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For the last few years I’ve been giving the guys at Stanley a hard time about tapes every chance I got. My favorite was the little 12’ tape that came with a pack of screwdrivers and they didn’t sell it outside of that. Then they came out with “Blade Armor” but didn’t make one in the form factor I wanted. In true Toolmonger style I gave them endless crap about it. With the addition of the 33-413 Tylon 12’ tape it seems I now have nothing to complain about.

Stanley put their famous nylon coating on a thin 12’ tape that features a lock, rubber molding, and a day-glo green body. It’s just about everything I could ask for in a tape, but just to shut up the whiners like me they made it a touch smaller as well — I bought five on the spot. I had to; it’s just about as flawless a tool for my shop applications as anyone could come. I don’t do any work over 10′ and I deal with a lot of finished surfaces that larger tapes blemish.

It’s not a giant rig and the gear junkies might laugh a little, but it’s small, handy, doesn’t mar finished wood, doesn’t have nasty retraction, and has already survived several drops in the shop. No one else is going to feature this one, so I will. Well done guys — it’s a great tape.

For those of you looking for one, it’s a little difficult to find online but a trip to your local Lowe’s will fix you up neatly for less than $5.

33-413 12′ Tylon Tape [Stanley]
Street Pricing [Google Products]


10 Responses to My New Favorite Tape

  1. PutnamEco says:

    I’ll vouch for their 25 foot version, I’ve been using it for a month or so now and it works well for me. It does not have the stiffness to stand out any great lengths like their wider more rigid rulers, but is much nicer to carry around for indoor/shop type work when you don’t really need that ability stand out .

  2. BJN says:

    Did they address my biggest annoyance? Pretty much all tapes measures have a tiny, no-contrast, hard-to-read marking with the length of the tape body. How hard would it be to make that indication large enough to read easily, in poor light? The second related annoyance is not making the body depth easy-to-add 1″ increments. It’s so fun to add 3 3/8″ to 16″ 7 5/16″.

    The Stanley tape scales are the best I’ve found. It’s amazing how some tape makers choose typefaces, color schemes and line weights that are easily misread.

  3. Shopmonger says:

    I would agree that for most basic work a 12′ is the best size, i do like that they put on rubber grip, and non marring because i too do a lot of work with finished materials in my wood shop. Great tool..Stanley comes through again.


  4. Greg says:

    Your links do not point to Tylon tape, just stanley tape in general.

  5. Dwainedibbly says:

    I prefer a tape that has inch AND metric markings.

  6. Mr P says:

    my new favorite tape is the CenterPoint with one inch rules on one side and Half rules on the other. So half of 27″ 5/8 is simple just go to the other side and mark 27″ 5/8 that’s right I trust my math but sometimes its just easer not to worry about the math.


  7. Keith says:

    I prefer these smaller 12′ tapes too. They are small enough to slide in your pocket but still wide enough to be stiff measuring 8-10 foot lengths. That is the majority of the work I do in my shop. I have a 12′ Craftsman that I got 10 years ago that is still my favorite.

  8. Brau says:

    I’m still hanging onto my old chromed favorites from working in construction circa 1980. I’m babying a 16′ Lufkin and 25′ Stanley PowerlockII like prize possessions. Both have 3″ bodies making addition easy. The lufkin has very easy to read markings in inches and centimeters, as well as clearly indicated 16″ darts, and will stand out 8 ft due to the curvature. The Stanley Powerlock only has inches but is dead easy to see and is very rigid, which is a godsend when laying out walls. Also have a coveted naugahyde covered 50FT “Power-Tape” from Evans Rule Co. circa 1950 that still returns like a dream. It’s getting to the point today that when I pull one of these out, people notice. I’m getting old.

  9. Jerry says:

    @ Mr P
    I have seen several manufacturers starting to make the half rules. I love them! It seems that I am constantly doing some project that requires me to know the “half-length” of something. All well and fine for full inches and feet but as my brain age, it gets too difficult to try to figure out what half of 3″- 9 3/32″ is. It’s sure easy to read the other edge of the tape though.

  10. BigEdJr says:

    How about a left handed version. I hate reading numbers upside down…

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