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We’re always fascinated when we see assumptions about tools being challenged — like tape measure markings. M-power suggests that the current markings on tapes we all use aren’t accurate because you’re most likely right-handed.

90% of the population are right handed yet most are using left-handed tape measures when marking – why? M.POWER’s R1 tape measure is the right way round. Hold it in your left hand and mark the measurement with your right hand, saving time and improving accuracy on the job. Look at any other tape measure and you’ll see what we mean. (the measurements will be printed upside down)

We find this pretty entertaining. Not only have we never had any issue scribing a mark, our tape increment lines on the tapes we use in the shop run the width of the tape itself so there’s no trouble, you know, at all. Also, 50 percent of the people in our shop are left-handed so there’s that.

It’s not a bad idea, but how many folks really need a tape with inverted numbers and markings? Are we off in left field on this one?

R1 Tape [M Power]
Street Pricing [Google Products]


14 Responses to M-Power R1 Tape

  1. Slow Joe Crow says:

    My son and I are left handed so my 25 year old Stanley Powerlock works fine for us.

  2. Fong says:

    Fascinating. Though I’ve never thought about it, numbers are one of those things that anyone should be able to read upside down without issue. It’s not enough of a selling feature alone to trump other aspects of a tape like the outer housing, retraction mechanism, lock, clip, grip and the tab (for me the most important part of the tape).

  3. Dan says:

    Is this a solution in search of a problem? I’ve never had any trouble holding the tape in my right hand and marking with my “weak”(according to them) left hand.

  4. metis says:

    solution in search of a problem.

    measure from the “left” end of something and a “left handed tape” will read right side up. measure from the left with their tape, and it’ll be upside down.

    what about a tape with the numbers horizontal (and also one inverted) if we want to measure up or down? diagonals! think of the possibilities, we’ll all need 8+ tapes just to be able to measure anything!

    n.b. consider this prior art for all non left to right or right to left orientations of measuring orientation tapes, all rights are reserved.

  5. cheerIO says:

    Not to “Not jump on the bandwagon” here. But I write write handed and have very limited vision in my left eye. So tapes being upside down has always annoyed me. If I measure from the left, I am always pulling the tape out way past my measurement locking it and leaning over to hold the tape down so I see the tape and don’t have to bend around the body of the tape measure with my hand. I’ll admit, it seems a petty little thing to complain about but small improvements in ergonomics and efficiencies add up. I have miss cut stock before by pulling the tape out and holding the free end down to mark only to find it slipped off the end.

  6. Keith J. says:

    I’m lefthanded and bought this lefthanded tape measure
    a few years ago, that looks suspiciously like the M-Power
    R1 Tape. To be honest, I’m comfortable using either my
    Stanley Powerlock or my lefthanded one, but usually carry
    the lefthanded one with me to the hardware store since
    they sell Stanleys (I don’t get asked if I’m going to buy
    the tape measure near as often carrying my lefthanded

  7. PutnamEco says:

    I was just using one of FastCaps Lefty/Righty tapes today, I have had it for a while now and find it a useful tape, although I don’t believe it is nessasary option it is nice not to have read numbers upside down, the numbers are smaller though, only half the width of the tape. Works well on the bench, not so good when your reaching to measure a large rough opening.

  8. Blair says:

    Have been reading the things upsidedown for forty years, while I don’t think it’s intuitive, it is something you learn. That said, all things being equal, as Fong said, I will have to agree with cheerIO, I would give them a look, the small things DO add up.

  9. ddt says:

    get one imperial tape, and one metric tape – problem solved. You usually never mix the two anyways, so you only need one system of measurement for each project.

  10. If you cut things all day long at a chop saw, you’re probably holding the stock down with your left hand, operating the saw with your right hand. In this case, you would measure from the left end of the board most often, and the old style of tape (left handed) is proper. At least, this was my experience for the year I spent as a carpenter for a theater, and all the woodworking I did in custom furniture.

  11. Tony says:

    Following on from DDT, who needs the Imperial measure these days anyway?

  12. rob says:

    does anyone have a metric cresent wrench
    cause I need this tape and one of thoose too

    my tape switches hand depending on the job

  13. johan says:

    It is not as much that you can’t read the numbers, but it is much more precise for marking.
    Always stand right behind and on top of where you want to mark and most people prefer to mark from top to bottom.

  14. Braden says:

    Take a look at the PencilMan marking tape measure. It allows you to mark while holding the tape in your right hand. You can also do a whole lot more like arcs and circles and marking single handed. It holds your pencil or marker for you.

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