Tony’s Take on: Singer 96-Inch Extra Long Tape Measure

Keeping it Simple – Sometimes Simple IS Best

Singer 96-inch extra long tape measureTask:

Pretty much every exercise and fitness guru on the planet says that keeping track of your progress is a good idea. You can track many things like weight or body fat, but one of the easiest, the simplest, and the best, is to just measure the inches on your body:

  • Chest
  • Waist
  • Hips

You add up these three numbers and that gives you your “Total Inches.” As you get healthier and fitter those “inches” will probably shrink. So when you see ads saying “I lost a bee-jillion inches using XYZ Miracle Diet Product,” the grand total of those three measuring points in the “inches” they are talking about.

Using a tape measure and piece of paper is a good way to keep track of your progress AND it is a very LOW COST way to do so.


I wanted to measure my body. So I grab the measuring tape that I had in my sewing kit (minor repairs only – not make a new outfit kind of sewing). I whip it out and go to use it only to discover that it was… GASP …too friggin’ short. Embarrassing I know. So I needed a longer one.


Buy a longer measuring tape.

Research I did:

GoogleBefore checking, I didn’t even know if they MADE a longer fabric measuring tape. I knew that home depot had longer “carpentry” kinds but I hadn’t a clue if the “fabric store” kind came in different lengths. I discovered that indeed they do.

I also did a Google search to see if there was a “better way” to measure one’s wealth of inches than by grabbing “ye ole tape measure.” After all a plain old tape measure seems so low tech.

Basically what I found is that there are, indeed, a multitude of, ahem, more advanced techno-whatsists and gizmos, but after reading the various reviews, and taking a hard look at the descriptions I found online, then comparing them against each other, it just didn’t seem worth the extra cost or the extra bother.

The garden variety tape measure (of a longer length) seemed to be the best solution in terms of “ease of use” and in terms of “value for the money.”

Review / Comments / Rating on:

Singer 96-Inch Extra Long Tape Measure

How to measure your bodyUhmmm, it’s a tape measure, what’s to review? Ok, ok. — I bought this to use to wrap around my body, not to measure fabric.. So, with that purpose in mind:

  • It is sturdy
  • It is cheap – I paid $4.25 for mine.
  • It looks and feels as if the tape measure is fabric coated with plastic. — Who knows what it is really made of, but the important bit is that it feels nice to the touch both to fingers and the skin in various body regions.
  • Numbers on the inches side are very easy to read — large, and black ink on yellow background. The picture of the product in the package up at the top of this post, shows the numbers in a sans-serif font. The one that arrived in my mail box had a serif font. Didn’t really matter to me. Both are very readable. FYI … the numbers on the CM side are smaller. Not an issue for me because I’m using the “inches” not the “centimeters”
  • It’s got inches on one side and centimeters on the other. — I use the inches side even though it means I have to use a little math conversion utility to enter the numbers into my spreadsheet.
  • The inches side are divided into eighths of an inch. — What I’d REALLY like to see on tape measure used to measure one’s body, is to have the companies that make it, divide an inch into ten parts so that I wouldn’t have do any math, but maybe I’m nuts on that one…
  • Each end of the tape measure has this very solid metal doohickey that keeps the tape from becoming frayed on the end. There is a hole in each of the doohickeys, so if you wanted to I guess you could hang it on a hook or something. Who knows why the hole is really there. I don’t use it for anything. I just thought I’d mention it to show you how thorough I’m being.

All in all I give it 4.5 stars as a method of “measuring my very ample body”

4.5 stars from TxCowboyDancer

Why not 5 Stars?

The only negative thing I have to say is that the tape measure hard to hold in place when measuring some parts of the body. That’s it. Some of the fancy smancy techno-widgets out there are designed to deal with this issue but as I said up at the top of this review, well I don’t think the extra cost of the techno-whatsit measuring thingies are worth it.

The basic tape measure is the way to go.

I guess in all fairness that I should give the product 5 stars because I think that any tape measure would have the same issue… BUT I just can’t bring myself to give a five-star rating in my first review, right off the bat, because then you might think I’m a wimp or something… but I digress.

My Shopping Adventure — why I bought it online vs in person:

Road Trip!So I put “buy longer tape measure” on my to do list. I have to give you just a bit of background so that you can put things into perspective. I’m not big on shopping. I’m a fairly typical guy in this regard. I don’t loiter or linger. I get in the store, get what I came to get and get the hell out and go home. Shopping is a necessary chore. Not recreation. At least not for me.

So, when neither Walgreen nor Kroger had a tape measure that was long enough, I considered driving to the nearest fabric store which for me is 4.8 miles away (according to Google Maps).

Google Maps also says that the estimated travel time is “10 min without traffic” — ok, AFTER I stopped laughing — I live in Dallas folks, just north of downtown. There is NO SUCH THING as “without traffic”

So, given that it would be a special trip for a low cost item and I would end up spending more in time, energy and gas, well I did the only reasonable thing. I ordered it online and had the silly thing mailed to me.

The cost of shipping was well worth avoiding the hassle of calling ahead to make sure it was in stock, getting dressed, going down the stairs, fighting traffic, standing in line at the fabric store, then driving back and climbing back up those awful stairs at my complex.

Tips for Use / Storage:

Get a tape measure of your very own and join the fun!

Me demonstrating how to NOT measure yourself

Where to measure:

TIP — try to take your measurements in the same place each week. Find some blemish or landmark on your body and jot down a note to yourself how you did the measuring.

TIP — be consistent. If on week 1 you take your chest measurement with all the air from your lungs expelled, then do it that way forever and ever and ever. If you take your waist measurement with your gut sucked in as far as possible then do it that way all the time.

If you pull the tape measure so tight that your fat overhangs above and below puffing around it like a too small girdle then hey, if it works for you… but do it that way all the time. I personally only pull the tape measure to what I consider to be a “snug” spot where there is enough pressure to help me hold the tape in place but not enough so that my skin is compressed.

Use Double Stick Tape to hold things in place

Use Double Stick Tape to hold things in place

Keeping it in place while measuring:

Trying to wrap the tape measure around a given body part (getcher mind OUT of the gutter) can sometimes be frustrating because JUST as you are about to get everything stable and press your fingernail into the tape measure to “mark” your place, BAM, one end or the other slips and you have to start over again.

So… what I do is grab a short piece of double stick tape and stick it on the end of the measure that is the “zero” end. Stick tape measure with sticky tape to skin and VOILA – problem solved – no high priced techno-whatsist needed.

TIP -Find your landmarks — Without getting two graphic here is how I do it…

(1) I measure my chest around the widest point which happens to mean that the tape goes right across the nipples which makes the nipples a handy “landmark” so that I get the tape into the same spot each week.

(2) I measure my waist at it’s widest spot too – the love handles, and the tape happens to line up right at my belly button.

(3) hips — this one is tough. Because my body right now is the classic “pear shape” you find in overweight men. Which means my hips are smaller than my waist and thus harder to reach. This is where the double stick tape really comes into play! Any way — I have this freckle on my right side, just about where my hip joint is located which happens to line up with the widest part of the hips / buttocks. So that’s my “landmark”

Tape measure ready for storage

Use a binder clip to store the tape neatly

Storage: you’ve got 96″ of floppy messy tape to deal with when you toss it into wherever you’re gonna keep it. Use a “binder clip” to keep it neatly wrapped up. Or a rubber band will do the trick too. You probably have some laying around your home. If not you can swipe one from your office. (AHEM – not that I would EVER encourage such illegal activity!)

So, there ya go! I hope you enjoyed this review. It is the first I’ve ever done. But it won’t be the last.

See ya on the dance floor!

Buy Tony a cup of coffee or a Weight Watchers entree as a "thank you" for the review

Items mentioned in this post:

Full disclosure:

  • These are my opinions...
  • Other than being a customer / consumer, I am not affiliated with any of these companies in any way.
    (Though if you happen to be with one of these companies and you want me to be your spokes person, well, uhmm, give me a shout via my contact form and we’ll talk. – yeh, like THAT’s gonna ever happen!).
  • I have actually bought and used and/or researched the products I review – read the individual review for all the details on any particular item.
  • I am a member of the affiliate program on Amazon. So, if you click on a link, in one of my reviews, and you actually buy the item from Amazon, well, I get paid a teeny tiny commission — a few pennies (from 1-6% depending on the product, averaging about 4%) But that’s what we’re talking about folks. Pennies. So a few measly cents really isn’t enough to make me give a good review to a bad product. Don’t get me wrong… I can be bought, but girlfriend, I can’t be bought cheap!  — I have a MUCH higher price tag than a few pennies maybe earned via a referral. So there! 🙂 (And if I ever *am* bought by a company, I’ll let ya know up front! LOL)  And you don’t have to buy it from Amazon.  That’s just an option.  Use it if you like.  Ignore it if you like.  Your choice.

Feel free to share your own stories or tips about tape measures and body measuring down below in the comment section:


About TxCowboyDancer

Professional Dance Instructor teaching Country, Ballroom, Swing, Latin and Line Dance. Eleven time Country Dance World Champion.

Posted on Mon, Sep 1, 2014, in Product Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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