Winners of the Ugly Tape Contest | Popular Woodworking Magazine
 In CNC – Tips, Tricks and Articles, Shop Blog, Tools, Tools in Your Shop, Woodworking Blogs

Winners of the 2018 Ugly Tape Measure Contest are Paul Staley and Mark Wedekind

May the worst tape win

It did. A few weeks ago, the Popular Woodworking editors and I thought it would be fun to have a little contest for readers of this blog. Being a bit of an obsessive when it comes to quality tape measures and spending years searching for the best ones we thought it would be fun to see who had the absolute worst tape measure. By that, I mean most beat up, crunched, ugly and just plain sad tape measure that for reasons known, only to the owner, have been kept around. As a reward for the owner of the worst tape measure, the winners would get one of the nice new Tajima tapes shown below.

We ran the contest for two weeks via using the hashtag #uglytapemeasure, or you can use the search term “uglytapemeasure” if you don’t have an Instagram account and are using a browser. We got several examples of the dark craft of tape measure abuse. Along with the photos, several owners included a story to tell of their experiences with their tapes.

The Winners

And, now I’d like to announce the two winners. The first is a tape owned and abused by Paul Staley. And, his poor tape comes with quite a story…

“The 16′ FatMax tape was dropped in a field before planting. It was then mowed, disked, plowed and tilled before the field was planted, watered and harvested. It was found a year later. It has had quite a life, and still extends and retracts.”

The second winner is Mark Wedekind. Like Paul’s tape, it too has a storied history…

“This tough guy is left from my framing days. It seems like it’s been ages since I worked in construction other than for myself, but I can’t bear to part with this once trusty companion. It now lives in my tape measure hall of fame.”

Below is a selection of other notably ugly tapes. To see all the contestants, head over to

Thanks again to Tajima Tools for donating the tapes to a worthy cause. The winners’ tapes will be mailed soon. Finally, as a fan of these quality measuring tools, I sincerely hope the new owners give these bright, shiny, new tapes a better life than their predecessors.

Tim Celeski

Additional Resources

Recent Posts

Start typing and press Enter to search