measure distance with a laser tape measure

5 Best Laser Tape Measures 2019

A laser tape measure is a electronic device that transmits a beam to an object in order to measure the distance. It is mostly used by professionals that require precise measurements with no margin of error.

The best laser tape measure is the Bosch GLM 80 Laser Distance Measurer that can measure up to 265 foot with up to 1/16 inch accuracy, which is highly impressive.

Laser distance measurers are not only useful for construction use, they are also used for architectural measuring, interior design, factories, warehouses and so much more. The standard tape measure will only be able to reach so far and will not have anywhere near the accuracy compared with the recommendations in this article.

Best Laser Distance Measurers

Laser Tape MeasureAccuracyMeasuring Range
Bosch GLM 801/16 Inch265 Feet
DEWALT DW031011/32 Inch330 Feet
Bosch GLM 351/16 Inch120 Feet
Leica DISTO S9101/16 Inch984 Feet
Stanley STHT774251/4 Inch30 Feet

Bosch dominate the laser tape measure market with a range of devices targeting professionals, beginners and those on a budget. Usually, you will pay more for a further measurement and the accuracy level of the device.

Some may be in the simplest form and just measure the distance but more advanced laser tape measures will include trapezoid, multi- surface and double indirect measuring functionality.

Every year that passes will see more technology crammed into these devices that make them even better. Below is a list of the best laser tape measures that will measure large distances whilst maintaining perfect accuracy.

Bosch GLM 80 Laser Distance Measurer


Bosch are the leading manufacturers of laser tape measures with a variety available for each budget. This is the premium GLM 80 model that is able to measure distances up to 265 foot with up to 1/16 inch accuracy.

Impressive features of the GLM 80 model include a built-in tilt sensor, large backlit display, intuitive design and heavy duty construction. It is small enough to fit in pockets and has a dust and water protection rating of IP54.

Battery is a big concern when using a laser tape measure but the GLM 80 allows for up to 25,000 measurement on a single charge. This is thanks to the Bosch integrated lithium-ion battery that is rechargeable via the USB port.

The functionality of the software used in the GLM 80 is also very clever. For example, it will store the last 20 measurements in memory as well as the individual measurement that add upt to the end result, which is very useful.

There is an upgrade to the GLM 80, which is the GLM 100 C but its more expensive for only a small amount of extra measuring distance. The Bosch GLM 80 is the best laser tape measure you can buy with a long measuring range and excellent accuracy.

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DEWALT DW03101 Laser Tape Measure


The Dewalt DW03101 is another premium laser distance measurer and although its fairly expensive, it packs an impressive measuring range at 330 feet. At the maximum distance, it is accurate up to 1/32 inches.

Features of the DW03101 that make it unique are a built-in inclinometer that calculates height and indirect horizontal distances by using Pythagoras theorem.

The interface is easy to use with large buttons that are used to navigate through the menus on the 3 inch backlit display. It also stores the last 20 measurements in memory (as does the GLM 80) and a range of additional functions.

It is more durable than the GLM 80 device by Bosch as it IP65 rating for water and dust resistance and can withstand 6 foot drops. This is an important factor to consider if you are working in a rough workspace.

Overall, it is the best heavy duty laser tape measure with a long measuring range whilst maintaining a precise measurements. Compared with the GLM 80, they are very similar with both having different unique selling points.

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Bosch GLM 35 Compact Laser Distance Measure

The premium laser distance measurers above are designed for professionals and very expensive for the average DIY’er. Therefore, if you are keeping to a tight budget but still want a highly rated device, the GLM 35 by Bosch would be ideal.

As with the GLM 80 model, the GLM 35 is also rated up to 1/16 inch accuracy, which for a cheap laser tape measure is quite impressive. In terms of the measuring distance, it will measure to 120 feet and provide real time measurements.

Finding another cheaper alternative that is as accurate as the GLM 35 would be near enough impossible. The accuracy for a very little cost is the main selling point and its the best laser distance measurer for the money with all the functionality that is found in devices that are double the price.

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Leica DISTO S910 Laser Distance Measure


For professionals that use a laser tape measure everyday and rely on accuracy and high distance measurements, Leica will be a brand you would have heard of. It is not a device that will be used by beginners or the average DIY’ers due to the complexity.

It comes as a package that includes a tripod, glasses, target and of course the Leica S910 device. All this equipment will give you the best chance of achieving perfect accuracy at long distances and its rated up to 1/16 of straight line accuracy and will measure up to a distance of 984 feet.

The features of the Leica S910 include a touch screen with WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity, which is compatible with a range of mobile applications. With the connectivity, you are also able to export data elsewhere for further analysis.

The Leica DISTO S910 is the best professional laser distance measure and is not suitable for the average DIY’er. It is a seriously expensive device but when you go into further detail with the S910, you will realize why its so expensive.

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Stanley STHT77425 TLM30 Pocket Laser Tape Measure

For those that are not looking at a professional grade laser tape measure but one for quick and accurate measurements, the Stanley alternative is ideal. It is a budget laser distance measurer with no thrills but just straight forward measurements with an accuracy of 1/4 inch at 30 feet.

Although its cheap, it is still backed by Stanley’s 2 year limited warranty and comes with a lithium-ion battery, which is recharged via a USB.

Overall, it is the best cheap laser tape measure that is very compact and is very useful for measurements that are 30 feet and less. There are no special features or intuitive functions, it simply measures a distance with no additional calculations.

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Laser Tape Measure Buying Guide

With the growth of technology, it is not a surprise that the traditional tape measures are being replaced by the modern, advanced and efficient laser tape measures. Also going by the name laser distance measures, laser tape measures work by sending out a pulse of laser light to a specific target, then taking into account the amount of time taken for the reflection to come back. Laser tape measures are therefore more accurate, especially if you intend to measure long distances. With this tape, you save a lot of time and effort that you could have otherwise spent on complex calculations. Laser tapes also provide utmost accuracy.

While it is true that laser tape measures are what you need for your projects, different brands and models are available on the market today. The different varieties offer varying services. It therefore follows that some laser tapes work better than others, not to mention the advanced features. In this article, we take you through the process of choosing the right laser tape for you. Here are some factors to consider.

Measuring Range

The type of laser tape measure that you will acquire will depend on its measuring range. Normally, the measuring range of your laser tape depends on the type of project that you are undertaking. Additionally, your professional level also plays a part in determining the right measuring range of your tape. For instance, if you are an amateur working on small home improvements, having a laser tape measuring over 100 feet is a surplus.

However, if you are a professional working on huge complex projects such as industrial construction, you will need a laser tape measure that goes past 300 feet. While at it, it is important to note that there are more factors that affect the measuring range of a laser tape other than its power. In some cases, the maximum range listed on any tape measure refers to the ability of the laser when used on certain specific targets. Other factors that affect the measuring range of a laser tape measure (without a reflective target) include:

  • The amount of light. The darker the light produced, the better
  • The type of surface that the laser is suitable for. Darker lights (which are apparently the best) work best on smooth surfaces.
  • The cleanliness of the surface where you will be pointing your laser

It is important to note that even with lasers that have the best measuring range, you will still need to hold the laser in place firmly for the best results.

Accuracy of the Laser Tape

When out to purchase a laser tape measure, you will find many average ones which are only accurate up to ¼ of an inch. These average laser tape measure serves basic functions such as calculating the how long a fence should measure. The laser tapes are affordable and an amateur can use it effortlessly.

However, if you are looking for a laser tape measure that will help you through your landscaping work; you will have to opt for a more accurate one. With the growth of technology, it is now possible to get laser tape measures that have accuracy levels of up to 1/16 of an inch. More technical projects will however need laser tape measures with accuracy levels of up to 1/32 of an inch.

laser measurer instead of tape measure

Functions of the Laser Tape Measure

If you are looking for a laser tape measure that will take you through the basic small home remodeling projects, you do not have to worry much about the features of the device that you acquire. However, if you are a professional working on complex projects, the features of the laser tape measure will play a huge role in determining whether you will settle for it or otherwise.

While at it, you should be aware of all the features that you need. It is impossible to purchase a good laser tape measure for your need if you do not know what you are looking for in the first place. Here are some high-end functions that most great models of laser tape measures have:

Length Measurement

The length measurement function of any laser tape measure refers to the distance that the device can comfortably measure with utmost accuracy. This may include distances such as from one wall to another amongst others.

Area Measurement

After determining the length or any other details of your project, you will need to calculate the total surface area of your project. These may include details such as the total measurements of the walls to be painted, the number of tiles your floor will need and the size of marble slab needed for a particular project amongst others. Again, you will choose the area measurement of your laser tape measure depending on the type of projects that you will be working on regularly.

Volume Measurement

The volume measurement of a tape measure refers to its ability to calculate the length by width by height of your working area. The volume measurement function is important if you are going to deal with complex tasks such as garden bed or swimming pool construction.

Other functions that more complex laser tape measures have include trapezoid measurement, combined indirect measurement, continuous measurement, single indirect measurement, double indirect measurement, angle measurement and timer function amongst others.

While some of these functions might appear to be very complex, as a professional you should know which ones you will need and when you will use them.

Measurement Units

While it is true that all laser measuring tapes come with a particular measuring unit, it is important to find one that suits you. These units come in inches, feet and decimal feet amongst others. These measuring units are all convenient and accurate. However, finding one that is easier for you to interpret will play a huge role in ensuring that you do not waste a lot of time or cause confusion.

On the other hand, you can look for a laser tape measure that can toggle through the various units easily. This is convenient as you can never tell when you will prefer one unit to another while working on your projects.

Do You Opt for Back-lit Display?

Many laser tape measures have either back-lit or conventional screen displays. A back-lit display is more efficient as it allows you to take measurements both in bright glares and reduced light. However, given that not all laser tape measures have this feature, you might have to make a choice at one time. Even though laser tape measures with back-lit displays are more advantageous, they are costlier at well. If in a dilemma of whether to opt for laser tape measures with back-lit display or the traditional ones, opt for the former. That is assuming that money is not an issue.

Battery Life of Your Laser Tape Measure

As you may be away, laser tape measures depend on batteries for them to operate. Different brands and models have batteries that last for varying periods. While on the market to purchase one, pick a device that can last you through your project without regular shutdowns. Many good models have batteries that last between 2 and 4 hours.

If you are going to work on a project that is likely to take longer than that, opting for spare batteries or portable chargers is a wise idea. The bottom line here is, the type of laser tape measure that you acquire should have a battery life that can serve you for over two hours.

bosch laser tape measure

Brand of Your Laser Tape Measure

Many brands of laser tape measures are available on the market currently. However, not all of them have your best interests at heart as their customer. If anything, some manufacturers produce products that are not durable, have low battery life and are generally inefficient. To ensure that you are not signing up for a wrong deal, consider purchasing products from brands that have been in the business for long.

Experienced brands have a reputation to protect so at no time will they produce low quality items. If anything, the brand would not be able to survive for very long if it provided shoddy services. If you are not sure of the right brand, consider checking the various reviews on laser tape measures available online. You can also ask for recommendations from friends and family who know more about these products. Leica Geosystems is one such company with massive experience and good reputation.

Additional Features/ Accessories of the Product

One major thing that distinguishes a great brand of laser tape measure from a good laser tape measure is its additional features. How well can a particular brand serve you? What will you save by using a particular brand of laser tape? These are some of the questions that you should seek answers to before signing up for anything. Some of the most popular additional features/ accessories that most great laser tape measures come with include:

  • Target plates
  • Tripods
  • Soft bag

All these (but not limited to) serve a basic function of improving your laser tape measure experience. The more the features, the more you will finish your tasks faster and efficiently without exerting much energy.

Laser Tape Measures Vs Standard Tape Measures

The basic purpose of a tape measure is to provide you with accurate measurements concerning width, length and height. However, in more complex projects, you might require more details than that. We discuss the pros and cons of the various tape measures below:

Standard Tape Measures Benefits

Before technology evolved, we used to rely mainly on the standard tape measures. Even though they might be in possession of all the advanced features that laser tape measures have, the standard tape measures have the following advantages:

  • They are very flexible. You can bend the tape measures in any way that you want therefore making it possible to take measurement from curved edges.
  • It is very easy to tape the standard measuring tapes down and take the measurements correctly.

Cons

The reason why most professionals decided to upgrade from the standard tape measure is because of the many disadvantages that it had. Some of them include:

  • Standard tape measures are inaccurate. If you are looking for a tape measure to help you cover a detailed project, a standard one is not ideal.
  • It is very inconvenient. While working on a project, it may sometimes require that somebody else holds the other end of the measuring tape. At times you might not have the extra hand to help you on this.
  • They are not durable. Because of their physical nature, standard tape measures are subject to wear and tear. In the long run, you might have to replace or maintain them regularly. This only adds extra costs to your budget list.

Laser Tape Measures Benefits

Laser tape measures are an upgrade of the traditional standard tape measures. With that, it follows that they come with the following benefits:

  • More accurate
  • Easy and convenient to use
  • Longer length measurement

Cons

In as much as the laser tapes are very efficient and convenient, they also have the following disadvantages:

  • Require a touch of professionalism
  • Quite costly as compared to the standard ones.

Conclusion

Laser tape measure, as its name suggests, is a type of measuring tape that uses laser beams to take accurate measurements. Thanks to the technological growth, many of these tools are available. However, while out to purchase one, you must consider factors such as brand, distance measurement and additional features that it has to offer. All in all, the type of laser tape measure depends on the type of task that you are planning to do.

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