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The first and most humble of the Toolmonger Favorite offerings this year is also one of the greatest values, Stanley’s Tylon Series short tapes. We have several lengths rolling around the Toolmonger shop, but the 12’ tape is by far my favorite and has been since I first started with it.

It’s rare that a tape measure takes all the bitches I had with the current tape (which I liked) and systematically eliminates them to render a — and I don’t say this word lightly — perfect tape measure experience.  The nylon coating on the tape itself doesn’t mar finished wood and is easy to read. The housing is lightweight and uber-durable, and the spring doesn’t try to sever digits off when it retracts. That’s about as good as you could expect from mortal engineering.

Of course, should wizard-defeating properties or a bottomless good luck dispenser be added to its list of features by a benevolent deity of unknown power, it would drive the low cost of the four dollar, 12’ tape right out of our price range. So I’m quite satisfied with the current release model.

If you are looking for a great line of tapes to invest in for your or a loved ones shop, you can do no better in our opinion than Stanley’s Tylon series — no joke.

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


9 Responses to TM’ Favs ’10: Stanley Tylon Short Tape

  1. Ben says:

    what about the fatmax series of tape measures from stanley. i love the top hook on it and its really easy to read.

  2. Brau says:

    Yup. Nice tape. Not softball sized like their #@&* FatMax tapes. Too bad no metric or I would have bought one.

  3. A.Crush says:

    12 inch tapes do seem to be the best size for most work as I rarely need the length the 25-30′ provides. I got a Craftsman red one not long ago and was glad I did before they stopped selling them, it’s a great tape about the same as the Stanley Tylon. Now if only they would sell a 12 inch tape with a lever lock on the bottom, it’d be perfect.

  4. Nick says:

    i bought one of those, loved it, in using it somehow i sliced it in half with my miter saw.
    i ended up replacing it with a Komelon.. which i really dig the lock on.

  5. Thad E Ginathom says:


    It says 12-foot on the side, surely?

    ‘ = foot
    ” = inch

  6. Shawn says:

    I’ve got the 16′ version – I love it. It’s great to no longer have the 25′ whale-tape weighing down my belt.

    My only objection: The metal clip on the Tylon tape deformed relatively easily and won’t take it’s old shape. A bummer, but at that price point, replacement is not a big deal.

    You can pick these up at Lowes, but I haven’t seen them at Depot.

  7. Gough says:

    The Stanley link on the article just goes to the generic page and using the “Search” function for either Tylon or the model number returns “0” results. What’s up with that?

  8. A.Crush says:

    Okay, it was a typo, I meant 12 foot, though a 12 inch/1 foot tape might be okay too, if overly compact.

    I actually found a regular ol’ yellow Stanley 12 foot tape at..wait for it…walmart, that has the lever lock on the bottom. Unfortunately they are just the plasticky cheap stuff, with an uncoated tape, etc. but hey, for the price it’s probably ok. I’m sticking with my 12′ Craftsman and 12′ thumb lock Stanley for now.

  9. A.Crush says:

    Just got one of these tonight. can’t say I’m too impressed. The tape rattles around inside the casing like a baby’s rattle. The thunb lock also only allows for off or on locking, and doesn’t work as a temporary stop for quick measurements without locking the tape. By comparison, my 12′ Craftsman and 12′ Stanley in the cheap yellow casing hardly rattle at all when shaken, and the Craftsman thumb lock stops the tape with just slight pressure on the lock, no need to fully lock it just to hold it still for a second. This doesn’t seem to be a defect, as the other Tylon tapes seem to rattle just as bad. Kinda sad really, as the hi-vis green, with the gripy rubber outer, and coated tape along with a decent locking thumb switch make it otherwise a winner, although the tape coating and overall features still make me glad I grabbed a Craftsman while they had ’em. Maybe nothing will come of it, but I think the looseness of a tape makes it subject to more wear and damage. If nothing else, it’s incredibly annoying, and would be more so when clipped on and moving about.

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