A while back we attended the National Hardware Show and saw some pretty cool new ideas.  It dawned on Dan and myself the other day we never did a article on the Century Tracer XL Tape Measure.  This was one of the coolest tape measures we have seen in a long time because its practical and easy to use.

We know, how could a tape measure be exciting?  We thought the same thing and all most walked past the booth, until we heard some guy talking about it in a very excited voice.  Dan and I stopped and listen to him finish his presentation to another onlooker.  Once he finished up, we had a chance to talk with him.  Not only did we learn he was the inventor, but we learned this was more than a traditional tape measure.  The tool has a small built in compass guide, which you can see in the pictures at the bottom of this post.

The compass guide makes it perfect for making straight lines on drywall, plywood, cement board and other materials.  The compass guide is very easy to use.  Just pull out the tape to the desired length, place your index finger against the guide to hold it into place.  On the other end of the tape measure you can place your pencil in the small little divet and start drawing your straight line.  Now it sounds easy and it is, but it did take us about 5 tries before we were able to make nice clean straight lines.  That’s not saying much since your talking about two tools, so you will probably get it a little quicker than we did.  When you extend the tape, the compass will automatically come out so your ready to go.  If you don’t need this feature, press down the lock and your back to your traditional tape measure.

On the bottom of the compass guide, there is a small metal point.  This is another cool feature of the tape.  This is perfect for making radius circles for such things as light installs, piping and more.

The tape has measurements on both side, so you are able to view it in different points of view.  The one we have is a 25′ x 1″ tape and the numbers are large to read, even from far away.  Isn’t America great.  Someone has a cool idea and can bring it to the market.