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Axminster Precision Tape Measures

Axminster Precision Tape Measures

One of the great British inventions, the tape measure, used by millions across the world, on tasks from the mundane to the extraordinary.
There are thousands to choose from, from a specialist tape for bricklayers to ones you find in a Christmas cracker!

Axminster Precision Tape Measures

Quality and great value tape measures

Depending on what you are using it for I guess they are all useful in their own way. But there are tape measures and there are tape measures and what Axminster set out to do was to find a range of tape measures that do an excellent job whatever you were using it for. The only premise was they had to be well made and accurate! If you are looking for a cheap 99p tape measure, you’re in the wrong place, we’re not looking for cheap, we are looking for quality and value.

View all Axminster Precision Tape Measures

A range that is innovative and completely usable...

We know that 64% of you tradesmen out there are Stanley FatMax users. There’s nothing wrong with that, they’re great tapes, we even sell them at Axminster. But, what we wanted is not to have a range of tape measures as good as Stanley, we wanted a range that was better! A range that challenged the traditional design of a tape measure; a range that is innovative and completely usable and with the Axminster Precision range, we believe we have the very best.

Now, if your profession and reputation relies on measuring things accurately the first thing you need is a quality tape measure. I don’t know about you, but if a tradesperson started measuring up with a rusty bent tape measure, it wouldn’t fill me with the greatest of confidence!

So, what should you be looking for in a tape measure? Well, there are several things, some more important than others and you may never need some of them. But, after rummaging in our old toolboxes and workshops to look at and compare tapes from throughout the years, here are a few criteria we have come up with.

Axminster Precision Tape Measures range

Firstly, what are you using it for?

Once you have answered that, you can narrow down your search. Don’t worry though, we have a tape measure for everybody!

Is it comfortable to use?

In all probability, if you’re a tradesperson, you’re going to use a tape measure countless times a day. It’s either got to fit comfortably in your pocket or clip securely on your belt, it has to feel good in the hand too. The last thing you want is to be dropping it all the time or fumbling with it to get an accurate reading.

Blade markings

How clear are the blade markings?

This is probably a good time to look at your current tape. If you are squinting to read it, or the markings have rubbed out anywhere it is probably a good time to change your tape measure. There are many different colours of blade now, from the traditional yellow to the white and the hi-viz. Think about where you are going to use the tape, one that you can see clearly will cut down on error!

What is the blade made of and what coating does it have?

Most tape measures have a metal blade, but some use a stainless steel blade, which means it will not rust. The coating, however, is really important. This will generally determine how long the tape will last and for how long it stays accurate! The more coats the longer it will last. Our new tapes have a superior Dura nylon coated steel blade, which lasts up to 15 times longer than other tape measures.

The quality and type of the hook end

These come in all different shapes, sizes and quality for a variety of different uses, some of which might come as a surprise to you. Let’s take a look at the different ends.

Nail & Screw Grab - Part 1

The nail and screw
grab – Part 1

Many tape measures have a small slot cut into the end, but what is it for? It’s used to grab the end of a nail or screw. This is especially useful if you’re working on your own, you simply stick a nail or screw in to where you are measuring from and hook the tape in, allowing for accurate solo measuring!

Nail & Screw Grab - Part 2

The nail and screw
grab – Part 2

Ever wanted to scribe a circle, but only have your tape to hand? Well, if your tape has the nail and screw grab feature, it’s pretty easy to do one.

Serrated scribing end

The serrated
scribing end

No, this is not a decorative feature of a tape measure, it is an extremely useful tool. If you don’t have a scribe to hand or the pencil has fallen from behind your ear, simply press this edge into your work piece, scratch it back and forth and make a mark.

Self adjusting end hook

The Self adjusting
end hook

A sign of a quality tape is in the movement of the end to the tape itself. Now, this might sound a bit of a contradiction, but the movement on the rivets of the tape and hook are key to its accuracy. The movement compensates exactly for the thickness of the hook, meaning you get accurate inside and outside measurements.

What is the tapes stand out reach?

This is the point when the tape measure bends and collapses when extended. This can be important depending on what job you are doing. As a general rule, what you’ll find is the wider the tape measure, the longer the stand out reach.

How accurate do you want the tape to be?

Tape measures are generally given a class 1 or a class 2 standard of accuracy, with the majority of tape measures being class 2. A class 2 tape measure is accurate to +/- 2.3mm over a 10m period. Whereas a class 1 tape is accurate to +/- 1.1mm over the same 10m period. If you really need accuracy, this is the tape for you. This is perhaps the perfect opportunity to mention that Stanley do not offer a class 1 tape, thankfully our new Axminster Precision tape range does!

Parallax error

What makes double sided tapes so good?

A double sided tape measure has advantages over its single sided counterparts. It can make it easier to read when using the tape above you, but perhaps the most important advantage is that it allows for easy reading and marking and avoids parallax error. Parallax what? I hear you cry! The curved nature of a tape measure (which aids stand out strength) means, that without twisting the tape (see pic) it is hard to read. The parallax error occurs when the marking of the tape is some distance away from the surface you are measuring or marking. By simply turning the tape over the markings of the tape are in direct contact with the surface.

Easy reading, avoiding parallax error

Remember, whatever tape measure you use, if you’re not using a scribe
or a sharp pencil it’s not going to be accurate!

Tape Measures

New Range

Now, is probably a good time to introduce the new range of tape measures from Axminster Precision.

Master Precision

Class 1 Accurate

As mentioned earlier the majority of tape measures are class 2 accurate, the Master Precision is class 1 and the most accurate tape measure available. If you are a cabinet maker or you need to be super accurate in your line of work this is the only tape measure from you. This is not the all singing and all dancing tape measure packed with features, but it is the most accurate tape measure you’ll find.

Buy now - only £9.96
Master Precision Tape Measure - Class 1 Accurate

Heavy duty design


Pause/hold button underneath


Secure positive locking mechanism


5m/16ft metric and imperial markings


Blade width 25mm

Power Blade Tape

Class 2 Accurate

This is probably the closest Axminster Precision tape measure to a Stanley FatMax. But, unlike a FatMax, this is double sided (see above for benefits of this). The chrome plated, impact resistant case features a rubber overmould that provides fantastic levels of protection as well as a an ergonomic grip. If you are out and about on site and you need a tough tape measure this is the tape for you.

Key Features

  • Impact resistant with ergonomic case and moulded rubber grip
  • Dura-NY coating gives 15 x more protection than standard tape measures
  • Double sided measurements
  • 5m/16ft and 8m/26ft in metric and imperial markings
  • Blade width 27mm – wider width aids the length of tape stand out
  • Multi directional end hook for measuring above, below and on the side
  • Serrated edges on end hook aids grip
  • Magnetic end hook makes it easy to measure from metallic surfaces
Buy now - from only £12.96
Power Blade - Class 2 Accurate

Stainless Steel Tape

Class 2 Accurate

Whether you are a landscape gardener, a boat builder or working anywhere in the U.K, there are going to be times when you are using your tape measure in wet conditions. The Nylon coating can save the blade, but unless you meticulously dry the blade every time before it is recoiled the mechanism of the tape is going to corrode. This is not the case with the stainless steel tape. It has a stainless steel blade, springs, screws, end hook, blade protector and belt clip, all meaning this tape will last!

Buy now - only £12.96
Stainless Steel Tape - Class 2 Accurate

Impact resistant with ergonomic case and moulded rubber grip


All metallic parts are made from stainless steel


Dura-NY coating gives 15 x more protection than standard tape measures


5m/16ft metric and imperial markings. Blade width 19mm


Stainless steel self adjusting end hook with nail and screw grab

2 in 1 Gap Tape

Class 2 Accurate

A genuine unique tape measure. If you need to measure the internal of anything this is the tape for you. When using a standard tape measure for internal work you have to bend the tape around and guess (see below left). The 2 in 1 gap tape allows you to simply turn the tape over, put the tape to the internal surface you’re measuring (see below right) and read from the reverse scale, which takes into account the length of the tape measure casing. Of course it’s a great tape measure for external measurements too!

Key Features

  • Positive blade lock button
  • Rubberised outer casing
  • Double side blade takes into account the length of casing for internal measurements
  • Multi function, extra large end hook allows users to hook onto objects above and below the tape
  • 5m/16ft metric and imperial markings
Buy now - only £8.95
2 in 1 Gap Tape - Class 2 Accurate

Metric Vice-Versa Tape

Class 2 Accurate

A firm favourite of ours, the majority of us now work in metric and even though most tapes are both metric and imperial it is far clearer if you’re reading off the one measurement. This is a truly innovative tape measure, it can be read from both left to right and right to left, making it easy to read whether you are right or left handed. Double sided metric only scale with an extra large end hook, makes it easy to measure and read from almost anywhere. A top tape measure!

Buy now - from only £8.95
Metric Vice-Versa Tape - Class 2 Accurate

Multi directional extra large end hook


Easy to read, double sided metric only graduations


Pause/hold button


Positive blade lock button


5m and 8m options available


Rubberised outer casing

Self Lock Tape

Class 2 Accurate

The self lock tape is exactly what it says on the tin. Simply throw the tape out and it will not retract unless you press the release button, a real convenient feature that saves fumbling around with a locking switch. This great all round tape is double sided allowing for easy reading and marking, thus avoiding parallax error (see above). The end hook of this tape is well designed and is multi directional, allowing for easy measuring from above and the side. If you need an all round tape that is easy to read (the blade is also hi-viz) this is the tape for you.

Key Features

  • Auto-lock mechanism on blade
  • Hi-viz blade for easy reading in gloomy conditions
  • Double sided – avoids parallax error
  • Impact resistant and ergonomic case
  • Multi directional magnetic end hook
  • 5m/16ft and 8m/26ft in metric and imperial markings
  • Blade width 25mm
Buy now - from only £12.96
Self Lock Tape - Class 2 Accurate

Auto Lock Tape

Class 2 Accurate

A good all round general purpose tape measure. It locks automatically when extended and only retracts once the release button is pressed, making it great for when working on your own. The easy to read, non-reflective blade is complemented by the magnetic end hook. If you need a tape for the kitchen drawer at home this is the one for you.

Buy now - from only £6.96
Auto Lock Tape - Class 2 Accurate

Rugged ABS case with rubber soft grip/bump protector


Non-reflective blade, easily read markings


5m/16ft and 8m/26ft in metric and imperial markings. Blade width 22mm


Ingenious hook design allows use flat and on edge for greater layout accuracy. End stop includes two rare earth magnets for use on steel work

Double Sided Tape

Class 2 Accurate

A good all round tape measure with a robust, heavy duty construction which is also aided by being double sided (see above benefits). Easy to read and complemented by an extra large end hook.

Key Features

  • Non-reflective blade, easily read markings
  • 5m/16ft and 8m/26ft in metric and imperial markings
  • Double sided measurements
  • Blade width 25mm
  • Multi directional extra large end hook
Buy now - from only £6.76
Double Sided Tape - Class 2 Accurate