This $6 Measuring Tape Has Come in Handy More Times than I Can Count

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woman measuring wall with measuring tape
Credit: TimeImage Production/Shutterstock

A handful of years ago, I was out thrift shopping with my grandmother when we came across a beautiful piece of art to potentially take home. She examined the quality, determined that it might just be a fit for an empty wall in her home, and then dug into her purse. She whipped out a wee-size measuring tape — the Stanley PowerLock Key Tape — attached to her keychain and got to measuring the frame’s height and width.

Quick Overview

What’s the Big Deal with the Little Stanley PowerLock Key Tape?

The Stanley PowerLock Key Tape is a mini $6 version of the classic Stanley measuring tape that attaches to a keychain for easy, everyday access. It’s great for measuring furniture, decor, and more, and comes in handy more than you’d realize.

Credit: Wendy Rose Gould

I was flabbergasted (and impressed!) by the sheer brilliance and convenience of a pocket-sized measuring tape and immediately purchased the same product for myself the second I returned home. Since then, I cannot tell you how many times I’ve used this handy little $6 keychain attachment. 

What’s So Great About the Stanley PowerLock Key Tape?

As a serial thrifter and home goods lover, the Stanley PowerLock Key Tape has proven immensely useful for a variety of scenarios. I’ve used it to measure large mirrors, chairs, couches, desk lamps, artwork, planters, picture frames, and so, so much more. From garage sales to consignment shops and thrift stores to even retailers like Target and HomeGoods, it has saved me from having to return products (or wasting money on non-returnable products) and provided me with confidence in all sorts of furniture and decor purchases. 

The entire keychain attachment is 1.5 inches by 1.5 inches (yep, I even used it to measure itself!), and the measuring tape case is made from a lightweight but sturdy metal. The yellow tape measure is 1/4-inch wide, made from a flexible material, and features a little metal hook on the end that allows you to easily measure across objects. In other words, it’s essentially an exact replica of the original beefy version from Stanley — only shrunken down to fit effortlessly into a purse. 

It measures up to 3 feet, and if I’ve found myself in situations where I need to measure longer than that, I’ll note where the tape ended and continue measuring from that point. 

Credit: Wendy Rose Gould

Like with larger measuring tapes from Stanley, there’s also a locking feature that keeps the yellow tape from retracting back into the shell. That way, you can take note of the measurement, then release the powerlock as needed. The keychain and tape is also coated with a polymer to prevent any rusting, and I’ve found the key ring is super durable. 

What I’ve found interesting about having the measuring tape in my possession basically all the time is that there are so many instances where I wouldn’t have thought to bring a measuring tape with me (quick Target runs where I tell myself I’m just buying one thing), but it was magically there to come to my rescue. That is the kind of convenience that simplifies life!

There’s no sign of my mini Stanley measuring tape slowing down anytime soon — even after being toted around on a daily basis for years on end — but if the tape ever breaks, you bet I’ll order a second one in a matter of minutes. 

Buy: Stanley 39-130 3 x 1/4-Inch PowerLock Key Tape, $5.56