If you haven’t heard of the company FastCap yet, let me give you a little background. It will help you understand why they make the tools that they make and then we can jump into the FastCap Easy Half Tape Measure Review.
FastCap is a tool company that was started by Paul Akers. Paul is a cabinet builder with over 20 years of experience.
Throughout the process of starting up a new company and the growing pains that go along with it, Paul learned a very important way to approach not just business, but life as well. Without going into too much detail, he was introduced to and became a believer in the LEAN process for manufacturing. He was then able to take the very most basic principle of LEAN and incorporated it into everything he does.
At its very core, the Lean process is about finding waste and eliminating it. You can talk about all of the special charts and processes of Lean, but in the end, it’s about eliminating waste (wasted time, motion, material, etc.). FastCap is basically built on that core fundamental idea. They produce tools and other items that reduce waste, in return it reduces frustration which in turn, makes the user more productive.
Once I heard Paul talk about the process of recognizing and reducing waste, I realized I had kind of been doing this all along, but on a much smaller scale. So, now when I’m in my shop or working on some kind of project, I’m always looking for things that irritate me and once I find them, I try to eliminate them. I’ve come to the point, whenever I am able to make one of these changes, I get pretty excited.
Once you know how Paul, his company FastCap, and his employees think, you will be able to recognize the little things that go into each of their products.
FastCap Easy Half Tape Measure Review Overview
Tape measures have been around for a very long time and are a primary tool for just about any job. Over the past 20 years, the biggest improvements and innovations for tapes have been wider blades, larger hooks, different styles of thumb locks, and stronger cases. Not really innovative if you ask me.
FastCap didn’t try to go the same route when adding innovation to tape measures. They were able to recognize the need for tape measures to fit particular tasks and styles of work. So, instead of offering one tape measure in different sizes, they have several tapes to fit the user’s needs best (available on Amazon). They have also taken the time to address some issues around tape measures that can slow down the process of using one.
Today, we are going to take a look at one particular tape measure created by FastCap. This tape is called the FastCap ProCarpenter Easy Half Tape Measure.
FastCap Easy Half Tape Measure Review Features
The tape’s blade is colored white with black lettering which makes it easy to read and has marks down to 1/16”. The blade has two scales which are divided right down the middle. One side has the actual measurement in inches. On the other side is the one-half scale. This is used to easily find a center point of what you are measuring.
The blade hook is held onto the blade with 4 rivets.
The tape case has a large white circle right in the middle of the tape where brands usually put their logo. The white circle was put and left blank for a reason. It is there so that when you have notes or measurements you need to remember, you can write it right in the white circle with your pencil. After you no longer need this information, you can wipe it off with your thumb or pencil eraser. This is standard on every tape that FastCap produces.
Another feature that is found on all of the FastCap tapes is an onboard pencil sharpener. Broken pencil leads can be frustrating and cause wasted time. To reduce downtime if you break a pencil point during your work, you can fix it as you go.
The tape has a standard thumb lock, an index finger lock, and a belt clip. The FastCap Easy Half Tape has a nice heavy-duty rubberized case to protect the tape.
FastCap Easy Half Tape Measure Review Performance
This tape does exactly what it is advertised to do and does it well. When you are reading the full-scale measurement, you can quickly see what the half-scale is. The entire blade is marked out in inches. There are no feet marks to deal with. Instead of seeing 2-feet 2-1/8 inches, you will see 26-1/8” on the full scale, and on the half-scale; you will see 13-1/16”. It keeps the math extremely simple.
The only improvement I would make on this tape would be to color code the blade. I would leave the full-scale white and then change the half-scale blade color to yellow or some other high-visibility color. This won’t change the workings of the tape at all; just make identifying the full and half scale a little easier.
The white circle writing surface works nicely. Pencils mark on it clearly and cleaning up the surface can be done without cleaning agents. I usually use an eraser and then wipe it down with my thumb.
The thumb and finger locks work as they should.
The rubber case is a nice size. I’m not a big fan of the extremely large-size case most of the major tool makers have gone to. If I want to carry a tape measure in my pocket, the large cases make it more cumbersome than it should be.
I’ve had some mixed results with the pencil sharpeners found on the FastCap tapes. They aren’t perfect, but they are useful in a pinch.
FastCap Easy Half Tape Measure Review Value
The FastCap Easy Half Tape Measure isn’t what I would consider an everyday tape measure, so don’t expect this unit to replace every tape you already own. Where this tape excels is in tasks where you need to find the center of an item quickly. I use this tape a lot in my woodworking projects. When I’m making mission-style tables, I need to find the center point to line up my stiles. This tape reduces any chance of error I could make doing the math.
So, with a price point of $9.63 on the FastCap website, the tape is cheaper than most day-to-day tapes and I feel is priced right where it should be.
There are several FastCap measuring products available on Amazon as well.
FastCap Easy Half Tape Measure Review Final Thoughts
FastCap is a company that tends to recognize needs and finds a way to fill them. Their ProCarpenter Easy Half Tape measure is one of their products that originate from a need.
The Easy Half Tape measure isn’t going to be my everyday tape measure, but it is one of the tools in my arsenal that is going to be there to make my work process easier and hopefully error free.