Tape measures are really handy. Without them, even the simplest of home improvement tasks would be impossible.
But have you ever noticed that no matter how much money you spend on a tape measure, the end piece is always a little wobbly and loose? It’s as if, after all these years, manufacturers still haven’t figured out how to make that little metal lip attach firmly.
Actually, you might be surprised to learn (as I was) that the end piece is actually supposed to be wobbly.
It’s quite a genius design.
The first inch of a standard tape measure is short by exactly 1/16th of an inch. Guess how thick the end piece of a tape measure is? That’s right, 1/16th of an inch!
When you push the tip against something it presses flat against it, including the hook’s width in the measurement. When you hook the tip on the outside of something, it pulls away from the measure by exactly 1/16th of an inch to maintain accuracy.
Pretty cool, huh?