March 4, 2011

Johnson 25' Tape Measures - Review


A while back Johnson sent us a tape measure to check out. We incorporated it into the tool bag where it has resided along side our old standby, the Stanley Fat Max 25' Tape. Just the other day they sent us another one, a magnetized one, and we thought, "did we ever review that first one?" Answer: Nope.

So we spent a little time with the new one and here are our thoughts on Johnson's tape measures...

There are a couple really nice things about these tape measures and a couple things that are OK, but they're just not our style. In no particular order...

1. The Johnson tapes have vertically oriented numbers on the underside of the tape. This makes quick work out of those situations when you hang your tape off a top plate and take a bunch of measurements. No more head-twisting. Real easy. We like this aspect a lot. It's not something that you use everyday, or even all that often, but it's there for you when you do need it.


2. The hook ends are extra large and have a secondary hook that sticks up off the top of the tape for catching the underside of something. To us, the large hook is a double edged sword. On one hand it's nice when you're up on a ladder trying to hook on to something five feet away, but on the other hand, it's so big we're constantly catching it on all sorts of things and it's a bit bulky to deal with.

3. One of the tapes we tested has a magnetized hook...also a good/bad proposition. Good for working with metal studs, bad for.....working with metal studs. It sticks to everything, and everything sticks to it. At the end of each day we had to take the time to pick off all the metal shards that had collected on it.

4. The Johnson tapes have a stand out of about eight feet, which is pretty good, but it doesn't compare to the Stanley Fat Max's 12 feet.


5. They have a great solid, durable feel to them. In that regard, they seem very similar to the Fat Max.

We want to be very clear that what we have to say about the large hook (and the magnetized end) are just matters of our own personal preference. After you spend ten years with a tape measure in your hand, there are certain things that you like and anything other than that just isn't going to work out for you (see our review of the I-Mark Tape Measure for more of that action). If you've never tried out a magnetic tape, give it a shot. Maybe you'll be a huge fan of the over-sized hook as well.

So really, this boils down to the Johnson tapes being really nice tape measures. If anyone out there is still searching for a stand-by brand, we'd definitely suggest trying out one of these.

25' Magnetic Tape at

25' Regular Tape at

All kinds of other Johnson Tapes at

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Posted by Doug Mahoney at March 4, 2011 6:01 AM
Recent Comments

You should include in all reviews the country of manufacture. This is big issue for some of us, should be for all

Posted by: Chuck at March 24, 2011 5:09 PM
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