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Fat Max Tape Rant

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Forum topic by PPK posted 09-05-2018 02:40 PM 1654 views 0 times favorited 30 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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PPK

1433 posts in 1229 days


09-05-2018 02:40 PM

I USED to be a really big Fat Max tape measure fan. I was one of those early adopters when they came out, and have used them ever since. I think they WERE the best thing since sliced bread. However, I bought a new 16’ one the other day, and to my disappointment, found that the darn thing was:

-a full 1/32” off (everything is short)
-made from thinner plastic than previous models
-the blade is made from thinner steel, but a slight bit wider to probably attempt to compensate. It did NOT stand out to 11’ as the previous models did.
-the blade was warped and didn’t pull out easily.

A tape that doesn’t measure is like a car that doesn’t drive: USELESS.

The tapes all LOOK the same as the older ones, but somewhere along the line, Stanley decided to cut costs and cut corners. I’m so disappointed. Why can’t they keep a good thing going? Stanley should be ashamed to have the “Made in America” stamp on it.

I feel better now. I’m going to get back to work.

-- Pete


30 replies so far

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DS

3197 posts in 2840 days


#1 posted 09-05-2018 02:50 PM

Thanks for the heads up. I have three (older) fat max tapes and I love them. They all check out, accuracy-wise, and I love that I never have to second guess the measurement. The long hold out really helps too.

It only takes one bean counter to question why they aren’t making that extra $0.015 per unit to screw things up by cutting corners.

I sure hope they get their act together once again and decide to return to building quality products.
This is a sad state of affairs… disapointing.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

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MrRon

5571 posts in 3663 days


#2 posted 09-05-2018 03:19 PM

How do you know the tape is out 1/32”? What did you check it against? Tape measures are notoriously inaccurate. I can’t believe any tape can be out that much. Worthless.

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PPK

1433 posts in 1229 days


#3 posted 09-05-2018 03:28 PM

I checked it against my PEC steel rule, as well as my other (accurate) tape measures.

-- Pete

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ChefHDAN

1417 posts in 3269 days


#4 posted 09-05-2018 04:04 PM

My go to is a Lufkin 25” Self Centering, that has a fractional read and a centering scale on the bottom, I never imagined how often and handy that centering scale would be.

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

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AZWoody

1452 posts in 1643 days


#5 posted 09-05-2018 04:18 PM

I used to use Stanleys for a long time. They had some that had a circumference scale on the back which was really handy when I was working on sprinkler pipes for the farm.

Now, I’ve switched to Komeleon brand. Stanley made a tape measure that stayed open and the button was made to feed back, so it was reversed from the standard way tape measures worked. I really liked how it worked that way for woodworking and other things I do but they were getting hard to find. Now, Komeleon makes a lot of different sized and almost all of their’s are like that.

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msinc

567 posts in 923 days


#6 posted 09-05-2018 05:24 PM

I bought a 35 foot FatMax. I pulled it all the way out one time and it never went back. It will close to about 9 feet and absolutely stop solid. I have pulled it out and cleaned it…nope didn’t work. Pulled it all back out and lubed it…nope still wont retract fully. Will I ever buy another FatMax??? Nope.

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BroncoBrian

875 posts in 2378 days


#7 posted 09-05-2018 07:43 PM

Do any of you have a tape that is reversed direction for the markings?

Most (almost ALL) tapes are left to right which is correct for right-handed people to pull the tape to your right. But then your right hand is stuck with a tape and you have to mark a line with your left. I hate that.

I would pay $50 for a medium-sized, left-to-right marked, accurate tape from Starret or someone similar. Preferably without a belt loop so you can set it on tools or finished projects.

-- A severed foot is the ultimate stocking stuffer.

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BroncoBrian

875 posts in 2378 days


#8 posted 09-05-2018 07:46 PM

Just found this: https://www.amazon.com/Handed-Retractable-Tape-Measure-Right/dp/B076MQF985#customerReviews

Seems like a good idea. I am ordering one.

-- A severed foot is the ultimate stocking stuffer.

View Redoak49's profile

Redoak49

4043 posts in 2408 days


#9 posted 09-05-2018 08:38 PM

Good idea to check all tape measures. In general, I am careful with any new ones.

I have been very pleased with my FastCap tape measures. For accuracy, I like my FastCap flat tape measure as it is very accurate.

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Kilo19

104 posts in 645 days


#10 posted 09-05-2018 08:48 PM

I as well have a fat max that is about 12 yrs plus. Never had problems with it. I would’ve replaced it when it dies. But now I don’t know.

-- Justin

View AHuxley's profile

AHuxley

874 posts in 3741 days


#11 posted 09-06-2018 06:03 AM



Good idea to check all tape measures. In general, I am careful with any new ones.

I have been very pleased with my FastCap tape measures. For accuracy, I like my FastCap flat tape measure as it is very accurate.

- Redoak49

I have several of the FastCap tapes and really like the Lefty/Righty which reads both directions. They are inexpensive but the cases are also pretty cheaply built but I really like the actual metal tape for in-shop use but they don’t have the standout of some of the more construction oriented tapes.

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Redoak49

4043 posts in 2408 days


#12 posted 09-06-2018 12:11 PM


I have several of the FastCap tapes and really like the Lefty/Righty which reads both directions. They are inexpensive but the cases are also pretty cheaply built but I really like the actual metal tape for in-shop use but they don t have the standout of some of the more construction oriented tapes.

- AHuxley

Great comment. What tape I used is based upon what I am doing. There are tapes great for construction and can take abuse. The FastCap flat tape is great for shop work and very good at accurate measurements but not any good at all for construction.

View Jeff's profile

Jeff

507 posts in 3614 days


#13 posted 09-06-2018 12:51 PM

OK, so your tape is defective. Doesn’t mean they all are. Take it back and do as suggested: check it out before purchasing.

View JADobson's profile

JADobson

1443 posts in 2531 days


#14 posted 09-06-2018 02:48 PM



Do any of you have a tape that is reversed direction for the markings?

Most (almost ALL) tapes are left to right which is correct for right-handed people to pull the tape to your right. But then your right hand is stuck with a tape and you have to mark a line with your left. I hate that.

I would pay $50 for a medium-sized, left-to-right marked, accurate tape from Starret or someone similar. Preferably without a belt loop so you can set it on tools or finished projects.

- BroncoBrian

Perhaps a bit better quality than your amazon find is this one from LV: http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/page.aspx?p=32563&cat=1,43513,43515 I bought the 25’ one for a small framing job and it did the trick. I have the 10’ one for the shop and find it really handy.

-- No craft is very far from the line beyond which is magic. -- Lord Dunsany — Instagram @grailwoodworks

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Snipes

410 posts in 2664 days


#15 posted 09-06-2018 04:59 PM

As long as you use the same tape for a whole project it shouldn’t matter if its off a bit, or maybe i’m missing something? is it off a 1/32” on 16’ or is every inch/foot off that far? sometimes the end can be bent a bit causing the problem.

-- if it is to be it is up to me

showing 1 through 15 of 30 replies

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