Highland Woodworking
Tool Review: Stanley 175th Anniversary
10ft Tape Measure
By Jeff Fleisher

Click on any picture to see a larger version.

In commemoration of their 175th anniversary, Stanley Hand Tools has released a classic, limited-edition pocket tape based on a 1933 design. It is reminiscent of the tape measures that fit easily into your pocket or apron which you could pull out and make a quick measurement and then slip it back, out of the way, and keep on working.

For a limited time, the single tape measure comes in a very nice decorative box highlighting the fact that it is a 175th anniversary limited-edition and a window through which you can see the tape measure. The back of the box gives a little history of the founding of Stanley Works in 1843 by Frederick T. Stanley in New Britain, Connecticut. (If you want to buy the tape in the box, be sure to get your order in soon, as Highland has a limited supply of the boxed tapes. Also, the commemorative boxes are not available for the "pack of 12 tapes option").

The tape has a 10 foot long rule housed within a sturdy steel case with a polished chrome finish. The case side is embossed with the historic Stanley "Sweetheart" logo (the initials S.W. within a heart shaped outline).

At 2-1/8 inches in diameter x 7/8 inch thick, the round case easily fulfills the old adage, "it fits in the palm of your hand!"

The tape measure has a hook end, is 1/2 inch wide and has a yellow, non-glare finish. The tape itself is marked with 1/16th graduations on both edges of the tape.

As you would expect from Stanley, this is a well-built, solid little tape measure. It has a surprising heft to it given its size and no bells and whistles. I imagine tape measures made in the 1930's were made to do a single job and to last a long time. This tape measure will easily accomplish both of those functions. I can easily see carrying this tape in my pants pocket when going to the lumber yard or in my shop apron to make a quick measurement. The 10 foot tape is the perfect length for measuring off the length of a typical 8 foot board or marking up a sheet of plywood. You don't often need the 16 or 25 foot lengths of today's modern tape measures.

Of course, what's a tool review without showing the tool in use. Yes, it does work!!

The timing of the release of this tape rule is perfect for this time of year because it makes the perfect stocking stuffer and gift for the holiday season. Not only is it a functional tool for your shop, it will give you the sense of that 'old time woodworker' every time you take it out. It fits perfectly in your hand and will bring a smile to your face whenever you use it.

Click here to purchase your own Stanley 175th Anniversary Tape Measure from Highland Woodworking.

Jeffrey Fleisher has been a woodworker for approximately 20 years and a professional woodworker for the past 6 years. He is the president of his local woodturning club, the Woodturners of the Virginias and past president of the Northern Virginia Carvers. You can see some of the furniture he has made at www.jeffswooddesigns.com. He can be reached by email at furnmkr@gmail.com

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