Laser measuring tools have come a long way in the last few years, becoming more popular with manufacturers adding more and more features as well as increasing their effective range. This has made for a very diverse field of units from those that sell for less than $100 all the way up to complex units that can accurately measure distances over 800 feet.
These tools are a great time saver for people who need a quick measurement of a house, room, backyard or entire construction site. The brighter lasers found in the better quality units have much less trouble measuring outdoors than the earlier units had. Even the lower cost units can still work at 100 feet outdoors and provide accurate measurements. Carpenters, realtors, landscapers, carpenters, and painters all find laser measuring tools a quick alternative to digging out a tape measure or pacing something off.
Most of these units have the capability to remember measurements, calculate area and volume and use the Pythagorean Theorem for simple geometry. Some units have a bubble level so that you can make sure you’re taking your measurements on the level.
One nice feature on the better quality units is a magnified viewfinder so you can pinpoint the object you’re trying to measure the distance to. This can be extremely useful when dealing with a cluttered landscape, especially over longer distances. Being able to pinpoint the desired target prevents errors, saving time and improving productivity.
Some units now connect wirelessly with your tablet or cell phone, allowing the measurements to be integrated directly into sketches or worksheets, expanding the capability of the tool, while eliminating potential transcription errors. There are also units on the market that use sound waves to calculate distance, but these best laser measuring tools beat them hands-down for accuracy.
From an old hand in construction measuring, we get the Stabila 06520. This compact unit is about the size of a cell phone, yet has all the mathematical functions you’d expect along with a continuous measure function for use while on the move. Read Full Review
Stabila is a company known for accurate measurement, specifically for surveyors. When lasers started being incorporated into construction measurement tools, they were one of the first to jump on the bandwagon, creating innovative tools to meet the needs of the construction industry. Featuring an easy to read bright backlit screen, this laser measuring tool measures up to 660 feet with 1/16 of an inch accuracy while instant conversions between imperial and metric scales is handled at the push of a button. A 4x zoom provides high resolution images, allowing pinpoint accuracy and it has built-in math functions for length, area, volume and Pythagorean, calculator functions, as well as a continuous measure function. Their STABILA app allows measurements to be put directly into photos or drawings.
The Bosch laser measurer comes in at the longest laser measuring device in this class. The four different reference points and bubble level insure your measurements are starting where you want and staying accurate like you want. Read Full Review
Bosch’s unit comes with a host of built-in options and this laser will measure up to 825 feet making it the longest distance laser on our list. You can use four different reference points to start your measurement: front, back, swing-out extension pin, or center for tripod mount. It comes with seven built-in mathematical functions, plus eleven measurement functions. This unit can even calculate the total area of several individual surfaces with a common length or height. A built in bubble level helps guarantee measurement accuracy.
Johnson puts out a really nice unit with this 230 foot laser level. It includes a built in memory for up to 10 individual measurements, something that the other units we’re looking at don’t have. There’s also full mathematical functions and a built-in bubble level. Read Full Review
Johnson is another company that specializes in levels, lasers and measurement devices used in construction. This particular unit measures 230 feet with a 1/16 of an inch accuracy. It features all the expected mathematical functions, like the other units we’ve been looking at but it also has a backlit display and can store up to 20 individual measurements. Onboard calculation also assists with the measurements you take. An integrated vial bubble level helps insure accuracy of your measurements along with an easy to read backlit screen.
Milwaukee has upgraded this popular unit, extending its range to 260’ at 1/16 accuracy. Six built-in math functions easily allow the calculation of area, volume and others. Read Full Review
This unit has been upgraded, allowing you to measure distances up to 260 feet with 1/16 of an inch accuracy displayed on an easy to read backlit display. It has six different mathematical functions built-in and the end bracket allows for accurate measuring from corners and edges. Milwaukee provides a 5-year warranty for this unit and it’s also designed with a heavy-duty shock-proof case as is appropriate for construction professionals.
While being more of a homeowner’s type unit than some of our other picks, Craftsman’s laser measuring tool doesn’t give up much. Full of options and working up to 100 feet, this one will get the job done. Read Full Review
Craftsman’s unit is clearly more of a homeowner’s unit but that doesn’t mean that it’s not worth buying. This unit is only half as accurate as the others we’ve looked at, with accuracy of +/- 1/8 of an inch in its 100 foot of measurement range. Like the Bosch unit, it has four reference points for measuring and the easy to read screen is backlit for high visibility. All the typical mathematical buttons are included and also has a unit button, which changes measurements from inches & feet, to decimal feet, to decimal inches, or meters and millimeters.