Whether you’re a homeowner looking to tackle some remodeling projects, a contractor, or a real estate professional, a laser tape measure is one of the handiest tools you can have in your arsenal.
We love our trusty analog tape measures, but a laser tape measure is easier to use, helps you save time, and it records your measurements for you, so you’ll spend less time taking measurements or writing down your figures.
But, with so many different options available, it’s difficult to pinpoint the best laser tape measure for your needs. Today, we’ll take a look at five of the best options on the market, and give you some info on what to look for when looking for the best laser tape measure.
These five laser tape measures are among the most popular and well-made options on the market. Let’s take a closer look to see which of these is the best option for your needs.
The HD40 from Tacklife is one of the most affordable laser levels on the market. However, it’s packed with high-end features that are common on models that cost twice the price of this unit or more.
This laser tape measure measures up to 131 feet and is accurate to within 1/16”. It features horizontal and vertical bubble levels to help you take the most accurate measurements possible.
Beyond basic distance measurements, you can use the HD40 to calculate area, volume, and the Pythagorean theorem. Despite the additional modes, this tool remains exceptionally easy to use thanks to it’s easy to understand controls and large backlit display.
Within each mode, you can toggle between meters, inches, and feet with the touch of a button.
Other intuitive features include a 30 measurement memory bank, auto-shut-off mode, a detachable wrist strap, and a carrying case to keep your tool safe when not in use. The HD40 also comes with a two-year warranty, so you’ll be covered should something go wrong with your device.
- Accurate to within 1/16”
- Tons of extra features
- Difficult or impossible to use outdoors
- Some people have complained about calibration issues
The Bosch GLM35 is preferred by many contractors and real estate professionals because of its accuracy and reliability.
This tool is accurate to within 1/16” and provides measurements for distance, area, and volume. It can also provide real-time measurements that correct automatically as you move the tool closer or further away.
Measuring is as simple as selecting the mode you want and pressing a single button to begin taking measurements. This tool is one of the easiest to use on the market, regardless of whether you measure distance, area, or volume.
Toggling between modes, or units of measure is as easy as pushing a single button, and the large backlit display is easy to read.
While this tool doesn’t provide as much dust or moisture resistance as some other models, they do offer a two-year warranty should anything go wrong with your new tape measure.
Unfortunately, this model doesn’t have any onboard memory. This means you won’t be able to record any of your measurements in the tool. For this reason, this model is probably not a viable option for contractors or those in real estate.
- Accurate to within 1/16”
- Measures in real time
- Easy to use
- No onboard memory
- Doesn’t work reliably outside
Leica DISTO E7100i
One of the most trusted names when it comes to laser measurement devices is the Leica DISTO E7100i. It is among the most well used and relied upon devices on the planet. It’s ideal for serious craftspeople as well as professionals.
This model features an impressive range of up to 200 feet with 1/16” accuracy. In addition to basic measurements, this tool also calculates area and volume.
While some laser measuring devices claim accuracy of up to 1/16”, many fall short of that on the job site. Meanwhile, the E7100i is ISO-certified, so you can rest assured that this tool truly provides accuracy to 1/16”. It’s also IP54 certified for dust and splash resistance.
Where this tool truly shines is it’s Bluetooth 4.0 compatibility and the DISTO Sketch app that’s available for iOS and Android devices.
With the app, measurements are automatically recorded. The app also provides handy additional tools like the ability to create basic floor plans, create sketches, or document measurements on pictures you upload into the app.
Also included are 2 AAA batteries. These provide up to 5,000 measurements before they’ll need replacement. It also comes with a handy belt clip for keeping your new tool at the ready during your job.
The E7100i is also backed by a comprehensive three-year warranty that protects you in the event something goes wrong.
- Accurate to 1/16”
- Bluetooth compatible w/ easy to use app
- IP54 certified
- Impressive warranty
- Difficult to use with one hand
The DW03050 from DeWalt is a high quality laser tape measure that’s favored by many professionals.
The DW03050 provides measurements accurate to within 1/16” at a distance of up to 165 feet. This unit features measurement modes for distance, area, volume, and it also calculates Pythagoras when point-A and point-B aren’t accessible for linear measurement.
This model is overbuilt, and IP65 certified for impressive dust and splash resistance. This makes it one of the more durable tools on the market. It also includes a five measurement memory, so you’ll be able to quickly reference the last five measurements taken with the tool.
This measuring device includes 2 AAA batteries and a protective carrying pouch that can be attached to your belt or tool belt.This means you’ll always have the tool available when you need it. DeWalt stands by this product with an impressive three-year warranty.
- Accurate to 1/16”
- Durable and IP65 certified
- Impressive warranty
- Small memory
This affordable and full-featured laser tape measure from SKIL is a viable option if you’re looking for a quality laser measure without breaking the bank.
This tool measures distances up to 100 feet and can take regular distance measurements, real-time measurements, or area measurements in no time at all. There’s also an indirect measurement feature that allows you to take accurate measurements even if there are obstacles like furniture in the room.
Unlike most laser tape measures which run on AAA batteries, this tool has a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. A charging cable is included, as well.
An integrated level helps you ensure you’re taking the most accurate measurements possible, and audible tones let you know when you’ve reached 0, 45, or 90 degrees. Onboard memory allows you to store your last few measurements for handy reference later.
When it comes to ease of use, this model is virtually impossible to beat. A single button allows you to toggle between modes and a large backlit LCD display makes it easy for you to read your measurements in any lighting condition.
This tool includes the laser measurer itself, charging cable, and a carrying bag with belt loop. An industry leading five-year warranty has you covered should something go wrong with your tool.
- Accurate to within 1/16”
- Industry-leading warranty
- Only measures up to 100’
Whether you opt for one of the models we’ve covered about, or you’re planning on choosing a different tool altogether, there’s a few important features and characteristics you’ll want to look out for to ensure you’re selecting the best tool for your needs.
The range of the tape measure refers to how large an area it can accurately measure. For the average DIYer, a range of around 100 feet is more than enough to tackle projects around the home.
Meanwhile, if you’re a contractor or you work in real estate, there may be some applications where an extended range would be very helpful. In that case, you may want to look for a tool that provides a range of around 200 feet.
The most important factor to consider when evaluating different laser tape measures is how accurate they are. Cheaper models are usually accurate to within ⅛” whereas higher-end models are accurate to 1/16” or less.
Keep in mind that environmental factors can also affect accuracy as well. Cheaper meters will provide a less accurate reading in extremely hot, cold, or humid environments.
Since accuracy is probably a key concern for you, you’ll want to take care in selecting a laser measure that’s built to work in all conditions, and is accurate to at least 1/16”.
All laser tape measures provide the functionality to measure distances in a straight line. However, more advanced models can provide additional measurements that may be useful depending on the type of work you do.
For example, some models have additional functionality to measure area, volume, circumference, and more.
While most people can make do with only basic functionality. These additional modes may come in handy, especially for contractors.
Ease of use is another key concern, particularly for more advanced models that provide additional functionality.
With additional measurement modes come additional buttons, bells, and whistles. Simple models without many additional modes are usually very easy to use. However, more complex models may feel as if you need a college degree in knowing how to operate one.
Some of the more comprehensive models do a great job at making the tool easy to use, regardless of the additional functionality the tool may have. If ease of use is a concern for you, it may be a good idea to head to a store where you can try out a few different models before deciding on which to use.
The display on the tool ties directly into how easy it’s going to be to use. A large, backlit display that’s easy to read will make it easy for you to read measurements while clearly indicating what mode the tool is in, as well as any other information you may need.
Most models, even on the lower end of the price spectrum feature large and easy to read displays. However, you may find that you prefer the layout of one model to another.
Another area to take a closer look at is the build quality of the tool. How well built the tool is will have a direct effect on how accurate it is, especially as the tool gets older.
All laser tape measures provide info on how well sealed the unit is against dust and debris, and how water resistant the unit is.
These tools receive a grade from one to seven for their resistance to dust and debris, and the higher the number, the most resistant it is to dust. Water resistance is graded on a scale of one to nine, with one being the lowest score possible and nine being completely waterproof.
Considering that these factors can have a profound effect on how well the tool works, it’s important to select a tape measure that’s well sealed against both dust and water.
All laser tape measures have a small amount of memory that can be used to record your measurements for you. Additional memory comes in handy for contractors or real estate professionals who need to take multiple measurements at a time.
Meanwhile, if you’re using your new laser measure at home for small projects, additional memory is less likely to be a concern for you.
Today, many of the newest and most impressive laser tape measures are compatible with Bluetooth, which is probably a handier addition than you may think at first.
Bluetooth compatible tools have dedicated smartphone apps that automatically send info from your tool to the app. This means there’s no need to record your measurements by hand. This also cuts down on the amount of additional memory the tool needs to save your measurements.
Q: How Do Laser Tape Measures Work?
Laser tape measures use laser technology to provide measurements you’d otherwise need a standard tape measure to complete. Using one is as simple as pulling the trigger on the tool and then reading the measurement provided.
Depending on the tool, your laser tape measure may provide additional functionality that allows you to quickly and accurately measure things like volume, square footage, or even spatial reasoning.
Q: How Accurate is a Laser Tape Measure?
Depending on the model, most laser tape measures are accurate to within ⅛” or less. Higher end models are even more accurate and provide measurements that are even more closely toleranced.
Q: Do Laser Tape Measures Work Outside?
Yes, and as you may imagine, higher-end models provide more accurate measurements when working outdoors. Keep in mind that the conditions outside can affect the accuracy of your measurement, so it’s best to measure outside only in ideal conditions.
Q: What Type of Features Do I Need?
Laser tape measures are unique in the sense that the tool is used for different jobs depending on who’s using the tool.
Homeowners and DIY enthusiasts usually use them for basic measurements while working on projects around the house, and basic functionality is all that’s needed.
Meanwhile, contractors and the real estate industry use these tools for more complex projects. They may benefit from features such as additional measurement modes, large onboard memory storage, or Bluetooth compatibility.
While each of the laser measurement devices we’ve covered provides plenty of impressive features and reliable accuracy, one model rises to the top as the best laser tape measure, and that’s the Leica DISTO E7100i.
The E7100i delivers the longest range, most impressive performance and accuracy, and the addition of Bluetooth 4.0 compatibility really sends this tool over the top. The Leica iOS and Android apps are comprehensive and useful, and there’s also a range of other apps that are compatible with the E7100i, such as Google Sketchup.
While this model is a bit on the expensive side compared to most of the competition, it’s also head and shoulders above any of the other models we’ve discussed, which is why it’s our choice as the best laser tape measure.
If you’re looking for similar quality and you’re willing to sacrifice some of Leica’s bells and whistles in favor of a lower price point, we’d recommend going with the Skil ME981901, or, if you need a range of greater than 100 feet, the Tacklife HD40 would also make a fine choice.
You may also decide to go with a model that isn’t covered on our list above, and if that’s the case, we recommend using our buying guide as a benchmark for you to identify the features you need most so you can be sure to select a laser tape measure that’s ideal for your needs.