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Is it just me that gets a bit frustrated with tape measures?

If you want to make a small measurement with the ususal tape measure, say, 5/8s, you can't, because the dang hook at the beginning of the tape hides almost the whole first inch! The rivets that hold on the hook don't help either.

I understand the companies are trying to make a tough hook stay attached to the end, but do they need to make it useless for small measurements?

 

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You have to burn an inch with those small measurements. Start at the 1 inch line and go from there, the hook won't be in the way:)
 

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For less risk of a misread, I prefer to burn 10 inches. That way the second digit of my new zero is….zero. I also use a precision 6" ruler.
 

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I burn inches off the tape on both ends, going every which direction, depending on what I am measuring or trying to figure out. :))
 

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I have 6" calipers - if it will fit in the calipers, I use them to measure it, not a tape. It's worked pretty well for me so far.
 

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For those short measures I use a steel rule as well, usually the tape measure is too scuffed up on that first inch to read clearly anyway…maybe I just need to take better care of my tapes LOL!
 

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As handy as they are, tape measures really aren't intended for really precise work. Those hooks are designed to stand up under pretty severe use where tolerances aren't really tight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I like a small tape ruler, because I do small projects, but occasionally like to measure up to 8 feet or so. I like this Johnson one - it has a lot of great features, especially the clear hook piece. I just wish it wasn't so huge; I like to keep my tape in my little apron pocket, and this wouldn't be a good fit. Nice tape though, otherwise.

Steel rulers are nice, yes, but I don't think they come with an edge hook for easy measurement?

Maybe I ought to invent the ultimate woodworker (as opposed to carpenter) tape ruler, make a million bucks, and retire in Tahiti?
 

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For small measurements, I use my 6 inch combination square, 12 inch for the slightly larger projects. When I am working on a cut list, I prefer a wooden, fold out ruler and a saddle layout gauge. If I am using the jointer/planer, calipers are pretty much a necessity. I have learned, over time, that my tape measure is nearly an 8th off on measurements if I use the hook. As others have stated, I usually start at the one foot marker for longer measurements and subtract a foot to zero in a little more accurately.

David
 
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