Bottom line: The Stanley Powerlock 25-Foot Tape Measure is one of the more popular tape measures found in both DIY and professional shops. It does the basics well, and is a valuable choice for many, but it isn’t a fit for construction site usage where durability is critical.
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Stanley Powerlock 25-Foot Tape Measure at a glance
|Blade width||1 inch|
The ergonomics of the Stanley Powerlock 25-Foot Tape Measure are one of its few flaws. While the tape measure is manageable for one-handed use, it is on the bigger end of the spectrum when compared to other popular models. Most tasks will require two hands.
The housing is taller than average, but slightly narrowed with casing edges that can be best described as rounded and sharp at the same time. The metal body can also be slippery in the hand.
One of the several areas where this hand tool shines is the simplicity and smoothness of the belt clip. That’s because it can easily slide onto a range of material thicknesses, whether that’s on thinner side in a pants pocket or on the thicker end with a heavy-duty shop apron. In either use, the tape measure seats in easily and stays put. Durability also shouldn’t be an issue since the clip is made of metal.
The Stanley Powerlock 25-Foot Tape Measure’s blade is built with simplicity in mind and the most common markings needed for the majority of uses. While we tested the 25-foot model, the Powerlock model is available in 12-foot, 16-foot, and 35-foot lengths.
|Blade durability (poor, good, great)||Good|
|Hook style||Bottom hook only|
|Blade markings||Top only, 1/16-inch scale, 16-inch stud|
We noted before that the ergonomics of the Stanley Powerlock 25-Foot Tape Measure don’t compare with other leading models. That’s the same case with the hook that is too thin to take a bump without bending.
Our tested model arrived with a bent hook, which likely occurred during shipping. This led to the tape measure being off by just over 1/16 of an inch out of the box. While the metal can be bent easily back into place, there’s no doubt the hook will get knocked out of when when falling off your workbench or out of your hand.
We think this tape measure’s design could be with a thicker material hook that has wings on the side and a hook on top. This more versatile and durable design is common with other popular models.
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The Stanley Powerlock 25-Foot Tape Measure’s blade includes markings every 1/16 of an inch and red highlighting for 16 inch on center studs.
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We tested the durability of the Stanley Powerlock 25-Foot Tape Measure’s blade using 150-grit sandpaper wrapped around a dowel and rubbed on the tape for several seconds. Compared to other models we tested, the blade’s durability was on par to slightly better than other models. Importantly, there sandpaper only scratched the surface of the blade and didn’t smudge any of the numbers or markings. For a tape that isn’t coated with a protective material, the Stanley Powerlock 25-Foot Tape Measure’s blade performed surprisingly well.
The Stanley Powerlock 25-Foot Tape Measure has the right self-retraction strength. When fully extended, the blade retracts smoothly, but without being too aggressive and feeling like it’s going to fly out of your hand as the hook slams into the housing.
The tape locking mechanism is one of the smoothest to set of the tape measures we’ve tested in house. Unlocking the yellow plastic mechanism is just as easy with the added ridges helping with some grab as your finger moves the button up or down.
The locking mechanism is suitable enough for one-handed use, but the big housing means many people will still be using two hands to unlock the button and hold the tape measure at the same time.
Our tested model was frustratingly inaccurate out of the box. That’s because the metal hook was bent slightly on one edge. This led to the accuracy being off by 1/16 of an inch. The hook can be knocked back into place, but we don’t recommend buying the Stanley Powerlock 25-Foot Tape Measure if out-of-the-box accuracy is critical.
The Stanley Powerlock 25-Foot Tape Measure can be found online and in home improvement stores for less than $20, which is right around the sweet spot we think is the best price for most people. Go much more expensive and most tape measures don’t offer much more value other than knowing you’re carrying a well-known brand. Go far cheaper and durability is a concern.
The Stanley Powerlock 25-Foot Tape Measure covers the basic uses and does so without costing too much.