jump to example.com

Every year you’ll see a number of holiday “gimmick” items gracing shelves about this time of year, stocked by folks who hope you’ll find ’em tempting — especially if you’re looking for a gift for someone who has lots of tools. The “features” seem to set the tool apart from others, many of which your giftee will likely already own.

Two years ago it was the Black & Decker Autotape. Is it junk? No. It does exactly what the box says it’ll do. But in our experience — and the experience of a number of friends who got them as gifts over the last few years — the battery dies quickly, and then it lies in a drawer unused.

Instead, consider purchasing a basic, high-quality tool that’ll give service for years. You can pick up a super-nice short tape — like, for example, the Stanley Bostitch 16′ pictured above — for $20 or even less with some careful shopping. And even if your favorite Toolmonger already owns a short tape, it never hurts to have two. Or three. In short, it’s the kind of gift that’ll always bring a smile because a) it’s useful, b) it’ll remain useful for years, and c) it’s thoughtful.

Short Tapes [Bostitch]
Via Amazon [What’s This?]


8 Responses to Buy This Not That: A Good Short Tape

  1. A.Crush says:

    Even the Bostitch 16′ tape is probably overkill. I’d say a nice 12′ tape makes a great gift, and an inexpensive one, too. A gift card to any big name hardware store is a safe bet, though.

  2. cjd says:

    I like that 16′ Bostitch pictured. Big double hook, bright green tape, and it’s a nice size and light. I think it would make a nice stocking stuffer.

    I’d rather get a gift card though.

  3. You can never have too many tape measures. I have three in my shop and can never find one when I need it.

  4. SCWetherbee says:

    @BJ: you’re right on not having too many tapes, I have about eight here and there and can’t find one sometimes. p.s. I duct taped a laser on one!

  5. Mac says:

    Three! I refuse to say how many I have on the grounds that it may incriminate me. That, and I really couldn’t count them all in my head.

    I will admit that I have a little 1/4″ wide 3′ Stanley tape that I use more often than not, cause it’s always in my work coat pocket. I think it’s a keychain model.

    Love my 16′ FatMax, cause it runs out to about 13′ before breaking. And lets face it, if I have to measure anything longer than that, I’ll be using a lot longer tape, maybe my 30′, 50′, 100′, or 200′ (yep, have them all).

    And then there’s… nevermind.

  6. Kimber says:

    I like the Fastcap 16′ tapes, many different styles, erase-able writing surface on the tape! Great for keeping track of measurements. Sometimes these are on sale for$4.99!

  7. olderthanyou says:

    When I first started working in construction I bought a Fatmax 25 ft. just because all the other guys had them. It didn’t take me very long to figure out that the guys with the biggest tools had the smallest dicks. You can take that any way you want to.

  8. Dr Bob says:

    I agree 100% with the author. It always seems that B&D or Stanley comes up with a “new” hot tool that is marketed primarily to non-craftspersons for gifts to craftsmen. One year it was a LED lazer-like level, then the battery powered (and overweight) tape measure, then a tripod with an LED light (that’s in the trunk of my car) and last year was the Stanley LED spotlight (that works great) and now we have the dogbone wrenches.

    Some are busts, some are marginal and others are fine.

    But I know members of my family are well-intended, but please give me a gift card and let me buy a good tool I really need.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.