Even in today’s technological age where tradies’ toolboxes are stuffed full of lasers and all manner of gadgets, the short tape rule is still a constant.
More than 50 years after its invention the tape measure is still a permanent fixture on the belts of tradies nationwide, and despite pressure from laser distance measures and the deluge of smart phone based apps, the short tape is still holding its own.
A brief wander down the aisle of any tool shop shows just how far tape measures have evolved over the years. The modern tradie is spoilt for choice with a myriad of models available all a mile away from the original Stanley Powerlock tape from the early 1960s, and all boasting an array of features and benefits that makes each tape better than the other.
So which is the best? It’s hard to tell, but the folks from DEWALT the home of GUARANTEED TOUGH are about to launch something very special. They reckon it’s probably the toughest and greatest tape measure on the market.
What’s so special about it? DEWALT Australia head honcho George Maglaras explains… “When DEWALT sets out to make power tools, GUARANTEED TOUGH is front and centre. It’s what we aspire to. Our attitude to hand tools is no different. If we’re going to make a tape measure, then it has to be the best. No question.”
In the last edition of Tool Torque we spoke about tape CTQs (Critical To Quality), namely blade durability, hook type, stand out, readability, size and durability. The DEWALT team suggest they have owned every CTQ where this tape is concerned. And not only owned it but killed it! Here’s a quick run-through…
● Blade durability: This bad boy not only offers a full-length, extra-thick coating of Mylar to protect the blade graphics against abrasion and wear, it also boasts an additional thermoplastic.
● Size: This is where the DEWALT team has triumphed. Packing a stiffer blade, additional blade coating and protection into a short tape case is no mean feat. The additional material meant the size of the tape could’ve been compromised and had the potential to blow up in bulk, making the tape unwieldy. To counter this, DEWALT went back to the drawing board and completely redesigned the internal mechanism – opting for a new ‘DualCore’ system in which two retracting springs work in tandem. This keeps the tape’s footprint consistent with other eight-metre tapes, despite the additional materials and tech.
● Durability: Nothing but GUARANTEED TOUGH. This tape has been designed with an impact-resistant, heavy-duty case, capable of withstanding a an 18-metre drop on to compacted soil. The DEWALT XP 8m Next Generation tape will be available from November at Total Tools and Mitre 10 stores nationwide, and price is expected to be around $40.