What is a Tape Measure and & Its Uses?

What is a Tape Measure and & Its Uses?

A tape measure which is commonly known as the measuring tape is a kind of ruler that is flexible. It can be made out of different materials like a ribbon of cloth, plastic, fiber glass, or metal strip and has marking all over it which is known as the linear-measurement markings. It is a widely used measuring tool that is designed in such a way that it can measure the smallest length to the largest one. It does not even occupy much storage space, but can be kept in a pocket or in a small toolkit. It also helps in measuring around any angular service like a curve or a corner. The tapes today are gradually becoming an easy to carry device as they have transformed into ubiquitous. The tapes are easily available in several lengths, the maximum being 100 meters or more than 300 feet. Hence, they are fit for different work sites and different tasks.

The manufacturing material varies according to the use of the tape. The tailoring tapes are available in materials that are easy to handle like cloth or plastic. The materials used are such that they can be easily used for the human measurement without harming them. Today many tailoring companies prefer using the fiber glass tapes because they are not damaged easily unlike the traditional paper and cloth tapes. It is essential for the carpenters to use the tapes that stay stiff and straight. Therefore the tapes for carpentry and construction are made out of the metallic ribbon that remains in the desired stretch even after extended for a long time. It is not even difficult to store them as they retract into a coil for an easy storage.

It is also fitted with a small metallic attachment that is known as tang. It is used to help in measurement. These tangs are fitted with a small hole and these tangs can be stretched to a length almost equal to its thickness. Thus it can give a great measurement both inside and outside. It is not important that how long the tape is but what actually worth appreciating is the way it folds into the smallest container. The 100 feet long tape is as convenient as it is a 25 feet long tape. Tape measures are not very difficult in use. There is no safety hazard attached to it. The user can very safely stretch the tape from point to point and take the measurement. In some tapes it becomes safer if they have a clip which can attach to the fixed object and then stretched.

Tape measures are common length or depth measuring tools. You may already have one in your house. They can be made from different materials and are used for various purposes. Also, the measurements marked on a tape measure can vary depending upon the user or the work it is being used for. Following are some of the main uses of tape measures.


We have the following uses of tape measures.


Tape measures are extensively used in tailoring and dressmaking mainly for taking body measures such as the waistline, shoulder length, arm length, etc.


Some of the earliest forms of tape measures were used by engineers and carpenters in the early 1900s. These were used for construction and alignment.

Other Uses

Other uses of tape measures include law enforcement and insurance adjustment. Moreover, special types of tape measures are used in seismography as well as surveys.

So these were some of the uses of tape measures. Now there are two main types of tape measures.


There are two types of tape measures.

Outer Housing or Open Type

This type of tape is used for outdoor purposes like construction, carpeting, surveying etc. It has both pros and cons. An outer housing tape measure can easily catch dust however it can easily be cleaned.

Closed Housing or Closed Type

This type of type is used for indoor purposes such as tailoring. In contrast to outer housing, it is difficult to clean closed housing tape measures as they are covered which also protects them from dust.

Measuring tapes can be made from a variety of materials depending upon its use. For example, tailors usually use tapes made from cloth which is soft. Similarly, fiber glass or metal is used for construction of tape measures. Fiber glass is preferred over metal for tapes in modern carpentry as it is more durable and stronger than metal strips. Also, it is a non-conductor of electricity.

A typical tape measure has three parts as;

  1. Housing
  2. Blade
  3. Tape end

Long tapes have an additional feature which is crank handle fitted within the housing for speed re-wind. It makes them easy to use and saves time.

Popular Brands

Some of the popular and internationally known brands of tape measures are as follows.

  • Stanley
  • HDX
  • Wickes
  • Fisco
  • DeWalt

Today, tape measures are not merely used as measuring scales; they are also used as keychain fobs and novelty items. So this was a brief account of tape measures, hope the article is helpful and you can let us know about it right here.


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