The 10 Best Laser Measures

Updated December 10, 2017 by Ezra Glenn

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We spent 43 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top selections for this wiki. Tape measures are so 20th century. Step into the future with one of these laser models. Don't ask us how (it has something to do with Pythagoras), but some of them can even measure things they can't see. Contractors, electricians and DIY-builders will want to grab one immediately. They are perfect for any type of construction work, home remodeling, and real estate appraisals. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best laser measure on Amazon.

10. Suaoki S9

The Suaoki S9 has dual built-in levels and is advertised to measure up to 200 feet, but it does tend to struggle at longer distances. While it can switch between imperial and metric units, it always reverts to metric when turned off.
  • includes a nylon carrying pouch
  • protected by a tough rubber casing
  • not as accurate as it purports to be
Model pending
Weight 10.4 ounces
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

9. Stanley TLM165

With a range of up to 50 meters, the fairly basic Stanley TLM165 is lighter than most models, at just 3.5 ounces, and it measures continuously to help locate targets quickly. It boasts a simple 5-button interface and is generally accurate within one sixteenth of an inch.
  • can calculate area and volume
  • comes with a belt-mountable holster
  • manual is on an obsolete cd-rom
Brand Stanley
Model STHT77139
Weight 9.6 ounces
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

8. DeWalt DW03050

The incredibly durable DeWalt DW03050 is designed with a drop-resistant housing and has an IP65 rating, making it suitable for use in wet conditions. Its accuracy begins to diminish, however, if you measure beyond 33 feet without the use of a target plate.
  • longer range versions available
  • memory stores last 5 measurements
  • battery door can be hard to open
Model DW03050
Weight 8 ounces
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

7. Hammerhead HLMT130

The compact and lightweight Hammerhead HLMT130 is the size of a small cellphone, so fits easily in your back pocket. Its lithium battery can be recharged via its micro USB port and it's a good choice for interior decorating, home remodeling, or real estate appraisals.
  • rubberized gripping surface
  • screen easy to read in any lighting
  • doesn't retain settings between uses
Model HLMT130
Weight 3.2 ounces
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

6. Bosch GLM35

For the most accurate measurements possible without a high cost, the Bosch GLM35 is the best choice because it consistently measures to 1/16 of an inch, even at long distances. It can switch easily between imperial and metric units and has a 120 foot range.
  • backlit three-line display
  • backed by a two-year warranty
  • doesn't have an internal memory
Brand Bosch
Model GLM 35
Weight 5 ounces
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

5. DBPower TD-0425

The user-friendly DBPower TD-0425 is a good choice for those on a budget. Equipped with a soft rubber housing and a range of up to 197 feet, it'll save you both time and money. It lets you toggle between meters, feet, and inches with ease.
  • water- and dust-proof
  • weighs just over ten ounces
  • doesn't work well in direct sunlight
Model TD-0425
Weight 10.4 ounces
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

4. Fluke 414D

For fast and highly accurate measurements, the Fluke 414D offers audible button feedback and every modern feature you would expect from a high-end model. With a bit of practice, you can compute everything from area to volume and corner angles quite rapidly.
  • designed for professional use
  • internal compass
  • can calculate degrees of incline
Brand Fluke
Model 414D
Weight 9.6 ounces
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

3. Tacklife HD60

Though inexpensive, the Tacklife HD60 boasts many of the features touted by higher-end models. Within its ultracompact, water-resistant, rubberized body lie the power of indirect Pythagorean measurement, a 30-group memory, and much more, all backed by a 2-year warranty.
  • dual built-in bubble levels
  • wrist strap and holster
  • automatically shuts off when idle
Model pending
Weight 7.2 ounces
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

2. Bosch GLR825

For commercial applications, the Bosch GLR825 offers the longest, most-accurate distance measurement on the market. It has eleven modes, including a multi-surface area mode that can calculate the span of several distinct planes that share a length, width, or height.
  • stores up to 30 pieces of data
  • magnified viewfinder
  • can measure over 800 feet
Brand Bosch
Model GLR825
Weight 1.3 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

1. Leica Disto D2

The Leica Disto D2 uses Bluetooth technology to conveniently transfer its collected data to your devices. It features an end piece that flips out and extends into hard-to-reach corners, and stores up to 10 calculations in its internal memory.
  • 330-foot measuring range
  • bright and clear display
  • capable of indirect measurement
Brand Leica Geosystems
Model 838725
Weight 8.8 ounces
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

Laser Measures Versus Traditional Tape Measures

When using a measure, there are three main factors one might consider most important to getting the job done. Obviously accuracy tops the chart. If your measurements aren't accurate, nothing else matters. Followed by accuracy, it is a toss up whether convenience or speed is the next most vital aspect, but there is no arguing that one wants a tool that allows them to get accurate measurements quickly, and in a variety of settings. Let's take a moment to consider each of the following points to see how a laser measure can far surpass traditional measures in every category.

Accuracy - Consider the two main reasons a measurement comes out wrong; misreading the ruler and starting or ending the measurement in the wrong spot. With a laser measure, it is nearly impossible to misread the ruler as it is displayed in a digital format. Most laser measures also allow you to choose the measurement unit, so you can see it in metric or imperial and in units as small as a millimeter or as large as a meter.

Often people using a traditional tape measure may accidentally start the measurement or end the measurement a couple of millimeters off the intended start or end point. This is especially true when trying to measure a distance that is a bit outside of your reach. For some applications, a couple of millimeters may not matter, but in situations where precision is the difference between getting the job done correctly and having to redo it, this can be a vital time saver.

Speed - If you need to take measurements constantly throughout a project, saving a minute or two on every measurement can allow you to get a job done considerably quicker. With a laser measure, all you have to do is point and click, and you have the result in seconds. You don't need to walk to and from the starting and end points or climb a ladder if you are taking a measurement from floor to ceiling.

Convenience - A laser measure allows you take long range measurements without the assistance of a helper. You can also use it with one hand, which allows you to have a hand free to take down notes as needed. Another fantastic feature of many laser measures is the ability to get an accurate measurement, even when there is no line of sight between the start and end points. You can use the measure to record the distance of two sides of a right-angled triangle, and it will work out the third via a Pythagoras function, without any complicated calculations on your part.

When comparing a laser tape measure to a traditional tape measure, there is simply no contest. A laser tape measure wins in every category.

How Laser Measures Work

Laser measures obtain measurements in one of two ways, either through the phase-shift method or via the time of flight method.

With the phase-shift method, a sinusoidally modulated laser hits an object and its reflection is compared with the beam sent to measure the phase of the power modulation. The amount the wavelength of the laser changes can be used to determine the distance it has traveled.

The time of flight method measures the amount of time it takes for an optical pulse to reflect back after it hits a target. The reflected beam is caught by the measuring device after being sent, and since the speed at which the laser travels is a known factor, the distance it covered can be attained.

How To Choose The Right Laser Measure

Picking the best laser measuring device for you depends entirely on your needs and in what kind of application it will be used. A contractor that works solely inside homes and only measures small distances under 15' won't need the same type of measurement tool as a contractor working on large construction sites who commonly measures distances over 100' in the bright sunlight.

Here are some things you should consider before picking out your laser measure, and the first one is laser range. Some lasers may only be powerful enough for 30' or less distances, while others can exceed 300'. If you only need it for in home use, you can purchase a less powerful, more affordable model.

Next up is accuracy. While some models can measure all the way down to 1/32 of an inch, many of the cheapest models only measure down 1/4 of an inch. If you are working on precision tasks, you may need one of the more expensive models.

You'll also want to consider the device's measurement units. Nearly all laser measures have the ability to toggle between almost every type of measurement unit, but it never hurts to double check.

Finally, check to see if the device has extra functions. Some laser measures can be extremely basic and only able to tell you the distance between two points, while other models are capable of complicated functions like obtaining an area or volume measurement, continuous measurements to automatically add distance together, indirect measurements, and the previously mentioned Pythagoras function.

Other features you may want to keep an eye out for include a large, backlit LCD screen, a sound activated measuring mode, the ability to store measurements for later reference, and a dust and water resistant housing.

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Last updated on December 10, 2017 by Ezra Glenn

Ezra is a writer, photographer, creative producer, designer, and record label-operator from New York City. He's traveled around the world and ended up back where he started, though he's constantly threatening to leave again.

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