Laser tape measures are a modern substitute for the traditional tape measure, and enable you to measure longer distances more accurately, using just a handheld device and a laser beam.
Laser tape measures work by projecting a laser beam onto a nearby object, in place of the traditional metal tape measure. At the push of a button, the device will then interpret data from the laser beam’s reflection to measure the distance between itself and the object, to an accuracy of around 2-3mm.
This type of tape measure is easier and quicker to use than a traditional tape measure, and produces more accurate results. They can be extremely useful for a variety of jobs, including measuring distances in your home and garden for carpet fitting, turf laying or other DIY purposes.
If you’re looking for a high-tech way to take your measurements, you should find this guide to the 5 best laser tape measures on the market helpful.
Last update on 2021-04-22 / All Pricing & Imagery from Amazon Product Advertising API
We’ve based our selection of their accuracy, distance capability, and quality. It’s time to move on from slow, saggy tape measures, and embrace lightening-fast laser beams!
Our best laser tape measure produces accurate metric readings and is Bluetooth-enabled, so you can record measurements on your phone
Our favourite laser tape measure has to be this PLR 30 Digital Laser Measure by Bosch. Being from a well-known and reputable brand gives you extra assurance that this tape measure is of the highest quality and accuracy.
It can record distances of up to 30m, to an accuracy of +/- 2mm, and also measures volume and area. The results (metric only) are displayed on a large, coloured screen, with a backlight to make it easy to read, even in poor lighting. The tape measure can be used indoors or outdoors, although you might struggle a little in bright sunlight.
One of the best things about this high-tech tape measure is that it has built-in Bluetooth, which allows you to transfer measurements instantly to your smartphone or other devices. Download the PLR Measure & Go app to make dimensioning and documenting easier.
This is our most expensive laser tape measure, and it doesn’t have the longest measurable distance. However, you are paying for quality here, as well as the smart features. Bosch is a brand-name you can trust, and to further put your mind at ease, there’s a 2-year warranty, which can be extended to 3 years by registering the product. It also comes with a carry case that you can clip to your belt and the required AAA batteries.
Overall, this smart laser tape measure is a great option for anyone wanting to accurately measure distances of up to 30m in their home or garden, and easily record them for later – without having to stop and get out the pen and pencil.
- Accurately measure distance up to 30m.
- Also measures volume and area.
- Colour display with backlight for easy reading.
- Data can be transferred to your smartphone via Bluetooth.
- PLR Measure & Go app makes dimensioning and documenting easier.
- Includes carry case and batteries.
- From a reputable brand, and includes a 2-year warranty.
- Only measures in metric, no imperial option.
- Measuring distance of 30m is a little short compared to other models.
- Can be battery-hungry, especially when using Bluetooth.
- Our priciest tape measure.
Our best value laser tape measure offers you accurate distance, volume and area measurement, for an extremely reasonable price
This ARAS Laser Distance Meter is essentially a cheaper version of the Bosch tape measure, from a lesser-known brand, and without the Bluetooth connectivity to send results to your phone – you’ll need to dig out the pen and paper again for this one.
As with the Bosch, this tape measure offers distance, volume and area measurement, both single and continuous. It can record distances up to a slightly higher 40m, to an accuracy of 2mm. Importantly for many users, it can record measurements in both metric and imperial.
This one has a built-in bubble level to help with the angling of your laser beam, and a large backlit display to make the results easy to read. Buttons are responsive, and the rubber casing around the edge of the device makes it easier to grip. There is also a carry bag and hand strap included, although you’ll need to provide your own 2 x AAA batteries.
It is lacking a few of the fancier features of the Bosch model, but all the essentials are there, and the ability to record measurements in imperial might give it the edge for some. Considering it will set you back around a third of the cost of the Bosch, we don’t think you can go far wrong with this one.
- Measure distances up to 40m, to an accuracy of 2mm.
- Also measures area and volume.
- Take measurements in both metric and imperial.
- Can store past measurements.
- Built-in bubble level.
- Large backlit display for easy reading.
- No Bluetooth capability.
- Not as good quality as the Bosch.
- Carry case and batteries not included.
A traditional tape measure and built-in laser, as well as metric and imperial readings, make this digital tape measure a useful blend of old and new
This Hamner Digital Tape Measure represents a slightly different type of laser tape measure. Alongside the laser beam, which can measure distances up to 40m, there’s also a traditional tape measure, which extends to 5m, and has a magnetic claw. This gives the user greater flexibility and offers you 2 ways to take your measurements (which are accurate to 2mm).
This one has a built-in rechargeable polymer lithium battery, with a long battery life of 5 hours, and can be recharged via USB. The laser beam and screen turn off automatically after 30 seconds and 3 minutes respectively, to conserve energy.
Readings are displayed on a clear black and white screen, and you can switch between metric and imperial. It has a continuous measurement function, and the double photosensitive aperture improves stability. However, there’s no built-in function to calculate the area or volume of space, so you’ll have to take the measurements and work these out manually.
Although there’s no carry case included with this one, it does come with a clip that you can attach to your belt, for easy access when you need it. Ultimately, this is a great option for anyone who wants the accuracy and convenience of a laser tape measure, but still the option to be able to measure things manually.
- Record distances up to 40m, to an accuracy of 2mm.
- Also includes a 5m long traditional-style tape measure, accurate to 1.5mm.
- Clear black and white display for results.
- Measure distance in metric or imperial.
- Automatic shutdown of laser and screen to preserve energy.
- Rechargeable via USB – no batteries required.
- Can’t measure volume and area.
- No carry case included.
This metric traditional/laser tape measure hybrid has an impressive five modes, but a comparatively small screen
This next tape measure by Tooltoo is similar in design to the previous Henmer model, with both a traditional and laser tape measure built in. These can measure distances of 5m and 40m respectively, to an accuracy of 2mm. This one only measures in metric.
It has five modes and can calculate area, volume and Pythagoras measurements, as well as distances, as both a single and continuous measurement. Recordings are displayed on an LCD screen with backlight, although it has to be said that this is significantly smaller than most of the other screens we’ve seen – so bear this in mind if you have poor eyesight.
The tape measure itself is lightweight, waterproof and dustproof. It features a 180mAh lithium battery, that can be recharged via USB in 4 hours, and the battery should then last for 5 hours of continual use – the equivalent of using the tape measure 3000 times.
There’s no carry case included with this one, but as there is a wristband and belt clip, perhaps this isn’t necessary. This is another accurate and highly-rated tape measure, that has most of the features you could possibly ask for – except Bluetooth connectivity.
- Measure distances up to 40m to 2mm accuracy with the laser.
- Can also be used to calculate area, volume and Pythagoras.
- Also includes a traditional metal 5m tape measure.
- Well-priced, especially considering the amount of features.
- Includes wrist strap and belt clip, for easy carrying.
- LCD screen is comparatively small, and may be difficult for some users to read.
This high-tech laser tape measure claims to be one of the most accurate on the market – but it’s still extremely affordable
Cost: Price not available
For our final laser tape measure, we’re returning to one in the same style as our best pick. There’s no traditional metal tape measure in this model; the Tilswall Distance Meter is all about the laser beam.
It can measure distances of up to 40m, and claims to have an accuracy of +/- 1mm, which is better than most laser tape measures on the market – although some users dispute that it lives up to this claim. It also has an upgraded digital angle sensor, to enable you to take more exact horizontal and vertical readings.
Distance can be recorded as a single measurement, or continuously, and the device can also add and subtract measurements, and determine area and volume. Up to 20 sets of data can be saved and recalled, and it has a mute function if you want to use it without sound. A storage bag, lanyard and the required batteries are also included.
The LCD screen is large, and has a backlight to make it easy to read – although some colour here wouldn’t go amiss. That’s being picky though – there’s really not much to complain about with this one, especially considering the quite remarkable price tag.
- Measures distance up to 40m, to a high accuracy rating of +/- 1mm.
- Capable of adding and subtracting measurements, and measuring area and volume.
- Digital angle sensor enables it to act as a level.
- Save and recall 20 sets of data.
- Includes carry bag and 2 x AAA batteries.
- Easy-to-read LCD screen.
- 28-month warranty.
- May not be as accurate as it claims – a minority of users report it being out by up to 10mm.
How To Use A Laser Measuring Tape
To use a laser tape measure, place the tape measure at one end of the distance you want to measure. Turn on the laser beam, and direct it in a straight line towards the wall or object at the other end. Make sure that there is nothing obstructing the path from your device to the object.
Once your laser beam is in place, press the button to measure the distance of the beam. The measurement will appear on the screen of the device. Laser tape measures work by using laser physics and precision optics to analyse the reflection of the beam sent out, to calculate the distance it’s covered.
If you want to calculate the area or volume of space, you will need to take further measurements before the device can calculate these. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions, to allow for any variation between models and brands.
How Accurate Are Laser Tape Measures?
Laser tape measures are extremely accurate, especially over short distances. They are generally said to be accurate to within 2 or 3mm (or 1/8 of an inch) if used correctly. However, accuracy tends to fall under certain conditions.
For example, if the tape measure is used outside or over a long distance, you may not be able to see exactly where the laser beam is pointing. To tackle this, you could mount your tape measure on a tripod and use some sort of telescopic viewfinder, to better see your target. The angle of the laser beam will also affect your result. For an accurate reading of the distance between two points, the laser needs to be perfectly horizontal. Many devices have a built-in level of some kind, but again, you may struggle over long distances.
April is a freelance writer who specialises in writing about home and garden design and the environment. She is an avid wildlife-enthusiast and adventure-seeker, and feels happiest when in the Great Outdoors.