Metal and cloth measuring tapes are accurate when used as intended but they aren’t always totally reliable. The tapes are fabricated and calibrated for being read at particular temperatures, humidity and at a particular tape tension. Have you ever tried making a vertical measurement with a tape measure?
You can get good results from any measuring tape. The most common tape measure is one of those easy to use 3 meters to 5 meters metal retractable tapes. That sort of tape is marked in meters and millimetres along its length.
These metal or fibre tapes are OK for short distance measurements up to the distance capability of this tape and retraction device. This works if the measurement can be a simple single-handed application or you have a buddy holding the tape’s end. It will be a action or operation involving pull, view, measure, note and retract the tape. There is a simpler way.
The basic electronic tape measuring device is cheap and suited for simple home projects and uses a simple point and press to measure for all applications; it is quite effective for a simple short distance as well as those complex jobs that require numerous vertical and / or horizontal distances (longer than a 5 m metal tape) to be accurately measured and you can retain the measurements to calculate areas or volumes.
Few small-scale home improvement jobs will need a laser measure with a medium (60m) or long (100m) measuring range capability. Choosing a laser measure with short-range distance measure capability of up to 30 meters that has accuracy to within 2mm for about $45 will be cost effective option for most home-handy workers.
It’s often difficult to measure from corner to corner for distances longer than a tape, or in tight and confined spaces, and then there is a need to record, document or remember your measurements if a series of cumulative readings make up a total measurement.
The best electronic tape measure is now a digital measuring device. A digital distance laser measuring device features built-in horizontal and vertical bubble levels, and it can measure from the front, the back, or from a fold-out end piece of the device, depending on what reference point you need at the time.
The best digital measuring device measures the point to point distance directly to within an accuracy of 1.0mm for professional units and between 1.5mm and 2.5mm for handyman units, then holds the measurements in its memory.
The best electronic tape measures have a bright and easy-to-read backlit display so you can always get and read accurate measurements in the daylight or in poor light.
You no longer need more than one person to do a measuring job: no assistant required for holding the tape end or tensioning the tape across the distance to ensure accuracy. There is no need for reading the tape from the right angle or using a note pad to record readings; the laser device does that. And there is no need to clean the tape measure you dirtied when you got the measurements; well not if you go digital. You might want to add a digital distance laser measuring device to your must have list of tools.
Using a digital distance laser measuring device will enable you to:
The laser measure is ideal for home renovators, tradesmen, contractors and professionals in real estate, engineering, construction, renovation, and many other uses.
A digital distance laser measuring device (Laser Measure) is an essential tool; not something people could consider as a ‘nerdy gadget’. Perhaps it is a tool that might get occasional use but there are many tools like that. There are risks of wasting time, doing work twice from using incorrect measurements or wrongly interpreting the hurried notes made in poor handwriting when you were recording the results.
In the building, construction and real estate industries taking an accurate measurement and recording it correctly is a vital task.
The portable laser measure makes that job both easier and faster for amateurs and professionals alike as they use the accuracy of laser light for their measuring and the gadget’s memory for retaining the results.
Laser Distance Measuring Devices are also sold under the labels of:
Some models of electronic tape measure have a “Pythagoras feature”, which directly calculates the third side of a triangle. That feature enables the user to measure direct distances between two points that might be otherwise difficult to access for measuring.
For example, you could stand away from a building wall that you want to measure, point the laser measuring device at one corner of the building and take a measurement. Then turn the device while keeping it’s reference end in the same place and point the laser red dot at the other corner of the building and take that measurement.
Using the “Pythagoras feature” button will calculate the distance across the face of the building between the points you marked using the laser pointer. That means, regardless of there being fences and landscaping that prevented access along the building for direct measure. if the points on the building are visible from a separate view point the distance can be determined.
The device calculates the third side of the triangle using geometry. In all measurements, final accuracy is dependent on how well you can actually hold the position of the laser at its pivot position. The device calculates the direct distance between the points marked on the wall being in a flat triangular plane with the device.
The laser distance measuring device’s red dot is pointed at a target such as a wall on a house, a nearly object or whatever, and the device will show the distance between the device and the object on its LCD screen.
You can put the back of the unit against a wall and measure from device to get true wall-to-wall distance measurement. Similarly with measuring floor to ceiling, lay the device on its back with the laser dot pointed up to the ceiling so it measures that distance to the dot from the floor. That has got to be a lot easier than holding a tape at both ends to measure.
The laser measuring devices will display in multiple units of measure, so you can cycle through the units, set and then start taking measurements. Alternatively, after taking a measurement you can cycle through the units of measure and show the record in those units.
There are versatile cost-effective laser type measures available for handy home use or general contractor use for measuring distances from a hand-span up to 160 meters. The more expensive models used by professionals usually have more powerful lasers, more features, greater range and better accuracy.
The basic technology of laser measuring devices is the same for handyman tools as it is for professional devices. The higher powered laser provides a longer range that are more accurate devices used by professionals, albeit those models have quite advanced features.
* Using Addition and subtraction
* Third side distance by indirect geometric method of Pythagorean theorem
* Area, using side distance/ length measurement
* Remembers whatever unit of measuring you chose last
3. You can measure in units of:
* Feet, Inches, feet+inches
* Meter and millimeters
4. Can choose front reference point and rear reference point of the device.
5. Small and portable size so can be kept on your person.
6. Runs on 2 replaceable AAA batteries (and these are included in the purchase).
7. Has a clear four-line backlit LED display screen that is easy to read indoors.
8. Easy and fast to use, takes accurate measurements for the particular power range of the device.
The laser-measuring device can replace your manual tape measure. The electronic laser tape makes taking measurements accurate, easier, certain and quick. You won’t need helpers or other people to complete a measurement with accuracy: just point and press.
A measurement for say a bridge span needs to be accurate within finite predetermined tolerances. The best fabrication work within a tolerance needs the machine operator or fabricator to trust the numbers so even with this technology you need to be checking each reading twice.
While these electronic tape measures are the best digital measuring devices available you require constant operator vigilance to confirm the recorded measurement spans the intended distance. Use the ‘measure twice / cut once’ strategy to help reduce reading errors from using an incorrect start reference point or finishing measuring point.
To avoid communicating the very accurately measured (but wrong) distance that might arise from referencing error measure in both directions. Even within the device’s fine accuracy tolerance levels where human error is still possible the checked reading will have to be correct in both directions because when one is wrong the measurement has no value.
The challenge of accurately measuring between fixed points increases when you have to measure something that exceeds your arm-span. You can hold only one end of the tape measure, unless there are two people doing this task.
I would choose to buy a laser measure for its ease and accuracy. From the standpoint of the single-handed ability of a digital measure for saving on the cost of a second person, for its portability and convenience, for its simplicity of use and speed of set up, the digital measuring device is the most efficient.
The best digital measuring devices tend to be used in setting out or checking long distances with tight tolerances. In civil engineering works I might use the digital laser measure to provide reassurance by spot checking plans for road layout, confirming bridge spans or set up for prefabricated structural elements in commercial buildings, where the components are large, expensive and complex to modify and reinstall.
The professional devices used there have an accuracy within 1.0mm and their battery is good for up to 5000 measurements between recharges. No worrying about the device failing during a normal day of use.
The digital distance laser measuring device is convenient because one straight line distance figure appears on the device display, accurate to within 1mm, regardless of the distance. You don’t need to hold the tape tight in tension, taking careful note of several intermediate points being in line or remembering anything not immediately written down.
Below I have outlined four Bosch brand Digital measuring device models that can sourced through Amazon. The four price divisions align with the laser measuring device quality, laser power and features. The pricing of digital measuring devices varies from about $600 for Professional through to around $30 for Handyman and home projects use.
The laser measure with the longest range
1. Ideal for outdoor use: integrated telescopic viewfinder for optimum visibility of the laser point up to a distance of 250 m
2. Maximum measurement performance and precision, even in adverse lighting conditions, due to large glass lens and ceramic optics carrier
3. Numerous easy-to-operate measurement functions for fast and accurate calculation of distances, areas and volumes
Bosch GLM 100 C Professional
Direct digital transfer of measuring results
1 . Fast and efficient data transfer via Bluetooth® and micro USB
2 . Simple exchange and smart documentation of measured values thanks to Measuring Master app
3 . Create digital floor plans, import and edit existing floor plans, and export the result using the Measuring Master app
Bosch GLM 50 C Professional
The smart solution for measuring and documenting
1. Quick and efficient data transfer via Bluetooth
2. Easy handling with improved user interface and illuminated, rotating colour display
3. Broad functionality including stake-out function and 360° tilt sensor for easy angle measurements and levelling applications
Distance measurement – easy, compact, for professionals
1. One button for everything – intuitive and easy measuring
2. Compact – easily fits into any pocket
In the table below some Bosch laser measure devices are summarised in category of distance; i.e. 20 meters, 50 meters, 80 meters and over 100 meters. The range of electronic tape measure devices is quite extensive.
For a project requiring several approximate measurements of up to 30 meters electronic tape measures can be procured for very affordable prices. Choose the tool according to your scope of work.
For a project that needs less stringent tolerance there is also an option to use smart phone app technology.
These laser measure devices use Bluetooth and hardware attachments that interact with smart phone technology. This electronic tape measure provides an alternative means of measuring distance with a laser attached to a smartphone.
The phone app’s technology permits post markup of photographs taken on the phone or tablet, providing pictures annotated with measurements and descriptions. Click here for details of the Ryobi tool app using innovative blue tooth enabled laser measure device attachments to the smart phone and navigation via an app. Remember to measure, check and then cut.