Most helpful critical review
78 of 86 people found the following review helpful
Long tape standout is the principal feature of this measure...
on December 20, 2005
Stanley 1 1/4" wide Fat max tape measure.
- 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.
- 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!
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.