The Class Divide – Tape Measure Accuracy the Difference in a Class I and Class II Tape Measure

In this week’s blog we look at tape measure accuracy and in particular what sets apart a Class I and a Class II tape measure?  Let’s start by looking at how a quality measuring tape is identifiable on the marketplace.

High Quality Measuring Tapes

High-quality measuring tapes are identified from the different imprints at the tape end.  If you pull out the tape you will find a number of markings.  These include the manufacturer’s label, the number of the EC type approval, the EC class accuracy, the reference temperature and the tension for which the manufacturer guarantees the observation of measurement tolerances according to the EC class accuracy.  All of our Advent tapes contains these markings.

So What’s the Difference?

If you thought that all tape measures were the same you’d be wrong.  The accuracy on one tape measure to another can vary greatly, and let’s face it when you are measuring on a professional job you need it to be accurate to not only avoid wastage but to avoid expensive mistakes.    Your average ‘cheaper’ tape measure will most often be unclassified, meaning that its accuracy doesn’t mean either the Class I or Class II industry standards.

As a rule most of the professional tape measures you will see on the market are Class II.   These are adequate for the majority of users and a Class II tape allows for a potential error of ±2.3mm over a  10m length.  For those after a higher level of accuracy you may want to consider a Class I tape.   Class I rated tapes are the most accurate and an error of no more than ±1.1mm over a 10m length can be anticipated.

For the average DIY enthusiast the class of tape doesn’t play a big part in their choice of tape measure but for trade and professional users it is very much a feature to consider.

It is also worth noting that the accuracy of a tape measure is not linked with the quality of the mechanism or the quality control processes during manufacture.  What sets a Class I and Class II tape apart is how precisely the graduations are printed onto the blade.  In order to achieve Class I precision, ultra-fine inkjet printing is used in order to achieve a level of accuracy that commercial tapes cannot get close to.

At Advent Tools we pride ourselves on being the specialists in precision measuring and our range of tape measures features both Class I and Class II.

Class I and Class II tape measures

The majority of our tapes are Class II and this includes the Auto Lock, Gap Tape and Vice Versa.  Our Master Precision tape is currently our only Class I tape measure and features a patented rubber magnetic end hook designed to grab arc surfaces. This tape also has a side blade pause button, a self-aligning end hook for internal and external measurements.

To find out more about our range of Advent and own brand tape measures visit our website where you can see all the products, features and demonstrational videos.

Post Author: Charlotte

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