5 Best Laser Distance Measure Tools

Author: Reece Thompson | Updated on August 17, 2020

Using a measuring tape is fine. But when you need accuracy, we recommend you upgrade to an electronic laser measure. We review our five favourite brands.

red laser measuring tool on the table next to pencils and plans
Let's get to it: Bosch dominates this space and is our go-to option when we need a replacement.

Whether you're a joiner, surveyor, carpet fitter and so on, your work quality dramatically improves if you use a pocket laser measure instead of a traditional roll measure. Bear in mind, that even the most basic gadget measures the distance from point A to B, a specified area, and volume. More advanced laser measuring tools will do even more using Pythagoras formula.

For example, if you plan to position your furniture, you need an accurate measurement mode of the space. Using a traditional tape measure in such a scenario will cost you both time and efficiency.

Whether you have to work out something within touching distance or every corner of the house, this is the perfect addition to your toolbox.

Don't waste your time in reading other lists. Go through our top five to determine which pocket tool is for you. As you make up your mind, we highlight the features of an electronic version compared to a traditional one.

How do Laser Measures Work?

Laser measurement tools operate by calculating the time of travel, i.e., how long the beam aimed at it takes for the target to reflect.

For example, the tool works by calculating how long it takes for the beam to reach the wall and bounce back to the unit.

In measurable units, it delivers the distance.

Are Laser Measures Worth the Extra Compared to Measuring Tapes?

If you’re doing lots of measurements and need things to be super accurate, then yes, it’s definitely worth the extra spend.

How Accurate is a Laser Measure Rangefinder?

If you get a tool from a legitimate brand, accuracy isn’t going to be a concern.

Look for a tool accredited by ISO 16331-1. If you buy a Chinese knock-off brand, well, you’re not likely to get one that is accurate.

How Good is a Laser Measure Outside?

It depends. An optical scope or automated point finder is a must if you’re operating outside.

A laser point can be seen at a total distance of approximately 30 feet on a clear day.

If you’re working outside and the measured distance is beyond 30 feet, you’ll need a more professional-grade tool.

1. Bosch GLM 40

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We used rate the Bosch PLR 30C as our favourite one until we started to use this one. Bosch has been a leader in introducing newer and high-quality laser measures. As you search for one, you should consider this product if an easy experience is your priority.

This electronic gadget is suitable for indoor use and professional purposes. If you're renovating your house, then this tool is a must to get an accurate estimate of your calculations.
  1. IP54 rated dust and splash protection
  2. User friendliness
  3. Rechargeable battery
  1. Poor Bluetooth connectivity
  2. No USB Port.

2. Makita LD030P

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This is a a very easy-to-use, top-quality laser measuring tool. It's reliable and this is another addition to boost their already high reputation. Designed for indoor, this product will be a huge incentive to make your struggle easier.
  1. High level accuracy for maximum precision
  2. IP54 rated dust & water resistance
  1. Low display brightness
  2. No pouch in some cases.

3. Bosch PLR 30 C

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Bosch is the most acclaimed laser measuring tool, and they always strive to live up to their reputation. They always focus on quality and customer satisfaction over anything else.

This one is good for decorators. If you need to determine the quantity of wallpaper or paint for a room, this calculates accurately. The Bosch’s PLR 30C laser measure is number one on our list for those that are not looking for the most professional tool, but ticks all the other boxes.
  1. Option to choose the front or rear edge as the initial point of measuring
  2. Top quality technology provides higher accuracy level
  3. Strong Bluetooth connectivity
  1. Considered to be too pricey by many.

4. Dewalt DW033-XJ

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It would be an ideal choice for anyone seeking a combination of a light and accurate measure. The black display features white letters that are readable. This is a top-notch product available at the best price.
  1. Lightweight design enables easy portability
  2. Displays readings in both mm & inches
  3. Single button operation
  1. No clear instructions for unit conversion
  2. Might be hard to familiarize with single button function.

5. Tacklife HD-60 Classic 

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If you are looking for a laser measuring tool that can be for a wide variety, then this would be the most appropriate. Ranging from household to construction or city planning – this will stick to you. An innovative ergonomic structure and fast nature will give you the best experience.
  1. Continuous scope of calculating
  2. Auto power off option after 150 seconds
  3. Mute option
  1. Numbers and letters shown on display screen are too small
  2. Hardly covers more a long range in sunlight.
a female hand holding the Bosch plr30

How We Decided On Our Winning Laser Measuring Tool

Most folk that use traditional tape measures aren't accustomed to using a laser measure. So, making the right move might seem challenging.

Our comparative analysis has led to the conclusion that the Bosch PLR 30C to be the best.

It's the ability to provide an accurate measure, integrated functions enabling volume and area calculations. And its high-quality colour display makes it stand out from others. Yet, you may settle for any of the products on our list as our researched list of products would not disappoint you.

As a sidenote, we didn't include any Leica products in our list even though we wanted to. The Leica Disto in particular is one that we wanted to test out, but it was out of stock at the time. We'll definitely be updating this list in the future with this item to be reviewed.
laser range finder with a spirit level and a red pencil on the table

FAQ and Buying Guide

The distinction between Traditional and Digital versions

A laser tape measure is better known as a laser measure.

It functions by throwing a beam from a point to a target. It takes into account the time needed for the light to reflect off the target and return to the initial point - ensuring accuracy.

There is no hassle of manual calculation as you will see the digital readings on the display. You won’t need a hand as you use a laser reader to calculate long ranges, you alone will be able to calculate your distance!

So, you will, in most cases, need help at the other end as you use a traditional version. Regardless, you will always feel concerned about the accuracy of your measurement mode. Meanwhile, there lies a risk of miscalculating as a conventional distance tape might bend.

A feature that differentiates a laser measuring tool from a traditional is the former’s usability in lit conditions backed by its display and laser. To avoid obstruction while you are working at night or under dim light, your vote should be for a modern electronic one.

What to Look For?

While drawing a comparison, we need to be sure about some specific features. Some of the crucial properties that we should take note of before finalising our digital calculations are:

  • Accuracy & range
  • Clarity of display
  • Durability
  • Price
  • Protection rating provided by manufacturers.

You may find some other features to focus on, but the ones mentioned above will be enough to keep you on track!

How to Use a Laser Measuring Tool?

As we're aware of the advantages of electronic over the traditional ones, we need to know the best way to use them.

Once you're done choosing one of the devices listed, you should follow some steps.

  • Step 1: The first step is to ensure proper placement of the device on one end of the thing that you wish to measure. Doing so would increase the precision level of your measurement
  • Step 2: Then you need to aim the laser beam at the other end so that your targeted objected gets hit by the beam.
  • Step 3: After positioning the it, you should press the button to allow the device to calculate the distance and display it on the screen

Caution! Following these simple steps, you will be able to calculate your desired distance. Yet, aiming the laser beam at your desired object might be a daunting task in case of long-distance.

In such cases, you might need help at the other end to make the beam fall on the right spot. Though there is a common idea that electronic types are too complex compared to their traditional counterparts. You will realise from our list of top 5 laser measures that this is far from the fact!

Our Winner...
Bosch GLM 40