Bottom line: We were pleasantly surprised by the Ryobi 25-Foot Tape Measure and its performance in our testing, particularly its lightweight ergonomics and the fact that it includes fraction markings. This tape measure is best for general use around the home or as a second or third tape measure that you won’t worry about losing or breaking.
- Lightweight and compact
- Includes fraction markings
- Good self-retraction
- Low price
- Short standout
- Poor blade durability in our tests
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Ryobi 25-Foot Tape Measure review
|Blade width||1 inch|
|Housing||Plastic and rubber|
The Ryobi 25-Foot Tape Measure has some of the best ergonomics of all the tape measures we tested. That’s due to its compact casing with over-molded rubber in the right places and a lightweight build at 373 grams.
While the ergonomics are great in hand, the wire-formed belt clip is too stiff for clipping and unclipping this hand tool from your belt or pocket. You’ll need two hands to do so, one to hold the material tight and the other to attach the tape measure.
The Ryobi 25-Foot Tape Measure’s blade is where you start to get a feel for the durability and performance tradeoffs of buying a budget tape measure. The standout and blade durability didn’t perform well in our tests, so this isn’t a great pick if you’re looking for heirloom quality. But the Ryobi 25-Foot Tape Measure’s blade shines because it has a great hook style and includes fraction markings for easy readability.
|Hook style||Top and bottom tang with wings|
|Blade markings||1/16″ with fraction markings and standard 16″ stud and 19.2″ truss diamonds|
|Blade durability (poor, good, great)||Poor|
|Blade protection||Nylon coating|
The Ryobi 25-Foot Tape Measure has a well-designed hook, also called the tang, that is the right size to latch onto your workpiece for measuring in any orientation. Wings on the side and top give you added measuring flexibility. The hook is also sturdy enough to survive a drop without bending and changing the tape measure’s accuracy.
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Having a tape measure with fraction markings is a nice add-on for easy readability. The Ryobi 25-Foot Tape Measure has fraction readings at 1/8″ intervals down the length of the blade. These markings are particularly useful when looking for the best tape measure for woodworking. The blade also includes standard 16″ stud markings highlighted in red for measuring studs on center and truss diamonds at 19.2″ intervals for measuring floor joists.
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Blade durability is where we started to see the tradeoffs of buying a budget tape measure. The Ryobi 25-Foot Tape Measure’s blade performed poorly in our abrasion testing. The abrasion from wrapping a dowel in 150-grit sandpaper and rubbing the blade for a few seconds easily penetrated the almost non-existent nylon coating and scratched off the paint itself.
You can expect this blade to show signs of wear and tear over time. But we think that may be an acceptable enough tradeoff for the price and for the type of person this tape measure is best for, who won’t be putting it through the wringer. Serious woodworkers should consider a sturdier tape at a higher price.
We were pleasantly surprised by the Ryobi 25-Foot Tape Measure’s self-retraction performance. We never found that the blade needed assistance to reel in, even when we ran it through several measuring scenarios at different angles and lengths. The self-retracting mechanism isn’t the strongest on the market, but it’ll do the job well and is good for one-handed use.
A buttery smooth sliding lock is a critical feature we covet when assessing a tape measure’s performance. While the Ryobi 25-Foot Tape Measure’s sliding lock isn’t the butteriest of the lot, it also didn’t perform poorly. The sliding lock can be set and unlocked with one hand. The only area we would wish for better performance is some additional pressure is needed to unlock the button. Otherwise, the sliding lock performed well and has a short travel for smaller hands.
The Ryobi 25-Foot Tape Measure’s accuracy was spot on within our tested tolerance of 1/32 of an inch. The floating hook is also easy to slide, so this tape measure should deliver consistently accurate readings.
This tape measure can be readily found for well under $10 – that is a bargain. The combination of a low price with good-enough features for most people explains why the Ryobi 25-Foot Tape Measure offers great value. This isn’t a surprise if you’re familiar with the Ryobi brand. Ryobi made its name by building decent hand and power tools at a great price.
Yes. Ryobi offers a lifetime warranty on its tape measures. The warranty covers defects in the manufacturing, not wear and tear from general use or user abuse.
In our testing, we found that the Ryobi 25-Foot Tape Measure is good for general use around the home, but it is not built for the job site. It is accurate, has good ergonomics, and has strong self-retraction. One tradeoff for the low price is that the blade isn’t durable.