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

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Bottom line: 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.

This is a top pick for: Best tape measures

Milwaukee 25-Foot Magnetic Tape Measure

Photo: Amazon

Editorial Rating

4.5/5

An easy recommendation, whether you're a DIY weekend warrior or looking for a rugged, long-lasting tape measure to carry around the job site.

Pros
  • Easy, one-handed use
  • Smooth locking mechanism
  • Easy to read
  • Includes a finger brake
  • Durability
Cons
  • Stiff belt clip
  • Magnet on the top hook protrudes too much

MORE >> DIY Gear Reviews’ best tape measures

Milwaukee 25-Foot Magnetic Tape Measure review

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

Ergonomics

Milwaukee Magnetic Tape Measure In Hand

The Milwaukee 25-Foot Magnetic Tape Measure housing is bulkier than most other tape measures with a one inch tape width. But the short and 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 tools 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.

Milwaukee Magnetic Tape Measure Clip

The blade

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

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

Milwaukee Magnetic Tape Measure Hook

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

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 things to breakdown 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 blades nylon coating took the brunt of the damage, resulting in some minor surface scratches, but without and 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

Milwaukee Magnetic Tape Measure Locking Mechanism

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.

Milwaukee Magnetic Tape Measure Finger Brake

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 that this tape measure offers. 

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