It’s rare to find a tape measure that can be considered remarkable, though we’re not completely surprised that Stabila, maker of internationally superior levels, has pulled it off. Still not the most handsome of objects (what we expect with contemporary tape measures), the Stabila Tape Measure at least falls on the inoffensive end of that spectrum, and has such a pleasant personality you’ll end up loving it the way some folks love pugs.
The Stabila Tape Measure has a rugged case with the de rigueur rubber coating, which functions well at gripping your hand or the piece it rests on. The tape itself has a grit-resistant coating and a matte, low-glare finish that is easy on the eyes and hands. The scale is cleverly printed on the face and back of the blade, allowing use of the tape as a straightedge with the concave side down.
The hook is notable as well - Stabila added a “Spikes” pad for gripping the workpiece over long distance. We’ve found this particularly helpful when quickly sizing up a stack of long boards; only once was it a detriment, when a freshly-painted, high-gloss cabinet needed measuring. In that case, we simply used the measure upside down, as the tape is marked on both sides. The hook is also inset into the tape, making the first inch of markings more visible and reducing the need to burn an inch.
This is already more prattle than is required of a <$20 tool; it should still be mentioned that the Stabila Tape Measure is accuracy verified, Class II.
Designed in Germany, made in China or Malaysia.