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Review Summary

Ultimate ProTape In-line
Priced under $20
Reviewed by Leon A. Frechette
10/30/03 Updated 09/08/05 & 02/12/07

USTape, manufacturer of Barracuda utility knife, innovative inline ProTape series, Ultimate, Ultimate ProTape, fits your hand, exceptional comfort, ergonomic rubber grips, built into the case, ensure a secure grip, thumb blade lock, large numbers, lower scale, printed fractions, blade tip, reinforced with three rivets, metal shield on the underside, active bumper built into the case, blade retracts

USTape - Ultimate ProTape

USTape, the manufacturer of the Barracuda top-slide utility knife (in 2007 the Barracuda was taken off the market), has done it again with their innovative in-line ProTape series. The Ultimate ProTape fits perfectly in your hand with exceptional comfort, and the ergonomic rubber grips built into the case ensure a secure grip.

Generally, tape measures are too big and fat to comfortably hold while using. They are also so heavy that they could end up down near your ankles if the tape is clipped to a pocket and your pants are not secured by a belt. Of all the tape measures I have owned over the years, this tape design beats them all.

The Ultimate's features include an easy-to-use thumb blade lock that really works, large numbers that don't require glasses to see, and a lower scale in 1/32-inch increments with printed fractions that start at 1/8 inch. The blade tip is reinforced with three rivets and the metal shield on the underside plus the active bumper built into the case help to prevent the tip from snapping off as it absorbs the shock after the blade retracts.

The 25-foot tape measure weighs just under 15 ounces. The 1 1/2-inch thick case is normal for a 1-inch blade, but the case is only 2 inches high and 4 3/4 inches long. A normal tape would be 1 1/2 inch x 3 1/8 inch x 3 3/8 inch—or larger—making it uncomfortable to hold. The Ultimate is designed to comfortably fit a normal hand, but those with smaller hands may find it a little uncomfortable to use. Perhaps the manufacturer will introduce a unit that has a 3/4-inch by 16- or 20-foot blade that would reduce the size of the case. Sometimes a smaller tape is useful.

Once you use this tape measure, you'll never go back to a conventionally designed tape measure. This is the ultimate tape measure to add to your toolbox.

Update 09/08/05: At the time of this review, the thumb blade lock securely held the extended blade in place. However, I have now discovered that the thumb blade does not hold the blade as securely as it once did.

The Ultimate ProTape is an outstanding tape measure that is reasonably priced, but because of this manufacturer's defect, I have pulled the product from our Shopping Mall until the matter can be resolved. In the meantime, I have replaced the tape measure with the EasyPoint ProTape with our own private label.

The blade on the EasyPoint ProTape is similar to that of the Ultimate ProTape; however, the EasyPoint ProTape's blade has large easily readable numbers and a lower scale in 1/16-inch increments with printed fractions that start at 1/8 inch. The Ultimate ProTape has 1/32-inch increments.

While there are plans to update and/or redesign the Ultimate ProTape, to date no changes have been made to this product.

Purchase from Amazon    Purchase from Amazon    Purchase from Amazon

US Tape 54225 1-Inch x 25 Ultimate ProTape

Copyright © 10/30/03, 09/08/05, & 02/12/07 LAF/C.R.S., Inc. All rights reserved.

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