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The Tape Measure of Choice

Subject:  The Tape Measure of Choice

Your tape measure is probably the single most important tool in this trade and everyone has their own personal choice when it comes to purchasing one. I know alot of you big budget - toys hounds use the Distos for measuring. No doubt they are the best but $400 doesn't fit into everyone's budget. Stanley is the predominant brand when it comes to tape measures. I believe everyone should carry a 35 footer. I see so many with 25's and you find alot of rafter lengths longer than that. What do you carry as your primary and why?

The summary below was created by Action;

Been following this thread. Here's a quick, handy, summary. Hope it helps.

Measuring Summary

Tape Measure of Choice (Descending order of preference-more or less):

1. FatMax 35‘--Durability, rigidity when measuring longer lengths, questionable warranty
2. Sears Craftsman 30’ (Model 39676)--Durability, easy to find (yellow), Craftsman lifetime warranty, limited to 30’
3. Disto Laser--Speed, accuracy, great interior/limited exterior tool, T=$(Approx 20min savings per scope), get “eye piece” and tripod for up to 300’ accuracy in sunlight, $350+/-, info at,
4. HILTI PD30 Laser--$500!, 650’=98% accuracy, testament-"Measured 3 story commercial bldg in 1.5 hrs.", HD website=$174.50 (posted 12-05, but check web site(s) before you drive to store for best price)
5. Roll-a-tape surveyor wheel--Accurate to the inch?, great for fences/ground measurements…W.W. Granger model discounted to $40
6. Ryobi (Model MPT006/$35) Laser--Cost effective
7. Trimble (SPECTRA HD150) Laser--Better than Disto?, ? Portability,
8. Executive Wheel--$29.95 @ Lowes, folds for compact handling, wheel only 4” diameter
9. Stanley Laser--Cost effective, approx. 65' limit
10. TARGET, FatMax equivalent--Only $8.99, consensus not in yet, could be cost effective backup

Alternate Methods, Tried and True Tips from the Vets:

2. Always carry two or more tapes and/or Disto or other laser
3. Tennis (rubber) ball attached to 100’tape, toss from ridge--WATCH FOR POWER LINES/OTHER ELECTRICAL DEVICES YOU CAN‘T SEE OVER THE ROOFLINE!, “DON’T” use golf ball (who's underneath?), consider nylon tape
4. WHEELS: “Shingle Bump” makes for inaccurate measurement
5. Always check (google) web sites first for best price--especially so with lasers
6. Ground Measurements: Use Blue Book, span and pitch if steep, unsafe roof climb


1. Ultrasonic measurements

Source: 2003 Forum Post By CatDaddy - 79 Replies

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