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  • October 25, 2019 4 min read

    Laser distance measurers are incredible little devices that make a great compliment to traditional metal measuring tapes. 

    They’re wonderfully useful for just about any project that requires specific measurements, so it’s no surprise thatarchitects, designers, realtors and builders use these little handheld devices regularly.

    However, if you want to purchase a laser distance measure yourself, it’s very important to know what to look out for.

    Let’s look at the attributes of different kinds of laser distance measure tools and what you should look out for as a buyer.

    But first, what is a laser distance measure and why is it so useful?

    Related: What Will You Carry In Your Tool Roll?

    What Exactly is a Laser Distance Measure?

    Laser distance measures are digital devices used to calculate lengths and heights, usually up to around 700 feet. They are alternatives to traditional metal tape measures and are used by contractors, architects, designers, realtors and just about everyone else who may need to do a lot of quick measuring or estimating. 

    Laser distance measurers are extremely useful because they are easy to use without help from another person, especially when measuring long lengths or distances.  They are also very accurate.

    laser measuring tool

    Using a laser distance measure is quite easy. Simply place the device at one end of an object that you want to measure. Then aim the laser beam of the device so that it hits the endpoint of the object you want to measure. 

    If there isn’t a spot for it to land, such as a wall or pole, simply place a solid object at the endpoint. Press the button on the device to calculate the distance, and your measurement will be displayed on the device’s screen. It’s as simple as that!

    Laser distance measures work by calculating the distance through precision optics and laser physics, all through the phase-shift method.

    This is a little complicated to understand, but the basic premise is that a laser hits an object, then compares its reflection with the beam that was sent out.Some laser distance measures can measure multiple dimensions and then calculate area or volume.

    Laser distance measures are very useful, but not all of them are equally good. Let’s take a look at whatyou should look for when picking out a laser distance measure for your upcoming project.

    Interested in Tools and Gadgets, see what Defiance Tools has to offer!

    Laser Distance Measures: Things to Look For

    There are a number of features that a laser distance measure should have. Keep an eye out for the following:


    tools on a wooden table

    Consider whether or not you’ll be using your device for indoor projects, outdoor projects, commercial projects, or residential projects. The reason for this is because the size of your project will impact what kind of range your measure should have. 

    A laser distance measure will usually only need to cover aroundfifty feet of range for a residential project, while a fencing project outside or a large-scale commercial project may require significantly larger ranges.

    Look for a laser distance measure that can handle the maximum measurements you will need.


    Accuracy is one of the biggest benefits of a laser distance measure, but some models just don’t make the mark. A majority of measures will have around aneighth-inch orsixteenth-inch accuracy at a range ofthirty tothirty-five feet. For basic projects and estimations, aneighth-inch accuracy should work.

    Before purchasing a device, be sure to check out it’s accuracy.

    Interested in Tools and Gadgets, see what Defiance Tools has to offer!

    Adding and Subtracting

    These features are very useful when it comes to combining multiple lengths that can’t be measured at one time, or need to be taken out of a measurement.

    This works with distance, volume, and area too. Estimating measurements is a big part of architecture, building and real estate sales so it may be worth looking for a laser distance measure that has these features.

    Area and Volume

    We’ve established that an addition and subtraction feature is extremely handy to have in a laser distance measure. If a device already has those features, it is very likely that it also has an area and volume calculation feature as well. 

    These are very useful for doing measurements on the fly with an all-in-one device. Area and volume come into play when basic measurements just don’t cut it, so a device with such a feature would be very useful for complex buildingprojects or estimating building supplies like paint, carpet or tile.

    Interested in Tools and Gadgets, see whatDefiance Tools has to offer!


    Basic or inexpensive models will rarely have a memory storage feature. However, higher-end measures will have some storage available, usually between100-200 measurements at a time. Take the time to think about whether or not this will be a needed feature for you. 

    Are you used to jotting down measurements as you take them? Is it a huge buying point to have storage measurements digitally on your device? 

    Consider if the extra features are worth the cost for your specific measuring needs.


    laser distance tool screen close up

    Laser distance measures tend to have two types of screens--LED orLCD. LCD displays are backlit, which can be very useful for measuring in low-light areas. The flip side is that LCD screens are hard to see in direct sunlight, so they may not be ideal for outdoor projects. 

    LED screens are very bright and easy to read in either darkness or sunlight.

    For the most part, LED screens are preferable. Keep in mind that these types of screen tend to make the device a bit more expensive.

    Immediate Measurements

    Another major benefit to a laser distance measure is immediate measurements. On top of that, another feature that many devices have is real-time measurements. Such measurements give you instant feedback as the laser moves, instead of waiting for you to press the “measure” button.

    This makes layout work easier so that you can make layout marks as you work in real-time, versus creating a layout and using the laser distance measure to check it later.

    When it comes down to it, real-time measuring should be a mandatory feature to look out for.

    Interested in Tools and Gadgets, see what Defiance Tools has to offer!

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