Milwaukee Magnetic Tape Measure Review: Versatility with Ease of Use In One

Milwaukee Magnetic Tape Measure In Hand Two

Quick Take

The Milwaukee 25-Foot Magnetic Tape Measure is easy to recommend for both weekend DIY warriors and professionals. The cost is higher than other quality tape measures on the market, but that premium price is worth paying.

Milwaukee 25-Foot Magnetic Tape Measure
Pros:
  • Easy one-handed use
  • Smooth locking mechanism
  • Easy to read markings
  • Includes a finger brake
  • Casing durability
Cons:
  • Stiff belt clip
  • Magnet on the top hook protrudes too much
Check Price

MORE >> DIY Gear Reviews’ best tape measures

?

 

Milwaukee 25-Foot Magnetic Tape Measure review

FeatureSpec
Weight482 grams
Length25 feet (16-foot model available as well.)
Blade width1 inch
Standout9 feet
HousingPlastic and nylon

Ergonomics

IMG 1446
Credit: Nathan Hamilton

The Milwaukee 25-Foot Magnetic Tape Measure housing is bulkier than most other tape measures with a one-inch tape width. But the short, stocky, compact profile with grippy nylon in the right places makes it a great pick for easy one-handed operation for most hand sizes.

The locking mechanism also adds to this hand tool’s ease of use with a short travel to lock and unlock the tape. This means most people won’t have to let go of what’s in their other hand to set or retract the tape while measuring.

If we’re griping about one design aspect of the Milwaukee 25-Foot Magnetic Tape Measure that could be improved, it’d be the belt clip. It’s not bad. It’s hard to clip onto your pocket or shop apron with such a stiff metal clip. Other tape measure models we tested had a more forgiving belt clip that’s easier to clip onto an array of materials.

IMG 1449
Credit: Nathan Hamilton

The blade

The Milwaukee 25-Foot Magnetic Tape Measure has a versatile, easy-to-read and durable blade.

FeatureSpec
Blade durability (poor, good, great)Great
Hook styleMagnetic top and bottom with wings
Blade protectionNylon coating
Blade markingsTop – 1/16 inch with standard stud, Bottom – Architectural scale

Hook style

IMG 1452
Credit: Nathan Hamilton

The hook can be latched onto your workpiece in different orientations. The top and bottom hook has small wings protruding 3/16 of an inch to each side of the tape.

But the magnet added to the top hook is somewhat bulky. This can make it difficult to keep the top hook latched on your workpiece without a steady hand. If this is a concern and you don’t need a magnetized hook, get the same Milwaukee tape measure without a magnet.

MORE >> How to use a tape measure

Blade markings

Milwaukee Magnetic Tape Measure Tape Top and Underside
Credit: Nathan Hamilton

The Milwaukee 25-Foot Magnetic Tape Measure’s blade markings are so big you can read them from a distance. Otherwise, the top of the blade has standard markings at 1/16 of an inch with red numbers highlighting studs every 16 inches.

What’s different with the Milwaukee 25-Foot Magnetic Tape Measure is that it includes an architectural blueprint scale on the underside of the blade.

MORE >> How to read a tape measure

Blade durability

?

The blade is usually one of the first to break down with most tape measures. But the Milwaukee 25-Foot Magnetic Tape Measure shined in our abrasion tests using 150-grit sandpaper wrapped around a dowel. The blade’s nylon coating took the brunt of the damage, resulting in some minor surface scratches, but without impacting the readability of the numbers.

Self-retraction strength

The Milwaukee 25-Foot Magnetic Tape Measure’s retraction can be best described as smooth and powerful but not so aggressive that the tape measure will fly out of your hand with the tape retracting at full speed. The blade retracts without any assistance, even when extended.

Locking mechanism

IMG 1451
Credit: Nathan Hamilton

The locking mechanism is a clear standout feature for the Milwaukee 25-Foot Magnetic Tape Measure. The thumb switch’s ease of use alone is enough to warrant putting this tape measure at the top of your list. The switch is smooth to lock and unlock and has a short travel many other tape measures lack.

But there’s more than one way to lock the tape in place. The bottom of the housing has a cutout for a finger brake. Apply some light pressure and the tape locks between your finger and the housing.

IMG 1457
Credit: Nathan Hamilton

Accuracy

The Milwaukee 25-Foot Magnetic Tape Measure was accurate out of the box to within our tolerances tested to be within 1/32 of an inch.

Value

As with any Milwaukee tool, the Milwaukee 25-Foot Magnetic Tape Measure’s price is higher than others on the market and the ones we tested. But paying the premium price may be worth it for most people when you consider the build quality, ease of use, and versatility of this tape measure.

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.

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.

Related

Leave a Comment