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Average: 2 (1 vote)

2labz's picture
Written on Saturday, June 20, 2015
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Pros: solid construction, well-made
Cons: display is cluttered, too busy to read

A self-centering tape measure sounds like a good idea. After all, how many of us can divide 43-7/8" in half in our heads? Actually, I can - it's 21-15/16"... But perhaps a more important question is, "How often do you need to divide 43-7/8" ins half? and is it worth it to have a "self-centering" tape measure for those rare occasions?

I inherited a Lufkin L725SCTMP 25-foot x 1-inch Self-Centering Tape Measure when a previous employer unloaded all their supplies. OK, I liberated it. Whatever. But I'm glad I didn't pay to buy it, because it's pretty useless for everyday use. The reason is that the tape is so covered with numbers and symbols that it's hard to use. It's best used when measuring existing spaces and looking for the center. When it comes to exacting measurement - like cutting a board to 82-3/8 inches - it's a royal pain to read. Here, see what I mean:

 

Self-centering (left) and conventional (right) 1-inch tapes.
Self-centering (left) and conventional (right) 1-inch tapes.

When it comes to quality, this is a nice tape: the bright orange case is solid and sturdy and stands up to rough use. It's a little bulky- two inches thick, including the belt clip - and it weighs almost a pound, but the lock and the auto return work quite well. There's nothing wrong with the tool that putting an ordinary one-inch tape into it wouldn't solve.

I've seen reviewers gush about how useful it is for hanging pictures, but come on - how often does the ordinary person do that? No, I'll be sticking with a conventional tape measure for my woodworking shop - one I can read easily and on which I can find the one-inch markers without having to put on my magnifying eyepieces. Lufkin can keep this one. Unless you spend most of your days with a calculator in hand trying to find the center of a space, I'd pass on this one and look for one of Lufkin's (or Stanley's) conventional 25-foot, 1-inch tapes.

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2labz doesn't recommend Lufkin L725SCTMP 25 x 1 Self-Centering Tape Measure

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Type: Tape Measure
Brand: Lufkin
Category: Home Repair Tools
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