19336 posts in 4479 days

#1 posted 01-19-2013 07:18 AM

I don’t like magnetic holders for much of anything. Always knocking the item off. The only thing I use them for is keeping a few screws handy. If there are too many on that, they will knock off too.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View JoeinGa's profile


7741 posts in 2810 days

#2 posted 01-19-2013 01:22 PM

I wonder if you could retro-fit the tape holder’s magnet-half to your cell phone holder’s beltclip-half. Then you’d have the best of both

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View Roger's profile


21030 posts in 3607 days

#3 posted 01-19-2013 01:23 PM

Thnx for the review Pete.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View Dusty56's profile


11859 posts in 4491 days

#4 posted 01-19-2013 03:10 PM

Good review : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

12215 posts in 4232 days

#5 posted 01-19-2013 03:16 PM

Maybe turning it over on the belt?

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View PASs's profile


600 posts in 3902 days

#6 posted 01-19-2013 03:38 PM

I like where you’re coming from.
Unfortunately the whole belt assembly would probably just work its way off the belt.
The belt clip is really just like a tape measure belt clip, designed to slip off.
I haven’t looked at any other Magnogrip products, but before I buy any of them I’m for sure going to look at how well they attach.

-- Pete, "It isn't broken, you just aren't using it right."

View PASs's profile


600 posts in 3902 days

#7 posted 01-19-2013 06:59 PM

This morning in my email inbox was a reply for an email I sent to Magnogrip.
In short, the gentleman complemented this review, said they’d received similar complaints from other customers, and have a redesigned belt clip due out in February.

He also offered to send me a sample to try.
Here’s their redesign, which looks to solve the unhooking issue.

Also included in this update are a few pictures I took of the original belt clip and the Toughbuilt cell phone holder, which in my opinion is a complete success as far as belt clips go.

Also some views of the differences in the belt clip designs.
Magnogrip belt clip which appears designed to completely hook over only a 1 inch wide belt..

Toughbuilt belt clip which will hook completely over a 2 inch belt and will hook over a 2 1/4 inch belt with the inner spring.

Toughbuilt side view showing the “J” clip and the hook clip…it’s almost impossible to unhook this without sticking your fingers inside the belt to pry the clip apart. I’ve NEVER had this come off.

-- Pete, "It isn't broken, you just aren't using it right."

View NormG's profile


6506 posts in 3807 days

#8 posted 01-21-2013 01:42 AM

Great review and glad to hear they listened and acted

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

View lew's profile


13145 posts in 4558 days

#9 posted 01-21-2013 02:10 AM

Thanks for this review! I was going to buy one of these but I’ll wait til the new clips are available!!

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

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