top digital laser tape measure

Best Laser Tape Measure (Reviews): Plus 5 Reason To Own One

Do you get frustrated trying figure out how to read a tape measure?  Oh, I get it. I had trouble figuring it out at first too.  One of my first jobs as a kid was working in my uncles cabinet shop.  

In Between sweeping the floor and emptying out all the scrap wood bins, if I was lucky, I’d be given a real job...an important job.  Something like cutting out drawer fronts or face frame parts.

I lived for those jobs. But if I wanted to hang, I needed to know how to read a tape measure, and I had to learn how to do it fast. It was essentially a sink or swim scenario.  So I figured it out and ended up working there for a long time. But I’m also aware that not everyone has an uncle that’s willing to throw them into the proverbial deep end of the pool to learn how to swim.  

Learning how to read a tape measure can be a chore, so did you know there’s an easy way out?  That’s where the laser tape measure come in handy.  And these wonderful tools aren’t just for folks that don’t quite know how to read a tape measure.   Nope. ... laser tape measures are for everyone.  


Introduction

There are a lot of laser distance measuring devices available on the market. So many that it kind of becomes a challenge to know which one would be the best for you. At least that's the experience I had.  

So for the purposes of this post, I want to try and simplify the process by breaking the ‘many’ down into just a ‘few' of the best.

I’ve been able to narrow them all down into the most popular categories of use. The categories I’ve narrowed these laser measuring tapes into are this:

  • The Best Digital Laser Tape Measure For Homeowners
  • The Best Compact Digital Laser Tape Measure
  • The Most Accurate Digital Laser Tape Measure
  • The Digital Laser Tape Measure With The Most Distance

 

And some the more important features that I looked for were these three things.

  • Accuracy
  • Ease Of Use
  • Features


Laser Tape Measure Product Chart


The Best Laser Tape Measure (Reviews)


1. Bosch GLM 35 (Top Pick)​​

I want to start this guide out by starting with the digital tape measure that works best for and is geared towards homeowners like us. We’re DIYers, weekend warriors and honey-do-listers.  We typically want quick, accurate measurements and don’t necessarily need all of the bells and whistles the more expensive laser tape measures offer.

It’s for this reason that I chose the Bosch GLM 35 as the best digital laser tape measure for homeowners.  

The Bosch GLM 35 Laser Measure is a good choice for homeowners because not only is it accurate in its measurements, easy to use and compact, but the price is well within most of our budgets as well.

Features Of The Bosch GLM 35 Laser Measure:

  • In addition to distance, the GLM 35 easily calculates area, length, volume, continuous measurement, addition and subtraction.
  • Measures distances up to 120 feet
  • Integrated backlight for increased visibility in low light work environents
  • Compact size easily fits inside your pocket
  • Extremely accurate measurements within +/- 1/16 in.

 

PROS:
  • Measures area and volume in addition to distance
  • Compact and easy to carry
  • Fast and accurate
  • Backlit display for easier reading in low light rooms

 

CONS:
  • Fraction numbers can be difficult to see due to being too small (The GLM 50 C is a good alternative with much larger numbers).
  • Can be difficult to read in bright daylight

For more specifications and information on the Bosch GLM 35 digital laser tape measure, you can visit the Bosch Tool website.

 

Video Review Of The Bosch GLM 35 Laser Measure


2. Bosch GLM 20

 (Best Compact Laser Tape Measure)

As nice and compact as the Bosch GLM 35 is, there is actually another laser Measure that is even more compact.  It’s the Bosch GLM 20.

Now the GLM 20 may not have as many features as the other models, but what you sacrifice in features, you definitely gain in reduced size and ease of carry.

With the press of just one button, you can get an accurate measurement of a distance up to 65 feet.  Need to walk off a distance from a wall. No problem. The Bosch GLM 20 features a continuous measurement mode.


Features Of The Bosch GLM 20 Laser Measure:

  • Compact and easy to carry
  • Measures distance up to 65 feet
  • Accurate measurements to ⅛ in.
  • Simple one button operation
  • Continuous measurement mode

PROS:

  • Extremely compact. Fits nicely in the palm of your hand or in your pocket.
  • Simple one button operation
  • Long battery life
  • Easily fits into tight spaces where a tape measure would not

 

CONS:

  • Lower accuracy at ⅛ inch
  • Lacks the number of modes other models have

For more specifications and information on the Bosch GLM 20 digital laser tape measure, you can visit the Bosch Tool website.


Video Review Of The Bosch GLM 20 Laser Measure


3. Leica DISTO D2

(Most Accurate Digital Laser Tape Measure)

Sometimes the most important thing that we require from measuring a room, a wall or whatever your project might be is accuracy.  

There are a lot of projects where ⅛ inch off might be acceptable.  But if you’re like me, ⅛ inch might as well be the same as a mile.  What's acceptable varies from person to person. Find what's acceptable to you and choose the laser measuring tape that will meet those needs.

What I took into account when selecting the most accurate digital laser tape measure was not only accuracy in distance, but also accuracy over distance.  I expect measuring tools to be the most accurate the closer the measurement is.

But what I want to know is does the accuracy hold up over a long distance.  That is why I chose the Leica DISTO D2 Laser Measure as the most accurate.  Over a distance of 330feet, the DISTO D2 still is accurate within 1/16 of an inch.

The Leica DISTO D2 also just happens to be best bluetooth laser measure in our opinion.

Features Of The Leica DISTO D2 Laser Measure

  • Measured up to a distance of 330 feet
  • Accurate within 1/16 in.
  • Equipped with Bluetooth
  • Remembers last 10 measurements
  • Illuminated screen
  • Calculates area and volume, adds and subtract
  • 7 modes including Stake out function, Painter Function, Pythagoras Function

 

PROS:

  • Small and compact
  • Comes with a high quality case and wrist lanyard for protection and mobility
  • Bluetooth pairing is intuitive and reliable and comes with free app
  • Excellent battery life. 10,000+ measurements

 

CONS:

  • Buttons can be stiff and difficult to press
  • Some of its many features are not completely intuitive

For more specifications and information on the Bosch GLM 35 digital laser tape measure, you can visit the Leica website.


Video Review Of The Leica DISTO D2 Laser Measure


4. Bosch GLR 825

(Longest Distance Digital Laser Tape Measure)

To wrap up this review guide of the best digital laser measuring tools, I’m going to end with the Mack Daddy of hand held laser measures. I’m talking about the Bosch GLR 825.  

When distance, and I mean a long, long distance is what you need to measure accurately, then this is your guy.

The Bosch GLR 825 will accurately measure an distance up to 825 feet. That's almost 3 football fields this laser measures.  The accuracy at that distance is an incredible .04 inch, or 1/25 in.

Granted, most of us won’t need a laser tape measure for those kinds of distances, but I also know that some of us could in fact use it.


Features Of The Bosch GLR 825 Laser Measure

  • An incredible 825 feet measuring distance
  • 11 measuring modes
  • Precision laser technology with accuracy at .04 inch
  • Large illuminated display for easy reading
  • Integrated 1.6x magnification view finder
  • Built in bubble vial for horizontal measurements
  • Memory of up to 30 measurements

PROS:

  • Lightweight and easy to use
  • 825 ft distance with incredible accuracy
  • Tons of features and modes for many applications
  • Works great outside and can easily be seen in sunlight

 

CONS:

  • Instruction manual is somewhat vague
  • Price might be too high for a “tool box” toy

 

For more specifications and information on the Bosch GLR 825 digital laser tape measure, you can visit the Bosch Tools website.

 

Video Review Of The Bosch GLR 825 Long Distance Laser Measure


Why You Should Have A Laser Measure

Even Timothy Dahl from Popular Mechanics agrees.  He says ever DIYer and designer should own a digital distance and leveling tool.   I couldn’t agree more with Mr. Dahl.  

I would even like to add that in addition to every DIYer and every designer, I strongly believe that every homeowner should have a digital laser tape measure.

 

Why I Bought A Digital Laser Tape Measure

It wasn’t a hard sell for me.  The moment I realized a laser tape measure was a “must have” for me was not even all that long ago.

We were getting ready for a remodel and the structural engineer was coming over to take a look at our trusses to see if we could vault the ceilings.

Well this guy walks into the house and says he needs to take a few quick measurements of the inside of the house.  So I get ready to help out in any way I can, thinking to myself that I’ll hold one end of a long tape measure for him or something.

It wasn’t to be.  The engineer simply pulled a small handheld digital laser tape measure out of his jacket pocket, held it up to where the ceiling and wall met, pointed it to the far side wall, pushed a button and was done.  The measurement was displayed to 100ths of an inch on a little LCD screen.

Are you kidding me? I had to have one.  I could immediately think of a million different uses for having one.


How Accurate Are Laser Tape Measures?

But how accurate are these laser measures? Very accurate.  As a matter of fact, some of them are accurate to 1/25 of an inch!  That's incredible.  Let's be honest with ourselves. Are we even that accurate with our tape measures?

 

How Far Does A Laser Tape Measure Work?

Some of the best laser measure that are good choices for homeowners and DIYers typically will measure distances between 65 ft and 120 ft.  

If you’re willing to spend a little more money, then you could find a good laser measure that will accurately measure a distance of 330 feet.  

But if you have incredibly far distances you need to measure, and have even more money to spend, then there are laser measures that will go up to 825 feet, and still be as accurate as 1/25 inch at that distance.  Now that’s incredible.


5 Reasons To Own A Digital Laser Tape Measure

So I got to thinking to myself. If I was to buy one of these things, besides just having a really cool tool, what are some real life situations I would use it in.  Here are the 13 uses for a digital laser tape measure I came up with.  

1. Hanging Picture Frames

You may be wondering how a laser measure tool can help you hang anything on the wall. Well, the fact is, when it comes to hanging a frame on the wall, a lot of people tend to just “eyeball” it.

For whatever reason, folks don’t grab their tape measure for this kind of project.  With a laser measuring tool, you can easily hang frames straight and evenly spaced along the wall.  

Many laser measuring tools have a continuous measuring function that allows you to walk along a wall while giving you a real time measurement.  

 

2. Finding Studs

Don’t have a stud finder or a tape measure. No problem.  With a laser tape measure you can easily find 16 inches on center.  Just select the continuous measuring feature and start moving the laser tool along the wall.  

Some of the more advanced laser tape measures with more functionality even have stud finding features and will alert you at the correct distance where one should be located.

 

3. Buying The Right Amount Of Paint

With the right laser tape measure, you can easily figure out exactly how much paint you need to buy for a wall, or an entire room.

For example, the Leica DISTO D2 laser measure has a feature on it called the painter function. This function makes it very quick and easy for you to measure the surface area of all the walls in a room and easily subtract the area of windows and doors.  

 

4. Ordering Blinds or Drapes

Not too long ago, my wife and I ordered new blinds for all of the windows in our house. We spent quite a while going around measuring the windows, then coming back and remeasuring.  

As you know, blinds aren’t cheap, and I wanted to make for certain we were ordering the right size.  

With a laser tape measure, we could have not only been done with our measuring faster, but I’m convinced we would have had significantly more accurate measurements.  

 

5. Floor Installation

A somewhat embarrassing story.  My wife and I bought a fixer upper a number of years ago. For part of the remodel, I was going to tear out all of the carpet and install hardwood floors.  Simple enough, right?

Well I grabbed my trusty tape measure, a pad of paper and a pencil and started measuring away.  Long story short...my math was wrong.  I’m still not sure where along the process I messed up, but I ended up buying quite a bit more flooring than I needed (which ended up being a good thing).

Needless to say, with quality laser tape measure, I could have easily calculated the correct amount of flooring I needed without doing any math at all.  This would have saved me quite a bit of money.  

It just so happens that the amount of excess flooring I bought was the exact amount I needed for the master bedroom in another house.  Phew!

 

Final Thoughts

I hope this post helped answer any questions you might have had about these incredible tools.  Still wondering if you should own a laser tape measure?  To be honest, I've never met one person that ever said they regret having one.  And in my opinion, is one of the tools all of us homeowners and do it yourselfers should have.

What are your thoughts on my choices. Do you believe there is another laser measure that belongs on this list?  Let me know, and I'll take a look at it.

If you found the information in this post helpful, please do me a favor and share it with your friends!  I would greatly appreciate your help in getting this info out to other homeowners! 

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