Starrett still holds the bar high

This is an important topic on tape measures and rules, I just wish I had the time to go into great depths here but that one thing I always lack in…. Time!

I will show some examples of low quality tape measures and I didn’t have the time to do some sample shots in rulers.

The first is a Kobalt 6 foot tape measure.


You will notice that according to my drawing which is drawn in AutoCAD it’s a 32nd off.


Now here is it’s big brother.



It too is off by the same amount.

Now for Starrett.



Right on the money in fact I accidentally moved it off a bit when I took the photo but it was right in the middle of the line.  It’s pretty amazing when you think of it that a cad program who knows nothing about imperial or metric but thinks only in generic units as they all do is so bloody accurate.  But as you can see for yourselves that it proves that Starrett still holds the bar up high in terms of accuracy and quality.

Now this may not seem like a big deal to most of you, wow a 32nd off and actually it isn’t if you follow the simple rule.  Whatever measuring device you are using stick to that throughout the project otherwise you will without a doubt run into serious complications.  However if you own a high quality measuring device and you checked this device against your other rules then you will be fine throughout project if you choose to switch between tape and rulers.  The funny part is that this Starrett tape measure only cost me 6 pounds as I bought it from the UK so it wasn’t expensive at all unlike the square I purchased that cost $180.  All in all it’s a small investment to get accuracy, I will still keep the Kobalt though for measurements on longs boards but the Starrett is for all my fine work.

Whether your in business or not that’s never the point always buy the best tools you can afford because your work is as good as the tools you use.  Of course most tools now days are very expensive but on the flip side you buy them once in your life, you get what you need over time as it doesn’t have to be overnight and you stop.    It’s a lot simpler for hand toolers but harder for the machinists, we only need a certain amount to get the job done while marketers do a great job in wetting your appetite so everyone wants a Festool I on the other hand don’t but it’s in the thing and they’re great and completely out of reach for the average home hobbyist but if your in business you justify to yourself that you can’t work without festool yet you did for all those years.  This is because the same message has been repeated over and over again for years and finally the message got through to you and wetted your appetite for something you actually do not need.  The same happened when Stanley was no.1 in the world of hand tools so nothing has changed only the tools.

I know I’ve gone off the topic here but I just had to add this in.  Be in control of your life but don’t be so tight and expect a $3 tool to behave like a quality tool will.


6 thoughts on “Starrett still holds the bar high

  1. I’ve never put must trust in any tape measure. It’s the tip that I find troublesome. The whole inside vs outside measurement idea is fraught with room for error to creep in. Starrett has always been the benchmark though. I have a Starrett combination square that I use mostly for verifying my other tools. At the bench I use Shinwa squares due to there lightness. I have found them to be accurate as well.


  2. That play you find at the tip in the Starrett tape has the right amount of play to give you an accurate measurement which is why I believe the Kobalt doesn’t. I know nothing leaves the Starrett factory without it being tested first hence why you will see a sticker on it that say’s passed, also they give you a warranty card confirming that it has passed all their tests and guarantee to be accurate within so much I cant remember what. I think all the lower end brands test for inaccuracy lol if it’s out of square then it passed. lol However I know what you mean and I too was of the same belief until I finally did purchase this tape. I still use the ruler but you must ensure the ruler is placed square or parallel to your stock another words you cannot slant it even the slightest even you want accurate measurements. Incra is also very good with their pin point holes I also like to use that as well.


  3. I suppose any CAD programme is accurate. What could make a difference is the quality and calibration of the printer. How do you know it is the printer which is accurate and not the tape? It might be interesting to make the test with various printers.


  4. I calibrate my printer regularly but I get the same off measurements against all my rulers so I’ve known for quite some time that the Kobalt was off, but like I said if you stick to one measuring device it don’t matter it’s only when you switch between a ruler and tape and they both don’t line up is when you get into strife.


  5. “I calibrate my printer regularly”.
    I could not infer it from the blog.
    Anyway, I didn’t mean to be offensive.


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