Whether you’re a professional contractor or a DIY enthusiast, at some point, you are going to need to use a tape measure. And if that tape measure is stubbornly sticking in place and will not retract, it can be quite frustrating. Luckily, there are several ways to fix this problem so that you can get back to your project.
In this article, we will explore the most common ways how to fix a tape measure that will not retract. Stay tuned because, by the end of this article, you’ll know exactly what to do when your tape measure starts giving you trouble!
A tape measure is an essential tool for anyone who works with wood or any construction, so it’s necessary to know how to keep it in good working condition. If your tape measure is not retracting, you can do a few things to fix it.
Summary: This blog post provides a guide on how to fix a tape measure that will not retract. Learn how to clean the tape measure, lubricate it and tighten the gears, as well as adjust the spring. Lastly, discover when it is necessary to replace the entire tape measure for an effective remedy.
How Do Tape Measures Work?
A tape measure is a device used to measure the length or width of an object. Tape measures usually have a metal or plastic strip coiled inside a housing. The ribbon has markings and their size, and these markings can be read to determine the distance between two points.
The user pulls out the coiled strip inside a tape measure to measure the desired distance. When the user releases the tape measure, the spring inside the housing causes the strip to recoil back into the housing. This process repeats as needed to measure multiple distances.
Sometimes, however, a tape measure will not retract properly. This can be due to several factors, including dirt and dust buildup, worn parts, or misaligned gears. The tape measure can be fixed with simple cleaning or adjustment in some cases. In other cases, the tape measure may need to be replaced.
A Detailed Guide on How to Fix a Tape Measure That Will Not Retract
Method 1: Cleaning the Tape Measure
If your tape measure is not retracting, it is likely due to dirt and debris build-up inside the mechanism. So the first step is to try and clean out the tape measure. You will need a small screwdriver and a can of compressed air for this method.
To replace the battery in a tape measure, first remove the battery cover from the back of the tape measure. Then, with a small screwdriver, pry open the housing that covers the spring-loaded spool. Be careful not to lose any of the small parts inside.
To clean your keyboard, you will need a can of compressed air. First, blow out any dirt and debris that may be lodged inside the mechanism. You may also want to use a cotton swab or Q-tip to help remove any stubborn buildup.
Method 2: Lubricating the Tape Measure
If your tape measure is not retracting, it may just need to be lubricated. You can use a silicone-based lubricant or WD-40. Avoid using petroleum jelly, as this can damage the tape measure.
To make your tape measure work better, you can lubricate it by spraying some lubricant onto the blade and then wiping away any excess with a rag. If that doesn’t work, try the next method.
Method 3: Tightening the Gears
If the gears are loose, this can cause the tape measure not to retract properly. You will need to tighten the screws that hold the gears in place to fix this.
What You’ll Need?
- Phillips head screwdriver
- Needle nose pliers
Locate the screws that hold the gears in place. These are usually located on the side of the tape measure, near the bottom.
You should use a Phillips head screwdriver to tighten these screws. If they are too tight, you may strip them. However, if they are too loose, the gears will still be loose and the tape measure will not retract properly.
Test the tape measure by pulling it out and then letting it go. It should retract smoothly and without any issues.
If you still have trouble with your tape measure not retracting correctly, you may need to replace the gears. This is usually a last resort, as it can be quite expensive. You can new gears from most hardware stores or online. Before you replace the gears, make sure that you fully understand how to replace them.
You will likely need to disassemble your tape measure. This can be a difficult task if you have never done it before. Make sure you watch a few instructional videos on YouTube or read a guide before you attempt this.
Method 4: Adjusting the Spring
If your tape measure still isn’t retracting properly after you’ve tried cleaning and lubricating it, the problem may be with the spring. You can try adjusting the spring to see if that fixes the issue.
First, remove the end cap from the tape measure to adjust the spring. Once the end cap is off, you’ll be able to see the spring. If the spring is loose, try tightening it a bit. If it’s too tight, loosen it a bit. Once you’ve adjusted the tension on the spring, put the end cap back on and test out your tape measure to see if it’s working correctly now.
If adjusting the spring doesn’t fix your tape measure, then you may need to replace the spring. To do this, you’ll need to purchase a new spring from a hardware store or online. Once you have the new spring, remove the old one and put the new one in its place. Then, reassemble your tape measure and test it to see if it’s working correctly.
If your tape measure still isn’t working after trying all of these methods, it may be time to purchase a new one.
Method 5: Replacing the Entire Tape Measure
If your tape measure is still not retracting after trying all of the above methods, then it may be time to replace the entire tape measure. This is usually a last resort, but it may be the only option if your tape measure is genuinely broken.
To replace the entire tape measure, you will need to purchase a new one. You can find tape measures at most hardware stores or online. Once you have your new tape measure, remove the old one and replace it with the new one. Be sure to follow the instructions with your new tape measure to know how to use it properly.
With a little bit of patience and perseverance, you should be able to get your tape measure working again in no time. Try all of the above methods before giving up and replacing the entire tape measure. With a little bit of effort, you should be able to fix your tape measure and get it working correctly again.
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Preventative Maintenance Is Always the Best Medicine When It Comes to Your Tape Measure
With just a little bit of care, you can avoid fixing a tape measure that will not retract.
Here are some tips on how to keep your tape measure in good working condition:
- Wipe off the tape after each use to remove any dirt, dust, or debris. This will help keep the mechanism clean and prevent any build-up from happening.
- Store your tape measure in a dry place when not in use. This will help prevent rust or other corrosion from damaging the internals.
- Inspect the tape regularly for any signs of wear or damage. If you see anything that looks out of place, take the time to fix it before it gets worse.
By following these simple tips, you can help keep your tape measure in good working condition and avoid having to fix it when it goes on the fritz.
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What Do You Do With a Broken Tape Measure?
If you have a broken tape measure, the best thing to do is try to fix it. This guide will show you how to fix a tape measure that will not retract.
You Will Need:
- Needle nose pliers
- A screwdriver
- Some superglue
- A ruler or a straight edge
If the tape measure is jammed, try to free it up using needle-nose pliers. Gently pinch the pliers’ jaws around the base of the blade and try to pull it out. If this doesn’t work, move on to step 2.
Remove the screws from the back of the tape measure with a screwdriver. Be careful not to lose the springs or other small parts.
Take a look at the mechanism that extends and retracts the blade. There may be a piece of debris preventing it from working correctly. Remove any debris and reassemble the tape measure.
If the mechanism is not damaged, try applying super glue to the blade that meets the housing area. This will help hold it in place and prevent it from slipping out.
Replace the screws and test out the tape measure. If it still does not work, you may need to buy a new one.
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Tape measures are a handy tool to have around the house, but they can be frustrating when they don’t work correctly. However, you can fix a tape measure that will not retract with patience and some basic repairs.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What Is More Accurate than a Tape Measure?
a tape measure can be inaccurate if the distance between the two points being measured is large or if there are any obstructions in the way. In contrast, an accurate ruler will give you readings that are consistently accurate regardless of these factors.
Another advantage of using a ruler over a tape measure is that rulers have inches and centimeters written on them which makes them easier to use. They also come in various sizes so they can accommodate most needs. Additionally, rulers can be easily stored away without taking up much space.
What Do You Do With a Broken Tape Measure?
If you have a broken tape measure, the best thing to do is to get it fixed as soon as possible. There are various professionals that can repair or replace your tape measure and they will be able to do so quickly and efficiently. Just make sure that you bring your tape measure with you when you go to see them so that they can properly assess the damage and recommend a course of action.
What’s Inside a Tape Measure?
A tape measure is a handy tool that can be used in a variety of ways. It’s often used to measure things like length, width, and height, but it can also be used to check the fit of clothing, estimate painting or wallpaper costs, and more! Here are a few more details about what’s inside a tape measure:
- The blade on a tape measure is usually made of metal or plastic, and it’s usually accurate to within 1/8th of an inch.
- The handle on a tape measure is usually made from wood or plastic, and it usually has a scale that lets you measure in feet or meters.
- The tape measure is calibrated in inches and millimeters, so you can be sure that your measurements are accurate.
What is the Triangle on a Tape Measure for?
The Triangle on a Tape Measure is used to measure angles in degrees. It has three sides that are 90° apart, and it can be used for both upright and inverted measurements.
Tape measures are an essential tool for many DIY and home improvement projects. If your tape measure is not retracting, there are a few things you can do to try to fix it. In most cases, the problem is caused by something simple that you can quickly repair. Follow this article on how to fix a tape measure that will not retract then you will get your tape measure working correctly again.
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