The term “designer tools” to me usually means steel — more specifically, shiny steel. Tool guys dig shiny steel like nerds dig laptops and online gaming. It’s a fact of life that some tool makers are finally coming to recognize. When they produce things like the 25` Tech Tape they must have been thinking, “brush the steel and they will come.”
I think the “tech” in the tech tape is a good way of trying to say that it won’t hold up to hard use out in the shop. The Tech Tape is nothing more than a normal (and probably unremarkable) 25′ tape enclosed in a shiny steel wrapper. The problem is that the chrome approach works and I want one.
For $6 it’s probably gimmicky, cheap gear, though it may be worth it as the “around the house” tape measure; it is shiny after all.