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JLC ’s Go Long Although it won’t fit comfortably in my back pocket like my old 100-footer, the Fat Max 100-foot tape measure has a bright yellow, stainless- steel blade and large, easy-to-read digits with calibrations in 1/8-inch increments. With a 3:1 gear ratio, the hand-cranked retriever will give any spring-loaded tape a run for the money. A wrap-around rubber grip makes the tape easy to handle. The 100-footer costs $30; a 50-foot version costs $20. Contact: Stanley Works, 1000 Stanley Drive, New Britain, CT 06053; 800/782-6539; Two-Step I’ve always wondered why the other side of a step ladder wasn’t put to better use; the FM-1000 Series Twin Front Stepladder answers that question neatly with a professional line