Last updated on February 3rd, 2022
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Are you a self-help, occasional DIY enthusiast needing perfectly sized materials and measured supplies? Are you a professional building contractor and a regular surveyor requiring measurement of different surfaces time and again? Are you a DIY projects enthusiast in constant need of a measuring tape?
If the answer to one of the above or even beyond is yes, you don’t need to worry about being on your own, wanting to measure a distance without anyone’s assistance. At least a generation apart from traditional tape measures, the laser measuring technology works on the principle of laser physics and this offers the best laser tape measures on the construction market today.
More often than not, these digital measuring tools are far more accurate, reliable and dependable alternatives to conventional tape measures that offer limited, manual functionality. These modern measuring tools not only save precious time but also provide easy handling and advanced mathematical calculations which cannot be done efficiently through a regular manual tape measure. If you are looking for the best laser tape measure, we have handpicked some and carefully reviewed them in this article to enable easy selection according to your needs and preferences. Let’s start with our best pick below before moving on to other recommendations.
With an auto-rotatable color display, it aligns the orientation according to the position. Includes an alkaline battery supporting 2.5 hours operating time, a robust IP 54 protection against dust or splashes, 10,000 separate measurements approximately, and memory capacity of measured value up to 30 and a constant. Automatic deactivation of the device helps in prolonging the battery backup while the digital spirit level enables an accurate beam for indication.
The easy-to-handle pocket size with compact design is ideal for traveling and mobile excursions and enables a hassle-free functionality. Although, the display in greyscale, the screen resolution is acceptable and projects a clear image. The performance is enhanced by the capability to measure triangular surfaces along with the regular rectangular ones. Various types of dimensions and mathematical operations can be performed with accuracy and physically unreachable altitude ranges can also be measured effortlessly using the Leica Laser Measure.
Measure continuously, like a standard tape measure, operates with the press of only one button.
Comes with 2 years warranty which can be extended to 3 years by registering online with Bosch.
More Info – Understanding what all the features do
The Laser tape measure, in their basic form, is commonly used to measure ‘distances’ and ‘lengths’ and are a good improvement to using a basic tape measure.
Why should you use 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, especially over longer distances. No pulling a trailing tape measure behind you and walking from wall to wall trying to ensure it’s straight before attempting to try and read the lines on the tape measure. The tape measure has served us well, but there are just too many circumstances 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 the Pythagorean theorem to find a length you cannot directly measure, the ability to add and subtract measurements, a built-in spirit 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 will never be as accurate as a laser distance measurer.
- Max distance: Different models have the capability to measure 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, this is adequate for most people, even tradesman. It’s worth noting that it can become difficult to see the laser pointer at longer distances although 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, for example, 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.
- Spirit 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 walls 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. This 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. This is ideal for situations like calculating how much topsoil you need to fill a new bed, how much concrete you need to lay a new drive etc. Anything, where you need to know the volume and it can be calculated very quickly.
- Stake-out function: Used to measure the same length repetitively. For example, you may want to fit a spotlight 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 spotlight 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.
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 but not the best quality we have seen, but not bad for the price.
Other features to take into consideration before purchasing 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 and some basic models will only store two, the current and previous reading. Most models store between 10 and 20, however, some can store up to 100 readings.
- Switchable units: Some models only show reading in metric, whilst 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, whilst 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 smartphone or tablet on the App/program. Then you can add your measurements to the picture on the app. This can be useful because you can then take it to your local DIY store or contractor for a quote or to purchase the products and materials you need.
- Number of readings 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 because you can take all the measurements before making a note of them. This 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, however, 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 because they are made to withstand falls.
- Warranty: All models come with some sort of warranty, which ranges from 12 months to 3 years, depending on the model. Most 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 that can save you money over time. The battery life can vary depending on the model and what it’s being used for, generally, they last between 3-5 hours or up to 3000 readings. Most models have ‘auto shut down’ features to save battery power when not in use. Consider having a set of spare batteries to ensure you aren’t left short, halfway through a job.
Other important considerations
Some models are designed for light domestic DIY use and as such are not suitable for demanding situations, whilst others are designed to be more heavy-duty, as well as dustproof and waterproof. These models are for the most demanding situations, for example, in bad weather including rain and these models can even be washed under a tap if necessary.
If you’re only using your laser tape measure around the home then you probably won’t need to worry about it getting wet or damaged, however, if you do lots of measuring outdoors you will need to choose a model that is suitable for the conditions you are working in. Some models are drop proof to 6ft, so if you take measurements whilst up a ladder one of these models may be more suitable for you.
Another consideration is “how good are you with technology?” Some models are touch screens, like that found on smartphones and tablets, whilst other models are designed to be very simple to use with one large simple button for each type of measurement it can take. If you’re 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, a belt clip and hand strap, most have batteries included.
Laser Tape Measure Reviews
1. Bosch Professional Bosch 50 C Professional Laser Measure
The Bosch Professional GLM 50 C is our best pick amongst the laser levelling tools available in the construction market. Easy to use and complemented by the Bluetooth transfer facility, this tool gives the accuracy of measurement up to 1.5 mm. Measuring more than one factor i.e. distance, area, and volume, etc., the Bosch GLM 50 C has a stake-out function that enables locating a particular point in the given field with professional ease and effortless consistency.
Due to the ingress protection against liquid or solid particles, this laser tool can be durable and reliable during highly engaging work hours. The memory capacity to store sufficient values for measured data helps in seamless operation whilst being on a construction site. The supporting apps include GLM floor plan, GLM document and GLM measure or increased functionality and optimum synchronisation.
Also thanks to an added option of tilt-sensor (360 degrees), the rotatable display and improved user interface, it not only helps in proper angle calculation but also provides an illuminated colour display. The fast importation or exportation of values, self-edited digital floor plans and other data makes it a user-friendly device with an efficient system of handling.
2. Leica 790656 Disto x310 Laser Tape Measure
EXTREMELY ROBUST HIGH SPEC LASER MEASURE
Leica makes some of the world’s best laser distance measurers and are the world leader in laser measuring technology. They have designed many models, with different specifications and this ‘Leica 790656 Disto x310’ is probably one of the best models available.
It can take measurements to a maximum range of an incredible 120 meters (393ft), within an accuracy of 1mm. No other model we have reviewed and tested is more accurate.
It can calculate all the measurements you would expect from a world-class device, distance, area and volume. You 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, it is dustproof and waterproof, to the point, that you can actually run it under a tap to clean it off. It has also been drop tested to 2 meters, that’s over 6ft.
The Leica X310 is ideal for professional tradesmen who want to invest in a high specification, very robust laser distance measurer. One that can be used in very demanding environments, such as outdoors on building sites, up ladders or in large warehouses where the range is very important.
If you are after the very best, then this is probably the model for you.
3. Bosch PLR 50C Digital Laser Measure
TOUCH SCREEN TECHNOLOGY & SMARTPHONE / TABLET APP
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 it is very easy to use and even has a built-in help function on hand.
Easily measure area, volume, angles and distance up to 50 meters (193ft), with an accuracy of 2mm.
The colour touch screen control enables 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 as simple distance & length, area and volume calculations, it can also use the Pythagorean theorem to take indirect distance and height measurements with only one measurement.
Other features include an integrated tilt sensor that enables the precise measurements of inclines and levelling 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 future reference.
Overall, a professional compact and lightweight laser tape measure that is ideal for all types of measuring, complete with a 2-year warranty that can be increased to 3 years if you register your purchase.
The touch screen is a great idea, however, one small issue is that you could accidentally change the calculating mode if you are 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 technically minded and it is very easy to use, even for a beginner.
4. Bosch DLE 40 Professional Laser Rangefinder
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 those 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 like constructions sites where the touch screen and more fragile models may not be as suitable. More robust against knocks, falls and rain etc, making it a good reliable all-round professional laser range finder.
5. DeWalt DW03050-XJ Laser Distance Measurer
MADE TO WITHSTAND DROPS & FALLS FROM 6FT
The DeWalt DW03050-XJ is a very robust laser distance measurer that is capable of taking measurements up to 50 meters (193ft) with an accuracy of 1.5mm, making it extremely accurate.
Simple one-button control for each measurement type, whether you are 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 backlit display ensures you can read the results, whether indoors or outdoors in varying brightness.
At 299g it’s one of the heaviest models available, however, it is dustproof and is drop-proof and this has been tested to 6ft (180cm). At a measurement of 127 x 74 x 179mm it is 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 the Pythagorean theorem to take indirect distance and height measurements when it’s not possible to take the measurements directly, as you would otherwise do.
6. Leica Disto D210 Laser Distance Tape Measure
Ideal for both domestic and tradespeople, designed with quality in mind. Compact design, very easy to use and accurate to within 1mm, with a minimum and maximum measuring range of 0.05 meters to 80 meters.
Calculates distance, area, volume, Pythagorean Theorem, addition and subtraction, stores 10 data calculations and features stake-out function for marking-out equal distances.
Includes 3 years warranty for full peace of mind.
How accurate are laser measures?
Most of the time the laser measures offer +/- 1 to +/-1.5 mm accuracy. So, any potential discrepancy would be no more than a few millimeters at most and the laser beam is straight, even without sagging, making the laser measures a dependable digital measuring option for both long and short measuring distances or other dimensions.
How does a laser tape measure work?
The laser tape measure is a very useful and more reliable alternative to the conventional, outdated manual measuring tapes that were once used by the constructors, surveyors and other similar professionals. The metallic or plastic rulers used previously were dependent on several factors before achieving the target measurement and that is ‘not-so-accurate’ and ‘just close enough’.
The main aspect of these measuring tools is the laser beam projected by them that works like a tape calculating the targeted distance independently. First, locate the target spot, direct the laser beam according to the oriented surface range and then press the operation button to calculate the measured value. This calculation is done by using the reflected beam off the surface of the targeted object and the time it takes to send back that reflection. This phenomenon comes from laser physics and is a principle pulse measurement method called “time-of-flight”.
Do laser tape measures work outdoors?
As the laser beam travels at a constant speed through the atmosphere of the Earth, a fairly accurate, evenly consistent measurement can be achieved through these devices. Therefore, yes, they cannot only be used outside but they work reliably too. Most of the surveyors use them to be independent of an assisting person as laser tapes can be handled by one person easily.
How do you read a measuring tape?
The measuring values on a tape measure are displayed by markings that are mostly in inches and some thinner markings displaying centimetres and a half-inch in between every two inches. The standard measuring tapes can be read by calculating these markings reading; 0.5 inches then 1 inch then 1.5 inches and so on according to the inches’ scale.
As the saying goes, the more advanced you make your gadgets, the simpler you make your life habits. This is absolutely true considering how technology has made things easier and hassle-free for us today. The laser tape measures or laser rangers are one of those many technological gadgets that have digitised not only our measurements but our perception too. In the list above, we have mentioned some of our best laser tape measures to help you make a wise choice considering the sort of functionality you expect from them.
After going through the article, we hope that our carefully reviewed picks complemented your opinion further and improved your decision in a better way. Remember, whether you are a carpenter, surveyor, building contractor, architect or painter, this is a time to invest in a good laser tape measure in order to avoid wasting your time and effort handling the metallic tapes whilst more pressing matters are ahead in the process.
Last update on 2024-02-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API