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.
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Craftsman Pro Reach 25-Foot Magnetic Tape Measure review
|25 feet (35-foot model available as well)
|1 ¼ inches
|Plastic and rubber
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.
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.
|Blade durability (poor, good, great)
|Single bottom hook with a magnet
|Standard 1/16-inch intervals with 16-inch studs highlighted
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.
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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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.