Laser distance measurers use a laser and an optical sensor to determine the distance between two surfaces to find the height of a room, the length of a stairway, or other helpful measurements. With this tool, you won’t have to rely on a flexible metal tape measure.
After lining up the laser distance measure with the surface on the other end of the room, the measurement is calculated almost instantly. Many laser measuring tools also provide area or volume measurements as well as an impressive accuracy range that can measure to within 1/8-inch, 1/16-inch, or even 1/32 of an inch.
To help you find the best laser tape measure, we performed hands-on testing with some of the top models on the market. Keep reading for more on what we found.
- BEST OVERALL: Bosch Blaze GLM50C Bluetooth Laser Distance Measure
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Atolla Laser Distance Meter
- BEST PREMIUM: Bosch GLM400CL Blaze Outdoor Bluetooth Laser Measure
- BEST COMPACT: Leica Disto E7100i Laser Distance Measure
- BEST FOR PROS: DeWalt DW099S Laser Measure Tool/Distance Meter
- BEST HYBRID: Lexivon 2-in-1 Digital Laser Tape Measure
- BEST RANGE: Leica 838725 Disto D2 Laser Distance Measure
How We Tested the Best Laser Measures
The number of measurements we pulled during testing was well into the hundreds. We tested the length, area, volume, level, and every other function we could—many times.
The first test included taking a measurement across three rooms, from the front door to the back of the house. Next, we used the laser measures to calculate the square footage of a room. We pulled each measurement from the exact same spots to ensure the laser measures were given a fair chance. Each measure proved to be accurate. After testing area measurements, we went with the volume test. This is where we had a failure, with the RockSeed coming substantially under the rest of the laser measures (which were all close to each other).
For laser measures with extra features, such as Bluetooth or an extended range, we waited until the end of the test to dig in and see how they worked. We downloaded apps, connected our phones, and used the long-range features on nearby buildings to get a full scope of what these models could do.
Our Top Picks
There are a lot of details to consider when selecting the right laser measure for the job. To help shoppers find their best option in a laser distance measure, below are some of the best product picks based on quality, price, and the considerations outlined above.
We performed hands-on testing with a number of models to ensure they met our expectations. Spoiler alert: Some didn’t, like the RockSeed Mileseey, which was inaccurate and not so easy to use, and therefore didn’t make our list of the best. As for the rest? Spot-on, literally.
This compact laser distance measure from Bosch travels in a pocket or a 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 of an 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 for easy reading 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 its body to help protect it from drops and impact damage.
The Bosch was an absolute joy to use during testing. First, it was the most compact of all the models in the test, yet it offered more features than almost any of them. All of the functions, including the built-in level, were accurate. It took a few minutes to understand how it integrates with the MeasureOn app, but transferring measurements was very easy. Also, the bottom of the GLM50C is completely flat, making lining up measurements easier. The only complaint I had is that the holster the GLM50C comes with has a very small belt loop that won’t fit comfortably over tool belts or wider leather belts.
- Range: 165 feet
- Display: Backlit LED
- Connectivity: Bluetooth
- Excellent digital display for DIY or professional use; can also be used in low light conditions
- Display rotates with angle changes for added user-friendliness
- Completely flat bottom for accurate positioning on floors and tabletops
- Built-in digital level provides ample versatility
- Holster’s belt loop is too small for some users’ preferences
Get the Bosch laser distance measure on Amazon.
Portability and affordability are important considerations for some folks, and this model offers both. The Atolla device is compact enough to fit comfortably in a pocket, a tool box, or a bag, and is affordable enough that nearly any DIYer should consider it. Its adjustable wrist strap can be set to the ideal size to ensure that it doesn’t slip off the user’s wrist.
The Atolla water-resistant laser distance measurer can accurately measure to within 1/16 of an inch up 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 Atolla isn’t perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but it proved to be an excellent value during testing. First, the bottom isn’t perfectly flat so it does rock a bit when trying to get a measurement. Also, the laser wasn’t straight. But, compared to the other models, neither issue affected its accuracy. It offers most of the same calculations including length, area, and volume as well. We also liked that it’s relatively compact for such a budget-minded laser measure.
- Range: 197 feet
- Display: Backlit LED
- Connectivity: None
- Offers lots of calculations for user-friendliness and versatility; provides accurate measurements
- Compact design is suitable for use by professionals as well as DIYers
- Surprisingly accurate compared to other models available
- Several measurement modes included; single and continuous measurement, area, distance, volume, and Pythagorean
- Bottom isn’t perfectly flat; may not meet some users’ measuring needs
- Laser wasn’t straight for some users
Get the Atolla laser distance measure on Amazon.
This outdoor laser measure from Bosch has a robust, reinforced glass screen that’s anti-scratch, glare resistant, and shatter resistant, which protects it and makes it easier to read the measurement results in bright light. It has several different measurement options as well as built-in data storage capable of storing the last 50 measurements and more than 600 images.
Bluetooth connectivity allows users to wirelessly transmit collected measurements through the free Bosch app, which can also create custom blueprints. 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 users can locate the laser at a long distance when outdoors, despite the light from the sun.
During testing, the GLM400CL appeared to be and have everything one could want from a laser measure. For one, the 400-foot range means it’s excellent for outdoor calculations. The menu is fully digital, so swapping between area, volume, distance, stake-out, and other settings is very easy. Also, the video viewfinder is incredibly useful in pulling measurements from long distances. Unfortunately, every button press emits a beep, and this model’s beep drove my dog (who often works with me) up a wall. Fortunately for me and my pooch, I was able to turn it off (30 beeps later).
- Range: 400 feet
- Display: Video viewfinder
- Connectivity: Bluetooth
- Video viewfinder is ideal for long distance measuring tasks
- Longest measuring range in the test; suitable for large spaces
- Fully digital menu provides ample user-friendliness
- Lots of beeping (but you can turn it off)
Get the Bosch GLM400CL laser measure on Amazon.
Anyone looking for a compact laser measure that they can keep in a pocket or a tool belt should give the Leica DISTO E7100i some serious consideration. This model has a measuring range of up to 200 feet (with a claim of 1/16-inch accuracy at that distance). It comes with a detachable pocket clip as well as Bluetooth connectivity.
Also, the DISTO E7100i features a min/max function that allows the user to sweep the laser measure across a corner while it records only the longest measurement, offering extreme accuracy. It also has length and area measurements.
Testing proved that the Leica is clearly a precise machine, and despite its compact design, its accuracy is not impacted. We liked the pocket clip that can grip onto the lip of a tool bag, and it also detaches very easily. The bottom of this model is dead flat, so placing against a surface and getting a quick, accurate measurement was a breeze. The only cons were that, despite the product description, we could not find a “volume” mode on this laser. Also, the DISTO Plan app was a little frustrating to use; it wasn’t as easy to swap between metric and imperial measurements as it is on the actual laser.
- Range: 200 feet
- Display: Backlit LED
- Connectivity: Bluetooth
- Thinnest model in the test; suitable for those who work on jobsites
- Bluetooth connectivity provides user-friendliness and sharing capabilities
- Detachable pocket clip for portability
- Perfectly flat bottom for easy measuring in certain spaces
- No volume calculation included in the model
- App is a little frustrating to use; may be tough for first-timers
Get the Leica Disto E7100i laser measure at Amazon, The Home Depot, and Walmart.
This DeWalt laser measuring tool is an option for professionals who need an easy-to-use device to take quick measurements of 100 feet or less. It has only five buttons to learn, and the entire device is covered in a thick, durable protective cover to help keep the laser measure safe from scratches and impact damage if it’s dropped.
The device can take and send measurement data through an active Bluetooth connection. Using the Tool Connect app, the collected data is stored and can be used to create new projects, like flooring or painting. It also can be used to export the project, saving pros time and effort that may otherwise include drawing a plan by hand.
The reason why the DeWalt laser distance meter is the best for pros is truly its app. Pros who use the DeWalt Tool Connect app won’t have to add an additional app or confuse themselves with another interface, and that’s a real “pro.” It was also the best app in the test, as it was the easiest to use once it’s set up. The laser itself is also very easy to use, with very few buttons and simple functionality (despite having more functions than some more expensive models). We also like that it’s yellow, making it harder to misplace. The only issue we had is that the bottom is not flat, so it wobbles quite a bit when held against a surface unlike similar DeWalt options.
- Range: 100 feet
- Display: Backlit negative LED
- Connectivity: Bluetooth
- Best app in the test; suitable for those that need to share or save measurements
- Simple functionality; perfect for first-timers and DIYers
- Hard to lose; large, durable construction
- Bottom isn’t flat; may not suit some users’ needs
Get the DeWalt distance meter measure on Amazon.
When it comes to convenient design, it’s hard to beat the Lexivon 2-in-1 Digital Laser Tape Measure. This laser measure has a built-in tape measure, allowing the user to pull measurements up to 16 feet. But, should the user want a faster method or a longer measurement, the laser measure can handle them up to 130 feet.
There aren’t many other bells and whistles to the Lexivon 2-in-1 Digital Laser Tape Measure, but that’s part of its beauty. Its one-button design makes it easy to use, and it was just as accurate as other models. The digital display was very easy to read as well, despite being a relatively affordable and simple tool. Our only complaint about this distance and tape measure is that it doesn’t have any function other than length, so volume, area, and angled measurements require old-school paper and pencil calculation.
- Range: 130 feet
- Display: Backlit negative LED
- Connectivity: None
- Convenient 2-in-1 design acts as a distance measure as well as tape measure
- Digital display is surprisingly clear; suitable for professionals or DIYers
- Simple one-button design is perfect for first-timers
- Magnet in hook is very weak; may not be ideal for some users
Get the Lexivon laser measure on Amazon.
When it comes to long measurements, Leica’s 838725 DISTO D2 Laser Distance Measure might be the tool for the job. This laser measure features a maximum measuring range of 330 feet, making it as suitable outdoors as it is for indoor work.
The Leica Disto D2 has plenty of functionality as well, offering length, area, volume, and Pythagorean functions. It also connects to the Leica DISTO Plan app through Bluetooth. The backlit LED display is also easy to read.
During testing, the Leica DISTO D2 was accurate and easy to use. We did struggle with a few of the settings (the Pythagorean theory setting, specifically), but the instructions cleared up the questions. Also, the backlit display was very clear, and the dead flat bottom made grabbing a quick measurement a breeze. Again, the Leica Disto D2’s Plan app was a little more difficult to use than the actual laser, but connecting the laser measure to a phone was very easy.
- Range: 330 feet
- Display: Backlit LED
- Connectivity: Bluetooth
- Memory access is very easy; suitable for sharing measurements
- Easy to use and connect to phone
- Flat bottom for easy readings in certain spaces
- The app is frustrating to use; may be tough for first-timers
Get the Leica Disto D2 laser distance measure at Amazon, The Home Depot, and Walmart.
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Laser Distance Measurer
There are many choices when it comes to laser distance measurers for DIYers and professionals. To help weed through the options, consider a few key features when comparing laser measuring devices since different characteristics are important to different types of projects. The following factors may help you find the right tool for the job.
Indoor vs. Outdoor Use
While most laser tape measures are only suited for measuring distance indoors, there are some products that are specifically for outdoor use. Most outdoor models can measure longer distances, but the laser light of the laser measure doesn’t change in any way. However, the bodies of outdoor models need to be able to stand up to rain, snow, and fluctuating temperature extremes.
This weather resistance helps prevent the interior of the tool from becoming damaged by moisture buildup, and the tightly sealed case also keeps out dust. However, the upgraded case does come at a cost, so users can expect to pay more for an outdoor laser measure.
Accuracy and Range
The accuracy and measurement range are typically listed together, with most products claiming an average accuracy rating to within 1/8-inch at a distance of 50 feet. However, some laser distance measures can accurately measure much longer distances, up to 320 feet. Just remember that as the distance increases, accuracy can begin to falter.
Laser measures 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 due to a stronger laser, which usually comes with a higher price tag.
When selecting a laser distance measurer, consider the tool’s various functions that may help make a project as efficient and successful as possible. Those who have no experience using a laser distance measurer may want to consider a model with detailed operating instructions or one with very basic functionality.
A laser measurer’s basic job is to simply measure the distance between two points, but some measurers can perform additional specialized functions:
- Some laser distance measures contain an integrated calculator that uses the length and width measurements to provide the area of the room, which is necessary for flooring projects.
- Other products can calculate volume using multiple laser measurements, which is helpful, for example, when determining the type of heater needed for a specific space.
- Still other laser measures contain a Pythagorean measurement function that uses known proportions to find an unknown length or distance.
Most laser measuring tools operate with the push of a button, though some provide a continuous or an 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.
A bright display with text that’s easy to read in dim lighting is an integral feature of a laser distance measurer. If the display is backlit, the text is easier to see in both direct sunlight and low-light conditions.
Laser measuring devices 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 to make it easier to see the readings from any position.
Connectivity and Storage
The best laser tape measure is often equipped with a continuous measure feature and the ability to transfer data from the device to a computer. Upgraded models have an extended measuring range, and they may be capable of indirect measurement with the Pythagorean measurement function, keeping all information stored safely on the device.
Laser measuring tools might also come with Bluetooth connectivity, which allows the stored measurements to be transferred wirelessly to a smartphone or a tablet, saving time and effort. Just make sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions to properly connect the device.
The best laser measuring tools aren’t just about the basics. They can include a range of additional features to help make the laser measure easier to use and more convenient for users, including a battery life indicator, sound alerts, automatic shutoff, and holsters.
- Battery life indicators are usually simple visual symbols that are displayed on the screen to tell the user how much battery life is remaining and may begin to flash or trigger a sound alert when the battery gets too low.
- Sound alerts can be used to notify the user about a low battery, to indicate that the device is ready to take a measurement, or to simply alert the user when the laser measure has successfully taken the intended measurement.
- The automatic shutoff function of a laser measure saves battery life. When the tool is idle for a certain period of time, it shuts down to conserve energy but typically stores the previous readings.
- Holsters may not add anything to the functionality of the device, but having a holster for the laser measurer makes it easier to carry, put away, or access when necessary.
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 measurer can produce an accurate measurement at long distances, 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 measures provide the ability to measure area, volume, or even triangular shapes. Plus, their compact size makes them easy to carry, store, and use.
Tips for Using a Laser Distance Measure
Laser measuring tools are impressive tools that can make it easier to take long measurements. However, as the distance between objects increases, any slight alteration to the laser measure can change the measurement. To help ensure that the laser measure is lined up properly, use a piece of painter’s tape or a sticky note as a target.
Outdoor measurements with a laser measure can also be difficult because the laser can get lost in bright sunlight, making it hard to see if it’s properly aligned. Some laser measures have a built-in viewfinder or an external viewfinder to help users locate the laser and line it up.
After using the laser measure, make sure to properly clean it. These tools rely on the uninterrupted beam of light, so any dirt or debris on the tool can block a portion of the laser, reducing the accuracy of the tool.
- For accurate measurements, consider using a small target, like a sticky note, on the opposite side of the distance being measured.
- Use a viewfinder to help track down the laser on the target surface in bright light.
- Before putting it away in a tool box, clean the laser measure to continue to get the best results.
Before deciding on a new laser distance measure, you may have a few lingering questions. The following answers to some frequently asked questions may help you make a more informed decision about which model is right for you.
Q: How does a laser measure work?
A laser measure essentially emits light in a concentrated beam, then measures the time it takes for the light to hit an object and reflect back to the laser measure. Through this process, it is able to determine the distance between the laser measure and the object it’s pointed toward.
Q: Can a laser measure replace a tape measure?
A traditional tape measure is a better option for short measurements because it takes less time to set up, but there are hybrid laser measures that incorporate a traditional tape measure into the laser measure, providing users with both tools.
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, a laser measuring tools can be used outside, but bright sunlight can impair the 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, a tripod, or a targeting camera for better results outdoors.
Q: How do you calibrate a laser distance measurer?
To calibrate a 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 measures may require professional calibration.
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