Laser tape measure review guide, we compare 8 of the very best models
LASER TAPE MEASURE REVIEW
Laser measuring tool reviews
Whether your'e looking for a laser tape measure to use around the home, for those diy jobs or are a professional tradesman, who does lots of measuring calculations on a daily basis, a good laser tape measure, is one of the best tools you can have and will make life, a lot easier when taking measurements.
These amazing devices, are unbelievably simple to use, simply point the laser at a target, press a button and it will instantly and accurately measure the distance or length, calculate the surface area or work out the cubic volume, before displaying it on the viewing screen.
It only takes seconds, to take a measurement, saving you precious time, as well as money and giving you the correct measurement every time. Many advanced models can also calculate more advanced measurements and calculations.
Whether your painter, plumber, kitchen fitter, builder, surveyor, estate agent, in fact anyone who takes some sort of measurements, its time to replace your tape measure with one of these easy to use devices and make your life much simpler and safe yourself lots if time.
Your'l probably wish you had invested in a laser tape measure sooner, whats more, with the price of the best laser tape measure dropping every year, and with prices ranging from around £25 for cheaper domestic models such as the 'Excelvan models', to higher priced models such as the 'Bosch PLR 50 C', there's never been a better time to consider investing in one of these amazing devices.
More Info - Understanding what all the features do
The Laser tape measure, in their basic form, are commonly used to measure 'distances' and 'lengths' and are a good improvement to using a basic tape measure.
Why you shouluse a laser tape measure instead of a standard tape measure
First they are faster, more accurate and much easier to use than a standard tape measure, specially over longer distances. No pulling a trailing tape measure behind and walking from wall to wall trying to ensure it's straight before, attempting trying to read the lines on the tape measure. The Tape measure have served us well, but there is just to many situations when they are simply not ideal.
As well as simple length and distance measurements, most models can quickly calculate 'area' and 'volume'. Some models also have more advanced options such as using Pythagorean theorem to find a length you cannot directly measure, the ability to add and subtract measurements, a built in spirt level, data memories to store calculations, as well as many more.
Below are more detailed explanations, of some of the features incorporated into the best laser tape measures and what these features do.
- Accuracy: 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.
- Max distance: 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,
- Continuous measurement: 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.
- Pythagorean Theorem: 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.
- Spirt level: 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.
- Area: 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.
- Volume: 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.
- Stake-out function: 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.
Play the video below to understand visually how a laser tape measure works. The model in the video is a Bosch PLR 15 which has basic functions, ideal for use around the home.
BEST FOR HOME DIY
Designed with simplicity in mind, very easy and straight forward to use. Light weight, compact design with a bright back light, which makes it easy to read the measurements on screen. Displays current and previous reading. Accurately measure distances up to 15 meters (49.2ft).
Mmeasure continuously, like a standard tape measure, operates with the press of only one button,
Ideal for home diy projects, who have no previous experience in using laser tools.
Comes with 2 years warranty which an be extended to 3 years
Other features to take onto consideration before buying one
As well as the different types of measurements some models can calculate, some models also have extra features that make taking measurements even easier. Below are some of the features that can be found on some of the best models.
- Data memories: This is the amount of reading the unit will store for your reference, some basic models, only store two, the current and previous reading. Most models stores between 10 and 20 but some can store up to 100 reading.
- Switchable units: Some models only show reading in metric, while other models, can be switched between metric and imperial (meters and feet).
- Reference point: The reference point refers to where the reading starts from on the device, Some measurements start from the front of the device, while other models have the option to start at the beginning of the device, middle, or at the end of the device.
- App & design software support: Some laser measure tapes have free App support. What this means is you can take a picture with your smart phone or tablet on the App/program. Then you can add your measurements to the picture on the app. This can be useful as you can then take it to your local diy store or contractor for a quote or to buy the products and materials you need.
- Number of reading displayed: Some models only display one reading at a time while other display up to 4, this can be handy you if you measure a room, as you can take all the measurements before making a note of them, which means you don't have to take a note every time you take the reading. It just makes your life that little bit easier.
- Dimensions: Most models are very compact, but consider the size, will it fit in your pocket easily, is the screen large enough for you to read the reading. More robust models tend to be slightly bigger by nature as they are made to withstand falls.
- Warranty: All models come with some sort of warranty, which range from 12 months to 3 years, depending on the model. Most quality trusted brands such as Bosch and Leica come with 3 years.
- Batteries: Nearly all models take 2 x AAA batteries, but some have rechargeable batteries which can save you money over time. The battery life can vary depending on the model and what its being used for, generally they last between 3-5 hours or up to 3000 reading. Most models have 'auto shut down' features to save battery power, when not in use. Consider having a set of spare batteries to ensure your not left short, half way through a job.
Other important considerations
Some models are designed for light domestic diy use and as such as not suitable for demanding situations, while others are designed to be more heavy duty, as well a dust and water proof, these models are for the most demanding situations such in bad weather including rain, these models can even be washed under a tap if needed.
If your only using your laser tape measure around the home, then you probably won't need to worry about it getting wet or damaged, but if you do lots of measuring outdoors, you will need to choose a model that is suitable for the conditions your working in. Some models are drop proof to 6ft, so if you take measurements while up ladders one of these models may be more suitable for you .
Another consideration is "how good are you with technology", some models are touch screen, like that found on smart phones and tablets, while other models are designed to be very simple to use with one large simple button for each type of measurement it can take. If your in the trade, but not confident with technology, you will want to choose a model that is very simple to use, with one button for each type of measurement..
Finally some models come with a protective case with a belt clip and hand strap, most have batteries included.
BUDGET MODEL / MAXIMUM FEATURES
This is one of the cheapest laser tape measures available and will save you more than 75% when compared to simular branded models.
However despite its budget price, its accurate to 2mm and will take measurements between 40 and 80 meters (131-262ft).
Calculates many important measurements, including distance, area, volume, Pythagorean Theorem, addition and subtract, as well as storing 100 data calculations.
Ideal for home use or light trade use.
Great value for money, at a very affordable price.
TOP 8 RECOMMENDED
Best Laser Distance Measurer
Comparison table: Affordable models under £60
Bosch PLR 15
Bosch DLE 40
Calculate Distance, area, volume
100 x 36 x 23mm
118 x 54 x 28 mm
118 x 27 x 54 mm
118 x 27 x 54 mm
Comparison table: Professional models £60+
Leica Disto D210
Bosch PLR 50 C
Leica Disto X310
Calculate Distance, area, volume
114 x 27 x 50mm
115 x 50 x 22 mm
127 x 74 x 179 mm
122 x 31 x 55 mm
BEST LASER TAPE MEASURE FOR THE TRADE
TOUCH SCREEN TECHNOLOGY & SMARTPHONE / TABLET APP COMPATABLE
This is one of the most advanced models manufactured by Bosch, and they have taken advantage of touch screen technology. It uses a self-explanatory control concept to ensure, its very easy to use and even has a built in help function on hand.
Rasily measure area, volume, angles and distance, up to 50 meters (193ft), with a accuracy of 2mm.
The colour touch screen control, enable you to quickly change between features and the bluetooth connectivity, allows you to document measurements on the free Bosch PLR measure & go app which can be used on your smartphone or tablet.
As well a simple, distance & length, area and volume calculations, it can also use pythagorean theorem, to take indirect distance and height measurements with only one measurement.
Other features include an integrated tilt sensor, which enables precise measurement of inclines and leveling of objects from 0 to 360 degrees.
The addition and subtract function ensures you can quickly and easily add or subtract distances, area and volume.
It also has a continuous measuring function like a tape measure and stores the last 10 measurements for your reference.
Overall a professional compact, light weight laser tape measure, ideal for all types of measuring, complete with a 2 year warranty which can be increased to 3 years if you register your purchase.
The touch screen is a great idea, but one small issue, you could accidentally change the calculating mode, if your not careful when taking measurements if you touch the wrong part of the screen.
The app is a great idea for those of us who are more technical minded, very easy to use, even for a beginner.
PROFESSIONAL, ROBUST, SIMPLE ONE BUTTON OPERATION
The Bosch DLE 40 Laser tape measure, is a simple to use, robust device with a range of 40 meters (160ft) and is accurate to 1.5mm.
Ideal for someone looking for a professional, but easy to use, laser tape measure, to calculate all them standard measurements.
Whether you want to measure distance, area or volume, this model will take the reading accurately and quickly.
Ideal for taking measurements, in demanding environments such as constructions sites where the touch screen and more fragile model may not be suitable. More robust against knocks, falls and rain etc, making it a good reliable all round professional laser range finder.
MADE TO WITHSTAND DROPS & FALLS FROM 6FT
The DeWalt DW03050-XJ, is a very robust laser distance measurer, capable of taking measurements up to 50 meters (193ft), with a accuracy of 1.5mm, making it extremely accurate.
Simple one button control for each measurement type, whether your calculating distance, area or volume you only need to use one button.
Stores up to 5 measurements to refer back to when needed and the back lit display, ensures you can read the results whether indoors or outdoors in varying brightness.
At 299g its one of the heaviest models available?. however it is dust and is drop proof, tested to 6ft (180cm). However at 127 x 74 x 179 mm, its still compact and easy to carry around in your pocket.
One additional feature it does have, which the Bosch DLE 40 reviewed above doesn't have, is the ability to use Pythagorean theorem, to take indirect distance and height measurements when its not possible to take the measurements directly, as you would otherwise do.
EXTREMELY ROBUST HIGH SPEC LASER MEASURE
Leica makes some of the worlds 'best laser distance measururer' and are the world leaders in laser measuring technology. They have designed many model, with different specifications, but this 'Leica 790656 Disto x310', is probably one of the best models available
It can take measurement to a maximum range of an incredible 120 meters (393ft), within an accuracy of 1mm. No other model we have reviewed and tested is this more accurate.
It can calculate all the measurements you would expect from a world class device, distance, area, volume, can calculate indirect distance and height measurements using 'Pythagorean theorem' calculations. All at the simple click of a button, in seconds.
Another impressive feature is the 360 degree tilt sensor to measure, simple height and horizontal distance inclines accurately. The back-lit display screen is clear and very easy to read in varying light conditions, which is often a problem for many cheaper models.
The Leica Disto X310 can switch between metric and imperial and can show 4 measurements simultaneously on the 4-line illuminated display.
Thanks to its extremely strong, and very robust design, its dust and waterproof, to the point, that you can actually run it under a tap to clean it off. its also dropped tested to 2 meters, that's over 6ft.
The Leica X310 is ideal for professionals tradesmen, who want to invest in a high specification, very robust, laser distance measurer, which can be used in very demanding environments, such as outdoors on building sites, up ladders or in large warehouses where range in very important.