Now that we know where tape measures come from and why some have diffferent marking systems to others we're going to move on to look at two basic kinds of tape:
Self retracting pocket tapes
The traditional steel tape measure is an extendable steel strip coiled into a casing. The strip, or blade, is spring loaded so that as soon as it is released it will automatically return to the case.
In the sectional photo on the right you can see the coiled spring in the centre, This is known as a constant tension spring and is used to retract the tape from any extended length.
In addition these metal bladed tapes are also resistant to the stretching caused by day-to-day use and the expansion and contraction that can be caused by varying storage and weather conditions. This makes them the ideal choice for smaller measurements or where accuracy is paramount.
Surveyors tapes are much longer tape measures held in a casing. They don't rewind automatically but there is a convenient rewind handle provided.
The C.K™ Surveyors tape is made from a material with high glass fibre content with vinyl printing. This makes it less prone to stretching and wear and makes it chip proof. The tape is dual marked with metric measurements in black on one side and imperial in red on the reverse.
The hook at the end of the tape is specially adapted for anchoring it into the ground.
All these features make surveyors tapes ideal for use on building sites and in the field for laying out, taking measurements or making estimates.
For more exact measurements, for example in house building, steel tapes are more commonly used due to their greater accuracy.