Properly Maintaining your tape measure

Properly Maintaining your Tape Measure

“Take care of your [fill in the blank], and it will take care of you.”

We’ve seen that sentiment applied to everything from cars to employees to the human body.

Today we’re going to – pardon the pun – extend that idea to tape measures. When you treat it with the proper care, it will provide you with accurate, reliable measurements. Here are a few steps for properly maintaining your tape measure.


It is never a smart idea to let the tape measure blade whip back into the case. This can cause damage to the inner workings, the end hook and the blade markings. It’s also dangerous: you can injure your fingers, eyes and the people around you.kinked blade

Your tape measure isn’t designed to withstand a short, sharp shock over and over. Superfast rewinding can cause the blade to twist, crease and tear. Control the speed of the blade return, and you’ll get a lot more use out of your tape measure.


Any tool made from metal needs to stay dry. Water that gets on the blade of a tape measure can work its way into the mechanism and cause rust. Wipe down the tape after each use with a clean, lint-free cloth.

Tape measures should also be kept away from direct sunlight and extreme heat to prevent the blades from expanding or stretching.


Carry out these regular checks to make sure your tape measure remains accurate:

  • Look at the numbers and other markings to make sure they aren’t worn away. If these markings are no longer legible, the tape measure should be replaced if being used for anything other than estimations.
  • Check the hook. It should have some amount of play, but not too much. If the hook moves too much, it won’t be accurate. Likewise, a hook that doesn’t move at all is also unreliable.
  • Inspect the blade for bends, tears and kinks. These defects will cause an inaccuracy, and can’t really be fixed. If you see that the blade is torn or bent, it’s time for a new tape measure.
  • Check the edge of the blade to make sure it is straight and undamaged. Any deviation in straightness can lead to an inaccurate measurement, along with the potential for cuts. Once again, if you discover that the edge is damaged, you’ll need to replace your tape measure.

Worn and torn bladeIf it’s time for you to replace your tape measure, visit U.S. Tape. We’ve been a leader in manufacturing and innovating steel tape measures since 1876. We also feature other measuring and marking tools from our brands DuraWheel, Duramark, Stringliner, CenterPoint and Rhino.

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