Review: Dewalt XP Tape Measure

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The DEWALT  XP™ Tape Measure (DWHT36225) is re-engineered from the inside out. The result is a compact, professional-duty ergonomic tape with a case designed for a better fit in the user’s hand.

I got my hands on the new XP tape this week, a couple months before it will be available for sale and I have to say Dewalt may have hit it out of the park with this one. Here are some highlights:

  • Impact-resistant PC/ABS and rubber case is engineered to survive drops up to 60 feet.
  • 9″ of heavy-duty thermoplastic coating at the beginning of the blade to provide 3X more blade protection, reduces blade breakage near the hook.
  • Three-rivet fastened, extra large end hook grabs construction material from all four sides making grabbing objects while taking measurements easy.
  • “Dual-Core Technology” internal return spring [dual springs that are more compact and powerful]
  • Availability: Canada- May, US- July 2017
  • Retail price: $29.95 US

I have a thing for tough, well made tape measures. There are a lot of poorly made, poorly engineered tapes out there but the new XP has zero traits in common with any of those tape measures in my opinion. From the moment I picked it up and felt the heft in my hand to the last time I threw it in my tool bag for the day I could feel the quality and engineering built into the XP.

Dewalt XP Tape Measure Mechanical Hub

The large hook end is designed to grab from all four sides, this type of design has long been an area of contention for many. Some people prefer a smaller hook to fit inside pipe or smaller openings, others like that a large hook will grab the end of material easily with the blade extended. I understand both arguments but in the end I guess I prefer the convenience of the large end and being able to easily hook the end of a pipe quickly. For insertion measurement I’ll just stick to grabbing my folding ruler, I feel more comfortable with that in the situation.

Inside the rugged exterior are two internal recoil springs. Dewalt is calling the new compact return spring system “Dual Core Technology”. The more compact design allows for a more powerful return of the tape from longer extensions but allows for a smaller design overall compared to other tapes already in the marketplace. The snap back as the tape returns for 10′ extension is enough to jolt your hand a little, the power is noticeable.

Dewalt DWHT36225 Mechanical Hub

This closeup shows the end of the thermoplastic coating applied to the top of the blade. The coating is engineered and place there to extend the life of the highest wear-point of the blade. Its hardly noticeable except for the slight gloss added. Time will reveal whether this coating will mar with use but no visible distortion is present otherwise.

DWHT36225 Mechanical Hub Pro Staff

Overall I really do like the feel of the tape in my hand. The rubber and plastic exterior had just the right amount of grip in my bare or gloved hand. The steel belt clip seems more than adequate, though it is the straight metal design that tends to tear clothing if used regularly.

As a Stanley Black & Decker brand, DEWALT has created a rival to the longtime industry champion Stanley FATMAX tape with the new XP. If I’m honest I admit that the MADE IN THE USA labeling excites me. Dewalt could easily have manufactured this overseas, no matter where the materials were sourced, but they aren’t and ultimately that means jobs for our neighbors. Nice work, Dewalt.


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