Class 1 Tape Measures - EC Class I

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As the UK's No.1 Retailer of Tape Measures, we stock a whole range of super-accurate tapes certified to EC Class I / Class 1 standards - the most accurate conventional tape measures available. Class 1 tape measures are Ideal for cabinet makers, joiners and all those professionals who demand precision in everything they do!

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Class 1 Tape Measures - EC Class I

By far the most important factor to take into consideration when buying a tape measures is, of course, accuracy! For some people, all that’s really required is a ballpark idea as to how long/wide an object or space is. For others, however, the difference of just a single millimetre is incredibly important.

Many of the UK’s major tape measure manufacturers produce highly accurate tapes but then fail to promote the fact. With different levels of accuracy being important to different trades and different users, we find that odd! As a result we’ve made a really big deal of tape measure accuracy and have dedicated entire sections to the two most important standards of tape measure accuracy in Europe; EC Class 1 and EC Class 2. It goes without saying that Class I is the most accurate!

The accuracy of a tape measure is not necessarily to do with the quality of the mechanism or the quality control processes found in the factory where it’s made. More often than not it’s to do with how precisely the graduations are printed onto the blade. Conventional printing methods are generally more than adequate for a Class 2 tape but, for a Class 1 tape, precision, ultra-fine inkjet printing is frequently required in order to achieve a level of accuracy that cannot be beaten in a commercially available tape.

What brands are available as Class I?

Here at The Tape Store we offer a whole range of Class One tape measures from brands such as Fisco, Hultafors (who now own Fisco) and Advent. Class 1 tapes are in the minority in the UK market with most manufacturers (even including Stanley, Bahco, Irwin etc.) preferring to focus on Class II tape measures - these being sufficient for the average user. Nevertheless we're always on the look out for new, high quality manufacturers to add to our product range.

I need a Class 1 tape measure but can't find the right model or length on your site

No problem! We sell a lot of Class I tapes that don't appear on our site. Fisco/Hultafors, for example, produce a whole range of steel surveyors' tapes in Class 1. Because of their niche status they don't sell in large numbers but, for some customers, nothing else will do. If you're after a Class 1 tape and you can't see it here please do get in touch.

What level of error can be expected?

EC tape measure accuracy tests are carried out at  20°C based on a pulling force of 50 Newtons for steel tapes and 20 Newtons for fibreglass equivalents. The following table should help you see the difference between Class 1 and Class 2 tapes.

Blade Length(m)EC Class I(mm)EC Class II(mm)


± 0.3

± 0.7


± 0.4

± 0.9 


± 0.6 

± 1.3 


± 0.9 

± 1.9 


± 1.1 

± 2.3 


± 1.6 

± 3.3 


± 2.1 

± 4.3 


± 2.6 

± 5.3 


± 3.1 

± 6.3 


± 5.1 

± 10.3 


± 10.1 

± 20.3