FastCap Lefty/Righty 16-Foot Tape Measure Review

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Quick Take

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.

Fast Cap Lefty/Righty 16-Foot Tape Measure
Pros:
  • Blade includes easy-to-read fractions
  • Clever design features built for woodworking
  • Ergonomic finger break
  • Convenient belt clip
  • Competitively priced
Cons:
  • Tang lacks versatility
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FastCap Lefty/Righty 16-Foot Tape Measure review

FeatureSpec
Weight286 grams
Length16 feet
Blade width1 inch
Standout8 feet
HousingPlastic encased in rubber
WarrantyFull replacement

Ergonomics

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Credit: Nathan Hamilton

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.

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The belt clip is well-designed and is easy to latch onto your clothing with one hand. Credit: Nathan Hamilton

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.

The blade

FeatureSpec
Tang styleBottom tang only
Blade markings1/16” with fractions, 16” on center stud markings
Blade durability (poor, good, great)Great
Blade protectionNylon coating

Tang style

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Credit: Nathan Hamilton

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.

MORE >> How to Use a Tape Measure

Blade markings

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Credit: Nathan Hamilton

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.

MORE >> How to Read a Tape Measure

Blade durability


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.

Self-retraction strength

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.

Slide lock

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Credit: Nathan Hamilton

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.

Value

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.

FAQ

  • Do FastCap tape measures have a lifetime warranty?

    While FastCap tape measures don’t officially have a lifetime warranty, at least from what we could find on the FastCap website, the company readily replaces malfunctioning units. In reviewing the website, there were several user-submitted reviews or complaints where a customer service representative was readily willing to replace a user’s tape measure with a new one at no cost.

  • Are FastCap tape measures any good?

    Yes. FastCap tape measures are some of the best-designed tape measures available. Our in-house testing demonstrated that the FastCap Lefty/Righty 16-Foot Tape Measure has great build quality and unique features not offered with other models.

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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