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Rolling Tape

Using a wheel to measure distance on the ground is nothing new, but using a rolling device to measure distance on a wall seems a little strange at first. Why do we need another method when we already have steel tapes, lasers, and sonics? Straight-Line claims their rolling tape keeps the surface clean of marks, calculates total linear feet and evenly spaced points, and eliminates the clumsy steel tape.

Roll the rolling tape along the wall from corner to corner and it gives you a measurement accurate to 1/16″ in 10′. Run it along the rest of the walls in a room and it gives you the perimeter.  With the keypad you can choose the number of points you want evenly spaced, and as you roll the tape backwards the device lets you know when you’re at the correct position. This last feature comes in handy when you want to space pictures equally along a wall.

Manufactured in China, the rolling tape requires three AAA batteries which last for 30 hours of continuous use. There’s no off button, but it turns off after two minutes of inactivity. The rolling tape reads out in 1/8″ increments up to 328′.

The price for Straight-Line’s rolling tape ranges widely. One site is selling it for $7 while another sells it for $47.  Amazon sells it for $22 right now — a smart Toolmonger wouldn’t pay much more.

Rolling Tape Measure [Straight Line]
Street Pricing [Google Products]
Via Amazon(B0002VM7OO) [What’s This?] [What’s This?]


5 Responses to Roll, Roll, Roll Your Tape

  1. PutnamEco says:

    Why not get a laser? You won’t have to walk off the distance, just aim and measure..

    I like the Bosch. It has some other features also, like the ability to figure area, volume, and a simple trig function.


  2. Tim B. says:

    I actually just picked up one of these a couple weeks ago from Harbor Freight (shocking!) for about $9.99, I think it was (though it doesn’t seem to be listed on their web site). At less than 1/10th of most of the laser measuring solutions, it actually is VERY nice for getting quick, large-area measurements. My main goal was to measure the rooms in our newly-purchased house for quick input into my computer floorplan software for planning our first remodel projects — and it worked VERY adequately! Sure, it won’t give you +/- 0.01 measurements by any stretch… (would NOT use this for anything but getting quick large-area measurements) .. it also calculates sq. footage, adds dimensions, etc…

  3. PutnamEco,

    The only advantage I can see to this device over a laser is that if you’re measuring total linear feet for base trim, you can skip the doorways, I’m not sure how you’d do that on a laser.

    Is it worth having yet another tool for just this feature? Depends on the individual.

    Personally I prefer a steel tape and a little math.

  4. Ryan says:

    I agree with Benjamen. My old steel tape can measure places one can not reach to walk and roll a measuring device across and I can also measure out wire with it. It also clips to my belt and does not require batteries. It has been wet and dropped more times than I can count, and it was only $15!

  5. fred says:

    I have not heard any of my trim carpenters say they need or want one of these – and when we go out to measure smaller residential jobs – the bit of time that it takes is also time to chat with the customer

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