IRWIN TOOLS wants to see how you measure up with inventing the next measuring device.



Monday, September 19, 2011
at 11:59PM Pacific Time.

Tell your friends about this opportunity:

The deadline for this search has passed.
Thank you to all who submitted ideas.

IRWIN TOOLS was built from the sweat that dripped off the brows of everyday blacksmiths and professional tradesmen. Since 1828, innovation is paramount to the heritage and growth of IRWIN’s portfolio of professional grade hand tools and power tool accessories, which includes the Vise-Grip® locking pliers, IRWIN Auger Bit®, Marathon® saw blades, Quick-Grip® clamps, Speedbor® spade bits, Strait-line® chalk reels, Unibit® step drills and Hanson® tap and dies.

It’s time to get creative for this search and use your garage as your muse. In talking with IRWIN TOOLS about their innovation needs, they identified a gap within the Marking and Layout category, which includes short tapes (up to 33’), long tapes (greater than 33’), levels, chalk reels or other marking devices.

Here’s the scoop from our product review team: a tape measurer is a rather innocuous instrument. How can you improve upon this simple tool with a simple function?

Let us count the ways of the tape-measuring blade:

1. Whiplash. Have you ever had your fingers pinched by the quick snap-back of the blade? Plenty of home and commercial users have.

2. Go the distance. It’s much easier to measure a lengthy distance with two people. However, if you are flying solo as you measure where the new couch will go, one often encounters a snap, break or bend of the blade. How can your blade go the distance without someone holding the other end?

3. Accuracy and durability. What happens when the blade is not flush to your workspace? You retrieve inaccurate measuring results. How would you strengthen the blade to prevent these arcs and creases? Prevent rust and erosion to increase the lifespan of your device?

The targeted price point is between $15 and $25. You may just see the final manufactured product on the shelves of The Home Depot, Lowe’s and other traditional hardware stores.

To learn more about IRWIN TOOLS, please visit


We ask for well-communicated ideas. This includes filling out our easy-to-use submission form to the best of your ability. Upload images, sketches and any other media that support your idea. Tell us your story. We even encourage you to create a video demonstrating your innovation. Don’t worry. We aren’t expecting you to break out your inner Spielberg. Please keep videos to less than 2 minutes.

As always, your submission should be unique and protectable (patent protection is highly-preferred, but not a conclusive requirement).

The deadline for this search has passed.
Thank you to all who submitted ideas.