How A Tape Measure Works: Why It Is Retractable?

tape measure is actually a long ruler that can be bent and rolled-up so that we can get it housed in a case then pick it anywhere. It is a problem solver when we need a portable long-range ruler. That’s why carpenters, builders, etc are those who always pick tape measures for their measurement needs.

How a tape measure works are basically not rocket science. It only depends on its two major features: lock and spring mechanism. The lock button behaves to stop the tape from retracting when you extend it. The spring mechanism plays as the automatic roller to retract the tape.

Spring Mechanism inside a Tape Measure
Spring mechanism inside the tape measure is the reason how a tape measure works (its retractable property)

The spring mechanism of a tape measure is actually a long flat coiled metallic material. Not all types of metallic material are able to generate spring property, however, steel commonly is. As you pull the tape out, the spring characteristic will be getting higher, and it is used to retract your tape automatically.

Surely, you can’t look at this coiled metal easily. It’s inside the case. You have to open it with a screwdriver. Not only will you see the coiled metal but also the connection between the tape and the metal.

An excellent spring mechanism of a tape measure means good steel and a strong case. That’s why if you are going to buy a tape measure, we recommend you to consider the spring mechanism whether it’s made with a good steel or not. It also affects the durability of the product.

How to know that the steel is good? You could make use of some customer reviews and try to find those who have issues with the retractable tape measure. That means, if it loses its retractable property too soon, that is a sign of poor coil quality.

It’s very easy today. Our work has been simplified. Long rulers are engineered in such a way to satisfy our expectations. Now it’s small, portable, flexible, wide usability, and affordable. Thanks to God and technology, the spring mechanism makes it able to be bent and retracted itself.

1 thought on “How A Tape Measure Works: Why It Is Retractable?”

  1. Hi, Great post. was staring at my tape measure and had this exact question, Thank you!

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