There can’t be a British tradesperson who doesn’t own a tape measure. But there is nothing quite like a pocketful of tapes to make you realize which ones you prefer and which ones simply go to the bottom of the toolbox and finally disappear……
Advent Tools is the UK’s leading supplier of quality own brand tape measures.
Recently Advent has introduced the Komelon brand to the UK to increase and complement the existing range of Advent tape measures. But a quick word on Komelon – the company has been making tape measures since 1963 and is a worldwide brand name. With patents including Hi Viz blades and Self-Lock to its name it is clear that Komelon has done its homework and earned its stripes.
There are lots of other reasons why the Komelon tapes have become favourites with end users and here are just a few: - All regular tape users will have seen the edges of tape blades wearing out more quickly than the middle, simply because the edges come into contact with the casing while in use. They often get rusty and can also give a nasty slice if you are unfortunate enough to catch a finger on an edge as it springs back into the casing. Komelon tape blades all have their edges deburred and then coated with the Dura NY coat – a nylon coating that reduces friction, wear, is also rust resistant and helps blades to last up to 10 times longer than conventional coatings.
Users will also value the Komelon blade printing – it is clear and sharp and a simple comparison with a “standard” tape measure will easily show up the difference in visibility and accuracy.
There is nothing quite like having literally a whole box of tapes to try out. The process forces you to look at each one and decide which features you need for the work you do. It also makes you realize just how much thought and design goes into a good tape measure, so you will never undervalue just how useful they really are to just about every trade.
I started with the Pro-Ergo R that is available in 5 and 8m lengths with list prices of £6.90 and £8.90 (excl VAT) respectively. With a solid plastic case that is almost completely covered in a grippy ridged rubber overmould it is easy to handle. There is a strong belt clip as well as a wrist strap for easy carrying. Key features for me are the blade lock on the top of the tape casing and the bottom “pause” button that stops the tape without locking it.
The metric and imperial blade is easy to read with each foot measurement outlined in black and each 10cm mark picked out in red. Stud measurements at every 16 inches are picked out too. It is a good “standard” tape measure suitable for general use and the trade users who I showed it to liked the price points…
The Pro-Ergo C Hi-Viz can’t be missed. Its casing has a shiny plated finish and it too, comes in 5m and 8m lengths with price points of £8.90 and £12.90. The blade is printed on both sides - on the top in a bright fluorescent green and the bottom in white. In a slightly dark room the extra brightness really does show up and of course, like the Pro-Ergo R above, all the commonly used “standard” measurements are picked out on the tape as well. The blade lock works efficiently and I think that this might be the tape for surveyors who value the smooth acting internal mechanism on their non-builder hands.
The Powerblade II is a big handful in its shiny plated case, but it is easy to handle because of some well-placed rubber grips. A 27mm wide, dual printed, Hi-Viz blade and magnetic end hooks are the USPs of this measure and the whole package works well. For trade users in particular, “standout” is very important and the Komelon 27mm wide blades have a guaranteed horizontal standout of at least 2.7m, and I managed a bit more when I took care. I think metal fitters and welders would love this, especially with the price tag for the 8m version of £14.90
The SELFLOCK Evolution also has a dual printed Hi-Viz blade packed into a orange plastic casing with generous rubber moulding to aid handling. I have decided that this tape would be the one for me, not only because of the magnetic hooks, but also because the patented self-locking system allows the blade to be extended without it springing back into the case. When the blade is released, it returns smoothly into the casing.
Specialists will love the INOX Rubber tape with all 6 key parts, from spring to blade, made from stainless steel – the obvious advantages being that they are rust resistant. Available in a 5m length with a 19mm wide blade and a list price of £13.90 I liked the handling and relatively compact size. The stainless blade is a good contrast to the black printed measurements on it making them really easy to read.
Advent has also introduced several Komelon fibreglass tapes suitable for measuring on site, for example. They all have a high-speed gear mechanism that multiplies the winding speed by three, heavy-duty case construction and durable rollers to prevent the dual printed tapes from twisting. The fibreglass tapes are double coated for long life and also to ensure that stretch is minimal. Rubber bumpers on the exterior protect the tape from the inevitable knocks of site use. But what might be the best news is that the 30m version has a list price of £13.90 and the 100m costs only £31.90.
I don’t think value for money is an issue with any of these tapes especially since they are EC Class II accurate, whereas most comparable models are either unclassified or only meet Class III accuracy standards.
The last tape I looked at in this review was a long steel tape of the kind used in road construction. Accuracy is very important here so the dual printed steel blade is made from high-carbon steel that has been anti-rust phosphate treated. The paint and marking are baked on and then the whole blade is coated with a transparent nylon coating to create a tough embossed finish. The tape is wound onto a beefier, impact resistant winding frame with durable rollers to prevent twisting. These tapes are bound to be more costly, but with a list price of £49.90 for the 50m version, it still won’t break the bank.
Having given these tapes a good run round, as well as showing them to a few tradespeople, the general view is that they are very good and the price points appealed too. Just remember to look at the range, because there is a tape in there that will suit your needs perfectly.
Aimed at: Professional users who need accuracy, convenience and long life.
Pros: Choose your tape with care – there is a good range with ones to suit your needs. Well priced too.