Gazette Archive 9/26/00
Afrim Hoxha (photo credit):
At first glance I thought this would be worthwhile, however, it actually became quite uncomfortable after a while, especially with a large tape measure in it. My wrist area would perspire because of the strap. I don't want to say it's a bad product because it seems it would be a more efficient gadget if used with a smaller tape measure. For me I think I will probably store my tape measure on my tool belt.
I am accustomed to using a 1" wide tape so I might be doomed from the start to be uncomfortable with a holder located on the wrist. I find that my 1"x 25' tape is too heavy to be worn there and I also run the risk of "dinging" the furniture part on which I'm working. I believe from my experience as a framer and deck builder though, the Handy Tape holder would be just the ticket for the cut man in that occupation. It is a good idea. I believe there are workers who can and will use it.
I strapped the Handy Tape Holder onto my left wrist, I am right handed, put a 16' tape measure in the adjustable tape measure holder, inserted a pencil in the pencil holder and went to work. It took a while to get used to having the Handy Tape Holder with the weight of the tape measure strapped to my wrist. It took even longer to break myself of my habit of sticking the pencil behind my ear. But after enough time had passed, I learned to use the device as it should be used and did not really notice the extra appendage on my arm.
The Handy Tape Holder is available in leather or nylon, and comes in three sizes. I tested the large nylon version. The device straps around the user's wrist with a nylon strap and is adjustable by Velcro sewn onto the strap. The tape holder is constructed of stretch nylon with a nylon/Velcro securing strap that goes over the top of the tape. The pencil holder is part of the tape securing strap sewn in to a tube. The pencil holder will accommodate a regular pencil, or a full sized carpenter's pencil.
I did find that the regular pencil was easier to get in and out of the tube. I tried the Handy Tape Holder with a 25' Starrett, a 25' Lufkin and a 25' Stanley Powerlock. All three of the 25 footers did fit, but just barely. Also, it was a bit cumbersome with all that weight strapped on to one side of my wrist. I used a 10' Lufkin and a 16' Stanley Powerlock with very satisfactory results, but my favorite is a Craftsman Posilock tape measure - it's the lightest 16' tape measure I have. Does it sound like I have a lot of tape measures? Well, I do, and they are scattered all around the shop. I will use a tape, sit it down, move to another area of the shop with my project, and then not have a tape. The Handy Tape Holder worked out well for me because I did not have to pick up, put down, search for, or clip on to my belt or my trouser pocket a tape measure at any time. It was nailed to my wrist! Right there whenever I needed it. Want to buy a good used tape measure? I have extra ones now.
The Handy Tape Holder is a great time saver for anyone who does not wear a full toolbelt with a tape measure pouch. You never have to look for your pencil or your tape measure, they are always right there near your fingertips.
My personal opinion is that I wouldn't use a product like this or even buy it for that matter simply for that safety issues involved with woodworking and power tools in the shop.
Design: The tool design was solid with one specific functional issue. The elastic bands that run around the sides of the tape infringe on the locking mechanism of the tape. This simple design problem makes locking/unlocking the tape a difficult and two-handed task. Although it is simple to hold the tape, it limits the ability to multi-task. In my deck construction, I often held a board level from my stringer and liked the ability to use the tape to determine if the distances were correct. With the tape locked, this trick was possible, without it locked, it was a two person task.
Functionality: The Handy Tape was completely functional in keeping the tape available for use at any given moment. Although it still takes two-hands to get the tape started, the ability to hold the tape at the desired measurement and have an available hand for marking or recording was a great time saver. Although I must admit, the new "growth" on the inside of the arm was often in the way when not measuring. I am sure that with continued use, the tape would become less noticeable. With the short time I used the tape, I generally took the tape off when I was not doing a lot of measuring.
Personal Thoughts: The Handy Tape will provide individuals who do a lot of measuring a great way to always have their tape at hand. I believe the professions or persons who will gain the most from this tool include interior designers, cabinet designers, and any other individual who needs to do a significant amount of measuring. The device lends itself to easily measuring windows, cabinets, rooms, and anything else where the goal is to record the measurements and move efficiently to the next measurement.
I greatly appreciate the opportunity to put the Handy Tape to the test and was very impressed with the tool.
The other problem I found was that, in many cases I need to measure from left to right instead of right to left. I found it a bit awkward for that. I did like the quick, easy accessibility. It was nice not having to dig for it in my pocket or not having to clip it back on my belt.
The following is a list of
what I discovered: