The Stanley Fat Max 25-Foot Tape Measure best suits 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.
- Easy, one-handed use
- Blade coating
- Hooks lacks some versatility
- Retraction mechanism could be stronger
MORE >> Best tape measures
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Stanley Fat Max 25-Foot Tape Measure review
|Length||25 ft (available in 16 ft., 30 ft., and 35 ft. lengths as well)|
|Blade width||1 1/4 inches|
|Housing||Plastic and rubber|
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 clip’s build quality isn’t as great as other tape measures we tested in-house. Our best guess is that the clip is made of plastic material, whereas other tape measures use metal.
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’s durability in a critical area that receives heavy use.
|Hook style||Bottom and small top hook|
|Blade markings||1/16 inch with standard stud markings at 16 and 19.2-inch intervals|
|Blade durability (poor, good, great)||Good|
|Blade protection||Mylar and BladeArmor coating|
Some tape measures have hooks that protrude on top of and to both sides of the blade. This bigger hook profile adds some versatility to latch 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 extends to the top but only slightly above the blade’s edge. This can lead to the hook easily detaching from the edge of your workpiece when using the top hook.
If you want 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
The Stanley Fat Max 25-Foot Tape Measure has standard markings on just the top of the blade and at 1/16-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
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.
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 the hip level when standing. This isn’t an issue when the blade is extended at shorter distances.
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.
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.
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.
While researching this tape measure, we found several online sites offering this model for around $20. This price can be considered the middle of the pack and the right sweet spot for most people.