Measuring Wheel Buyers Guide
When buying a measuring wheel, here are some things you should consider:
Measuring wheels come in different size wheels. Small wheels are compact and store well. They work well inside for flooring and can get you close to walls. For every yard or meter you measure, they will rotate many more times than a larger wheel, meaning you will have more wear on the tread. As the tread wears, it will get less accurate if used on rough surfaces. For outdoor utility use larger wheels are generally better. They will rotate slower, have less wear, and will go over rough surfaces better.
If you are measuring uneven surfaces outdoor, a brake is a valuable feature. If you go over a curb without a brake, the wheel could keep spinning giving you a wrong measurement. With a trigger break, you pull the trigger and the wheel stops. This can be handy when going over curbs or lifting the wheel for any reason while measuring. When complete, it also holds the measurement in place to prevent accidental changes until you get it recorded.
A kickstand is handy so that you don't have to bend over to pick up the wheel between uses. It also helps protect the wheel by keeping it from falling over. Kickstands can be folding, or permanent mount. On the image to the right, the upper kickstand folds up out of the way with a spring, the lower one is fixed and you just tip the wheel forward to stand.
There are a number of types of counter. There are digital counters and analog odometer wheel type counters. Counters can count in Feet and Inches, Feet and 10ths, Meters and Centimeters, etc. Some will have different numbers of wheels as well, for the maximum distance they will measure. All Counters will have a reset button. Some wheels will have the reset near the wheel, some on the handle, or some with both. Be sure the wheel you are ordering is in the increments and resolution you need.
Many measuring wheels fold for storage or have telescoping handles. Some come with cases, bags, or backpacks to protect and carry them. A storage bag can be important if you are in a dirty environment where dust or mud could get in the measuring odometer. If you store behind the seat of truck or trunk of a car, a folding wheel can help it fit in smaller spaces.
Most measuring wheels are made of a mix of materials. Some are primarily plastic, some primarily metal, and some a mix. A plastic wheel may be lighter and less subject to rust or corrosion. A p;professional metal wheel will be a little heavier and stay in contact with the ground better. Some models will have real bicycle spokes for a combination of strength and lightness, other will be molded plastic wheels. The running surface or tire should be a soft enough rubber that it will grip the ground and not slide, but will wear well long term.