A few months ago I wrote about a new product that promises to be “The Ultimate Measuring Tape Assistant”. At the time I really liked the idea behind the product—a better hook for your tape measure—but I questioned how accurate it could be. Tape-Ease offered to send me a couple so I could test them out for myself, and I was happy to take them up on their offer.
First, there are two different models of the Tape-Ease. The Tape-Ease Rubber Grip is a general purpose model that should handle most of your measuring needs, while the Tape-Ease Pipe Grip model has been specifically designed for measuring pipes of all kinds.
Both models attach by clipping onto the sides of any standard 1” tape measure blade. This also means that they will not work well, or at all, with wide-blade tape measure. Often cases these wide-blade tape measurers also feature their own bigger hooks, and they too would interfere with the Tape-Ease. You see, the Tape-Ease needs to sit flush with the tape measure hook, or it will not allow for accurate measurements. There is space for a standard size hook to fit, but larger hooks simply will not.
So the question of “Is it accurate?” is yes, as long as you have a standard 1′ tape measure with a standard hook. I have found that with this setup, the accuracy is 1/32” or less. Using a non-standard sized hook, the measurements could be off by as much at 1/8”. Still, for some applications, that degree of error would be acceptable.
With many tape measurers now offering their own bigger hooks, the question then becomes, is the Tape-Ease really necessary anymore? To put it simply, the Tape-Ease just works better than stock wide tape hooks. The Tape-Ease Rubber-Grip really does grip onto many different surface types, and I have found no easier way to measure pipe then with the Tape-Ease Pipe Grip.
It might annoy some that the tape measure cannot fully retract while the Tape-Ease is installed, but that small annoyance is probably worth the convenience the accessory adds to your tape. It is easy enough to remove if needed, but if done regularly, it might do damage to your tape blade. One other thing to note is that the Tape-Ease does add weight to the end of your tape measure, so unsupported measurements over more than a few feet might be harder to do. Still, at only $3-$4 each directly from Tape-Ease plus a couple bucks shipping, they are worth a try. They are also available from Amazon, but they are cheaper directly from Tape-Ease.com