If you could pick four cars, select your fave features of each, then build a new and improved vehicle with those features included, imagine how epic it would be.
That’s pretty much what the team at Empire has done with its new 8-metre and 10-metre magnetic tape measure. They’re robust, sturdy and compact, while still fitting nicely into the hand, and apart from looking the goods they’re comfortable to use.
The TPR casing is a compact 90mm, which assists when doing internal measurements, and has been shaped to offer comfort, grip and protection. There are five secured reinforcement points which provide maximum protection from drops and impacts, and a flat heel designed to be butted up against a wall for accuracy. The tape itself is protected by a nylon-fused blade shield to prevent wear and to guard the blade markings from abrasion and environmental degradation.
This tape stands up to all sorts of punishment.
Test #1: Ease Of Use
A tape measure needs to be easy and comfortable to use. So, for the first test, I wanted to get a feel for the extension, blade lock and readability of the tape.
First it extended in a smooth and effortless manner. I have used tapes that have felt slightly clunky when extending and needed a lot of finger strength to get the lock to activate. The Empire, I’m happy to say, was smooth on both these fronts. The lock held in place well and was easily set into and out of the locking position.
Test #2: Strength, Build Quality And Durability
I set out to see what the tape could handle in terms of impacts, drops and weather.
At the time of testing a significant east- coast low had pushed its way up the coast, so I simply left the tape out in the rain overnight. It was still raining the following morning, but by lunchtime had dried out.
When I arrived home that arvo the tape still held a little moisture when I extended it, which was to be expected, and over the following week worked exactly as a new tape would. Onsite I dropped the tape from a third-level balcony onto brick and block rubble which also, other than a few scuffs, didn’t impact on the performance of the tape in any way.
After a chat with the Empire team to get a better understanding of the development process, it seems customer reviews factor heavily in their R&D, and improvements across the board are more widely adopted than, say, just focussing on a single element– like making the world’s most drop- resistant tape.
When it came to this particular tape there were about 30 iterations before settling on the unique design. Improvement in areas like a magnetic true-zero end hook, ergonomics, shape, size, recessed blade lock, blade life, nylon protection you can see, feel and hear, extra-wide finger stop and a lanyard for working at heights have all been factored into the mix.
Standout is just shy of 3m, but with a hand slid forward from the case itself you will get a great reach either way.
- Finger stop
- Double-sided easy-read blade
- Ergonomic grip
- Compact size
The Good The Bad And The Ugly
When I first saw the tape with the chunky front section I was intrigued as to what was going on. But when the finger-stop opening was revealed and I used the tape for a while I soon got a great feel for the feature. A lot of damage in the way of splits and cracks are due to uncontrolled retraction of the tape, and the finger stop opening means every retraction is controlled.
To best describe this tape I would have to use the word ‘refined’. That may seem a little over the top, but a lot of factors and features have been tweaked and revised to take on board general feedback from end-users.
For more information visit www.empiretools.com.au