New Dewalt Tough Series Tape Measures – Should Milwaukee be Worried?

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Home Depot has started shipping 3 new Dewalt “ToughSeries” tape measures in 16′, 25′, and 35′ sizes.

The new Dewalt tape measures, DWHT36916S, DWHT36925S, and DWHT36935S, are said to be the brand’s first to feature double-sided markings.

With these being the newest high-performance tape measures from Dewalt in quite a few years (see also: Dewalt XP tapes), there’s more than just new back-of-tape printing.

Dewalt Tough Series Tape Measure Magnetic Hook Attachment

All of the new Dewalt Tough Series tape measures feature a removable magnetic hook attachment.

It looks like the magnetic hook can remain on the tape measure when it’s retracted, but where do you store it when it’s removed?

Dewalt Tough Series Tape Measure 16-foot DWHT36916S Plain Hook

Here’s what the 16′ tape measure looks like with its standard hook, sans attachment.

Dewalt Tough Series Tape Measure 16-foot DWHT36916S

And here’s what it looks like with the magnetic hook attached.

Dewalt Tough Series Tape Measure 35-foot DWHT36935S

Here’s a look at the 35′ Tough Series tape measure.

Dewalt Tough Series Tape Measure Belt Clip 25-foot DWHT36925S

The tapes all have a standard belt clip, along with what looks to be a hole for a lanyard or tether accessories.

Dewalt Tough Series Tape Measures

The tape measures’ all look to have the same 1-1/4″ blade width.

Tough Series Tape Measure Specs

  • 16-foot: 16′ max reach
  • 25-foot: 17′ max reach
  • 35-foot: 17′ max reach

Here’s where I got confused. If all of the tapes have a 1-1/4″ blade, why does the 16′ tape have a different “reach” spec? Well, with the 25′ and 35′ tape measures advertising 17′ of reach, you can’t exactly do that with a 16′ tape measure, can you?

Dewalt defines “reach” as the “maximum extension of an average end user,” which seems to be standout + 3 feet. So, I would then assume that the max standout – if you want to compare these against other brands’ tape measures – would be 14′ for all of the tapes.

I can hardly ever achieve blade extension as long as max standout or reach specs, but it’s still a good factor for comparing tape measures from different brands. Even if max reach specs are hard to see in real-world applications, longer values typically reflect a stronger and stiffer blade.

Tough Series Tape Measure Features

  • 6-inches of Rip-Shield blade coating for increased durability
  • Ultra-Tough housing
  • Double-sided blade printing
  • Removable magnet attachment
  • 100-foot drop rating

I’m sorry, a 100 foot drop rating?

Dewalt says:

Built to survive anything you throw its way, this ToughSeries™ 25 ft. Tape Measure is strong enough to endure a drop from up to 100 ft.

I look forward to seeing how YouTubers and social media influencers test this out.

Pricing: $22, $28, $39 for 16′, 25′, 35′ sizes, respectfully

Buy Now: 25′ via Home Depot
Buy Now: 16′ via Home Depot
Buy Now: 35′ via Home Depot

Home Depot is offering free no-minimum ground shipping on each model.


Dewalt says:

[These Tough Series tape measures] include a removable magnet for the hook and patented hook connection technology that allows you to choose when to deploy it on the jobsite.

Yes, until someone like me loses it.

That’s one thing I’m particularly curious about – Dewalt does not describe if or where you can store the magnet when it’s not in use. It can presumably be kept in place on the hook, but where do you keep the magnet when you don’t want or need it attached to the hook? There are times when a magnetic hook can be a hindrance, and not just a “there in case you need it” type of feature.

However, the magnet looks easy enough to install and remove that users could probably keep it on the tape unless or until they wanted it removed.

The Dewalt Tough Series tape measures definitely look to be interesting. It seems that they’re targeting the Milwaukee Stud series tapes specifically, with double-sided printing and a drop-rating that one-up’s Milwaukee’s.

It’s also worth noting that these are only the FIRST of Dewalt’s new ToughSeries hand tools.

Compared to Milwaukee Stud Gen II

Milwaukee 25-foot Stud Magnetic Tape Measure

It seems that Dewalt is specifically targeting their new Tough Series tape measures against Milwaukee’s Gen II Stud tape measures.

Milwaukee Tool has followed Dewalt and Stanley Black & Decker’s transition from “standout” to “reach” as a measure of a tape measure’s maximum extension before a tape blade buckles.

The Milwaukee Stud Gen II 25′ tape has a 1-5/16″ blade and promises 17′ of max reach.

Milwaukee 25-foot Stud Tape Measure Features

Milwaukee advertises their Stud Gen II as being the Industry’s Most Durable Tape Measure, and it is said to have an 80-foot drop rating.

The Stud features an EXO 360 anti-tear and wear-resistant coating to reinforce the first 6-inches of the blade for greater durability.

Milwaukee says the Stud Gen II has a geared design in order to achieve a smaller size. It also features a wire form belt clip, 2-sided printing, and finger-stop tape retraction control.

With respect to features and specs, Dewalt’s Tough Series tapes boast a 100-foot drop-rating to Milwaukee’s 80-foot rating. Is that enough to upset Milwaukee’s claims as the Stud Gen II as being the industry’s most durable tape?

Milwaukee has a finger-stop for blade retraction control, and the Dewalt has a removable magnetic hook.

There might be ergonomics or ease of use differences, but I won’t know until I’ve had a chance to test them side by side. It probably won’t be long before users can test both in stores for themselves, as tape measures often come in “try me” packaging.

Pricing: $25′, $30 for standard and magnetic versions, respectively

Buy Now: Milwaukee 25′ Stud via Home Depot
Buy Now: 25′ Stud w/ Magnet via Home Depot

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