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Stanley Fat Max 25-Foot Tape Measure Review

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Bottom line: The Stanley Fat Max 25-Foot Tape Measure is best suited for DIY, weekend warriors wanting a good enough tape measure for the most common uses. This type of user is the sweet spot, since the tape measure isn’t durable enough for work around the job site.

Stanley Fat Max 25-Foot Tape Measure

Photo: Amazon

Editorial Rating

3.5/5

A suitable tape measure around the house with a compact housing for easy, one-handed use.

Pros
  • Easy, one-handed use
  • Blade coating
Cons
  • Hooks lacks some versatility
  • Retraction mechanism could be stronger

MORE >> DIY Gear Reviews’ best tape measures

Stanley Fat Max 25-Foot Tape Measure review

Weight510 grams
Length25 ft (available in 16 ft., 30 ft., and 35 ft. lengths as well)
Blade width1 1/4 inches
Standout11 ft
HousingPlastic and rubber
WarrantyLifetime

Ergonomics

Stanley Fat Max Tape Measure

The Stanley Fat Max 25-Foot Tape Measure has a compact profile that sits nicely in the hand. With its wider blade, the housing is stockier than many popular tape measures. But most people should be able to still easily grip this hand tool with a single hand. The housing is made of plastic and rubber, which does help keep the tape measure from slipping easily out of your hand.

The belt clip is good for most uses with a flexible enough clip to easily hook onto different material thicknesses with one hand. But it is worth noting that the clips build quality isn’t as great as other tape measures we tested in house. Our best guess is that the clip is made of a plastic material, whereas other tape measures use metal.

Stanley Fat Max Tape Measure Clip

The blade

The Stanley Fat Max 25-Foot Tape Measure’s extra wide blade will be durable and long lasting enough for most uses around the home. The full blade is covered in Mylar for protection. The first three inches of the hook and blade include Stanley’s BladeArmor coating. This increases the tape measures durability in a critical area that receives heavy use.

Hook styleBottom and small top hook
Blade markings1/16 inch with standard stud markings at 16 and 19.2 inch intervals
Blade durability (poor, good, great)Good
Blade protectionMylar and BladeArmor coating

Hook style

Stanley Fat Max Tape Measure Hook

Some tape measures have hooks that protrude on top of and to both sides of the blade. This bigger hook profiles adds some versatility to enable latching the hook onto surfaces in different orientations. 

Unfortunately, the Stanley Fat Max 25-Foot Tape Measure hook is more of a one-trick pony. The hook does extend to the top some, but only slightly above the edge of the blade. This can lead to the hook easily detaching from the edge of your workpiece when using the top hook.

If you’re wanting this same model, but with the added versatility of a magnet, Stanley offers the same classic style with a magnet on the hook.

MORE >> How to use a tape measure

Blade markings

Stanley Fat Max Tape Measure Blade Markings

The Stanley Fat Max 25-Foot Tape Measure has standard markings on just the top of the blade and at 1/16 of an inch intervals. The blade also includes stud markings at 16-inch and 19.2-inch intervals. The bottom of the blade doesn’t include any markings for measuring.

MORE >> How to read a tape measure

Blade durability

The Stanley Fat Max 25-Foot Tape Measure’s blade held up well in our tests, but not as well as some other models we tested, such as the Craftsman Pro Reach Magnetic Tape Measure

We conducted our blade durability tests by wrapping a piece of 150-grit sandpaper around a dowel and then rubbing the blade for several seconds.

The main impacts we saw for the Stanley Fat Max 25-Foot Tape Measure were some scratches that penetrated beyond the coating and some minimal scraping of the paint on the tape.

Self-retraction strength

The Stanley Fat Max 25-Foot Tape Measure’s retraction is strong enough for most uses. But it does need some assistance when extending the blade beyond ten feet on the ground and holding the tape at hip level when standing. This isn’t an issue when the blade is extended at shorter distances.

Slide lock

Stanley Fat Max Tape Measure Sliding Lock

The sliding lock mechanism sits in the middle of the pack of the models we tested for smoothness and ease of locking the blade in place. The lock can be slid into position and released with just your thumb.

The Stanley Fat Max 25-Foot Tape Measure sliding lock nicely has a short travel, but your thumb is prone to sliding off the plastic button when using one handed. Adding a grippier material to the sliding lock could help for added friction between your hand and the sliding lock.

Accuracy

The Stanley Fat Max 25-Foot Tape Measure’s out-of-the-box accuracy was within our accepted tolerance of 1/32 of an inch. Measurement accuracy should be spot on with regular use, even for highly accurate measurements needed for woodworking.

Value

The Stanley Fat Max 25-Foot Tape Measure offers a good balance of features for the money. It doesn’t offer every bell and whistle, but it also isn’t going to break the bank.

We found several online sites offering this model for around $20 while researching this tape measures. This price can be considered middle of the pack and the right sweet spot for most people.

FAQs

Do Stanley tape measures have a lifetime warranty?

Yes. Stanley offers a limited lifetime warranty for its tape measures. Repairs or a replacement will be provided when the tape measure malfunctions due to deficiencies in the material or workmanship. Deficient products can be sent to the following address for potential warranty: Stanley Black & Decker, 100 Passmore Lane, Jackson, TN 38305, Attn: Quality Assurance.

How accurate our Stanley tape measures?

Our tests demonstrated that the Stanley Fat Max 25-Foot Tape Measure was accurate to within at least 1/32 of an inch.

Are Stanley tape measures durable?

The Stanley Fat Max 25-Foot Tape Measure is long-lasting and durable enough for most uses around the house. The model we tested isn’t well suited for day in, day out use on the job site.

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