FatMax Xtreme Measuring Tape - Canadian Woodworking Magazine

Code named 'The Beast'. Heavy,durable, shock proof slide, great standout.

stnaley_xtremetape_lead

FatMax Xtreme Measuring Tape



The FatMax Xtreme Measuring Tape, code named 'The Beast', has a number of features that will appeal to trades people. The housing, made from high impact ABS and stainless steel, looks like it will hold up to the most severe jobsite abuse. I dropped the tape several times from a ten foot height onto a concert floor. Other than some nasty blemishes the tape continues to be fully functional.
 
On the top front of the tape is a rubber slide lock, which you can activate with your thumb. It takes a lot of thumb pressure to fully engage the lock. Fortunately with the lock partially engaged the tape will hold fairly securely. With work gloves on, locking the tape was even more difficult. According to Stanley the slide is designed so that an air pocket under the slide provides a cushion effect to help preserve the life of the tape. While I found that the tape has a rewind rate that seems slower than other tapes I've used, it still whips the hook against the housing with a lot of force.
 
Having a long standout is a real benefit on a job site, particularly if you work alone. The Beast has an impressive 13" standout. It really does reach out that far, and doesn't flop about that much. Part of the reason is that the blade is quite wide (1-1/4") and is coated with a Mylar polyester film, which adds to the tensile strength of the tape. I hope this will help prevent nicks on the tape when the edge hits against anything; invariably the nicks cause the tape to rip and eventually break.
 

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Extending the tape is one thing, hooking it onto something is another. I really like that Stanley has 'super sized' the hook. At 1/2" x 1-3/4" it has a lot of surface area, making it easy to grab onto the edge of a work piece. If you're used to a 1" wide tape you'll find that the extra 1/4" width on The Beast presents greater blade curvature, making it ride further above the work surface. Fortunately the large 'wings' on the sides of the hook mean you can tilt the blade onto it's edge without the hook slipping off the work piece.
 

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On short measurements I found it necessary to press the edge of the tape firmly against the work piece to take accurate measurements. The hook is firmly attached to the blade with three rivets, and the first 6" of the tape are coated with Blade Armor - the same thermoplastic coating used to protect the rotor blades on Sikorsky Black Hawk helicopters.
 
I think that the ABS housing makes it a bit easier to hold onto this tape. And you'll definitely need a good grip - at 19 ounces The Beast is one of the heavier tapes on the market and almost 2" thick. It's a good idea to check first to see whether the tape will fit into your holster. Fortunately it has an integrated belt clip.
 
The Beast comes in four sizes (imperial 16',25' and 35', and imperial/metric 26'/8m), so there's bound to be one that is the perfect size for the type of work you do. At $30 this is a premium tape that offers good features in a rugged design.
 

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KEY FEATURES:

  • 25' long with 1/16" markings and 16" and 19.2" stud center markings
  • 13' stand-out
  • 1 1/4" wide tape coated with high visibility Mylar polyester film (first 6" coated with Blade Armor)
  • 1-3/4" wide hook
  • 19 oz weight
  • Chrome case with high impact ABS overmold
  • Shock proof all-rubber slide blade lock
  • Belt clip

Manufacturer:Stanley
Available From:Tool and equipment suppliers nationwide
Retail Price:$29.99 (25' model)
Model #: 33-890 (25' model)
Made In:n/a
Carl Duguay, November 2009
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