Craftsman Pro Reach 25-Foot Magnetic Tape Measure Review

Craftsman Pro Reach Tape Measure

Quick Take

The Craftsman Pro Reach 25-Foot Magnetic Tape Measure offers a great balance of versatility and durability for a good price. Its blade and smooth sliding lock are standouts that make it easy to overlook the blade’s OK enough retraction mechanism.

Craftsman Pro Reach 25-Foot Magnetic Tape Measure
Pros:
  • Long blade standout
  • Compact for one-handed use
  • Smooth sliding lock
  • Overall durability
Cons:
  • Weak blade self-retraction
  • Tang lacks versatility
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Craftsman Pro Reach 25-Foot Magnetic Tape Measure review

FeatureSpec
Weight527 grams
Length25 feet (35-foot model available as well)
Blade width1 ¼ inches
Standout14 feet
HousingPlastic and rubber
WarrantyLimited lifetime

Ergonomics

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Credit: Nathan Hamilton

The Craftsman Pro Reach 25-Foot Magnetic Tape Measure is grippy in the right places and compact enough for one-handed use for most people. The ergonomics are also great with the sliding lock’s short travel and smooth setting.

The metal belt clip has the right balance of stiffness and flexibility so that you can easily attach this hand tool to your belt, pocket, or shop apron without looking.

IMG 1410
Credit: Nathan Hamilton

The blade

The Craftsman Pro Reach 25-Foot Magnetic Tape Measure’s blade has good enough versatility for most people. The extra wide blade led to the longest standout for models we tested, and the big, printed numbers are easy to read, even at a distance.

FeatureSpec
Blade durability (poor, good, great)Great
Hook styleSingle bottom hook with a magnet
Blade protectionNylon coating
Blade markingsStandard 1/16-inch intervals with 16-inch studs highlighted

Hook style

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Credit: Nathan Hamilton

Other tape measure hooks have wings on each side of the blade and a hook on top to enable measuring in different orientations. That’s not the case with this model. The Craftsman Pro Reach 25-Foot Magnetic Tape Measure’s hook is no frills, with a stiff hook on the bottom for durability and accuracy and a removable magnet on top.

If you’re wanting a similar tape measure but with a more versatile hook, Craftsman makes the same 25-foot model without a magnet. Importantly, the hook has wings on each side and on top.

MORE >> How to use a tape measure

Blade markings

Copy of Tape Rows 1
Credit: Nathan Hamilton

The Craftsman Pro Reach 25-Foot Magnetic Tape Measure’s white blade has high contrast and printed numbers at standard intervals of 1/16 of an inch. The printed inch markings increase in size up to 10 inches. The blade also includes standard red markings at 16-inch intervals for measuring stud locations.

MORE >> How to read a tape measure

Blade durability

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The Craftsman Pro Reach 25-Foot Magnetic Tape Measure’s blade durability was among the best of the models we tested. The blade’s durable nylon coating explains the high performance in this test.

Only surface scratches in the coating appeared when rubbing the blade with 150-grit sandpaper wrapped around a dowel. Our test showed no further signs of wear, including the printed numbers getting smudged or paint being scraped off the blade.

Self-retraction strength

The Craftsman Pro Reach 25-Foot Magnetic Tape Measure’s retraction mechanism didn’t fair well in our tests. While it is strong and fast when extended a few feet, the performance declines quickly at longer lengths and when held above the surface being measured.

The blade didn’t retract without minor assistance when extended beyond 10 feet on most surfaces, including a garage floor and a carpeted area. The retraction is OK enough when the tape measure is flat on a surface. But assistance will be needed when raising the tape measure to any higher angle or if the surface can lead to some friction on the hook, such as on the carpet.

Slide lock

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Credit: Nathan Hamilton

The slide lock is a standout feature on this tape measure. If you’re focused on finding a tape measure with a smooth sliding lock for easy, one-handed use, it’s hard to go wrong with the Craftsman Pro Reach 25-Foot Magnetic Tape Measure. The sliding lock’s short travel also makes it easy for one-handed use for an array of hand sizes.

Accuracy

The Craftsman Pro Reach 25-Foot Magnetic Tape Measure was accurate out of the box to the 1/32 of an inch tolerance we tested.

It’s worth noting that the floating hook is tighter than some other models we tested, which could occasionally lead to inaccurate measurements by a small margin.

Value

Craftsman built a brand around making great tools for the right price, and this Craftsman tape measure doesn’t deviate from that M.O. It has most of the essentials (and more) that most people will need without breaking the bank. Our research found that it’s easy to find this tape measure for around $20 at several online stores.

FAQ

  • Do Craftsman tape measures have a lifetime warranty?

    Craftsman tape measures do offer a limited lifetime warranty. Craftsman will replace the tape measure if the tape measure fails to perform due to either defects or workmanship. Most replacements can be made by returning the tape measure to the store it was purchased from.

  • Are Craftsman tape measures durable?

    Our tests show that the Craftsman Pro Reach Tape Measure offers high levels of durability. The rugged housing can take a beating, and the blade’s coating ensures it’ll last for a long time.

Methodology

Our research for models to test started by searching user reviews at several online retailers. That research resulted in us narrowing down the choices on the market to the models we wanted to review in more depth. Tape measures that appeared over-priced or didn’t offer great build quality were immediately cut. We eventually purchased 12 models for in-house testing.

Our in-house testing involved reviewing the tape measures for their feature sets and their ergonomics, accuracy, and cost. We paid special attention to several critical items: ease of one-handed use, casing and blade durability, good self-retraction, and a smooth sliding lock. In total, the tape measures were assessed across 16 factors. The performance in each category determined our overall editorial opinion.

Picture of Nathan Hamilton
Nathan Hamilton
Nathan Hamilton is the founder of DIY Gear Reviews and a recognized expert in the home and DIY space. He has over 200 bylines covering topics such as power tools, hand tools, and woodworking. Nathan is the strategic director for DIY Gear Reviews, deciding everything from the content covered to designing the testing methodologies for lab-tested reviews. He can be emailed at nhamilton@diygearreviews.com.

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