One Flat Measuring Tape

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Review by davidroberts posted 10-13-2009 07:05 AM 5924 views 0 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch
One Flat Measuring Tape One Flat Measuring Tape One Flat Measuring Tape Click the pictures to enlarge them

While walking around the local Woodcraft store, I saw a display of Fastcap brand measuring tapes. One really caught my eye. It’s a “flatback” tape, as you cannot see on edge in the middle picture. It measures 16’ long. I have a lot of longer boards and sheet good to measure and I though what a great idea. Later I ordered a few things from Woodcraft and to make the $50 free shipping, I included the tape. It sells for $8 and is very well made. The thumb lock allows you to lock the tape in the reel so you won’t snag the end and jerk it out. It also locks in place for hands free measurement, and has a convenient “brake” button on the bottom. It is scaled to 1/16th and is o’ so easy to read. Probably the easiest tape I own to read. The tape also has an 1/8” wide clear opposing edge to markup as a story stick. The end is very sturdy and is secured with three rivits. The end doesn’t move. I though about this, and the reason is, the tape is truely a limp biscuit. It has no rigidity. It’s like pushing a string. You only measure with slight tension on the tape. So there is no need for the end to move. I’m all about the measurement, and this tape has become my new best tool. You can also measure a circumference. BTW, Fastcap is a unique company. They use other peoples ideas, pay them a royality, and produce and sell the products. I didn’t know anything about them until I ran across this tape. Check them out at

-- Better woodworking through old hand tools.

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1027 posts in 4253 days

18 comments so far

View GuyK's profile


356 posts in 4846 days

#1 posted 10-13-2009 12:31 PM

David, I have to agree with all that you have said. I have been using this tape and another Fastcap tape for years. I find them to be very accurate. Also Fastcap has a good customer relations department. I had a issue ( my problem, I dropped it ) with one of my tapes and needed a replacement. To make a long story short they where very helpful in getting me a replacement.

-- Guy Kroll

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18 posts in 4034 days

#2 posted 10-13-2009 02:32 PM

Isn’t the hook supposed to move to account for it’s thickness when making inside edge vs outside edge measurements (pushing the end up against something vs hooking over something)?

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Peter Oxley

1426 posts in 4642 days

#3 posted 10-13-2009 03:24 PM

bp – I think the point davidroberts was making about the hook is that it doesn’t need to move because this tape only takes outside measurements. You can’t push against anything because it isn’t stiff like a “standout” tape.

-- -- --

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173 posts in 4362 days

#4 posted 10-13-2009 03:47 PM

One thing to mention as well about all of their measuring tapes is that you can write in pencil on the white circle on the outside and on the tape itself. It can get kind of dingy when being used but it’s a nice feature when you can transfer the measurement without remembering (and forgetting;) what the value is. I think mine also came with a pencil sharpener built in, minor but a nice touch and use of dead space.

I use their traditional versions with the cupped taped because the “pushing string” gets very annoying to me but I have several and use their brand exclusivly.

Thanks for the review!

View Frankie Talarico Jr.'s profile

Frankie Talarico Jr.

353 posts in 4124 days

#5 posted 10-13-2009 03:52 PM

We got these tapes for those of you not around a woodworking store. They are highly accurate,and you can get them here.
Great tool for the outside curve of any project. Two styles to choose from…..check it out.

-- Live by what you believe, not what they want you to believe.

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1880 posts in 4758 days

#6 posted 10-13-2009 06:34 PM

I have this specific FastCap tape and I love it; it’s my favorite. i get easily annoyed by the curved tapes when layout cut lines on stock; this solved that issue for me.

-- "Everything that is great and inspiring is created by the individual who labors in freedom" -- Albert Einstein

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2149 posts in 4794 days

#7 posted 10-13-2009 08:48 PM

I have so many tapes now but what the heck, one more can’t hurt…

-- jack -- ...measure once, curse twice!

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118065 posts in 4344 days

#8 posted 10-13-2009 08:51 PM

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208 posts in 4217 days

#9 posted 10-13-2009 09:22 PM

I’ve had mine for about a year and I love it for layout. One of the best things is you don’t have to “tilt” it to get the mark on the board. The other side is used for a story stick so you can transfer exact measurements to similar pieces.

I also have their “righty” “lefty” tape that measures from either end of a board and the numbers are always upright. I like this one a lot too.

View MattinCincy's profile


128 posts in 3920 days

#10 posted 10-14-2009 01:14 AM

I guess I’ll have to get one and try it – everyone seems to like them. I always thought they seemed a little big in my hand, though. I like my small Stanley 12 footer for shop use.


-- Wag more, bark less.

View araldite's profile


188 posts in 4171 days

#11 posted 10-14-2009 03:45 AM

I looked at this a few months ago and decided it’s not good for inside measurements and passed on it for that reason.

-- Failure is the road to success if you learn to learn from your mistakes - Vince, Greenville, SC

View davidroberts's profile


1027 posts in 4253 days

#12 posted 10-14-2009 04:11 AM

Jack1, I counted 7 in my arsenal including the Stanley mini me on my keychain. Three actually work. I’m blessed to enjoy the $10 and under pleasures in life, ha.

araldite, your right, it’s a one trick pony.

Mattin – I have a little Starrett 12’ I use alot. But one side is metric, which has always bugged me. I think that’s the reason it was on sale. I didn’t notice at the time.

treeman – that righty lefty is another great idea. i’ve already hinted to santa about stocking stuffers.

Cessna and Tim 456- Dang, I forgot about that little feature. Yep, the flatback has one. She’s a beaut.

And one other item, if you let the tape slip hard back into the reel, it will bend the end a little. I’m just saying.

-- Better woodworking through old hand tools.

View Brad_Nailor's profile


2545 posts in 4724 days

#13 posted 10-14-2009 08:00 PM

These fast cap tapes are nice..I have the flat back in my home shop…but….I bought one a few years back that was a story pole regular tape with a pencil sharpener built into the base to use while working in a cabinet shop. I really liked it till I dropped it a few times and it broke..the tape locked up and wouldn’t move….I fiddled with it and got it to work a few more times and then the return spring failed and the tape wouldn’t retract. They dont really stand up well to real world use/abuse! My Stanley fatmax has been dropped hundreds of times…even from ladders, and still works like a champ!


View Rabbet's profile


35 posts in 3908 days

#14 posted 10-20-2009 07:17 AM

I’m a Stanley guy but… this tape works great. I like the fact I can measure the circumfrances or odd shaped pieces.

View VanessaG's profile


6 posts in 4058 days

#15 posted 10-27-2009 12:09 AM

Hmm, thanks all for the comments, I am going to get myself one of these!

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