Best Laser Measuring Tools: Work More Efficiently & Accurately
These top laser measuring tools will help you get the job done with precision
The Drive and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.Read more.
PUBLISHED ON August 3, 2019
Many jobs require precise measurements. Laser measuring tools are much more convenient than tape measures and are popular among electricians, contractors, painters, and real estate brokers as well as DIYers who do a lot of work around the home. Check out our laser measuring device reviews and buying guide to find the best ones on the market.
- Best OverallBosch GLM 50 C Bluetooth Enabled Laser Distance MeasureSummarySummaryThis pocket-sized, Class IIa laser tool measures distances from up to 165 feet to within 1/8 of an inch. It features a color display and Bluetooth functionality.ProsProsThe screen is easy to read, and the built-in inclinometer allows for advanced features. It provides default real-time measurements that adjust as you move closer and farther from the target.ConsConsThe accompanying app isn't as intuitive as it could be, the built-in calculator in the app is hard to use, and the battery life is short.
- Best ValueTacklife HD60 Classic Laser MeasureSummarySummaryThis tool provides accuracy within 1/16 of an inch. It has a large LCD display, automatically calculates area and volume, and automatically shuts down when not in operation.ProsProsThis device is accurate, easy to use, and has multiple modes, including distance, volume, area measurement, and continuous measurement. It's a great, inexpensive, DIYer or semi-pro laser distance measurer.ConsConsIt can be a bit tricky to change some modes, it cannot measure large distances outside, the interface can be slightly awkward, and the measure continuously feature may lag.
- Honorable MentionLeica DISTO D2 New 330ft Laser Distance MeasureSummarySummaryThis compact laser tool is accurate up to 1/16 of an inch with a range of up to 330 feet. It is Bluetooth compatible and saves the last 10 measurements in its memory.ProsProsThis device is well-designed, has a high build quality, is ISO certified for accuracy, and comes with a three-year warranty. The Bluetooth also allows you to move measurements directly onto sketches.ConsConsThe buttons are a little stiff, the Bluetooth app may take practice to use, it does not reliably measure exteriors in bright daylight, and it does not have a built-in level.
Why Trust Us
All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, and practical experience with each product we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
Benefits of Laser Measuring Tools
- They’re easy to use. The best laser measuring tool will enable you to make calculations without having to figure things out with a pencil, paper, and tape measure. Determining volume, area, and triangulation is simple to do.
- They’re very accurate. The accuracy of laser measuring devices is excellent. You no longer have to rely on old-fashioned methods to determine the proper measurements for a project. Some premium models even provide accurate measurements up to 1/32 of an inch.
- They're convenient. It typically just requires the push of a button to change between imperial and metric systems, depending on what you need, and a variety of other modes. Many are also small and compact, making them easy to carry.
Types of Laser Measuring Tools
If you're a homeowner or DIYer who is working on a simple remodeling project indoors, you will need an uncomplicated and relatively inexpensive laser measuring device. It will allow you to accurately measure the space/surface you're using and shouldn’t have unnecessary features.
Mid- and High-Range Devices
If you work in general construction or spend a significant time renovating your home, you will need a more durable, mid-range device that has multiple functions for versatility and accurate, indoor measurements. High-end laser measuring tools are geared toward professionals who work both indoors and out who require advanced modes with a long range and little margin of error.
DeWalt Products Company was formed in Leola, Penn. in 1924 with the launch of the electric, universal woodworking machine, mortiser, and jointer. In 2018, the company celebrated its 100th anniversary of the Product Service Division of Stanley Black & Decker. One popular product is the DEWALT Laser Measure Tool/Distance Meter.
Robert Bosch founded the “Workshop for Precision Mechanics and Electrical Engineering” in Stuttgart, Germany in 1886. The Bosch Group established a North American presence in 1906, and its headquarters are in Farmington Hills, Mich. Two recommended products are the Bosch GLM 50 C Bluetooth Enabled Laser Distance Measure and the Bosch Blaze Pro 165' Laser Distance Measure.
Frederick Stanley founded the Stanley Works in New Britain, Conn. in 1843, and professional carpenters and homeowners have been using its products for more than 175 years. One recommended product is the Stanley STHT77140 Laser Distance Measurer.
Leica Geosystems designs portable, coordinate measuring machines to measure large-scale objects. It’s part of Exact Metrology, based in Cincinnati, Oh. Two of its top products are Leica DISTO D2 New 330ft Laser Distance Measure and the Leica DISTO E7400x 265' Laser Distance Meter.
Fluke Corporation is headquartered in Everett, Wash. and was founded in 1948. The company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fortive Corporation and is one of the leading manufacturers of electronic test tools and software. One popular product is the Fluke 424D Laser Distance Meter.
Laser Measuring Tool Pricing
- Under $50: A cheap laser distance measurer will cost around $35, but it won't be particularly durable. Those that cost just 10 to 15 dollars more tend to be slightly more reliable.
- $50-$120: If you want a laser measuring tool that is very accurate and has a lot of functions, prepare to purchase a device in this price range. It will also be more durable, which is important because it may be accidentally smacked around.
- Over $120: If you are a professional, you will need a premium laser measure. It will have an extended range, include a variety of functions, and will often feature Bluetooth connectivity.
A laser's light beam weakens the farther away it projects. The most accurate laser tape measure has a very strong beam so it can reflect back from further distances. Measuring distance is often reduced with a cheap laser distance measurer. That’s okay if you only need to measure smaller areas of space. However, if you work in a commercial environment, you may need a tool with a much larger measuring range.
A laser measuring tool should be able to measure between plus or minus one-eighth inches and one-sixteenth inches. Better digital laser tape measures can function in a variety of conditions and have a high accuracy up to 1/32 of an inch. Accuracy can be affected by hot and humid weather and other factors.
The best laser measuring tool can calculate the distance between point A to point B in a straight line, but many tools can do much more than that. The best laser distance measurer can determine the length and width and thus calculate the area of whatever you're measuring. Many can even measure height, which can give you the volume.
- Plus And Minus Functions: The best laser measure will include plus and minus functions, which is also known as a contiguous function. This allows you to add and subtract from a particular reading. For example, you can subtract a diagonal and determine a triangular area.
- Display: Some displays are small and may be harder to read when several readings are produced at the same time. Larger displays are generally preferable because they provide more clarity. It's also good to have a back-lit screen for low-light scenarios. It's not uncommon for a laser measuring instrument (as well as other digital devices) to be difficult to read in bright sunlight.
- Memory: If you take a lot of measurements, you may want a laser measuring device that can save several in its memory. A typical laser measuring tool can only remember the previous five or so. The exception is a Bluetooth laser measuring device, which has the ability to send the readings to a digital device, including your smartphone.
- Pythagorean Mode: The best laser tape measure includes a Pythagoras function that can calculate the distance when you're unable to bounce the light off of a surface. For example, if you know the distance and angle you can figure out the height.
- Ease Of Use: If you have a laser measuring tool with a lot of modes, it will have more controls, which can make it more complicated to use. If you only need a few functions, you may want to opt for a simpler model that is quick and easy to use.
- Protection Rating: A laser measuring tool is rated on a scale of one to seven to describe how well it is sealed against dust. It's also rated from one to nine for water resistance. The higher the number, the more dustproof and water-resistant it is.
- Outdoor Use: The best outdoor laser measuring tool will have a high protection rating so you can use it in various elements without fearing the conditions will destroy the device. It will also be powerful enough to work through interference that you may not encounter indoors.
Best Laser Measuring Tool Reviews & Recommendations 2019
Best Overall: Bosch GLM 50 C Bluetooth Enabled Laser Distance Measure
This pocket-sized, Class IIa laser tool measures distances from up to 165 feet to within 1/8th of an inch. It features a color, backlit display for increased visibility and Bluetooth functionality to transfer and store measurements from the laser measurer to a smart device using the Bosch app.
It's a great tool, especially if you need to measure distances over six feet when you're working alone. The screen is easy to read, and it's small enough to put in your pocket but large enough to be usable. The built-in inclinometer provides default real-time measurement that adjusts as you move closer and farther from the target. It also works as a bullseye level and saves countless steps up and down a ladder and dangerous positions using a ruler or tape measure.
One downside is the app isn't as intuitive as it could be, and the device doesn't have the option to keep the Bluetooth on between uses when powering on/off. Also, the built-in calculator in the app is hard to use. In addition, it doesn't have a function to account for a shaky hand, and the battery life is short.
Best Value: Tacklife HD60 Classic Laser Measure
This tool provides accuracy within 1/16th of an inch. It measures ranges up to 196 feet and has two bubble levels, which provide a more precise measurement than one bubble. It also has a large LCD screen with a backlight for better visibility. It includes a variety of settings, such as automatic calculation of area and volume, data memory, and automatic shutdown without operation.
This device is accurate, easy to use, and the red dot is big and easy to see in daylight. The tool has multiple measurement modes, including distance, volume, area measurement, continuous measurement, and measurement by Pythagoras. Even though it's an entry-level device, it reports distances in multiple ways and remembers the type you chose last instead of defaulting to meters. Overall, it's a great, inexpensive homeowner or semi-pro laser distance measurer.
One problem is it can be a bit tricky to change some modes, and you may have to turn it off and back on again to switch between them. Also, it cannot measure large distances outside, the fractions are very small on the display, the interface can be slightly awkward, and the measure continuously function has a bit of a lag.
Honorable Mention: Leica DISTO D2 New 330ft Laser Distance Measure
This compact, Class II laser with 1mW output is accurate up to 1/16 of an inch with a range of up to 330 feet. It is Bluetooth compatible for transferring measurements and saves the last 10 measurements in its memory. It features a Pythagoras function and has an operating temperature range of 14-degrees Fahrenheit to 122-degrees Fahrenheit. Also, it's intelligent, automatic end piece helps with hard-to-reach corners.
This device helps you to work faster and more accurately. It's well-designed, has a high build quality, is ISO certified for accuracy, and comes with a three-year warranty. The Bluetooth allows you to move measurements directly onto sketches or photographs in your phone or tablet without rewriting them.
One problem is the buttons are a little stiff and hard to press, which can make it difficult to keep the laser on the target. Also, the Bluetooth app may take a little practice to use, and it may crash occasionally. In addition, the tool does not reliably measure exteriors in bright daylight, and it does not have a built-in level like some competitor brands.
- For more reliable results, stand still while measuring. Even though they can work when you or the target is moving, the readings will not be as accurate. The best thing to do is hold the device solidly against the surface.
- Choose a visual target. If you use a visual reference point, it can make the job easier. It can be something as simple as a post-it note or a piece of duct tape.
- Regularly clean your device, particularly the lens. This will ensure that the tool maintains its accuracy. Clean it with a soft, lint-free cloth and a cleaning spray meant for eyeglasses or cameras.
- Become familiar with the various functions. Many laser measuring tools have advanced features that enable you to do a lot of things, such as measuring the slope of a roof without using a ladder.
- Use the viewfinder if you need to measure a long distance when it's really sunny outside. It can be hard to read the laser red dot in bright sunlight, and the viewfinder can provide a nice zoom.
Q: Who uses laser measures?
A: Construction workers commonly use laser measuring instruments in their industry, but anyone who's involved in home improvement can also benefit from these handy devices.
Q: How does a laser measuring tool work?
A: A laser measuring tool uses a pulse of light. It calculates the distance by measuring the time it takes the pulse of light to reflect off the target and bounce back to the sender.
Q: Can a laser measuring tool harm your eyes?
A: Most laser measures are safe if you handle them properly. If you accidentally point the laser into somebody's eyes, they should be fine as long as they look quickly away. If a person is exposed to the laser beam for a longer period of time, they may be temporarily blinded, which happens when you look at any type of bright light. Try to avoid pointing the laser into a pet’s eyes as well.
Q: How accurate is a laser measurer over long distances?
A: Precision laser measuring devices will work within their stated range. If it claims to have 1/16-inch accuracy over 100 feet, then that is what it will provide.
Our pick for the best laser measuring tool is the Bosch GLM 50 C Bluetooth Enabled Laser Distance Measure. It's compact and has Bluetooth functionality. The display is easy to read, it has several advanced features, and it works great as a bullseye level.
If you want a more budget-friendly option, consider the Tacklife HD60 Classic Laser Measure.