What’s the Best Tape Measures?

Irwin versus Milwaukee

When choosing the best tape measure, there is a wide selection of factors to consider. I am reviewing two of the best 25-foot tape measures. I have determined, the Irwin Straight Line 25-foot tape measure the top choice in the construction field over the Milwaukee Compact Magnetic 25-foot tape measure. Of course, my standards of the best tape measure will differ from others. But this is my opinion as I review the facts.

The Standoff

The standoff is the result of the blade standing outwards from the body of the tape measure. The breaking point is where the blade loses its form and bends as gravity overtakes the extended blade of the tape measure like an apple falling from an apple tree.


(As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases)

The Irwin Straight Line tape measure stands out from the competition due to its durability, accuracy, and user-friendly design. With a standout length of up to 17 feet, you can easily measure longer distances without needing a second person to hold the tape steady. A controlled drop test was done at 80 feet and survived with no structural damage.

The Irwin tape measure has a cool feature that allows you to control the retraction of the blade with the finger brake by using one finger. The first 6 inches is coated to help with wear and tear and has a double-sided hook.

Another feature that sets this tape measure apart is that not only can you read the tape measure traditionally looking down upon the blade, but you can read the tape measure from above. The blade can be read from both sides and the numbers are large and easy to read with a 1 ¼ inch blade width.

The Irwin Straight Line comes with a limited lifetime warranty, and if you purchase from the ACME TOOLS for $24.99, you can save 15% by entering IRWIN15.


The Milwaukee Compact Magnetic tape measure from Amazon is going for $22.97 with a $.52 discount from Amazon. The Milwaukee tape measure has a standoff reaching up to 12 feet with a wide blade. With this tape measure, you can read from both sides of the blade with easy-to-read numbers.

The Milwaukee tape measure also has similar features as the Irwin. The first 6 inches are also coated to protect against wear and tear at the beginning of the hook and a double-sided hook that allows to read the blade from above or below when measuring. A one-finger brake for easy control of the retraction of the blade. The Milwaukee Compact magnetic tape measure has a 5-point reinforced frame for impact resistance.

A helpful feature of this Milwaukee Compact Magnetic tape measure is it has a powerful magnet that you can attach to EMT or steel studs.

Upon further reviews, customers both have good and bad reviews. One such review is the blade when reading measurements from above, the blade tends to tilt as if about to bend. In my opinion, it could be from the way the person is holding the tape measure.

Description of the Milwaukee Compact Magnetic Tape Measure

  • Blade length: 25ft.
  • Blade Material: steel with nylon blade protection with additional wear and tear coating at first 6 inches
  • Case Material: ABS
  • Color: black and red
  • Dimensions: 7.18 x 4.76 x 2.72 inches
  • Weight: 1lb
  • Lock type: push lock
  • Belt clip: yes, with an additional hook-up for a lanyard
  • Warranty: limited lifetime
  • Magnetic: yes

Description of the Irwin Straight Line Tape Measure

  • Blade length: 25ft.
  • Blade material:
  • Case material: Bi-metal
  • Color: navy and grey
  • Dimensions: ‎7.83 x 4.57 x 2.36 inches
  • Weight: 1.39lbs.
  • Lock type: slide lock
  • Warranty: Limited lifetime
  • Magnetic: no


Irwin Straight Line is going for $24.99 with a 15% discount: IRWIN15.

The Milwaukee Compact Magnetic is going for $22.97 with a $.52 discount from Amazon.

Final Thoughts

Both tape measures are good quality and have cool features. Both tape measures have similar faults as well. As mentioned above, The Milwaukee has a bend in the blade and folds when the tape measures were above the person when reading. As for the Irwin Straight Line, I did not find this was the case. But I suspect the same results as the Milwaukee Compact Magnetic tape measure.

I like Milwaukee tools because I have used their name-brand tools in the field, but I must give two thumbs up to the Irwin Straight Line tape measure.

The links within this post are affiliate links of which I receive a small compensation from sales of certain items.

Overall, don’t let my opinion of Milwaukee overshadow your judgment. I based my review on the best 25-foot tape measures that customers searched for and reviewed.

Click on the Amazon picture of the square check for tape measure to measure from one corner to the far corner.

Any thoughts or comments are welcome.

Thanks, Homer

Affiliate Disclosure

Leave a Comment