Modern roulette test

This measuring device is found in almost every home. Ordinary mechanical tape measure. It seems so simple that to think about which one is better somehow does not even occur to me. But manufacturers don’t think so. They have to fight for the client, so they release new series one after another that have certain differences. So, modern roulette has quite a few features. Let’s tell you more about them.

Blade length and width. The most popular roulettes today are “short” ones. The length of their canvas is from 2 to 10 m, and the width is from 12.5 to 25 mm. Both of these indicators are determined by the tasks for which the device is purchased.

Tape. It is made from various grades of steel, therefore, with the same parameters, the tape measure may differ in the stiffness of the web and in its resistance to fractures. Namely, these properties determine how long the tape is stretched without breaking..

Measurement scale. In Russia, metric is most common, although if you wish, it is easy to find an inch (and even a foot). There are also combined tape measures, where the canvas is divided into two parts, and each has its own scale. By the way, from the metric interest the SI scale deserves – the divisions on it are indicated in millimeters.

Accuracy of measurements. It is determined by the deviation of instrument readings from the standard and meets certain standards. For example, for accuracy class II – the most common for tape measures – the readings at a length of 1 m should have an absolute error of no more than 0.5 mm, and at 10 m – no more than 2.3 mm. There is also an additional precision tolerance for the hook (0.2mm).

Marking protection. Depending on what composition the marking of the web is covered and on what basis it is applied, the service life of the tape varies significantly.

Hook. Most modern tape measures have a True Zero hook. Movable web mount compensates for hook thickness, providing true zero counting for both external and internal measurements.

The hole in the central part of the hook allows you to use a nail or screw as an axis for marking a circle or arc, and a notch in the end part is convenient for drawing parallel lines (for example, you can put a pencil lead there while moving).

Body material. Plastic, metal or rubberized housing determines the operating conditions of the model. Sometimes compactness is more important, sometimes impact resistance.

Fixing the tape. Most often this is a slider mechanism, although there are others. Some manufacturers, in addition to the latch, install a “pause” button on the devices – such a detail is never superfluous.

Other features. They are already of a specific nature. For example, there are electronic roulettes with many functions, as well as roulettes with a ring instead of a hook at the end of the canvas. In addition, the tape of the device can be made of cloth, not metal, and not have a curved shape..


Taking into account the listed features, the most popular tape measures with a 5 m length and 19 mm width were selected for testing. To create a level playing field, preference was given to “popular” models of manufacturers, rather than “advanced” ones, so it is not worth judging the brand as a whole by the test results of a separate product.

Test 1.1.
The maximum possible length of the stretched web before its break was estimated (according to the tape readings at the mark located with the hook at the same height from the ground).

Test 1.2.
For a canvas extended to a certain length (100, 140 and 165 cm), its deflection was determined as the greatest (vertically) distance from the horizontal connecting the hook and the tape to the “hump” of the canvas.

Test 2.
The resistance of the cloth to abrasion (abrasion) was checked. Applying the same small force, successive passes were made over each blade with sandpaper (grain # 80). The process was stopped when the canvas completely lost its coating with markings.

Test 3.
An elementary drop test (from the English drop – to throw). All roulettes were “dropped” onto a concrete slab from a height of 1.5 m, while giving them a rotational motion. The height was chosen on the basis of the assumptions about the average size of the ladder, and the twisting was performed to create random conditions: a blow with a lock and a blow with a rubber case pose different risks to the safety of the device. After five throws, the result was assessed as “passed the test” if the tape did not lose its performance characteristics and did not lose its presentation, and as “the test failed” – in all other cases. All devices, except the Bosch electronic roulette, were subjected to this test, since it was deliberately clear that the electronics would not withstand such treatment. The results of this test are presented in the fifth column of the table..

Bosch DMB 5 plus
Electronic roulette

Accuracy class: II.

LEAF SIZES: length – 5 m; width – 19 mm.
FEATURES: liquid crystal display; functions “add tape length”, “hold indication”, “recall memory contents”, “add readings to memory”, “clear memory”; True Zero hook with a slot for conducting radii and a reinforcing plate on the outside of the tape; complete with AA battery. DIMENSIONS (WxHxD): 95x75x33 mm (without clip). Weight (with battery): 235g.

The Bosch company is widely known as a manufacturer of professional and household electric and pneumatic tools for repair and construction. It also produces measuring equipment, which in our test is represented by an unusual – electronic – tape measure.


The holes in the web are read by a photocell located inside the housing, and the obtained values ​​are displayed on the LCD display with an accuracy of one millimeter. By the way, by turning off the electronics (with the “on / off” key), the tape measure can also be used as a mechanical tape, since the tape is no different from the usual one – the marking is present.

All electronic equipment is quite simple and straightforward to operate. The set of functions is small, but in some cases they are very helpful. For example, if the readings are difficult to see for one reason or another, they are “fixed” on the screen (by pressing the “hold readings” key) and viewed later by winding the web. Summing up the results, the distance up to 1000 meters can be entered into memory.

The fixing principle differs from that of mechanical tape measures. The tape is freely stretched or automatically reeled into the body only when the key is pressed, when released, it is also removed, but with a little more effort. This is better for an electronic device.

Despite the seeming bulkiness of the case, it is quite convenient to use the tape measure. It is powered by a single AA battery, and when the battery is discharged, it signals this on the screen. There also appear messages about two possible errors: “memory overflow” and “turning on the roulette when the tape is pulled out”.

The rigidity of the canvas due to the presence of holes in it is significantly reduced (compared to mechanical tape measures), but the comfort of work does not suffer from this. Endurance tests did not give high results, and the drop test, for obvious reasons, was not carried out for the Bosch device.

SUMMARY: an electronic roulette with a small set of functions, designed for professional use. A bit bulky compared to mechanical ones, but in some cases it may be more convenient than the latter.

Brigadier 11002
Mechanical tape measure

Accuracy class: II.


LEAF SIZES: length – 5 m; width – 19 mm.
FEATURES: hull length mark; Pause key; wrist strap; True Zero hook with a slot for conducting radii and a reinforcing plate on the outside of the tape; collapsible body design.
DIMENSIONS (WxHxD): 82x69x38 mm (without clip). Weight: 180g.

Factories producing professional tools under the Brigadier trademark are located all over the world – from Russia and Southeast Asia to Switzerland and America. In our country, the manufacturer is represented by CJSC Brigadier Technologies, established in July 2000 and part of the international group of companies Brigadier.


The shape of the roulette body repeats the geometry of the palm – the device seems to “flow” into the hand. Instead of a slider locking mechanism, Brigadier uses a lever that acts like a button (fixed / free states), making it easier and more convenient for them to secure the tape. True, this knot turned out to be not entirely reliable: when during the drop test the roulette twice fell on the button, it fell into the inside of the case. The device had to be disassembled and repaired (it is for this reason that “passed with big reservations” appears in the results column). There is a choice between ease of use and product reliability: if you want to work more comfortably, try not to drop the tape measure. For the sake of fairness, we note that in the model range of the manufacturer there are also roulettes in a rubber case..

A nice design feature of this model – the “pause” button – also works for fixing, but only as long as it is held with a finger. This is sometimes very convenient, for example, when winding up a long tape..

The blade of the model turned out to be one of the most resistant to bending and showed good resistance to abrasion. By the way, a new series of Brigadier tape measures with a nylon protective coating on the tape, which increases its wear resistance by about five times compared to the traditional one, will soon be on sale..

SUMMARY: A professional tape measure with an original design. Equipped with a fix button (instead of a “slider”) and a “pause” key. The tape measure is very convenient to use, but does not withstand impacts well.

C.K Power Return 3434M
Mechanical tape measure

Accuracy class: II.


LEAF SIZES: length – 5 m; width – 19 mm.
FEATURES: hull length mark; fasteners for a wrist strap; hook True Zero; collapsible body design.
DIMENSIONS (WxHxD): 67x65x30 mm (without clip). Weight: 170 g.

Briefly, the history of this trademark can be described as follows: more than 200 years of being on the world market. For two centuries, the German company “S.K” has made great strides in the creation of precision measuring instruments and construction tools for a wide variety of purposes..


The test showed that for extreme conditions it is better to purchase special devices, since “S.K” produces roulettes with a rubber coating. Although no visible external changes were found during the drop test, opening the case revealed a break at the place where one of the three screws was attached. So every next fall could be the last.

But with a more “quiet” work, the roulette is very convenient. Its weight and dimensions are small, and the profile of the canvas is quite rigid. In the hand, the device lies “like a glove”, the retainer is in place (right under the finger) and locks the tape securely. By the way, all the numbers on it have real meanings, and not just the meaning of units between tens of centimeters..

The coating of the canvas at “S.K” was not the most wear-resistant.

SUMMARY: A professional tape measure designed for precision work rather than extreme operating conditions. Both the plastic case and the real values ​​of centimeters on the canvas – everything speaks in favor of just such an application..

Elmos GW-589E
Mechanical tape measure

Accuracy class: II.


LEAF SIZES: length – 5 m; width – 19 mm.
FEATURES: body with rubber components; hull length mark; True Zero hook with a slot for carrying out radii; collapsible body design.
DIMENSIONS (WxHxD): 75x73x30 mm (without clip). Weight: 220g.

The German brand Elmos has been known on the Russian market since 1990. The company offers a wide range of construction (and, since 2002, garden) equipment: from power tools and consumables to lawn mowers and woodworking machines..


Testing has confirmed the high performance of the product. The canvas is quite stiff, the parameters of the case with rubber inserts are well calculated – the device fits comfortably in the hand, and the retainer falls right under the finger, making the operation as simple as possible.

GW-589E belongs to the type of tape measure in which only units are put between the “tens” of centimeters. Due to this, the numbers are larger and easier to read, but to determine the true distance, you need to take another look at the nearby value of “ten” centimeters.

We note the good wear resistance of the coating – under abrasive action, it lasted long enough, compared to most other devices participating in the tests.

During the drop test, the tape measure fell on the hook, bending it, so I had to use pliers to bring the part back to its original form.

SUMMARY: solid and convenient tape measure for professional use. The values ​​on the canvas are printed in large numbers, so people with low vision will like the device.

Fisher Darex Protec
Mechanical tape measure

Accuracy class: II.


LEAF SIZES: length – 5 m; width – 19 mm.
FEATURES: rubber coated body; hull length mark; wrist strap; hook True Zero; collapsible body design.
DIMENSIONS (WxHxD): 73x75x36 mm (without clip). Weight: 210g.

Fisher Darex is one of the leading French manufacturers of hand tools for woodworking, measuring, marking, construction and gardening tools, dating back to 1903. ISO 9002 certificate – confirmation of the quality of products manufactured by the company.


At first glance, the seemingly bulky rubberized case cover fully justified itself during the drop test. It is designed to avoid being hit by a hook when dropped. If you wish, you can refuse from the rubber case: just unscrew the screw that secures the clip and remove the cover. In this case, the mark about the length of the body on the plastic will decrease by 5 mm, which corresponds to “reincarnation”, although not exactly (the declared length of the body in rubber differs by 2-2.5 mm from the actual one).

It should be noted the strength of the materials used by the manufacturer – when the tape measure fell directly on the lock lever, it did not suffer at all. Both the appearance and working qualities have been preserved. Among the latter, we will mention the ease of use due to the design of the lever (grooves for the finger are made in it).

There are other important features – excellent blade stiffness and good abrasion resistance..

SUMMARY: A good choice for professional work. Rubber case (removable if desired) reliably protects the tape from impacts.

Stanley Dynagrip 33-684
Mechanical tape measure

Accuracy class: II.


LEAF SIZES: length – 5 m; width – 19 mm.
FEATURES: body with rubber components; hull length mark; True Zero hook with a slot for carrying out radii; three-layer polymer coating of the canvas; collapsible body design.
DIMENSIONS (WxHxD): 70x67x32 mm (without clip). Weight: 220g.

This manufacturer needs no introduction, especially when it comes to measuring instruments. Stanley produces many different tape measures: in plastic or metal (with or without chrome plating); with automatic or manual tape winding; with metric (including SI), inch or foot scales; with reading readings through the top window, etc. There is even a special device with a flat steel tape, on which a metric scale is applied on one side, and on the other, a metric scale, divided by the number “pi” (3.14 …). By wrapping such a tape measure a tree trunk or a pipe, you can find out their diameter without calculations.

The standard tape measure of the Dynagrip series (one of the most popular) was chosen for testing..


The durability of this tape is very simple: it is not treated with varnish, but at high temperature is sealed in a transparent polyester film Mylar (manufactured by DuPont). This three-layer coating extends the life of the line approximately 10 times compared to traditional (which has been proven by testing). The proprietary technology is felt even to the touch: the canvas is as if wrapped in plastic wrap.

This tape measure is distinguished from others by its ergonomic design. The rubber components are “recessed” into the body and perform two functions at once: they protect the device from impacts in case of falling and reduce its slippage in the hand. It is very pleasant to work with such a tool..

Roulette blade – not the toughest compared to the rest, but easy to use.

SUMMARY: high quality professional tape measure for precise work – the values ​​in centimeters are plotted in real terms, not units between tens. Convenient compact body and the highest wear resistance of the coating are its distinctive features.

Stayer mars
Mechanical tape measure

Accuracy class: II.


LEAF SIZES: length – 5 m; width – 19 mm.
FEATURES: rubber coated body; wrist strap; True Zero hook with a slot for conducting radii and a reinforcing plate on the outside of the tape; collapsible body design.
DIMENSIONS (WxHxD): 75x70x35 mm (without clip). Weight: 230 g.

Hand-held construction tools with the Stayer trademark, focused mainly on domestic use, appeared in Russia five or six years ago and quickly gained recognition due to their good value for money. Generally speaking, this brand “hides” the German company Kraftool. Its products are designed for painting, carpentry, locksmith, plastering, measuring, grinding, auto repair and fastening works.


Despite the fact that the Mars roulette belongs to the household class, it practically does not differ from its professional counterparts. This statement is supported by its performance, appearance and high impact resistance..

An interesting feature of the model is the loose rubber cover, which can be easily removed by unscrewing the clip. Then on the plastic case you can find a mark about its length. By the way, for some reason, it is not applied to a specially designated place on the rubber coating..

The Stayer did a pretty good job with the drop test, except for a loose clip that was quickly screwed into place.

It should be noted the good rigidity of the canvas. But the coating is not particularly durable. The markings are large – only a few stand between tens of centimeters.
The latch does not hold the tape very securely – when vibrated, it gradually “leaves” back into the body.

SUMMARY: a solid tape measure for both domestic and professional use. The numbers on the canvas are large and easy to read.

Anchor RF3-5-19
Mechanical tape measure

Accuracy class: II.


LEAF SIZES: length – 5 m; width – 19 mm.
FEATURES: rubber coated body; wrist strap; True Zero hook with a slot for conducting radii and a reinforcing plate on the outside of the tape.
DIMENSIONS (WxHxD): 69x74x36 mm (without clip). Weight: 180g.

The domestic company “Enkor” (Voronezh) has been developing and manufacturing tools and equipment for repair and construction for more than ten years. The range of its products includes both measuring instruments and many other products of the widest profile..


The tape of this tape turned out to be the toughest of all tested, and therefore very convenient to work with. Reliable protection of the case led to a good passing of the drop test, only the hook bent a little when the tape measure hit it during the fall. By means of pliers, the device was returned to its original form. Despite the external resemblance of the rubber coating to that of Stayer and Fisher Darex, this tape measure has it glued, that is, it cannot be removed. Therefore, it was not possible to “dissect” the “Encor”, although all three assembly screws are visible and accessible.

Note that there is no information about the body length on the tape measure.

The wear-resistant Teflon coating did not justify itself, being far from the most resistant to abrasion. But the markings are easy to read (large black numbers on a white canvas) – here, too, only a few are plotted between tens of centimeters.

The fabric wrist strap adds extra comfort while adding professionalism to the look. The design deserves praise from a practical point of view: the tape measure is light and fits well in the hand.

SUMMARY: a handy tape measure for professional use. Large numbers on a white canvas and a decent design are its main advantages.

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