Monday, April 29, 2013

Kintrex Distance Measuring Wheel

One of the tools that I received as a Christmas gift this past year was the Kentrix Distance Measuring Wheel. I had been wanting a measuring wheel for a while, but had never been able to justify the expense. Most of the ones I had looked at before were priced around $70-$80, which was more than I was willing to spend. My grandmother always gives us money to buy our own Christmas gifts. As I was looking for something to buy I found this measuring wheel for less than half of that, though, and so decided to pick it up.

Admittedly, a measuring wheel isn't something that I have a need for very often. I have found, though, that the convenience of a measuring wheel makes one very nice for the occassions when it is needed. I have used mine a few times already, for things such as measuring the garden plot and for getting a rough idea of the area I needed to level for eventually installing a shed for the tractor. Even though these tasks could have been accomplished with a 100 foot tape measure, it was much easier to use the wheel.

A tape measure either requires two people to measure long distances, or requires the use of a stake for hooking the tape, which then requires backtracking to release the tape and collect the stake. With a measuring wheel, however, you just have to walk, which you'd be doing anyway with a tape measure. When Andrea used the wheel for taking measurements along the edge of the yard, where we plan to plant bushes, she was able to do so much more quickly and easily than with a tape measure. The process was simple. Set the wheel at zero, walk to the end of the first segment, record the measurement, reset the wheel to zero, then walk to the end of the next interval.

For long distances, the measuring wheel is obviously superior to a tape measure. The Kentrix Measuring Wheel supports distance of up to 9,999 feet and 11 inches, which would be incredibly difficult to measure with a tape. For anything over a couple hundred feet I think that using a tape would be too annoying to even attempt, unless there were no other options.

The advantages of a measuring wheel apply to all measuring wheels, not just this particular model. This model does include features that I find useful, however. First is the kickstand, which allows the wheel to stand upright when not in use. I can see where this could be useful in the field, although I don't think I've ever used it for that purpose. I do, however, use the kickstand when storing the measuring wheel, by just letting it stand upright in the corner of the shed. I'll probably start hanging it, to save space, however.

The other nice feature is the collapsible hinge design, which allows the handle to basically fold in half. I assume this is primarily intended for reducing storage needs, but I actually use it more for when I'm transporting the wheel. When folded the measuring wheel takes up less room in the bed of the RTV, which is sometimes a very good thing.

Given the combination of a couple of useful features, and the lower price, I think the Kintrex Measuring Wheel is a good option. Even though the current price is more than I paid for mine, it is still quite a bit less than most of the alternatives. Someone living on a small lot might have little need for a measuring wheel, but I suspect that anyone with a large lot or garden spot will find one useful from time to time.

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