The FastCap Lefty/Righty 16-Foot Tape Measure packs in many useful bells and whistles, nails the essentials, and won’t break the bank. It’s hard to find a more value-packed tape measure in the market. It’s an easy pick as one of the best tape measures for woodworkers.
FastCap Lefty/Righty 16-Foot Tape Measure review
|Plastic encased in rubber
Like most 16-foot tape measures, the FastCap Lefty/Righty 16-Foot tape measure has great ergonomics. But this hand tool outshines other similar options for a few reasons, particularly when it comes to one-handed use.
First, the FastCap Lefty/Righty 16-Foot Tape Measure is fully encased in rubber, giving it a grippy feel in hand. Secondly, the sliding lock is also smooth to set and won’t require two hands to lock the blade.
Finally, the belt clip is among the best we’ve come across. Of the dozen-plus tape measures we’ve tested in-house, it is by far the easiest to use. The clip has good leverage and strategically placed rubber. This makes the long travel of the belt clip simple to latch onto your pocket or a tool belt with ease.
|Bottom tang only
|1/16” with fractions, 16” on center stud markings
|Blade durability (poor, good, great)
The FastCap Lefty/Righty 16-Foot Tape Measure is feature-packed for versatility in every design aspect except for its tang. The blade only has a bottom tang, not one that protrudes to the top and with wings to the side, like some other tape measures. 360-degree tangs are great for taking measurements in different orientations and are commonly found on the best tape measures.
But keep in mind that while the FastCap Lefty/Righty 16-Foot Tape Measure’s tang isn’t as versatile as other models, it is well-built and floats easily for consistently accurate interior and exterior measurements.
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The FastCap Lefty/Righty 16-Foot Tape Measure’s most unique feature is its blade markings. The markings are mirrored on the top and bottom edges. You’ll always be able to read one set of markings right side up, measuring from the left or right.
What’s more, the blade includes fractions on both edges. This added feature can take the guesswork out of measuring and is useful for beginners and professionals alike.
Do remember that the blade doesn’t have diamond markings to lay out standard floor joists at 19.2” intervals, but it includes red highlighting at 16” on center stud intervals.
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Oh boy, does the FastCap Lefty/Righty 16-Foot Tape Measure have a durable blade! In fact, this tape measure has the most durable blade of the models we tested in-house.
Barely any scratches were visible after running the FastCap Lefty/Righty 16-Foot Tape Measure through our abrasion test.
Many tape measures have a nylon blade coating for protection, but this tape measure’s coating is far superior. In our tests of other models with nylon coatings, many were left with scratches that penetrated the coating to scrape away at the painted markings.
The FastCap Lefty/Righty 16-Foot Tape Measure’s one-handed ergonomics were already great in our tests. The smooth and strong self-retraction of the blade makes one-handed use even easier. We didn’t run into a scenario where the blade needed assistance to retract.
The FastCap Lefty/Righty 16-Foot Tape Measure’s sliding lock won’t take two hands to unlock. It is smooth to set and easy to unlock with your thumb, thanks to both its build quality and the rubber placed on the button to make it grippy.
Consistency and accuracy
The FastCap Lefty/Righty 16-Foot Tape Measure is well suited for general uses around the house, but it shines for woodworking. That’s partly due to its consistency of accurate measurements. Accuracy is important in woodworking, but consistency must also be a key feature. We tested each tape measure to an accuracy tolerance of 1/32”.
Consistency in measuring mostly comes down to a tape measure having a loose floating tang that pushes in easily for interior measurements and extends easily for exterior measurements. The FastCap Lefty/Righty 16-Foot Tape Measure performs well with its loose floating tang and accuracy that beat out the tolerance we tested.
With all the features and thoughtful design elements, you’d think the FastCap Lefty/Righty 16-Foot Tape Measure would be priced at a premium. But the FastCap Lefty/Righty 16-Foot Tape Measure can be available online for around $10. Simply put, there are few tape measures in the market that offer this much bang for the buck.