A laser tape measure is the name given to a device that makes use of a laser in order to measure distances. Professional contractors and serious home improvement aficionados consider the tool to be vast on improvement on standard tape measures with technology instantly providing an extremely accurate distance calculation that improves quality and saves time when working.
Any measurement by an individual working alone when they use a laser tape measure but there are many different models and types, so how do you know which to use? There are a number of factors that need to be taken into consideration before choosing a laser tape measure.
The cheapest types of laser tape measure are usually only accurate to within about a quarter of an inch, which is perfectly adequate for general area calculations such as determining the required length of a fence, but for most landscaping or construction work an accuracy level of one sixteenth of an inch is required and with even more technically demanding jobs accuracy is demanded up to 1/32 of an inch.
Backlit displays can make it easier to see the screen easier to see than is the case with more traditional screens, while also making it more visible in low lighting, but this feature is not included on all models. If a laser tape measure is going to be used frequently in situations with low light, it is a good idea to purchase a model that comes with a backlit display.
While enthusiastic DIYers may be able to get by without a laser tape measure they have become essential for professionals, who may also require models that come with more high-end functions. It is therefore important to have an understanding of the different functions of a laser tape measure to help you choose which would be a help in your job.
Functions of a laser tape measure can include:
- Area measurement
- Combined indirect measurement
- Continuous measurement
- Double indirect measurement
- Length measurement
- Single indirect measurement
- Volume measurement
Almost all laser tape measure models will be able to measure in a number of popular measurement units such as decimal feet, feet, inches, metric units etc, and many models will also be able to easily toggle between units.
Individual preferences may however require careful consideration to ensure the version you purchase is able to display your preferred units in order to avoid any confusion.
The measuring range you require for a project will depend on how your laser tape measure is used. Contractors or real estate appraisers are likely to need ranges between 100 and 300 feet, while surveyors on those on construction sites may need ranges of over 300 feet.
Factors that determine range can go beyond the level of power of a laser tape measure and also include if the target is reflective and, if not, the amount of light, the nature of the surface being pointed at, and the cleanliness of the area that covers the laser.
Laser tape measures are able to perform many different tasks in a faster and more accurate manner than was ever previously the case.