Tapes - Long
There are two main types of long measuring tape, fabric (usually fibreglass) and steel.
Fibreglass measuring tapes are ideal for general purpose measuring. Particularly on wet or muddy sites where they may be trodden on or become twisted.
They can be used under water without damage.
A steel measuring tape should always be used when a high degree of accuracy is required because it is the most accurate form of linear measurement available.
The figures and graduations on varnished steel tapes have good resistance to wear. The figures and graduations on nylon coated steel tapes should be virtually indestructible. This also applies to steel tapes sheathed in heavy-duty nylon.
The nylon sheath also provides some protection against breakage.
The best selling width of long tape is 10mm wide but the 13mm wide steel tapes are more robust.
Steel and fibreglass tapes are available in a variety of metal, leather and plastic cases or open winders. PVC bonded steel cases are the most popular.
The leather case is still preferred by some professional users because of its feel and wear resistance.
While the standard case is much more compact some tapes are also supplied with open winders. This form of winder allows the tape to be imersed in a bucket of water when it has been used in wet and muddy conditions.