Graphical Construction Glossary >> Tools. >> Hand Tools >> Retracting Tape Measure

Retracting Tape Measure
The device that replaced the carpenter's folding rule. A spring loaded self retracting thin steel tape measure.

two builder's tape measures

Love them or hate them, these tools are just about indispensable.

  • They come in a range of lengths up to about 10M
  • The two in the photo go up to 8M, one is just metric and the other is imperial and metric combined.
  • They come in a range of widths, up to 20mm, with the wider ones seeming to be stiffer and to last longer.
  • All these tapes have a locking button on the side to hold the tape in an extended position.
  • Care should be taken when releasing the lock to steady the tape and to let it return slowly. A fast snap back into the case is a good way to ruin a tape.
  • The tape gets its strength and stiffness from the fact that it has cross ways curve to it.
  • The hooked tip is always slightly loose.
  • This is allow it to slide by it's own thickness, say 2mm, for internal and external measurements.

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"What can be added to the happiness of a man who is in health, out of debt, and has a clear conscience?
Adam Smith 1723-1790

"When we build, let us think that we build for ever."John Ruskin 1819-1900

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Please Note! The information on this site is offered as a guide only!  When we are talking about areas where building regulations or safety regulations could exist,the information here could be wrong for your area.  It could be out of date!  Regulations breed faster than rabbits!
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