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Bagel is the smart tape measure you didn’t know you needed

That chunky tape measure in your toolbox is so last century. It’s time to get with the 21st century, geeky DIYers, with a smart measuring device called Bagel.

Yes, Bagel, presumably because this thing is like the everything bagel of tape measures. It’s meant to be “the only tape measure you will ever need,” and while that’s certainly not a true statement Bagel is still an incredibly versatile device.

It has three different modes. String mode is like a traditional tape: pull it out, and the bright digital display gives you a clear readout of the distance measured. Switching between inches and centimeters is as simple as tapping a button.

Wheel mode lets you roll along a surface instead, which is an absolute godsend when you’re trying to measure irregularly-shaped objects. Finally, there’s the remote mode that leverages a laser pointer and ultrasonic sensors to calculate distance from an object.


Since people often take measurements in bulk, Bagel comes with a built-in voice recorder. It also pairs with a smartphone via Bluetooth, and both your voice notes and measurements are logged and neatly displayed. It’s a handy way to keep track of, say, multiple lengths of molding or fabric you need to cut, but it also works for keeping tabs on your expanding/diminishing waistline/biceps/whatever.

Where Bagel falls flat is with renovation and construction tasks. Since there’s no actual tape, there’s noting that you can extend and use to make repetitive markings — say, every 16 inches on center to lay out studs for a wall.


You can’t use a flimsy string as a makeshift straightedge, and you won’t be using Bagel as a guide while scoring a sheet of drywall. Bagel is also limited to fairly short measurements. Its Dyneema string might be able to withstand 112 pounds of force, but it’s only 10 feet long — and even the remote mode can only handle 16.4 feet.

One other apparent downside: while the readout can quickly switch between standard and metric measurements, fractions don’t seem to be an option. Sure, eventually you’ll remember that .4375 is 7/16, but there’s a certain elegance to doing some measurements the old way.

I agree that one device to replace three or four is a great idea, but when I can pick up a contractor-grade tape for less than ten bucks, Bosch laser measure for $30, a Strait-Line rolling tape for another $10, and a flexible tape for around $2, Bagel is a tough sell at an MSRP of around $90.

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