The FatMax magnetic tape honestly looks like a normal FatMax with a magnet clipped to the hook — but sporting a $22 price tag instead of the $8 you’d find with the standard leverlock. However, as with many Stanley tape products, the benefits of the magnetic tape are a little more subtle than might first be expected.
Stanley calls the magnetic hook system “Tru-Zero”; they say the rare earth magnet set in the hook measures accurately every time because of the hold it has on metal surfaces. Stanley also claims the normal 3mm difference in the tape abutment process is eliminated with the new hook-and-magnet system. Coupled with the 11′ blade standout, 1-1/4″ wide blade with big, easy-to-read callouts, 16″ and 19.2″ stud center markings, and the Mylar/BladeArmor coating, it’s clearly aimed directly at construction pros.
Is it worth the premium for the Tru-Zero and the magnetic tape? To pros, yes — definitely. Because we’ve seen the rest of the FatMax line, we know the strong quality behind the basic structure of the product and this is no different. We’re guessing, though, that the non-pro constituency that stills want a big magnet on the end of their tape and are willing to pay three times as much for it will be a minority.