But if you’ve ever used one, you would know there is a minor inconvenience: you can’t get an exact measurement without bending it.
To measure an object, you need to place one end of the tape on one side of the item before extending out the rest. Once you’ve reached the other side of the object being measured, you then need to bend the tape to try and get the plastic or metal housing out of the way. Doing this can lead to all sorts of incorrect measurements.
But social media influencer Sidney Raz has shared a genius discovery as part of their “something I wish I knew before I was in my thirties” series on TikTok — and it will revolutionise the way you use a measuring tape, once and for all.
In a video that has gained over three million views at the time of writing, Raz detailed how tradies and pro DIY-ers properly use the item.
The TikToker says the main case should display a number, which states the measurement of the case itself. In Raz’s instance, “three inches” (7.6cm) is hidden on the back of the plastic tape measure.
“Tape measures have their length on them?” Raz questioned in disbelief.
So, instead of bending the metallic tape to get the case out of the way, the user can simply add that number (three inches) to the measurement shown on the tape when stretched out. The result will be an accurate measurement of your object!
Raz put it to the test, deciding to measure the length of a window sill without bending the tape.
“Oh, I wonder how long it is from you to the edge,” the social media influencer began.
“39 (99cm) plus three (7.6cm) is 42 (106.7cm),” Raz quickly calculated.
“That was so much easier.”
The viral video has been liked over 249k times and shared 14.5k times, with thousands of watchers admitting they have also been incorrectly using a tape measure by bending it to get an approximate length.
“Well I didn’t know that either, and I’m in my 60s! So don’t feel bad,” one TikToker said.
Another person simply wrote: “My life. Forever changed.”
One revealed: “I work in construction and didn’t know this.”
A fourth person confessed: “33 years old just finding this out and use one every day at work.”
One person sarcastically wrote: “Are you sure you don’t like bending the tape at an awkward angle and then guessing the length.”
Most standard tape measures are approximately seven centimetres long, but if the number isn’t engraved on the back, it could be on the front in the form of a sticker. Or, if you can’t find the measurement anywhere, you can simply measure it yourself using the tape — which, TBH, is a worthwhile step if you plan on doing any kind of DIY project. As they say, “measure twice, cut once”.