Customer Reviews

355
4.3 out of 5 stars
Stanley 33-725 25-Feet FatMax Tape Measure
Style Name: 25-FeetChange
Price:$19.90 + Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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78 of 86 people found the following review helpful
Style Name: 25-Feet
Stanley 1 1/4" wide Fat max tape measure.

Pros:

- My Fat Max stands out unsupported to about 10' 3". Even though not the 11' claimed, it's still several feet longer than 1" tape measures. This is the important advantage of this tape, especially when working alone, because measuring takes less time and less effort.

- Case has a rubber coating around most of it, making it easier to hold onto, although that black case can get hot if it's been in the sunshine.

- Tape end has the normal bottom "hook" but also has a double top hook, for grabbing that other end.

- Although I don't make a habit of dropping tools, this one seems pretty tough. (Although some reviewers have had their Fat Max's break open on falling?)

- Highly rated in Fine Homebuilding magazine.

Cons:

- Costs much more than 1" wide tape measures of the same length.

- About 1/4 bulkier and is heavier than a 1" wide tape measure of the same length. 3/4" tape measures are lighter still. The Fat Max might be awkwardly large for someone with small hands.

- Even with the belt clip removed, the Fat Max is an inconveniently tight fit in my tape holster, whereas 1" wide tape measures of the same length fits with ease.

- Due to the curvature of the tape it "rides" further above the surface than narrower tape measures, so you have to press the tape down to get that last bit of accuracy in the reading. Narrower tape measures are easier and quicker to read accurately, since you don't need to press the tape down as often.

- Width of the tape measure isn't shown on tool, so you have to remember the width and add that, for inside readings.

- Bottom and top "hooks" should be longer or have micro grippers like some other tape measures. Although usually OK, it too easily slips off what I'm trying to hook it on - this is particularly frustrating when that spot is far away, and is partially caused by how much you have to arc the tape for it to stand out so far. I.e., the tape may be at the wrong angle to grab easily.

- The sliding blade lock takes too much effort. I can do it with one thumb, but have to press with serious oomph to lock or unlock it, and I'm 6/4 and weigh 260 lbs. I'd say it takes triple the effort over any of the 1" measures I own. Doesn't work near as well as the Stanley Power Lock, Leigh, or Craftsman measures, for example.

- Tape seems to crease sooner than narrower tapes, which means it will wear out faster. This is probably due to the width of the tape being less flexible to twisting, and the very fast rewind rate which can whip the tape, causing damage.

Not really a con, since it's not expected, but it doesn't have a lifetime warranty like Craftsman tape measures (not sure if other brands have such warranties). I've seen construction workers bring a bag full of worn-out Craftsman tape measures into a Sears store and walk out with free replacements!

Summary:

For any project where long tape standout is important, this is a good choice. For almost any other purpose, I reach for a 1" or smaller tape measure because they are lighter, smaller, quicker to read, and the blade locks works better.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Style Name: 25-Feet
Absolutely a must have for do-it-yourselfers. Getting critical measurements by yourself can be a chore if you need to reach a long way. I recently did some remodeling in my kitchen, and this fat baby was indespensible. The top hook feature was a great addition as well. I was able to reach out much further than with any other tape I have used before. As an added bonus, the rugged construction of the fat max holds up to the most severe jobsite abuse. I've had mine since they first hit the stores around October of last year, and it has held up just fine through every rainy day, early morning concrete pour, and sling-the-tape-against-a-concrete-wall temper tantrum. (Nobody's perfect) One small drawback: the 1-1/4" width creates quite a curvature from the top to the bottom of the tape, making short measurements a bit of a trick. You have to take care to hold the tape at an angle so as to put either the top or the bottom of the tape flat against the work surface. This is a minor consideration though, and doesn't detract from it's overall function or usefulness.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
Style Name: 30-Feet
Stanley 1 1/4" wide Fat max tape measure.

Pros:

- My Fat Max stands out unsupported to about 10' 3". Even though not the 11' claimed, it's still several feet longer than 1" tape measures. This is the important advantage of this tape, especially when working alone, because measuring takes less time and less effort.

- Case has a rubber coating around most of it, making it easier to hold onto, although that black case can get hot if it's been in the sunshine.

- Tape end has the normal bottom "hook" but also has a double top hook, for grabbing that other end.

- Although I don't make a habit of dropping tools, this one seems pretty tough. (Although some reviewers have had their Fat Max's break open on falling?)

- Highly rated in Fine Homebuilding magazine.

Cons:

- Costs much more than 1" wide tape measures of the same length.

- About 1/4 bulkier and is heavier than a 1" wide tape measure of the same length. 3/4" tape measures are lighter still. The Fat Max might be awkwardly large for someone with small hands.

- Even with the belt clip removed, the Fat Max is an inconveniently tight fit in my tape holster, whereas 1" wide tape measures of the same length fits with ease.

- Due to the curvature of the tape, its edges "ride" further above the surface than narrower tape measures, so you have to press the tape edge down to get that last bit of accuracy in the reading. Narrower tape measures are easier and quicker to read accurately, since you don't need to press the tape down as often.

- Bottom and top "hooks" should be longer or have micro grippers like some other tape measures. Although usually OK, it too easily slips off what I'm trying to hook it on - this is particularly frustrating when that spot is far away, and is partially caused by how much you have to arc the tape for it to stand out so far. I.e., the tape may be at the wrong angle to grab easily.

- The sliding blade lock takes too much effort. I can do it with one thumb, but have to press with serious oomph to lock or unlock it, and I'm 6/4 and weigh 260 lbs. I'd say it takes triple the effort over any of the 1" measures I own. Doesn't work nearly as well as the Stanley Power Lock, Leigh, or Craftsman measures, for example.

- Tape seems to crease sooner than narrower tapes, which means it will wear out faster. This is probably due to the width of the tape being less flexible to twisting, and the very fast rewind rate which can whip the tape, causing damage.

Other:

- Not really a con, since it's not expected, but it doesn't have a lifetime warranty like Craftsman tape measures (not sure if other brands have such warranties). I've seen construction workers bring a bag full of worn-out Craftsman tape measures into a Sears store and walk out with free replacements!

Summary:

For any project where long tape standout is important, this is my first choice. For almost any other purpose, I reach for a 1" or smaller tape measure because they are lighter, smaller, quicker to read, and the blade locks works better.
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44 of 52 people found the following review helpful
on December 12, 1999
Style Name: 25-Feet
The last thing I needed was another tape measure, but I'm tired of 1" tapes flopping and sagging when making long measurementss by myself. This fat guy doesn't sag or flop very often. Just wish that Stanley would make a 30' or 35' version. Then I'd buy another tape that I really didn't need!
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on May 21, 2003
Style Name: 30-Feet
I really liked the Fat Max 30' tape. However, Stanley does not make replacement blades for it. My Fat Max is a little less than a year old and has developed a hole at about the 11 foot point. Because no replacement blades are available, the cost for replacing it with a new one is too high. Too bad Stanley doesn't stand behind the fat max with replacement blades like they do with some of their other less sturdy tapes.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on December 16, 2000
Style Name: 25-Feet
I have bought the FAT MAX when they first came out, they claim 11' stand out and I never made it past 10 feet. The tape is very heavy and when dropped it breaks open like an egg.The first time it fell was only from 5 feet onto a wooden deck, the lock button broke off. And for [the price] I would expect more from the product. I have bought a new tape called WIDE BOY from SNS Tapes, now this one takes a fall from 20 feet and they hit 10'6" to 11' everytime. And that is not on the 35 degree angle needed to get the FAT MAX to hit 10Feet. One other thing that makes it better is the WIDE BOY fits in the tape hold on my tool belt. It is also [less expensive] and comes with a utility knife I give this one a five star! So sorry STANLEY your not the best tape out there anymore.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on December 27, 2003
Style Name: 30-Feet
I've gone thru three in one year. I'm a builder so that is slightly above average for my use. But I do keep buying them. My major gripe is that none of them really stay hooked very well when moving. Also they will slice through your finger in a flash if you're used to finger braking.(too fast retract) It is also tempermental in retracting if used past 15ft. I've seen 'em live & die from second floor to concrete. BUT....it does have a fantastic standout. Good, but buy it on sale.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on January 19, 2003
Style Name: 30-Feet
After reading other reviews, it appears that I may have received a lemon. As mentioned in one review, the return velocity is very fast -- and it did lead to kink and tear. My primary complaint relates to excessive play in the lip (well beyond the lip's thickness), which has led to inaccurate cuts.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on February 12, 2010
Style Name: 25-FeetVerified Purchase
I have been in the trades for over 30 years and I have been buying FatMax tape measures for as long as they have been on the market. "Stanley" has once again changed the design and manufacturing specs on another one of their tools... and not for the better. This has been happening in several other tool lines as they now own many. The tapes are only slightly better than a standard tape now. The steel for the tape is thinner than it used to be and the clear protective coating on the first several inches has also been changed... it is just some clear tape that peels off unlike previous versions. WAY disappointing. It got 3 stars because it is still OK but I can see these tapes not lasting very long and there is no rebuild offered. I purchased a couple of these because I use them all the time.

Stanley has definitely chosen to build with lower quality materials. We all know profit is important but it is really sad that companies think this is a good direction. Building with lower quality means profits can be increased because the materials used for production cost less and the product itself will not last as long. These tape measures are spendy as it is and when the quality declines so will my return business.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on March 3, 2006
Style Name: 35-Feet
This tape is a monster for the toolbelt and I keep it in an unused nail pouch due to its width. Besides that I couldn't be happier. It is long enough for framing layout and its 11' standout makes it indespensible for working alone or on a ladder. All three sizes of the FatMax have the 11' foot standout which is the dealmaker. Get the size best for your purposes. The width makes it stable even in winds on the roof working by myself. Nice wide tape with very clear scale to read without bending over. Definitely a wise purchase for the experienced framer or the weekend warrior. Be sure to slow the tape upon reeling it in as the speed it can come back at can do damage to the tape long-term not to mention any wondering fingers that get pinched in the end motion. Great tape and will do it again if this one ever wears out! Buy this tape!
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