Tape Measure Woodworking Tips and Tricks

Tape Measure Woodworking Tips and Tricks

Let me share some woodworking tips and tricks with you using tape measures. You should only be using one tape measure on your projects. If you have multiple tape measures, this could cause problems. Major problems. Have you ever had the legs of a table wobble? Are the legs of your bench uneven? This could be the cause. Check out this video and let me show you why one tape measure should rule them all. This woodworking hack could save your project. I will also discuss the FastCap flat tape measure and what I like and don’t like about it. As well as the Komelon tape measure, which is my favorite tape measure I’ve ever used. I dare say that the Komelon may be the best tape measure for woodworking. Amazon and other affiliate links are used in this description and they help support this channel.

*Tape Measures From Video*
Komelon Tape Measure: https://amzn.to/3t22kcC
FastCap Flat Tape: https://amzn.to/2KT9vCA

*Buy our woodworking plans here: https://www.731woodworks.com/store

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*Videos To Watch Next*
Woodworking Tips and Tricks Playlist: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jsClV9zZNLM&list=PLWVlC66wUw8YQwF4QEfwgxh45ZcrJIE8y
10 Scrap Wood Project Ideas: https://youtu.be/MKAAwkkzsvA
5 Common Woodworking Mistakes: https://youtu.be/D3_jWtg0qqE

*Camera Equipment Used for Videos*
Canon M50 https://amzn.to/3en9EaQ
Canon 22mm Lens: https://amzn.to/32fp79w
GoPro Hero 8: https://amzn.to/2JY48l2
Microphone I Use: https://amzn.to/3crbxTX
Rodecaster Pro: https://amzn.to/2LOl127
Rodecaster Pro Microphones: https://amzn.to/2LhV0IV

I use TubeBuddy to help grow this channel and you can too by using affiliate code 731woodworks at this link https://www.tubebuddy.com/731woodworks

Get two FREE audio books from Audible by using this link: https://amzn.to/3cqvgmv I listen to a lot of books while woodworking. Give it a try, you may love it as much as I do!

*Camera Equipment Used for Videos*
Canon M50 https://amzn.to/3en9EaQ
Canon 22mm Lens: https://amzn.to/32fp79w
GoPro Hero 8: https://amzn.to/2JY48l2
Microphone I Use: https://amzn.to/3crbxTX

0:00 Intro
0:25 No Two Tape Measures Are Alike
1:33 Tape Measure Tips
3:02 Best Tape Measure
3:29 Flat Tape Measure
6:00 One Tape To Rule Them All
6:29 Outro

Disclaimer: Amazon and other affiliate links are used in this description and they help support this channel. By clicking on the links and purchasing items it provides me a very small commission but cost you nothing extra. It is a great way to support small creators like me. I appreciate the support more than you know!

Working with wood and power tools is inherently dangerous. Anyone using any of the tools or supplies used in these videos are personally responsible for learning the proper techniques involved, and he or she assumes all risks and accepts complete responsibility for any and all damages and injury of any kind.

Before using any hand or power tool with which you are unfamiliar, consult its operating instructions, and if necessary, seek instruction by a qualified person well versed in its operation and appropriate safety techniques.

731 Woodworks is intended for entertainment purposes only. There are no warranties implied and your results may differ from ours. You should NOT rely solely upon the information and techniques discussed and displayed in these videos. Rather, you should fully research each technique and decide for yourself what is the safest possible work method for you.

#woodworkingtipsandtricks #woodworking #woodworkinghacks


  1. B The Builder on May 20, 2023 at 11:26 am

    Thanks for sharing the wisdom! I never checked for inconsistencies between my tapes. Two are the same but my Komelon 25ft Gripper and ProCarpenter 25ft Lefty/Righty are the same. They are both my favorite tapes but my Lefty/Righty is my top. No matter the direction the numbers are always facing up! Like the Komelon…the tape is recessed incase it’s dropped. The odd tape was my Harbor Freight Pittsburgh…no surprise there.

  2. Neal Wright on May 20, 2023 at 11:27 am

    I’ve never used a flat metal tape like that. I have a 100′ flat tape but not a small one. Those are good for measuring when the surface isn’t completely flat. Where a curved tape will break over, the flat tape will give u the correct measurement.

  3. Abel Morales on May 20, 2023 at 11:27 am

    Man, too much content coming out lately! I can’t keep 😂 I’ll get caught up eventually with all these videos. 👌🏼 Always good stuff from ya! 💯

  4. How NOT to on May 20, 2023 at 11:27 am

    Flacid is the word you’re looking for

  5. David Peters on May 20, 2023 at 11:27 am

    Yeah I learned about this the hard way when building my workbench. I used the same tape, but I didn’t realize the tip was bent so it threw off all my measurements. After I had measured and cut most everything according to my plans, it wasn’t fitting together right and that’s when I realized my tape measure was bent! #facepalm

  6. Mr. Measure Twice on May 20, 2023 at 11:27 am

    Matt – good tip and great illustration of the difference between two tapes. It’s like "The Tale of Two Tape Measures", right??

    Regarding the FastCap lefty/righty – all it needs are two features to make it a perfect tape measure for a lefty, or a righty.
    1. reversible clip (so a lefty can carry it on t he left with the tape end pointing forward – DUH)
    2. self locking tape – why every tape measure does not have this as a standard is a complete mystery to me…

  7. Matthew Eller on May 20, 2023 at 11:27 am

    I’ve always practiced this, when I buy them I buy 3 or 4 of the same exact one…then I mark them with different colors of spray paint because I’ve noticed there will be small differences between the same exact ones as well

  8. Bob the builder on May 20, 2023 at 11:31 am

    I believe the fast cap was designed for measuring circumstance ( around pipe for example) otherwise it’s about a useless wet noodle. As for the komealon I love them to I use there auto lock version ,you push the button to retract it great for layout work on larger projects.

  9. Tyrone Pelfrey on May 20, 2023 at 11:34 am

    Always start with the tape measure that I start with I will leave it on the project table put all the rest on my way. 🤓

  10. David Hodge on May 20, 2023 at 11:36 am

    What you like and what you should use, is not always right!
    If you use a combination square, precision T-rule or any other layout device with a tape measure, you should make sure they both match!
    I do like your statement of using 1 tape measure.

  11. The Next on May 20, 2023 at 11:37 am

    Fastcap L/R. I have 4 now. I keep them everywhere. Suddenly, I cannot find any.

  12. johnnyrmac on May 20, 2023 at 11:41 am

    I have used the one tape rule for quite sometime after not getting acurate cuts using different brand based on what part of the work area I was located. I also use the Komelons 16 foot. Great info that most won’t realize the issue for cut variation.

  13. jimdouglasgregory on May 20, 2023 at 11:44 am

    Try a hart auto lock from Walmart. They are awesome

  14. Jacob Davis on May 20, 2023 at 11:45 am

    what do you think about the FASTCAP
    16 ft. Standard Lefty Righty Tape Measure

  15. Randy H on May 20, 2023 at 11:47 am

    Great! Now I’m picturing Matt hunched over in a corner holding his Komelon tape measure close to his chest with wide eyes while saying "my precious"

  16. My Midlife Crisis Adventure on May 20, 2023 at 11:47 am

    I have 4 or 5 komelon 12′ self locking tapes, got them when Walmart still sold them, $3.77 each I believe. They quit selling them when they started going all Hart stuff. I love the self locking feature, so handy. I do wish they were double sided like your 16′ version, tho, that would be nice.

    Two fist bumps for using a Lot of the Rings reference, too 👊👊

  17. John Gregg on May 20, 2023 at 11:47 am

    Excelent information! I just went & checked my three tape measures, and they’re all pretty close. I use two for rough measurements and one (Fastcap) for projects. I really liked the Fastcap. Untill I saw that Komelon protects the blade from bending by recessing it in the body of the tape measure. Looks Like I’ll have 4 tape measures soon…
    Your production values for the video are great and I really like that you speak in measured tones. lol

  18. pdpoints1 on May 20, 2023 at 11:48 am

    Did you ever think about burning an inch on measuring.

  19. Patriot designs on May 20, 2023 at 11:48 am

    I swear to god my wife cannot understand that she swears that all tape measure for the same and I told her Matt said that first said that when I first started working and I just do what he says and my aunt was arguing with me

  20. Troy Hellwig on May 20, 2023 at 11:49 am

    Hey Matt, good video, but the tangs are designed to be bent for calibration. I work in manufacturing and we actually calibrate our tapes pretty often.

  21. Leroy Olivarez on May 20, 2023 at 11:49 am


  22. edward massie on May 20, 2023 at 11:51 am

    OK, so now I have read only 20 or so of the comments and my mind is filling with stuff…
    1st, thanks. I never considered this before…I have 3 different tapes in my shop in different locations.
    2nd, if my tapes are all different, what about my rules? I use speed squares and slide rules as well as simple rulers..metal and wood.
    3rd what about same brand tapes…3 komelons, will they be as different as the 3 off brands you tested?
    Thanks again Matt, keep safe, keep God, and keep making man glitter. (sawdust)

  23. SAW IT on May 20, 2023 at 11:52 am

    4:58 cooked spaghetti LOL… Great video.

  24. Bill Conz on May 20, 2023 at 11:53 am

    I use the fast cap lefty righty

  25. Mark West on May 20, 2023 at 11:53 am

    I prefer the Stanley FatMax. Stanley is one of most accurate made and the FatMax will extend further in air, and is very rigid. If you ever have framed a house, if you drop your tape it will bust, but the FatMax most of the time won’t. If they do, Stanley stands behind them with a lifetime warranty.

  26. Lou Vitorio on May 20, 2023 at 11:54 am

    Is there any other tape measure that has readings on both sides??

  27. vaskamp on May 20, 2023 at 11:55 am

    People might not know this but the little open slot on the Stanley measure, is great because you can hook it on a nail and use the tape measure as a compass, which makes it easy and fast to make multiple measurements from the one spot in different directions. I wasn’t able to see if your tape had that.

  28. Decker Prairie Woodworks on May 20, 2023 at 11:57 am

    Fastcap lefty/righty is the best on more than one level. You compared the wrong Fastcap tape measure! Love your videos!👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻

  29. Kaipo on May 20, 2023 at 11:57 am

    Im betting the stanley tape has an accurate measurement.

  30. Cheryl Taylor on May 20, 2023 at 11:57 am

    Matt, thank you for putting this out very helpful

  31. JEFF ALLRED on May 20, 2023 at 11:58 am

    Sold! Got one coming. Just tossed my Craftsman tape in the trash on Saturday- not even a few months old and the locking mechanism don’t lock no moe 🙁 Hope it’s BUTTEREE SMUTHE

  32. Lee Mass on May 20, 2023 at 11:58 am

    I recently discovered the comelon brand tapes a couple weeks ago. Bought the 25 ft contractor tape with “lifetime retraction”. I work construction in all weather and have lost a few tapes after getting mud on the tape and then they won’t retract well anymore. So we’ll see if these hold up with that claim. I have already fallen in love with the fit and finish of those tapes though. Pry my favorite brand as well now. I have already bought a more of them for the field and some of the 16ft for the home workshop

  33. Dennis Duncil on May 20, 2023 at 11:59 am

    Walmarts hart tools has a great tape

  34. 731 Woodworks on May 20, 2023 at 12:00 pm
  35. Jake Johnson on May 20, 2023 at 12:00 pm

    Fast Cap Lefty/Righty is my go to tape. I like how easy it is to read the 16ths of an inch, you can read it upside down, and its not flat like the one you showed. The pencil sharpener is way more useful than I expected it to be.

  36. brian on May 20, 2023 at 12:02 pm

    Life Hack with the Stanley, the opening at the end will allow you to measure from a middle of a board if you drive a nail into it.

  37. Joseph Robbins on May 20, 2023 at 12:05 pm

    Fast cap righty/lefty is gold! $10 on Amazon too!! Had it for years and love it!!!

  38. Roger McElfresh on May 20, 2023 at 12:07 pm

    I realized this while building a coffin shelf for Halloween. I made cuts on different days as I wasn’t sure how I wanted it to look. The tape I used day one aparently grew legs so I used a different one for day two. Same size cuts were not the same size lmao. Nothing I couldn’t trim down, but definitely a head scratching moment.

  39. Patrick Henry on May 20, 2023 at 12:08 pm

    In the shop today so I checked out the 5 tapes I normally use. From the harbor freight to the lufkin they were all the same. I use which ever tape is closest to where I am at the time. They seem to accumulate around the table saw. Thanks for the video cause I have never checked them before today.

  40. Zman on May 20, 2023 at 12:08 pm

    The metal end sliding just a little bit drives me crazy 😂

  41. Cecil McKeithan on May 20, 2023 at 12:10 pm

    Lufkin self locking by far the most used in my box. And my box is full. Lol

  42. Chad Williams on May 20, 2023 at 12:11 pm

    Great video sir! Love you’re videos and you’re work.

  43. Brandon Walker on May 20, 2023 at 12:13 pm

    Awesome video as usual! Maybe next time add a few more tapes and call it Planet of the Tapes! 😂

  44. Jim Doss on May 20, 2023 at 12:14 pm

    It takes just a few seconds to straighten out the hook and all is right with the world once again.

  45. Shane Melville on May 20, 2023 at 12:15 pm

    I went through several tape measures, Milwaukee, digital one, & harbor freight one, than I found the dual fast cap. It reads on both sides of the tape measure since I’m left handed this one was a game changer for me. Plus it has the markings 1/2, 3/8, etc. Since I was starting out it was easier for me to read & not get lost in the fractions. I will not use anything else. Fastcap makes several different kinds the green one dual sided is what I use.

  46. REGICIDE on May 20, 2023 at 12:16 pm

    A "how to store lumber" and/or "how to remove cups and bows" would be awesome

  47. David Hodge on May 20, 2023 at 12:17 pm

    I have a $200 starrett combo and a walmart Hart auto lock 16’ that I love and they both measure the same.
    Another issue: when you let the tape slam back, you will eventually oblong the holes and start getting incorrect measurements. Easy check! Align the two tapes at the 1” line and see if they are not the same. If that measures Okay! Then take the one that measures longer and file it in the trash. 42yr toolmaker working in tenths. 0.0001

  48. Carnivore Kipp BBQ & Castiron on May 20, 2023 at 12:19 pm

    Have you tried the other fastcap that doesn’t have the flattape. It’s like $10 but would be great to compare to the Komelon.

  49. Steve Iv on May 20, 2023 at 12:22 pm

    Great video bro, I too learnt this fact many years ago…the hard way. I used to keep a tape at my bench and another at my mitre saw station to “save time” because I was always leaving my tape at one station or the other, needless to say, I had moments of frustration when it came to dry fitting and glue ups, blaming the saw, the blade, dust against the fence, my method etc etc…it was the of course the difference of tapes. So now it’s one tape from start/finish. You can however, I have, bought measuring tapes in pairs, exact brands off the shelf at the same time and bench tested their accuracy against each other and they were spot on. Cheers and keep up the great work and great videos. 🤜 🤛

  50. Dutch Miller on May 20, 2023 at 12:23 pm

    The silver Harbor Freight tape on sale. Sometimes for $3.

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