Top 10 Best Laser Measuring Tools Reviewed In 2017
A laser tape measure is an important tool for people in both construction and real estate industry making the measurement task become easier and faster. Because of their ease of use, both amateur and professionals can use them alike.
The challenge comes in when you have to choose the best laser measure to buy from the many available today on the market.
№1 – Leica DISTO E7100i 200ft Laser Distance Measure
Our second Leica Disto product has an impressive measuring range of 200 feet. In addition to this, it also comes with Bluetooth connectivity so that you can receive updates on your smartphone. The software for transfer of information is very flexible, which is perfect when new apps become available. Additionally, the distance measure is also dust and splash-proof.
№2 – Leica Disto E7500 500 foot Laser Distance Measure
This laser distance measure is from Leica Disto, a company that appears quite a few times in this guide due to its quality leaser distance measures. One of the best features of the Leica Disto E7500 is its crystal clear color screen. It’s very easy to see what is being displayed on this screen due to its simplified and large number display. It also has a 360 degree tilt sensor so that you can quickly and easily measure angles and horizontal distances.
№3 – Bosch GLR825 Laser Distance Measurer
This particular device has a truly impressive range of 825 feet. Once you are ready to make your measurements, you will also be able to choose from 11 different modes, which gives a feeling of versatility. If you use the Pythagorean Theorem with this device, you can get some of the most precise measurements available on a device of this type.
№4 – Leica DISTO E7400x 265 foot Laser Distance Meter
Durability is one of the best features of the Leica Disto 7400x. In fact, you can drop this device from a distance of six feet without worrying about damage to the unit. It’s also IP65 rated, which means that it can withstand dust and a moderate amount of moisture. It also has a range of 100 meters, which is very useful for most jobs.
№5 – UNI-T LD40 Digital Laser Distance Meter
This Uni-T product is one of the most compact units in our guide. In fact, the product is only 6.6 x 4.5 x 2.5 inches in total, which means that it can easily fit in a tool belt, pocket, or pouch. For its size, the LD40 has a particularly large display that is fairly easy to read in most situations. Its measuring distance is about 40 meters or about 132 feet, which isn’t bad for such a compact unit.
№6 – Bosch GLM 50 C Bluetooth Enabled Laser Distance Measure
This is a nice mid-range laser measurement tool that has a good feeling of balance. It measure up to 165 feet, which is a good range of measurement. It also has an accuracy of 1/16 of an inch, which is very accurate by any measure. The device also has a memory that can store 30 measurements and also has Bluetooth functionality so that you can pair it with mobile devices.
№7 – Leica DISTO D2 New 330ft Laser Distance Measure
This device is one of the most ergonomic products in this guide. It has a soft-touch coating that feels very comfortable to use in most situations. Simply applying pressure to the button will cause the device to measure volumes, calculate from the edge of corners, and adjust the readout to display the measurement in real time.
№8 – Laser Distance Measure 131ft 40m Mini Handheld Digital Laser Distance Meter
The device is 4.7x2x1.2 inches, which ensures a very portable design that’s perfect for the worksite. It also has the ability to quickly switch from meters, inches, and feet; while other devices have this feature, it’s very seamless on this product. The device can also automatically calculate area and volume as well.
№9 – Bosch GLM 35 Laser Measure
With a great range of 120 feet, this device is an excellent product to use in most work situation. In addition to its distance feature, this product also gives readouts for length and volume as well. Larger numbers are really a great benefit on this product; couple this with a good backlight and its versatility makes this an excellent product to select.
№10 – DEWALT DW03050 165-Feet Laser Distance Measurer
This device is designed to measure 50 meters or 165 feet. The backlit display is relatively bright, which is good for low light worksites. One of the best features of this is the fact that it has a three-year warranty that illustrates the commitment that DeWalt has to its quality and customer support.
Laser tape measure review guide
Most laser tape measures are very accurate, even our recommended budget model is accurate down to +/-3mm with the more advanced models, accurate down to +/- 1mm. With a standard tape measure you could never be this accurate as a slight bend or kink in the tape, would mean your measurement would never be as accurate as a laser distance measurer.
Different models have the capability to measure up to different distances, with the cheaper models generally measuring up to 15 meters, this is fine for most homes or small areas but if you want to measure larger areas you will need something with a longer range. Some models will measure up to 200 meters and most models can read up to at least 40 meters which is adequate for most people, even tradesman. Its worth noting that it can become difficult to see the laser pointer at longer distances all though special glasses can be used to make this easier.
All models have this simple feature and it works like a manual tape measure. You can move the laser tape measure, away or towards a fixed point, and the reading will automatically change. This is ideal for situations such as putting up fixing or picture frames, where you want to space them all apart evenly.
This feature is used to measure the height or width indirectly from a distance, If you have a length or width you want to measure such as a high up window, but you cannot physically get to it, you can use this option to calculate the height or width.
Addition / subtraction
This option is used to simply add or subtract from a measurement.
This feature can be used to ensure the laser tape measure is perfectly level before taking a reading.
Distance / Length
This feature will measure the distance or length from a fixed point, such as the distance between two wall or the length of an object.
The area is calculated by multiplying the width by the height to give you the total surface area. The is ideal for calculating the surface area of a wall or floor you want to tile or paint. Any surface area you want to calculate the area for, you can calculate in seconds.
The volume is calculated by multiplying the length, width and height together to give you the total volume. The is ideal for situations such as calculating how much top soil you need to fill a new bed, how much concrete you need to lay a new drive etc. Anything where you need to no the volume can be calculated very quickly.
Used to measure the same length repetitively. For example, you may want to fit a spot light under kitchen cabinets every 300mm. From a starting point, the feature would tell you every time you reach another 300mm, so you could fit a spots light exactly 300mm apart.
Look for models that conform to the new ISO international standard for laser measuring instruments. This means, they have been tested and will accurately measure in normal working conditions, not just in ideal situations in a lab.
Batteries and Battery Life
Laser tapes have either replaceable or rechargeable batteries. Battery life depends greatly on the amount and type of use. Most units will need new batteries or need to be recharged frequently (every 2 to 4 hours). So, it is a good idea always to keep spare batteries with you and to power off the unit when you arenot using it. Some units have an auto shut-off mode to help increase battery life.
Many models can store multiple measurements, so you will not need to stop and write down measurements as you go along. Most models store at least a few measurements. Look for one that stores multiple measurements if you are planning on using it for big or complex jobs. Memory is not important for small jobs though.
Many laser tape measures also come with convenient accessories. Most models include batteries, and some come with a carrying pouch or a holster and belt loop. Most laser tape measures come with a basic manufacturer’s warranty, and the manufacturer will replace the unit if it is defective or breaks within the warranty period. Rechargeable units generally include a rechargeable battery and include a battery and charger.
Some laser tapes are made for heavy outdoor use and have durable cases, scratch proof screens or back-lit screens. Others are made for lighter indoor use. Look for something durable and shock, scratch and water resistant if you are using it outdoors. Scratch resistance is a nice feature for indoor use, but you will not need one that is water resistant if you are just using it inside.
Laser Measure Brands in the Market
All companies claim to have the best laser measure, but some brands have earned a solid reputation over the rest. Among the top brands in the laser measuring field are Dewalt, Leica, Suaoki, Foneso and Bosch. If you’ve been buying and using home improvement tools, these names will sound familiar as they’ve carved out a reputation for manufacturing quality products.
If this is your first time to buy a laser measuring tool, it’s a good idea to check these brands first. There are other brands, yes, but these are preferable because they are well-known and can be relied upon to make quality products. Second, these brands stand behind their products: if there are problems with it, you are assured of a refund and that the warranty will be upheld.
Now that we know the ins and outs of these devices, let’s check out the top options and what they have to offer.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Laser Measure
To find the best laser distance measurer you have to make certain it comes with the features you’re looking for.
Range: The simplest models have a range of up to 60 to 70 feet, while mid-range types can go for 100 to 300 feet. For most home DIY tasks, these will be enough, but high-end models can do more.
Precision: Accuracy should be at least up to 1/16th of an inch plus or minus. The best laser measure models have a precision level of up to 1/32nd of an inch.
Functionality: All good laser measuring devices display results in inches, metric, decimals and feet. Almost all of them can also calculate the volume, area, and distance, but the advanced units can calculate other geometries too.
Battery Life: These devices run on either replaceable or rechargeable batteries. Battery lifespan varies per model, and it also depends on how long you use it. Rechargeable units often need to recharge every couple of hours or so.
Memory: Most of these devices can store measurements so there’s no need to write notes. Memory measurement is essential for complex tasks so check it out if you need them.
5 tips for using a laser tape measure
A laser tape measure is a very simple device and a great technological advance on the old way of measuring distances. It is accurate to within 1/8 inch up to 300 feet and can measure distances up to 650 feet in some instances. This makes it ideal for those involved in construction but it’s also a wonderful item for every homeowner to have in his tool box.
Tip 1: Using A Target
As long as the laser optics can hit something, you usually won’t need a target when measuring distances less than 100 feet with your laser tape measure. Even then, something as simple as a Post-It note will work as a target.
When you work with distances beyond 100 feet, you’ll find it advantageous to use a reflective target. Newer models can measure up to 300 feet in sunlight without the need for a target. Go beyond that and a reflective target is necessary in order to obtain a measurement.
Tip 2: Measuring
Using a laser tape measure could hardly be easier. Just place it with the base against an object and aim the laser dot at the other object whose distance you want to know. Press the button marked “measure” and you’ll immediately have a readout of the distance. Some instruments will offer a choice between metric and inch readouts.
Tip 3: Extra Keys
A good laser tape measure will come with addition and subtraction keys. Most people wouldn’t bother with these and will stick to the basics but they can be extremely helpful. You’d use these for triangulation measurements where there’s no obvious target.
If measuring the front of a house, for instance, you could go from one corner to a light. After that, go to the other corner and press the plus key. This measures to the same point. Follow that by pressing the equal key to obtain the complete measurement across the house. You can use subtraction in a similar way; to discover the possibilities of the digital tape measure, you should read the owner’s manual.
Tip 4: Distance Measuring
When you’re measuring longer distances in sunlight, you can have problems seeing the red laser dot on the far object. That makes it impossible to know if you’re measuring the right distance. If you’re doing this kind of work, use a magnified view finder which is usually available on some models. Others have an optional external view finder that can give even greater magnification of up to 4x.
Tip 5: Cleaning
As the laser tape measure relies on the laser, it’s important to keep the laser cleaned and properly aligned. Only then will you be able to obtain measurements that are consistently accurate. Have a good lens cleaner and use it regularly. Also, pack the laser tape measure away in it’s case when you’re not using it. This prevents possible scratches on the lens from other items in your toolbox.
You should check the alignment of your laser regularly, especially if your laser tape measure is moved around regularly. You’ll be able to find instructions for your model in the manual.
How to accurately target an outside laser distance measure over a long distance?
Ok so we have a laser distance meter with either optical viewfinder or video targeting. How do you get it to point exactly at the position you want to measure? You can get away with holding the device in your hand over shorter distances and when targeting large surfaces. But, for more specific measurements over longer distances this becomes too difficult. One answer is a tripod and most outdoor laser distance measures can be mounted onto a tripod. A simple tripod with pan and tilt like a camera tripod can often do the job. For even greater control though Leica have an adaptor which provides incredibly fine control of up and own and side to side adjustment.
What about range?
Will a laser distance meter that says it operates to 150m always measure that distance? The answer is most definitely NO. The distance advertised by the manufacturers is an “UP TO” figure based on optimal conditions. Often in the real world you may only be able to reliably measure half the specified distance. This is because of the reflective properties of the surfaces you are targeting. For example, a white painted brick wall is far more reflective than the bark on a tree. So for the brick wall you measure a greater distance compared to the tree. To improve the reflective properties of the surface you can use a target plate attached to that surface. Most manufactures of outdoor laser distance meters also supply targets either with the device or as an optional accessory. Leica Disto for example have a large range of targets of all shapes and sizes.
How Does A Laser Tape Measure Work?
A laser tape measure uses a laser beam to determine the distance to a certain point. The most common form of laser tape measure sends a laser pulse toward the object and measures how long the pulse takes to bounce off the target and return to the machine.
This measurement process is often called the “optical measurement process” and can be displayed in multiple units of measure.
Who Needs A Laser Tape Measure?
A laser tape measure would be useful to anyone working on a construction or remodeling project, both professional and amateur, such as contractors, electricians, carpentry, masonry, interior designers, home owners etc. Quickly find the area of a wall so you know how much paint to buy, or the correct angle at which to construct a roof.
It would also be a great tool for real estate appraisers, as they could measure a property’s dimensions with a couple clicks of a button instead of using huge tape wheel or other manual measuring tools.
Do you measure outside?
If you work outside an optical scope or digital point finder is a must.
Without a scope or a point finder you can see a laser point at a maximum distance of about 30 feet on a bright day. Chances are, if you are measuring outside, 30 feet isn’t going to cut it.
A sighting scope – similar to a range finder on an old fixed lens camera – was the technology we first used to solve the outdoor use problem as far back as the first DISTO, and there are still LDMs with optical scopes on the market today.
Leica Geosystems has moved on to 4x zoom digital point finder technology similar to the zoom function on a digital camera. The cross hairs on the LCD display are precisely calibrated with the laser, so you know that you are measuring to the point you want when you put it in the crosshairs whether you can see the laser point or not.
Are you using design software?
If you create sketches or work in programs like Autodesk or Chief Architect, there are mobile apps you can use to create detailed plans on site. Some, like our free DISTO Sketch App, enable you to overlay measurements on photos you take with your mobile device.
Bluetooth-enabled LDMs transmit precise measurements to these apps in real time, as you take them. We hear from interior designers, Building Information Modelers, and design architects who tell us that this technology has cut the time it takes to build an accurate floor plan in half.
Yes, sometimes Bluetooth LDMs are the more expensive, top-of-the line models. But, what is your time worth? If you cut your measuring time in half while getting accurate measurements the first time, how long would it take before you are in the black on a $500 or $800 investment? With new entry level LDMs, you can get an LDM with Bluetooth for under $150. Bluetooth is a “must-have” for me.
Are you replacing another measuring tool?
If you use a measuring wheel or a long tape, think about the measurements that take the most time or are the most difficult to get and select a measuring tool that solves the problems you struggle with the most.
For example, on many active construction sites, it can be difficult to get a level horizontal distance from point A to point B simply because there are materials stacked up against the wall and/or people and machinery in the way.
An LDM with a tilt sensor measures the angle and distance of the shot to subtract down to the level horizontal distance to your target. That means you can shoot over pallets, people or whatever else is in the way and still get the measurement you need.
That’s a lot easier, and a lot safer, than climbing over stuff or dodging man lifts with a tape measure in your hand.
How much time do you spend measuring every week?
This is all about return on investment: How much time do you spend walking around dragging a tape or a ladder to take a measurement?
What if you didn’t have to do that anymore and you got more accurate measurements to boot? How would you better use that time?
Did you have a bad experience with sonic “laser tape” or other cheap product?
You are not alone. A few years ago a supplier who shall remain nameless flooded the market for the holiday season with a cheap sonic distance estimator that had a laser pointer built in “for Dad”.
As the name implies, a sonic device bounces sound off an object to get a rough distance. These things are just not accurate, and pairing it with an “aiming laser” convinced a lot of people that LDMs are a gimmick.
What accuracy do you need?
Accuracy really isn’t an issue if you get a tool from a reputable company. Look for an ISO 16331-1 (International Standards Organization) certified tool.
Tools with ISO certs cost a little more, but they cost way less than an engineered beam that is cut 1” too short thanks to a low budget LDM.
What range do you need?
Again, look for an ISO certified tool. This is about comparing apples with apples. Many things influence accuracy and range – the top two are ambient light and target color.
An ISO certified tool gives you a specification that you can count on, not a spec that is achievable only in perfect measurement conditions.
Why should I buy a DISTO over a conventional tape measure?
Leica DISTOs can measure to distances of up to 200m to an accuracy of ±1mm. They can take measurements in areas where a conventional tape measure simply can’t reach, are incredibly user friendly and are all impressively robust. The DISTO ™ D110, D2, D210, D3a BT, D810 Touch and S910 are protected to IP54 (water splash and dust resistant) whilst the X310, D410 and D510 are protected to IP65 (water jet and dust proof). The rugged X310 has also been successfully drop tested onto concrete from a height of 2m.
With in-built area, volume, Pythagoras, trapezium and slope measurement calculations not to mention Bluetooth 4.0 Smart connectivity, iPad/iPhone and Android connectivity being just some of the DISTO ™ range’s party pieces it quickly becomes apparent that there is no comparison between a tape measure and a DISTO ™. The two instruments complement each other rather than one replacing the other.
Laser Measure versus Traditional Tape Measure
The cost of buying the best laser measure may be higher compared to a tape measure, but it is worth it for several reasons.
- Laser measuring is more accurate.
- Lasers are quicker: no need to roll out any tape as you just press a button and you get the figures.
- Laser measuring tools eliminates the possibility of human error.
- A single person can operate the device.
- A laser measuring device can calculate volumes, areas and irregular sections.
- A standard tape measure has a maximum distance of 50 ft., whereas a laser measuring can go up to 200 ft. or more.
- Using laser to make measurements increases your productivity and helps you get things done quicker.
- Laser measuring tools are more cost effective. The cost has gone down a lot and whatever amount you have to pay is made up for it by increased production.
How Do I Choose the Best Laser Measure?
There’s hardly anyone who doesn’t find himself in a position where he needs to take a measurement of a distance. Whether at home or in the office or at the workshop, there’s often the need to know the distance between two points. Things have changed; life has advanced. There are limitations in using a measuring tape. For instance, if you’re the only one at home and you need to take a measurement, who would hold the other end of the tape for you? What if you’re to measure a height much taller than you? That means you have to look for a ladder without which you cannot take the measurement. Have you noticed that it’s usually hard to take measurement in a straight line using a tape rule? If you do not have that challenge, a lot of people do. The question is, how do we take care of these limitations of a tape rule? A laser measure comes to mind. With a laser measure, you can take measurements of up to 330 feet, a sure sight further than any tape rule!
Yes, you now know the advantages that a laser measure has over a tape, yet that doesn’t mean that you can just go ahead and pick any laser measure and start using it. There are factors to consider before settling for any laser measure but first, let’s look at the categories that laser measures are classified into. This will help you decide what category your measurement needs fall into and what features the laser measure you need for the job should have. The categories are:
Home use laser measure:
This covers laser measures that are used mainly for indoor projects. The user doesn’t have to be a professional and the range for the measurement is more modest.
Mid-range laser measure:
This covers laser measures that are used in general construction. It’s for people who are into construction jobs and need to do a lot of measurements. This works mostly indoors but the “indoor” may be a fabrication yard. This can be used by both professionals and amateurs depending on the frequency of use.
Hi-end laser measure:
This covers laser measures that leave little or no room for errors. If you’re into construction and fabrication jobs where the slightest error in measurement can be risky, then the hi-end laser measures should be your best option. This is mostly used by professionals and they usually cover the widest ranges with no errors.
Now that you know the categories, do you know what your measurement needs are? If yes, our job is half done. The next step is to look at the features that most laser measures have, compare them to your measurement needs and voila, you have all the information needed to make your purchase decision. Even if you don’t know your measurement needs just yet, we trust that you will, by the end of this review.
Please note that while it might be good to have a multimeter handy (for situations where a laser measure isn’t ideal), they are different tools. Also don’t forget to use adequate eye protection when using a laser measure as pointing a laser directly into the eye can cause permanent retina damage. Maximum caution should be taken when using this device.
The price of a product is usually reflective of its quality. Different factors affect the price that a brand places on its products. For instance, a brand that is already known for certain product lines may have more expensive options for that product. That doesn’t mean that lesser known brands don’t have products with similar or better quality. Many of them, due to competition, often lower the price of their products so as to compete fairly with the known brands. So, it’s safe to say that price is not a true test of quality. This is also true of laser measures.
We’ve researched different brands and products and seen that it’s best to choose your laser measure based on the features that you’re looking out for. We saw inexpensive laser measures that sell for $13 and we also saw expensive laser measures of up to $700. We decided to look for features that make the best laser measures and see if they’re available in budget friendly options. We do know that most cheap laser measures may not stand the test of time so we ignored them. Therefore, rest assured that whatever laser measure you pick from the list of our reviewed products will give you a quality product without digging a deep hole in your pocket.
Choosing an ideal laser measure can be quite confusing these days because of the different features built into them. It becomes confusing because you may like a certain additional feature and then forget the major feature that you need to look out for. We understand this dilemma in choice so we’ve selected the relevant features of a laser measure and the kinds of jobs they’re suitable for. We’ve also explained why these features are important. Of course, you can find a laser measure that has all the features that you need. Here are the features you may want to look out for:
- Measurement units
- Measurement modes
- Battery life
- Additional features
Yes, these are the features to look out for. The next step is to find out the importance of these features and decide which of them should be a priority to you.
Construction and Design
Why go for a laser measure with complicated functions when all you need is one with which to measure length or distance from one point to another? Some functions of a laser measure are: addition and subtraction, continuous measurement, single indirect measurement, double indirect measurement, combined indirect measurement, Pythagorean measurement, angle measurement, multi surface area measurement, maximum measurement, minimum measurement, trapezoid measurement, etc. Your job need determines whether getting a laser measure with these number of functions will ease your work or whether it will be too many unnecessary functions.
Some laser measures have back-lit screens while others don’t. If your job requires that you work in dark rooms or very bright light, it’ll be preferable to choose a laser measure that won’t make you squint or strain your eyes to read its display. Some laser measures also have multiple line displays which can be helpful in reading different measurements at once.
Battery life is very key to determining your choice of laser measure. Most options run on either replaceable batteries or rechargeable batteries. If you work for long hours, it’ll be more convenient to work with those with replaceable batteries as your job may not be interrupted.
Do you need a laser measure with features such as a sound marker, auto shut off, Bluetooth connectivity, etc.? These are some interesting features that add to the functionality of your laser measure, so be on the look out for them.
Laser tape measures save you lots of time when working, as well as cutting a lot of two person measuring jobs down to one. They offer a great degree of accuracy and many different options when it comes to measuring.
So, TOP10 of Laser Measuring Tools:
- №1 — Leica DISTO E7100i 200ft Laser Distance Measure
- №2 — Leica Disto E7500 500 foot Laser Distance Measure
- №3 — Bosch GLR825 Laser Distance Measurer
- №4 — Leica DISTO E7400x 265 foot Laser Distance Meter
- №5 — UNI-T LD40 Digital Laser Distance Meter
- №6 — Bosch GLM 50 C Bluetooth Enabled Laser Distance Measure
- №7 — Leica DISTO D2 New 330ft Laser Distance Measure
- №8 — Laser Distance Measure 131ft 40m Mini Handheld Digital Laser Distance Meter
- №9 — Bosch GLM 35 Laser Measure
- №10 — DEWALT DW03050 165-Feet Laser Distance Measurer
by Don Oliver | Last Updated September 1, 2017