Laser measures or laser distance measurers use a laser and an optical sensor to measure the distance between two objects, such as the height of a room or the length of a stairway. With this tool, you won’t have to rely on a flexible metal tape measure. After lining up the laser measure with the wall on the other end of the room, you can take the measurement almost instantly.
Many of the best laser distance measurers also provide area or volume measurements as well as an impressive accuracy range that can measure to within 1/8, 1/16, or even 1/32 of an inch. Depending on what you need to measure and how you want to use the tool, one of these top products may be a suitable choice for your next project.
- BEST OVERALL: BOSCH Blaze GLM 50 C 165’ Laser Distance Measure
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: RockSeed Laser Measure
- BEST PREMIUM: BOSCH GLM400CL Blaze Outdoor 400 ft Laser Measure
- BEST PORTABLE: atolla Laser Measure
- BEST HYBRID: TACKLIFE Laser Tape Measure 2-in-1
Features to Look for in the Best Laser Measure
Consider a few key features when shopping for a laser distance measurer. If uncertain which characteristics are important, the following factors may help you make a decision.
Accuracy and Range
The accuracy and range of a laser measure are typically given together, with most products claiming an average accuracy rating to within ⅛ inch at a distance of 50 feet. However, some laser distance measurers can measure much longer distances, while others can measure more than 320 feet accurately. Just remember that as the distance that’s being measured increases, accuracy can begin to falter.
Laser distance measurers rated for use at long distances often have a higher degree of accuracy, with many products capable of accurately measuring to within 1.6 millimeters or 1/16 inch. This increase in accuracy is often attributed to a stronger laser, but a stronger laser also usually comes with a higher price.
When selecting a laser distance measurer, consider the tool’s various functions that may help make a project as efficient and successful as possible. A laser measure’s basic job is to simply measure the distance between two points, but products are made that can perform additional specialized functions, such as:
- Some laser measures contain an integrated calculator that uses the length and width of measurements to provide the area of the room, which is necessary for flooring projects.
- Other products also can calculate volume using multiple laser measurements, which is helpful, for example, when determining the type of heater needed for a specific volume of space.
- Still other laser measures contain a Pythagorean measurement function that uses known proportions to find an unknown length or distance.
Most laser distance measurers operate with the push of a button, though some provide a continuous or automatic measurement while the operator moves around to find the ideal angle without needing to take multiple measurements. This is useful for quickly measuring the length, width, and height of a room.
Ease of Use
When considering whether to add a new tool to a workshop or garage, determine if it will make a project easier and more efficient or if the tool is more complicated than necessary. The best laser distance measurers feature simple, straightforward controls that are easy to use and easier to learn, so users spend more time working and less time figuring out how to operate them.
Those who have no experience using a laser distance measurer may want to consider a model with detailed operating instructions or very basic functionality. Laser distance measurers with Bluetooth connectivity can send measurements wirelessly to a smartphone or tablet, saving both time and effort.
A bright display with text that’s easy to read in dim lighting is an integral feature on a laser distance measurer. If the display is backlit, the text is easier to see in both bright sunlight and low-light conditions.
Laser distance measurers may display only a few numbers to indicate the distance and the unit of measurement. Or, the displays may be more complex, featuring multiple menus, functionalities, and accuracy settings. Some even have rotating screens.
Our Top Picks
To help shoppers find their best option in a laser distance measurer, here are some top pick products based on quality, price, and the considerations outlined.
This compact laser distance measurer from BOSCH travels in a pocket or bag to gather measurements at distances of up to 165 feet. The device automatically takes measurements as the user moves it around, accurately measuring to within 1/16 inch, while providing information for length, area, and volume. It has an easy-to-use control keypad and a bold color display with large, backlit text that can be read in dim or lightless conditions.
Its Bluetooth connectivity allows this laser distance measurer to wirelessly share information to a phone, while the free Bosch app gives users the ability to document measurements and create floor plans. This device also has a soft, slip-resistant grip on the body to help protect it from drops and impact damage.
This RockSeed laser distance measurer provides accurate measurements within 1/16 inch to a maximum distance of 165 feet. The device can be set to measure area, distance, length, and volume, or users can even take a Pythagorean measurement using three different points. When you turn on the device, it takes continuous measurements until it’s turned off or changed to a different setting.
The display screen is a backlit LCD with bold, black lettering that’s easy to see, even in dimly lit environments. This laser distance measurer is made with a hard rubber body that provides a slip-resistant grip, and this exterior also makes the device water-resistant and dustproof. The laser measure includes a wrist strap to keep it safe while you work.
This premium-priced device from BOSCH has several different measurement capabilities as well as built-in storage capable of storing the last 50 measurements and more than 600 images. Bluetooth connectivity allows you to wirelessly transmit these readings through the free Bosch app, which also can be used to create custom blueprints.
Take continuous measurements of length or single measurements of length, area, volume, and indirect measurements that use known proportions to find an unknown length or distance. This device can measure accurately to within 1/16 inch with a maximum distance of up to 400 feet. It also has a built-in camera with an adjustable zoom, so you can locate the laser at a long distance or even outdoors.
Take this compact laser distance measurer from atolla wherever you go, or loop the hand strap around your wrist to keep the tool easily available while freeing your hands for work.
Portability is an important consideration for those moving around a busy work site. The atolla device is compact enough to fit comfortably in a pocket, tool box, or bag. Its adjustable wrist strap can be set to the ideal size to ensure that it doesn’t slip off the wrist.
The atolla water-resistant laser distance measurer can accurately measure to within 1/16 inch and to a maximum distance of 196 feet. It features several measurement modes, including single measurement, continuous measurement, area, distance, volume, and Pythagorean mode. The backlit LCD screen is easy to see, and the built-in level helps properly align the laser with the targeted point in the distance.
The hybrid style of this laser distance measurer from TACKLIFE allows operators to use the traditional metal tape measure for short measurements up to 16 feet, but it also provides a laser to measure a distance of up to 131 feet. The laser distance measurer has an accuracy within 1/16 inch, and it comes with a user manual to learn how to use the control buttons and the LCD digital display.
This device can switch between three different units of measurement, including meters, inches, and feet, or it can be set to display decimals or fractions, according to preference. It also comes with a wrist strap and belt clip that make it easy to transport. The laser distance measurer continually takes measurements while users are moving around, and it has an auto-off function that shuts down the device after 20 seconds of inactivity.
The Advantages of Owning a Laser Distance Measurer
Adding a laser distance measurer to your tool box or workshop helps make many home renovation projects easier to complete. A laser measure can take accurate measurements at a long distance, unlike a metal tape measure that may slip or sag if not properly supported at both ends.
Not only do these devices deliver better accuracy than regular tape measures, but they also can be recalibrated. Many laser distance measurers provide the ability to measure area, volume, or even triangular shapes. Plus, their compact size makes them easy to carry, store, and use.
FAQs About Laser Distance Measurers
Before deciding on a new laser distance measurer, you still may have a few lingering questions. These frequently asked questions and answers may help you make an informed decision.
Q: How accurate is a laser distance measurer?
An average laser distance measurer is capable of accurately measuring a distance to within 1/8 inch or even 1/16 inch at a distance of 50 feet.
Q: Can you use a laser distance measurer outside?
Yes, you can use a laser distance measurer outside, but you must account for bright sunlight that can impair your ability to see the laser dot. Moreover, other factors can interfere with the reading, such as falling leaves or blowing dust and debris. Consider using a telescopic optical viewfinder, tripod, or a targeting camera for better outdoor results.
Q: How do you calibrate a laser distance measurer?
To calibrate your laser distance measurer, refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines: Each model may have a different calibration method, such as a detailed manual process or an automatic process. Some laser distance measurers may require professional calibration.