Milwaukee Magnetic Tape Measure

I’ve used mainly tape measures manufactured by Stanley and Lufkin throughout the course of my career, both at construction sites as well as at home. They work well and are durably-built. You’d think they are about the best tape measures around, until you come across one by Milwaukee! I have the privilege of owning a 5m/16ft version, and Milwaukee’s “Nothing but HEAVY DUTY” is clearly evident even in their humble tape measure!

This is my second Milwaukee product, after the Milwaukee M12 Fuel Hammer Drill Driver CPD-202C.

Unpackaging a Milwaukee Magnetic Tape Measure

The photos below show this tape measure, from its retail packaging, to bare and ready for use.

milwaukee magnetic tape measure
I got the 5m/16ft Milwaukee Magnetic Tape Measure. A little white circle states that this is theft protected, by the manner in which the item is mounted on its retail package, which we’ll see how shortly.
milwaukee magnetic tape measure
The rear side of the retail packaging briefly highlights the innovative features of this product, as well on instructions on how to remove it from the packaging – which isn’t as straightforward as expected.
milwaukee magnetic tape measure
This product is backed by a limited lifetime warranty. Product removal instructions are given in detail as shown.
measuring tape
First, the paper backing on the retail package has to be cut and open like so, to reveal the back of the product.
milwaukee magnetic tape measure
A screwdriver is used to pry open a plastic catch that holds the product item in place.
best measuring tape
With the plastic catch totally removed, the wire form belt clip is now exposed and the tape measure can then be removed.

Salient Features of the Milwaukee Magnetic Tape Measure

Nylon Blade Protection and 5-Point Reinforced Frame

milwaukee magnetic tape measure
The Nylon Bond is evident from its non-metallic texture on the top side…
milwaukee magnetic tape measure
…and on the underside of the tape measure blade. It’s a feel that the finger will find totally comfortable!

One of the first things you will notice about this measuring tool is its nylon-bonded tape blade. It gives the tape measure a matt sheen, but more importantly keeps the blade protected from dust, dirt, debris and corrosion – a user who has used his Milwaukee Tape Measure for work near seawater and salty air environment for the last 6 months reported that it remained good as new.

Rust and corrosion sometimes occur on tape measures by some other manufacture due to normal dampness, let alone with salty air. This Nylon Blade Protection and the 5-Point Reinforced Frame of its casing offer up to 10X Longer Life as claimed by the manufacturer.

The nylon material on the tape blade feels good and comfortable to the fingers as well, as opposed to the usual metal surface found on most other tape measures.

Magnetic End Hook

Another feature is as its name implies – it is magnetic. How is this useful?

Well, if you’ve ever tried using a tape measure to measure the clearance of a doorway or floor to ceiling height of a corridor, having a magnet to secure the end of the blade from moving about helps – provided the object at that end is of ferromagnetic material – be it a whole steel strip or a tiny inconspicuous screw.

It is one way of keeping the tape vertical for accurate measurements. It is also useful when you’re trying to measure the length of a long iron or steel pipe.

The magnetic surface is found on two areas of the end hook: at the very tip end, as well as on the underside (see photos below).

milwaukee magnetic tape measure
While magnets are not attracted to aluminium (door frames) by nature, the magnet at the end hook is strong enough to keep the tape measure suspended…
milwaukee magnetic tape measure
…whilst being magnetically attached to a tiny steel screw on the door frame. You can’t see the screw in the photo above as it is concealed by the end hook.
milwaukee magnetic tape measure
A strong rectangular magnet is seated at the end of the tape blade.
milwaukee magnetic tape measure
The underside end of the tape is also magnetic, as indicated by the symbol.
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Innovative Finger Stop

The Milwaukee Magnetic Tape Measure is cleverly designed with a finger stop, which protects the finger from cuts due to blade edge, and impact from the end hook during blade retraction.

This is an excellent feature which sets it apart from the competition – a matter of good ergonomics!

milwaukee magnetic tape measure
Tape measures are used by applying finger pressure to control the movement of the tape blade. The finger is exposed to the edge of the blade which can be uncomfortably sharp, as well as to the impact of the end hook when the blade is fully reeled in by the spring.
milwaukee magnetic tape measure
Milwaukee did a swell job with the finger stop, keeping the blade edge away from the skin, as well as a steel loop to take the impact of the end hook upon retraction.

Two-sided Measurement Scale Printing

Unlike my Stanley Jobmaster tape measure, the Milwaukee Magnetic Tape Measure features two-sided printing of measurement scale on its blade surface. This improves measurement readability as the scale can be read from both sides of the blade.

The scale is also printed landscape-wise on the top side, and portrait-wise on the underside. One can choose a preferred orientation of reading measurements based on the nature of the measurement to be taken.

milwaukee magnetic tape measure
The scale is printed and read horizontally on the yellow top side of the blade…
milwaukee magnetic tape measure
…while it is printed and read vertically on the white underside of the tape blade.

Blueprint Scale

While we are on the topic of its blade, another highlight is the blueprint scale found on the underside of the blade.

Two sets of architectural scale are provided – the first which is for 1:20 and 1:50 drawings, and the other for ¼”:1′ and ⅛”:1′ drawings.

The Milwaukee Magnetic Tape Measure is truly designed for the site personnel who also refers to drawings and layout plans in the normal course of his duties.

milwaukee magnetic tape measure
Drawing scale of 1:20 and 1:50 is found on the underside of the tape blade…
milwaukee magnetic tape measure
…and the imperial scale ¼”:1′ and ⅛”:1′ is found deeper part of the tape on the same underside.

Wire Form Belt Clip

measuring tape

The Milwaukee Magnetic Tape Measure comes with a wire form belt clip which promises to reduce pocket lining damage and pants-waist tear by virtue of its design. Its smooth form and lack of rough edges ensure that fabric material does not get caught or ripped during deployment. A simple but nevertheless well-thought-out feature.

milwaukee magnetic tape measure
The length of the tape measure casing is indicated just below the wire form belt clip, which starts from the casing side opposite the tape end opening…
milwaukee magnetic tape measure
…to the side of the tape end opening. Embossed arrows indicates the extent of the 3¼” casing length, side to side. Since this is a metric/imperial units model, this figure should have been shown in mm as well, in my opinion.

9′ Standout

milwaukee magnetic tape measure
The Milwaukee Magnetic Tape Measure remains rigid at about 8 feet out horizontally, while the Stanley Jobmaster and most other tape measures buckle at about 6½ feet out.

I’ve saved this great feature for last!

Again, if you’ve used tape measures at construction sites often enough, it is quite likely you have been frustrated by the inability of the tape blade to remain stiff enough for long-distance measurements, typically for measurements exceeding 6 feet in length.

The Milwaukee Magnetic Tape Measure sets itself apart from the competition by being able to remain straight and stiff for up to 9 feet, for standouts at 45o and greater towards the vertical. Most tape measures start to buckle at 6 feet or under.

In my test for horizontal extension less than 45o, the buckling of the Milwaukee Magnetic Tape Measure occurs at just under 9 feet – truly remarkable, which I suspect could be attributed to good blade base material in conjunction with its Nylon Bond property.

milwaukee magnetic tape measure
The Milwaukee Magnetic Tape Measure holds its own even at 8 feet out horizontally without buckling, and is capable of up to 9 feet standout at 45o inclinations.


milwaukee magnetic tape measure

Honestly, the Milwaukee Magnetic Tape Measure is by far the best I have come across, in terms of usability, features and quality.

It is at about the same price as competing Stanley and Tajima Tape Measures, perhaps slightly more at retail, but the innovative features and usability easily outweigh the slight price difference.

Although I use a Bosch laser distometer for measurements these days, I wholeheartedly recommend the Milwaukee Magnetic Tape Measure for quick and shorter measurements whenever the need arises.

milwaukee magnetic tape measure
View from the underside showing the embossed Milwaukee logo and length model, and finger stop design.

The Milwaukee Magnetic Tape Measure offers Class II accuracy and comes in various lengths, from 16′ to 35′ (at time of writing).

The scale unit on the tape measure is indicated by the length capacity stated on the front. Where metre and foot are stated (e.g. 5m/16ft), both metric and imperial units are given on the blade.

See the links below to purchase any of these tape measures.












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