Oh What a Tape Measure Can Do: Best Tool Tip Ever?

CE Pro Blog Mobster Fred Harding explains how to use a Stanley tape measure to fish wire.

Oh What a Tape Measure Can Do: Best Tool Tip Ever?
Stanley tape measure: It isn't just for measuring anymore.
Fred Harding · November 30, 2012

In a pinch, a 25-foot long Stanley tape measures can do wonderful things. 

I’ve used them to fish wires with a couple of modifications. First, roll the hooked tip back over about six inches or so and tape the hook off so it won’t catch on anything. 

You now know how far you are when fishing.

You can then tape your beaded chain on the end, so that a magnet can pull it through a hole with wire attached. 

With care, you can then use the automatic rewind mechanism to pull the wire back to you. 


If you’re not sure where to drill your hole for the beaded chain, attach your toner positive lead to the tape blade, the negative lead to a ground, and then use the probe to determine where your chain lives.

The nifty part about the Stanley tapes is that you can take it off of the housing and pull the tape all the way through if you have to.

And for shorter runs ...

  About the Author

Fred Harding is in sales and technical support at Capitol Sales, a full service distributor of electronic installation hardware. He is a frequent contributor to CE Pro, writing hands-on product reviews and technical tips. Have a suggestion or a topic you want to read more about? Email Fred at [email protected]

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