Tool Review: Mini Tapes - Milwaukee vs Stanley
Call me weird, but I like to carry a tape measure just about everywhere I go. No, I am not a general contractor but I am a DIY'er. Carrying a tape measure just makes sense to me because I find quite often I need to measure something: around the house, at work, in a store to see if a potential purchase will fit in the trunk. More opportunities present themselves than you would think. But a full sized tape measure looks silly on your hip if you are not measuring for a living. That's why I carry a mini tape measure in my work bag.
I found two options on the market, and I have to say these mini tapes are one of the best purchases I've ever made. That could be a little bit of a stretch but I really like them. They serve the purpose on 90% of what the home owner or hobbyist/DIY'er will encounter. They fit anywhere including in your pocket. In fact, I carry one as part of my EDC bag and have one in my Milwaukee tool box. I have other tape measures but sometimes the 25 footer just feels like over kill when I am measuring for a spot to put the nails in the wall to hang a picture.
Now for the real question: which one is better? Neither. They are pretty equal. I had the Stanley first, long before I knew the Milwaukee existed. It was four bucks and I thought it was the greatest thing since sliced bread. Carried it everywhere looking for something to measure. Then I was on eBay one day and saw that the Milwaukee one existed. It was part of a promo pack with a 16 or 25 foot tape but I couldn't find it anywhere. I searched Amazon and eBay and found the mini Milwaukee selling for as much as 20 bucks. That's ludicrous.
I walk into Home Depot about a month ago and go through my usual rounds and BOOM look what's hanging on the rack. Milwaukee is now in stock for 4 bucks as well. In real world use and side by side the Stanley and Milwaukee are nearly identical. Both are six feet in length. The Milwaukee is slightly bulkier, but Stanley has larger and easier to read numbers. You can't go wrong either way so choose which ever brand you are a fan of. I personally hate the color yellow so I would buy the red one.