Written By Car Bibles Staff
Published Nov. 27, 2018

Have you ever seen a decorative piece in a friend’s home and wondered to yourself, “How in the world did they manage to get it to be so precise? And more importantly, why can’t I make things look like that in my home?” Chances are, your friend didn’t use any of the old-school measurement methods, including tape measures and rulers. Instead, they used a laser measuring tool – the most accurate measurement method there is.

Before you start checking out laser meters though, it’s important to gain a general understanding of different measuring modes and how they work. For instance, did you know that some models can measure down to 1/32 of an inch while others to ¼ of an inch? That some tools can do calculations for you while others cannot? There are many things to consider before buying a laser meter. Luckily, you’re in the right place – here, we not only talk about the best laser measuring tools on the market but also about all the important features of these superior measurement methods.

The Best Laser Measuring Tool

If you want a reliable laser distance measurer that gives the most accurate measurements possible but don’t want to spend a fortune on such a device, the Boshc GLM 35 is the laser meter for you. With precise long-range measuring and simple, user-friendly design, this is the best laser measure on a budget.

The GLM 35 model boasts several useful functions, including area, distance, length, volume, and continuous measurement. There is also an addition/subtraction function which is always welcome. As for how long this compact little laser measuring tool can go, excellent accuracy is ensured up to 120 feet. Speaking of, you can expect the tool to consistently measure to 1/16 of an inch, which is pretty amazing for a low-cost laser tool. Operating the tool is a piece of cake as only one button activates the laser. It also helps the display is backlit,  allowing the user to read it even in dark rooms.

The Bosch laser measure comes with 2 AAA batteries and since it’s so compact it can easily be carried in a pocket. Perfect for both professionals and DIYers!

Key Features
  • Measuring accuracy +/- 1/16”
  • Measures up to 120 ft.
  • Functions include area, distance, length, volume, continuous measurement and addition/subtraction
  • Remembers last 3 values
  • Backlit display
  • 2 x AAA batteries included
Specification
  • Brand Bosch
  • Model GLM 35
  • Weight 6.6 oz

Bluetooth-enabled, super-accurate and able to continuously measure long distances, the Leica Geosystems DISTO D2 is a fantastic laser distance meter, especially for professionals.

The Leica laser measure has an ISO certified measuring engine that ensures 1/16 inch accuracy and a whopping 330 feet measuring range. Importantly, even at such long distances, the tool remains precise. As for its functions, there is the Min/Max which allows you to get the device into corners for precise diagonal measurements. Plus, area, volume and addition/subtraction function. But that’s not all – the D2 also remembers the last 10 measurements taken and includes a Pythagoras function for indirect width or height measurements. However, since this is a rather tiny device, it’s best to use the  Pythagoras for estimates, not precise measurements. Using the tool is super-easy and convenient thanks to the Bluetooth technology which allows you to send measurements into apps running on smartphones.

The tool uses two AAA 1.5V batteries which are included in the package.

Key Features
  • Measuring accuracy 1/16”
  • Measures up to 330 ft.
  • Functions include area, volume, add/subtract, min/max, painter and Pythagoras function
  • Bluetooth-enabled
  • Remembers 10 last values
  • Illuminated display
  • 2x AAA batteries included
Specification
  • Brand Leica Geosystems
  • Model 838725
  • Weight 4 oz

The DeWalt DW03050 is an accurate and convenient laser measuring tool with a  durable, water-resistant design. With a bunch of useful functions and a reasonable price, it’s an ideal tool for contractors, electricians and other professionals, as well as DIYers.

The DeWalt laser measure tool automatically calculates area and volume, making your job infinitely easier. For indirect height measurements, the device uses Pythagoras function which is a welcome feature if target A and/or B is not accessible for linear measurement. The operating range is up to 165 feet while the accuracy goes within 1/16 of an inch, or 1.5 mm. And if you need to check the last few measurements you’ve taken? No worries, the DeWalt has a memory unit for storing the last five measurements. Operating the device is simple and a 2-line backlit display helps improve visibility in both bright and dark conditions.

This laser meter boasts an over-molded housing which ensures protection against water, dust, and debris. Like most devices, it uses 2 AAA batteries.

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Key Features
  • Measuring accuracy +/- 1/16”
  • Measures up to 165 ft.
  • Functions include add/subtract, area, volume, Pythagoras
  • Remembers last 5 values
  • 2-line backlit display
  • 2 x AAA batteries included
Specification
  • Brand DEWALT
  • Model DW03050
  • Weight 1.6 oz

With an accurate and long distance measuring range, you would never guess this laser measuring tool is so cheap. But don’t be fooled by its low price – this compact device has a durable, water-resistant design and a bunch of useful features that are usually only present in higher-end models.

The Tacklife HD60 measures up to 196 feet with an accuracy down to a 1/16 of an inch. Pretty neat for a laser measurer that costs less than $40! The device also provides volume and area calculations based on measured length, height, and width, meaning there’s no need for manual operation with this gadget. The device also has the power of calculating indirect Pythagorean measurement and comes with a data storage of 30 groups. The only downside is the operation which is not super-intuitive. Thankfully, the tool comes with an instruction manual, so it’s not too hard to learn how to use it.

The Tacklife HD60 sports IP54 waterproof level, offering protection in a variety of environmental conditions. As for the batteries, there are two AAA alkaline batteries included.

Key Features
  • Measuring accuracy +/- 1/16”
  • Measures up to 196 ft.
  • Functions include add/subtract, area, volume, Pythagoras
  • 30 groups memory
  • Backlit LCD display
  • 2 x AAA batteries included
Specification
  • Brand TACKLIFE
  • Model HD60
  • Weight 7.4 oz

If you’re looking for a reliable, user-friendly laser measurer but you’re on a tight budget, definitely check out the DBPower TD0425. This model is equipped with all the right features, it’s incredibly easy to use and most importantly, it won’t break the bank.

DBPower tool measures up to 197 feet to within 1/13 of an inch, which is accurate enough even for professionals, let alone amateurs and DIYers. The tool has various useful features including automatic calculation of area, volume, and even indirect Pythagoras measurement. There is also the minimum/maximum function which comes in handy when evaluating the longest and shortest distances from a fixed point. Operating this laser measurer is easy and intuitive and the display is the backlight for increased visibility in dimly lit rooms. The downside is that it’s not clearly visible in daylight conditions.

This digital laser tape measure uses 3 AAA batteries which are included in the package.

Key Features
  • Measuring accuracy +/- 1/13”
  • Measures up to 197 ft.
  • Functions include add/subtract, area, volume, Pythagoras
  • Remembers up to 20 values (stores data backwards)
  • Backlit display
  • 3 x AAA batteries included
Specification
  • Brand DBPOWER
  • Model TD0425
  • Weight 5.6 oz

Looking for an accurate laser measuring tool that is inexpensive? You can’t go wrong with Bosch. This compact laser measure is ideal for folks who work on a lot of projects around the house as it provides accurate measurements and is easy to use.

With a measuring distance of 65 feet and accuracy within 1/8 inch, the Bosch GLM 20 is the obvious choice for folks on a budget. The tool measures in feet, inches and meters only or inches only and has an auto-shutoff feature, meaning it turns itself off after 5 minutes to save energy. And because there is only one button, the tool is also super-simple to use – one press makes the device go into real-time measurement mode, two presses hold the measurement. Since this is an inexpensive product, it doesn’t come as a surprise that there are no extra features. But, if you’re a typical DIYer, it’s likely you won’t need them anyway.

The Bosch GLM 20 uses 2 AAA batteries which come with the tool.

Key Features
  • Measuring accuracy +/- 1/8”
  • Measures up to 65 ft.
  • Real-time distance measuring
  • User-friendly
  • Backlit display
  • 2 x AAA batteries included
Specification
  • Brand Bosch
  • Model GLM 20
  • Weight 3.2 oz

Inexpensive but accurate and versatile, the Morpilot laser tape measure is a great tool for both professionals and amateurs. There are plenty of helpful features plus a few goodies that come with the gadget – it’s a bargain, especially for DIYers!

The Morpilot uses two bubble levels to give more measurement precision. Speaking of which, it’s accurate just under 2mm and can measure up to 196 feet. Like most of the laser devices, it allows you to easily switch between feet, inches, and meters, depending on your needs. As for it features it sports, there are many useful ones– it provides distance, area, volume, and Pythagorean measurement and there is even the Min/Max function. Another useful feature is the auto-shut off, which means that if you forget to turn off the measurer, it will do so itself after 150s. Operating the device is pretty simple as the design is intuitive. As a bonus, the product comes with an enhancement target card and glasses which are helpful for seeing red-beam lasers in daylight.

The Morpilot uses two 1.5V AAA batteries which come with the product.

Key Features
  • Measuring accuracy just under 2 mm
  • Measures up to 196 ft.
  • Functions include add/subtract, area, volume, Pythagoras, min/max
  • 30 groups memory
  • Backlit display
  • Laser target card, enhancing glasses and 2 x AAA batteries included
Specification
  • Brand Morpilot
  • Model HM60
  • Weight 10.7 oz

If you’re looking for the ultimate long-distance laser measuring tool that has numerous helpful features, the new Leica Geosystems DISTO X series, and the E7400X model, in particular, is worth checking out. With a durable design and literally more than a dozen functions, the Leica laser measure tool is ideal for professionals.

The device measures up to 395 feet with 1/16 inch accuracy. You can use the smart horizontal function, min/max,  stake out, painter, Pythagoras, and many more features to measure and calculate whatever you need. Importantly for contractors, handymen, and other professionals, the E7400x has a 2-meter drop rating and is resistant to water and dirt. This is a hardy little laser meter that can withstand pretty much anything you throw at it. It’s also user-friendly – the unit has a few buttons that are intuitive to use and a backlit LCD display that ensures proper visibility in both light and dark rooms.

The tool stores the last 20 values and uses two AAA 1.5 V batteries which are included with the product.

Key Features
  • Measuring accuracy 1/16”
  • Measures up to 395 ft.
  • Functions include add/subtract, area, volume, Pythagoras, painters, min/max, stake out and more
  • Remembers last 30 values
  • Backlit LCD display
Specification
  • Brand Leica Geosystems
  • Model DISTO E7400x
  • Weight 4.8 oz

With Bosch’s DLR130K model you’ll easily and quickly measure anything you need. This compact little laser measurer is perfect for folks who do a lot of work around the house, although it’s suitable for professionals as well.

The tool’s measuring distance is up to 130 feet, while its accuracy goes up to 1/16 of an inch. As for the functions it offers, there are an area, length, volume and continuous measuring for versatility. Of course, you can also switch between inches, feet and inches, decimal feet and metric, depending on your needs. The gadget itself has an ergonomic soft-grip area which enables easy and comfortable operation. It also helps the buttons are intuitive to use (there are quite a few of them though), however, the display is not backlit and therefore does not provide great visibility in dim rooms. As for the memory storage, the DLR130K model saves only the last measurement in decimal feet or decimal meters.

The device uses 4 AAA batteries.

Key Features
  • Measuring accuracy +/- 1/16”
  • Measures up to 130 ft.
  • Functions include add/subtract, area, volume, and continuous measurement
  • Remembers the last value
  • Ergonomic design but display is not backlit
  • 4 x AAA batteries included
Specification
  • Brand Bosch
  • Model DLR130K
  • Weight 5 oz

Affordable and versatile, the Suaoki S9 is a solid budget laser measurer that is suitable for both DIYers and professionals. This is thanks to a bunch of helpful features it sports, as well as a durable and compact design.

The Suaoki S9 has a measuring range of 198 feet and is accurate up to 1/16 of an inch. Besides the usual functions such as area, volume and add/subtract, the tool also offers min/max and Pythagoras function for height and triangular area. And depending on what you’re doing, you can easily switch between imperial and metric units, although the device does revert to metric once turned off. As for the design, this tool is pretty much unbreakable – rainproof, dustproof and shockproof, this little guy can withstand anything. For this reason, it’s one of the most durable laser measurers out there. Importantly, it’s also easy to read and use, thanks to its intuitively designed buttons and 4-line backlit display.

Suaoki S9 uses typical 1.5V AAA batteries, two of them to be precise, which are come with the tool.

Key Features
  • Measuring accuracy +/- 1/16”
  • Measures up to 196 ft.
  • Functions include add/subtract, area, volume, Pythagoras
  • 20 historical data
  • 4-line backlit display
  • 2 x AAA batteries included
Specification
  • Brand SUAOKI
  • Model 3SNHI2EK
  • Weight 4.3 oz

If you hate replacing batteries on gadgets all the time, give laser meters with rechargeable batteries a try. The Hammerhead HLMT130 is a great choice as it can be charged via USB port, plus it provides all the basic functions a DIYer may need.

This compact model measures up to 130 feet with accuracy up to 1/8 inch. Thanks to its three modes of operation, it’s super-simple to use. It also helps it has an LCD display that is easy to read. The features – length, area, and continuous measurements – may be basic but are all most people and DIYers need anyway. Now, for the most interesting part – the HLMT130 has an integrated lithium rechargeable battery as well as micro USB port, meaning you can recharge it pretty much anywhere you go.

This is a very small, compact device that easily fits in a shirt pocket, making it ideal for interior decorators, real estate agents and of course folks who do a lot of projects around the house.

Key Features
  • Measuring accuracy +/- 1/8”
  • Measures up to 130 ft.
  • Functions include length, area, continuous measurement
  • Displays last two measurements
  • LCD display
  • Integrated lithium rechargeable battery
Specification
  • Brand HAMMERHEAD
  • Model HLMT130
  • Weight 3.2 oz

If you need a quick and easy way to accurately measure structures, rooms, objects, and other things, the Fonesto F100 laser distance measurer is a fantastic option. This inexpensive tool provides fast and precise measurements every single time, plus is packed with helpful features.

The F100 model measures length, area, volume and provides continuous measurements as you move it toward or away from the target. There’s also the always welcome add/subtract feature, as well as the option for min/max distance tracking and Pythagoras measurements. As for its measuring range, it’s 328 feet with 1/8 inch accuracy. The device is simple to use and there is an option of switching between feet, inches, decimal feet, and metric units. If you’re wondering about visibility, the display is backlit which is great when measuring in dimly lit rooms.

This pocket-size laser measuring tool uses two AAA batteries which are included in the package.

Key Features
  • Measuring accuracy +/- 1/8”
  • Measures up to 328 ft.
  • Functions include length, add/subtract, area, volume, Pythagoras, min/max
  • 20 historical data
  • Backlit display
  • 2 x AAA batteries included
Specification
  • Brand foneso
  • Model 1
  • Weight 6.4 oz

Another excellent Suaoki laser measurer, this one too affordable and packed with useful features. This compact device can be used by both contractors and other professionals, as well as DIYers.

The D60 model has a measuring range up to 197 feet with an accuracy of within 0.08 inch, or 2 mm.  It features built-in equations for volume, area and Pythagoras measurements and there is a unit converter for easy switching between metric and imperial units. There is also an internal memory storage which saves up to 20 measurements. The operation is incredibly simple thanks to the tools’ intuitive design, bright laser and a bright LCD display. However, it’s worth noting that the laser dot is practically invisible outdoors in a sunny environment, although that is to be expected with most inexpensive laser meters.

The D60 model is compact for easy transport and uses two typical AAA batteries.

Key Features
  • Measuring accuracy +/- 0.08”
  • Measures up to  197 ft.
  • Functions include add/subtract, area, volume, Pythagoras, continuous measurement
  • Remembers last 20 values
  • Bright LCD display
  • 2 x AAA batteries included
Specification
  • Brand SUAOKI
  • Model 9FCA8I5D-01
  • Weight 2.24 oz

For fast and accurate measurements, the Fluke 414D is a fantastic tool. This tiny device offers all the functions that you’d normally expect from a high-end model, only it’s more affordable.

The 414D model’s measuring distance is 165 feet with an accuracy of 0.08 of an inch or 2 mm. There is an addition/subtraction function, length, area, volume and Pythagoras measurement, basically covering anything a professional might need. The memory storage saves up to five values, so you can easily return to your previous measurements. This handy little gadget even has a built-in compass and a 180º inclination sensor for leveling and height tracking. The only minus is its display which is not backlit, meaning it doesn’t provide enough visibility in dimly lit rooms.

The Fluke laser distance meter uses two AAA batteries which promise around 3000 measurements. Thankfully, they, along with a carrying pouch are included with the product.

Key Features
  • Measuring accuracy +/- 0.08”
  • Measures up to 165 ft.
  • Functions include add/subtract, area, volume, Pythagoras, min/max
  • Remembers last 5 values
  • Display is not backlit
  • 2 x AAA batteries included
Specification
  • Brand Fluke
  • Model 414D
  • Weight 9.6 oz

We’re finishing our Top list with this handsome little laser measurer by UNI-T. Inexpensive, versatile and accurate, this electronic tape measure is perfect for folks who work on a lot of house projects, although it’s definitely good enough for professionals as well.

The tool’s measuring distance is up to 131 feet and its accuracy is within 0.08 inch, or 2 mm. There are numerous helpful functions, including area and volume, continuous measurement, Pythagoras and addition/subtraction. There is also a memory storage which conveniently saves up to 30 values, as well as an auto-shut off function (150s) which saves energy. The operation is simple as there are only 5 buttons, plus the LCD display is clear and backlit, ensuring proper visibility in dimly lit rooms.

This pocket-sized unit uses only one AAA battery which, along with a sling, is included in the package.

Key Features
  • Measuring accuracy +/- 0.08”
  • Measures up to 131 ft.
  • Functions include add/subtract, length, area, volume, Pythagoras, continuous measurement
  • 30 groups history
  • Backlit display
  • 1 x AAA batteries included
Specification
  • Brand UNI-T
  • Model LD40
  • Weight 8 oz

Best Laser Measuring Tools Buying Guide

Whether you’re a contractor, an electrician, a part-time handyman or a passionate DIYer, a quality laser meter can help you work faster, easier and smarter. However, as you may have guessed by looking at our Top 15 list, there are a lot of things to consider before you can find the best laser measuring tool. Accuracy is clearly important, but so is convenience and speed. And of course, whether a laser measurer will actually be the best for you also depends on your needs and preferences.

To help you find a tool that checks all the right boxes, we’ve prepared this buying guide. Read about the features a quality measurer should have, as well as the benefits of using laser meters over more traditional methods of measurement.

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Features to Look for in a Laser Measuring Tool

What features your laser meter should have depended on the work you do, as that dictates what functions you’ll use the most. But regardless of your work and preferences, all laser measurers should check the following boxes.

  • Accuracy

When using a traditional tape measure, it’s easy to misread the results, mostly because it’s incredibly easy to accidentally start or end the measurement a few millimeters off the intended start or end point. With a proper laser meter though, misreading is practically impossible. Still, some laser measuring tools are more accurate than others, though the variation is usually minimal. Generally speaking, it’s a good idea to stick to models with an accuracy around 1/16 inches as this is great for both construction, carpentry and DIY work. However, if you want ultimate precision, you may want to go for tools that have a 1/32 inches precision (bear in mind though, the more precise a tool the more expensive it will be!).

  • Range

The range of a laser meter describes how far it can reach while giving accurate measurements. Some tools accurately measure only up to 50 feet, while others go up to 300. What’s important here is to not get stuck in the number game. Sure, long-distance laser tools are generally more convenient than short-distance ones, however, you may not need a long-distance measuring tool at all. As you may have guessed, this entirely depends on the work you intend to do with the measurer. For in-home use, tools that measure between 60 and 100 feet are more than enough; for professionals, around 200 to 300 feet laser meters are a better option.

  • Functionality

Most laser meters are equipped with several basic functions, but some can calculate advanced geometry. Typically, a laser measuring tool will be able to tell you the distance between two points, but also to calculate:

  • Distance,
  • Volume, and
  • Area

In our humble opinion, these are basic and usually very necessary functions and if a laser tool cannot calculate them, it’s not worth your money. Still, this too depends on your needs.

If your work requires you to measure angles between surfaces such as corners, roof pitches, etc., then you may want to look for more advanced functions. The following features may be useful:

  • Pythagorean theorem
  • Painter
  • Min/Max
  • Continuous measurement.

Other Features

While not necessary, features such as memory storage, Bluetooth compatibility, and a good protection rating can be highly convenient. Of course, how much – if any – of these features you’ll actually need depends on your work. For instance, if you’re a handyman or a DIYer, you may not need a large memory storage at all; a memory of about three to five measurements will probably be all you need. On the other hand, if you’re a general contractor, a large memory storage (around 20-30 history values) may actually be necessary. Same goes for Bluetooth technology and protection rating – generally speaking, if you’re not a professional, fewer features are the way to go; if you are, the more the merrier.

Benefits of Using a Laser Distance Measurer

There are many benefits of using laser measuring tools, but the most important ones are the following three:

  • Accuracy: if you want accuracy and precision, forget about the more traditional methods of measurement and instead turn to laser meters. These tools undoubtedly give the most accurate measurements, especially the high-end models that go all the way down to 1/32 of an inch.
  • Convenience: laser measurers are incredibly simple to use. Most allow you to switch between imperial and metric systems with a push of a button which saves time and effort. Plus, they’re usually compact and easy to carry with you.
  • Ease of use: with a quality laser tool you can say goodbye to pen and paper and manual calculations. A laser tool makes complex calculations such as volume, area, and triangulation quick and easy.

Laser Measure Tips

Using a laser measure could hardly be easier. Follow these simple tips to get super-accurate measurements every time.

  • Use a target: to make laser measuring easier for yourself and your gadget, make use of simple targets. Sticky notes, Velcro dots, even duct tape all work great for short distances, especially inside. When you’re measuring over 100 feet and you’re outside in sunlight, use an inexpensive reflective target.
  • Functions: while basic functions may be all you need, it’s a good idea to get familiar with the rest of the features in your laser meter. For example, you could measure a roof’s slope without climbing up a ladder by using the Pythagoras.
  • Zoom in: when measuring longer distances in sunlight, use your viewfinder. Bright daylight can make the red laser dot practically invisible, so make use of that magnification feature as it can help you zoom up to 4x.

Best Laser Measuring Tools FAQ:

Q:  What is a laser distance measure?

  A laser distance measure is a new alternative to the old methods of measurement. By sending a pulse of laser light, the device measures the time it takes a pulse to be reflected off a target and returned to the sender (time of flight principle).

Q:  How do laser measures work?

  There are two ways laser meters obtain measurements:

  • Time of flight: this method measures the amount of time it takes for an optical pulse to reflect back to the tool after it hits a target.
  • Phase-shift: a sinusoidally modulated laser’s beam is sent to a target and its reflected light is compared with the phase of the power modulation. The amount the wavelength of the laser changes is then used to determine the distance.

Q:  Is the laser in these devices dangerous?

  Lasers of class 2 are considered safe for the eyes as the normal eye shut-reflex is sufficient to protect it. Of course, all 15 laser tools in our Top list are of class 2, so there’s nothing to worry about.

Q:  What is Pythagoras measurement?

If your laser meter has a Pythagoras measurement, you can use it to make super quick and easy indirect measurements. By recording the distance of two sides of a right-angled triangle, the device with a Pythagorean function will work out the third all on its own. This feature can be highly useful for professionals but is usually not necessary for DIYers and amateurs.

Our Top Pick

All laser measuring tools featured in our Top 15 list are reliable, accurate and durable devices and we’re certain that whichever one you choose, you won’t regret it. As for us, we chose the Bosch GLM 35 model. Why? The tool is equipped with every function one may need in day-to-day life, including length, area, volume, and continuous measurement. Its measuring range is 120 feet and accuracy is within 1/16 inch, which is more than enough for both DIYers and professionals. There is also the add/subtract function, as well as a small but convenient memory storage of 3 values, making this inexpensive pocket-size laser meter highly practical and versatile.

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Sources:

  1. How does a laser tape measure work? – HowStuffWorks
  2. How Do Laser Distance Meters Work? – Sciencing

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