Having the ability to measure accurately and precisely over a long distance is fundamental to many professions. For those involved in construction, this is especially true. Engineers and architects who are involved in the planning and development stages of construction, to the contractors and builders who actually execute the plans and refine them, understanding the physical dimensions of the project is critical to its successful completion.
Taking accurate measurements can actually be challenging using a tape measure. I’ve done this with a tape measure, and they work ok, but they aren’t super accurate. Also, when about when you need to span an area where there is no support. Well, my tape measure collapsed many times. Not a problem for my laser measure.
If you need millimeter precision, nothing beats a laser measure. Small mistakes with a tape measure or meter sticks will lead to costly mistakes; hence the mantra measure twice, cut once.
This is why it makes sense to move away from out-dated systems. These days, engineers, architects, contractors, builders, and more rely on these laser measuring tools to measure distance accurately.
Though the market is flooded with options, so how do you know that you are getting the best outdoor laser measure? Well, you can research each one, test each one out, and eventually settle on one that suits your needs, this is going to take a long time. So I’ve done it for you in these outdoor laser measure reviews, I’ve also put together a buying guide so you know exactly what you should be looking for.
Best Outdoor Laser Measure Reviews
- This unit contains a Class II Laser with 1mW output
- Complete Kit Includes all Components in a Hard Case for Storage and Transport.If the battery gets hotter than 40°C / 104°F, the charger stops
- Adapter and Tripod Provide Stable Base for Precise Targeting Control when Measuring P2P, from Remote Locations, or Over Long Distances
If you are after a laser measure that can capture multiple accurate measurements from a single location, then the Leica Distro S910.
This tool uses integrated smart base technology, which allows it to measure distances up to 984ft while retaining the accuracy of around ± 0.04in.
This features a range of up to 984ft and can be used indoors or outdoors, it provides point to point measurements, a touch screen with a measure in picture feature. You can even export DXF files over WiFi.
So why should you purchase the Leica DISTO S910? For me, I found this laser measure to be a very practical tool, I was able to measure outdoor wall layouts and floor plans with ease. Being able to make the precision measurements that I want requires something better than the average laser measure.
A feature I absolutely loved was that it’s possible to document the 3D measurements thanks to its built-in technology, using Point to Point (P2P), Smart Angle, Smart area and it’s .dxf file format.
All your measurements can be saved to a .dxf file, which you can then export to a computer over WiFi. This really comes in handy for those in the construction of the architectural industry.
This outdoor laser distance measurer can hold up to 30 measurements and saves up to 20 .dxf files for exporting to your favorite cad or animation software. You can also take 30 photographs which you can take measurements from.
Ok, so are there any drawbacks? Well the price is high, but this is an amazing piece of kit, so the price is fair for what you get. Though what I didn’t like was that the photo quality reduces as you zoom from 1x to 4x. So if you want to get quality photos, you need to work within 400′.
The ability to measure and map grades and slopes make this an incredibly worthy investment. Though I do suggest using a tripod if you want the most accurate results when using Smart Angle, Smart area and it’s P2P functions.
- Dust and waterproof for a perfect outdoor experience
- The digital outdoor point finder 4X zoom camera ensures you will see the laser point even on sunny days
- Very long measuring range both indoors and outdoors
- Measures distances between any two points, inclinations, and angles at the same time
- This Unit contains a class II laser with 1mw output
- 650ft range indoors and outdoors at up to 1mm (1/16") accuracy, for long distances and very bright sunlight we recommend to use the special integrated long range (LR) mode
- IP65 rated- water jet protection and dust tight, Iso 16331-1 certified
If you happen to be a property accessor, you’ll want a laser measurer that can be used indoors and outdoors. This is where the Leica DISTRO E7500i comes in.
It’s able to measure long distances of up to 660ft even in direct bright sunlight, which is why I feel this is the best laser measuring tool for appraisers, as you won’t be held back by the sun.
You can take measurements in various modes with this laser measuring tool, including meters, feet, yards, decimal feet, inches, and decimal inches. All of these modes will measure to an accuracy of 1/16th of an inch.
Just like the S910 above, the DISTRO E7500i features an outdoor point finder digital camera, which as 4x zoom. This feature really comes in handy when you are measuring long distances outdoors. Leica has also incorporated a special integrated Long Range (LR) mode to ensure you get accurate measuring even in bright sunlight.
This features a 360-degree tilt sensor, which makes it possible to measure elevation changes and true horizontal distances. You are even able to measure heights over an obstruction.
Trust me, these features come in handy when you are measuring a large property such as venues or a warehouse during your assessments.
So are there any drawbacks? The battery, Leica, claims the battery life has around 5 hours. When I tested this, I went through 2x AA batteries within just a few hours of use.
So I suggest that you carry a few sets of backup batteries if you do intend to do a lot of outdoor measurements.
With it’s iPhone App, Bluetooth Smart technology, and its bright LCD screen, you are getting a complete laser measure device for both indoor and outdoor uses. If you are an appraiser who wants to keep up with the technology changes and make your job easier, this is the perfect investment. Plus, no tape measures.
- Flexible and versatile operability with a color display and easy-to-use keypad navigation
- Fully sealed against dust and water and can withstand drops up to 1 meter
- Performs Area, Volume, and Pythagoras measurements
- A debatable battery capacity
- ACCURACY: The Bosch GLR825 provides superior accuracy of 1/25 inch at long distances up to 825 feet, making it an ideal laser measure for construction and concrete trades
- VERSATILE: Provides eleven laser measuring modes including length, area, volume, continuous, min/max, single indirect, double indirect, stake out, trapezoid and multi-surface
- CONVENIENT: The multi-surface area mode calculates the total area of several individual surfaces with a common length or height. The minimum/maximum mode measures from a fixed reference point to find...
With this laser measuring tool from Bosch you are going to be able to take measurements over long distances of up to 825ft!
The Bosch GLR825 features the ability to measure 825 feet (250 meters) or range. With eleven measuring modes and a built-in bubble vial for reference when making horizontal measurements, you also get a multi-surface area mode.
For me, the Bosch GLR825 is the best bosch outdoor laser measure. This bosch laser distance measurer features eleven measuring modes, including length, area, continuous measurement, volume, trapezoid, stake out, multi-surface area, min/max, double, and single indirect measurement.
The GLR825 laser measure combines both the Bosch precision laser technology and an integrated 1.6X magnification viewfinder to give builders and contractors a very versatile device for both indoor and exterior measurements.
This features a large backlit display, which ensures that you always get a clear readout of the measurements you have taken, even in direct sunlight. Its built-in memory can store up to 30 measurements, which can be transferred to your pc or your phone.
So are there any drawbacks? While brands such as Leica have managed to make their laser tools almost dust and waterproof for successful outdoor measuring no matter the weather. The Bosch GLR825 is only weatherproof.
What does that mean? Well, it’s capable of withstanding splashes and dust, but you will need to guard it against rainwater, and you really need to ensure that water doesn’t enter the battery compartment.
The Boshc GLR825 outdoor laser measure combines convenience, accuracy, and versatility in eleven different measuring modes, which makes this an ideal tool for those in the construction and concrete trades. The built-in bubble vial comes in handy when you are measuring long horizontal distances, providing a visual reference.
- Lightweight design with easy-to-use control functions
- High accuracy of up to 1/25-in at long distances
- Comes with a belt pouch and hand strap
- A compact design that is dust and water-resistant
- Can’t withstand drops – even a few feet.
- Robust with protection Class IP 65 and drop tested to 6'
- Digital viewfinder with 4x zoom to allow easy targeting when measuring outdoors
- Tilt sensor and smart room allows you to easily determine horizontal distances with absolute precision
The Lecia DISTRO X4 laser distance meter has almost all of the features that you’ll find in the S910 and the E7500i. But you lose out on the long-range distance measurements and compact design.
For me, the DISTRO X4 is the most affordable laser tape measure for outdoor use on the market.
This features a simple user interface, which I feel really compliments its site-proof design. It’s powered by innovative measuring technologies that allow this laser measure to provide you with powerful 3D capturing.
Although this has an affordable price tag, the DISTRO X4 includes the same digital viewfinder and a 4x zoom camera that you find in the S910. By adding the smart zoom and tilt sensor, Lecia has ensured that you’ll be able to confidently take outdoor measurements with absolute precision, even on those bright sunny days.
A feature that really came in handy, what the rotating display, which kept the measurements in line with the device’s orientation, making sure you can read the readings at any angle.
So what are the drawbacks? While the 2 AA alkaline batteries make sure that you get up to 8 hours of use or 4,000 measurements. That battery life is drastically reduced when Bluetooth is turned on.
This is a rugged device from Leica, it’s the perfect laser measure for builders who want a versatile tool that can be used indoors and outdoors. It comes with the DISTRO Plan App (which is available on IOS and android). This app ensures that you can generate realistic scaled floor plans. You get a hand loop, holster, and some batteries included.
- Can withstand drops of up to 6 feet
- Water and dust protected keypad and housing
- P2P measurements from one position
- The rugged body makes it a bit bulky.
- Accuracy plus minus 0.04 in; Max measuring distance 656 feet
- Data memory - 30 last measurements
- Uses 2 AAA batteries, which are included, providing up to 5000 measurements
Need to take accurate and long-distance measurements while you’re on a building or construction site? Then that job is made much more enjoyable when you use the Hilti laser measure.
This is an IP65 dust-tight and waterproof device, perfect for outdoor use. It can measure up to 656 feet (200 meters) with an accuracy of 1/25” (1 mm).
This, for me, is the best easy to use laser measure for outdoor use. This Hilti laser measurer features precision technology, ensuring an accuracy of 1/25th of an inch at 656 feet. It includes an optical viewfinder and a 360-degree tilt sensor perfect for a wide range of applications when taking outdoor measurements.
It’s able to store up to 30 measurements at any given time. As this tool helps you quickly take measurements even in difficult to access places and difficult to measure objects such as the length of a tree, I feel this makes this one of the best outdoor laser measuring tools.
Now I’m not saying that this is the perfect laser measure for measuring surface areas for things such as quotations around your home or field renovation work. It does have some drawbacks, what are those?
Well battery life for one. While Hilti claims that the 2x AAA batteries will ensure that you can take 5,000 measurements. I didn’t find that to be true, and a quick check online backed up my findings. Actually, the real-world use worked out to be closed to 2,500 measurements before needing a fresh set of batteries.
If you are a builder or contractor who works alone on tasks such as accessing properties to making floor plan measurements or kitchen cabinet installations, this Hilti laser measuring device is the right choice for you. You get 2 AAA batteries included, a carry pouch, and a hand strap to ensure you start your outdoor measuring on the right foot.
- Easy operability for quick targeting and taking reliable measurements
- A rugged design that will withstand extreme job site use
- The display can be read even in bright sunlight
- The battery life is debatable
- BLAZE Outdoor technology – outdoor laser measuring device that pairs accurate, long-distance (up to 400 ft.) measuring and digital viewfinder with next-gen, connected convenience to simplify project...
- MULTIPLE MEASURING FEATURES – includes 11 different measuring functions, including real time length, length, area, volume, indirect functions, and addition subtraction capability
- CAMERA – features an adjustable zoom to locate the laser spot at far distances, even outdoors or in busy backgrounds
Bosch listens to their customers, and when those customers said that they want the advanced features that find in laser measures such as Leica, Bosch listened and incorporated them in its tools.
This is why it went to the drawing board and designed its Blaze™ laser, which will take your outdoor measuring to a whole new level.
With the Blaze outdoor technology, you can measure up to 400 feet. Plus, you can connect this tool to your smartphone, thanks to the Bosch MeasureOn app.
This features 11 measuring modes, Bluetooth connectivity, a rechargeable battery, and a camera viewfinder with adjustable zoom. The camera itself is a 5.0-megapixel camera with its adjustable zoom you can easily locate where the laser is striking. Taking measurements even in busy backgrounds and on rugged terrains.
What’s great is that this device comes with a 3.6V rechargeable lithium-ion battery. This is a versatile device with 11 measuring functions, including addition/subtraction, volume, real-time length, area, and indirect measuring.
For me, the Bosch GLM400CL with Blaze outdoor laser measuring comes with a very attractive price tag even more attractive when you factor in the advanced features. This is perfect for any homeowner, builder, or contractor.
- Easy to read backlit color display
- Store over 600 images and access the last 50 measurements
- None that stood out for me
- RED LASER [165 FT] – Incredible digital laser measuring tool capable of providing highly accurate distance measurements in a large range of 50 meters or 165ft (within 1/8 inch accuracy), perfect for...
- BLUETOOTH CONNECTIVITY – The Bosch GLM50C carries a unique interactive imaging feature where you can quickly snap a photo from your phone, mark the area interested, point to measure, and save the...
- ALL-IN-ONE – Get the benefits of multiple tools built into one Most useful multifunctional tools include: a real-time measuring mode for continuous measuring on the move; a digital leveling tool...
Another Bosch, which isn’t a surprise given how good Bosch tools are. This has the shortest range of all the laser measuring tools on this list coming in at 165 feet, it has an accuracy of 1/16”.
This is a stand out tool for homeowners. It’s not perfect for those in construction as it’s distance its distance is limited, and it can be challenging to read the LCD screen in bright sunlight.
Though this features one of the easiest to read displays on the market, making taking readings a cinch. If you work indoors or outdoors and need a tool to take incredibly accurate readings but only within a few hundred feet, then this is the perfect tool for you.
- Bright, easy-to-read display
- Bluetooth feature
- Many measurement modes
- Battery life can be an issue
You may have worked this out already, but there is a lot to think about before you’ll find the best laser measuring tool for your needs. In this section, I’ll take you through everything you need to know to find the tool that will work best for you. Least these are the things I look for when I’m purchasing one.
Consider Your Needs
Whatever your reason for having an interest in purchasing a laser measure tool, that should be your first deciding factor in determining your best pick.
If all you want is a tool to provide some simple measurements around your home, then purchasing an expensive model is going to overkill, it’ll come with features you’ll never use and while it’s quality will be great. It will last you a very long time, it’s just going to be too much for your needs.
But for those of your that need a laser measuring tool for work, that’s a huge indicator that you need to look at the more expensive models, as it will include features that you will most likely need.
Look at the reasons why you need to purchase one of the best laser measuring tools, don’t just think the more expensive options are best, they will have more features, but that doesn’t mean they match your needs!
The range of your laser tool describes exactly how far it can reach while still giving you an accurate measurement. The bare minimum for I would expect from a good laser tool would be around 100 feet. This is perfect for most small jobs. This is especially true if you are a homeowner who is sick of using a tape measure or ruler. 100 feet will give you plenty of range.
If you are a general contractor who works on a much larger scale, you’ll want to invest in a tool that has a much longer working range. Otherwise, the tool itself won’t be all that helpful. The longest range you’ll find is upwards of 300 feet.
Regardless of the size of the job, you will want your measurement to be as accurate as possible. This is why I suggest you spend a little more to get a tool with a better accuracy rating; otherwise, what’s the point in even getting this tool.
A laser measuring tool’s accuracy will be affected by a few different factors. They tend to be less accurate at the range limit and when they are in less than ideal conditions.
For instance, hot and humid days, the beam can run into interference from the water vapor in the air. Though, of course, some models work better in these conditions than others.
One of the great benefits of using a laser measure rather than a tape measure or other standard tool is that the laser measure can be used in a variety of modes. These modes make it easier to measure not only a straight line but also volume, and more.
So how many modes do you actually need? Well, that depends entirely on what work you are going to be doing. If you only need straight line measurements, then one or two additional modes are a bonus. If you are going to be measuring distance, volume, area, circumference, or any other type of spatial reasoning, then the more modes your tool can handle, the more useful it will be to you.
Easy to use
As the tool grows in the modes is offers, so does the controls. The fewer the mode offerings, the simpler the tool is to operate.
If you don’t need all sorts of fancy modes, then I suggest opting for a simpler model, as it will be quick and easy to use, rather than having to figure out how exactly to use it.
If you do need all of the different measurement modes, then I recommend getting a tool with an easy-to-read display with clear directions. This way, you will be using your tool without a whole lot of headaches.
The display offered by your laser measuring tool should be clear and easy to read. That doesn’t mean that you can see the numbers. It means you should look for a device that clearly labels what the information being displayed on the screen means.
For instance, I feel you should know what mode you are in at all times and what each measurement on the display means. Otherwise, you’ll waste time translating what the measurements mean.
All laser measure tools will be graded on a scale that is used to describe different factors that have a negative effect on how well the tool will work. The first digit, which is on a scale of 1 to 7, describes how tightly the device is sealed against dust. The higher the number, the greater the resistance.
The second digit describes how much water resistance your device has. This is rated on a scale of 1 to 9, which one being the lowest resistance to moisture and nine being completely watertight.
Depending on the application you have in mind and the environment you intend to use your tool in, you might need to ensure that you can get a model that’s capable of withstanding those conditions
The amount of memory that you may need will depend on how many measurements you want to take and store in a given period. The majority of laser tools will come with a memory capable of holding up to five measurements. This is perfect for your home handyman, as you usually won’t need to take many more measurements than this at any given time.
If you are a general contractor, you’ll likely want to spend a bit more money and get a device with a larger memory. This ensures you can take all your measurements in one fell swoop, saving you a lot of time.
Ok, you may be thinking… why? Hear me out. Bluetooth connectivity isn’t just about playing music etc. Actually, this is an incredible feature in a laser measure, but it adds to the cost.
Basically, what Bluetooth adds to your tool is that you can take your phone or tablet or another Bluetooth capable device. You can put your measurements right onto those devices. This removes the needs for excessive memory and also saves you time as the measurements will be stored directly against the customer or project, you won’t need to copy them over manually later.
Inside or outside use
Depending entirely on the protection rating of your device, you might be able to use it pretty much anywhere, including outdoors in heavy rain. Look with a high enough rating. You won’t need to worry about the elements ruining your laser tool.
However, you also need to ensure that the tool is powerful enough to be used outdoors. When you move from the indoor setting into the outdoors, a whole bunch of new variables come into the mix, which can mess up the laser and it’s ability to take accurate measurements. More powerful and more advanced lasers can power through this interference, while the cheaper and less powerful models will often struggle.
Is It Worth Buying A More Expensive Model?
I don’t like spending more than I need to, I love a bargain. When you look at purchasing a laser measure tool, it’s tempting to go for one of the less expensive models. But you need to keep in mind that a low-cost tool is a low-quality tool.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve picked up some cracking options at a low price, but there are also plenty of options which are mass-produced overseas, and they just aren’t very good.
So while you think you are getting some great savings, actually you aren’t, you may well end up sacrificing accuracy, measurement range, or other features that you may need, and this is certainly the case for those who need professional-grade measurement tools.
IF you are just going to be using a measuring tool around your home, then one of the lesser expensive models will work out well for you. But the most expensive options will give you lots more functionality and useful features than the cheaper options.
Do I Need A Handheld Model Or A Tripod-Mountable Tool?
This entirely depends on your preference. Handheld models are perfect for most people, but if you need to take complex measurements, then a tripod will ensure that you take accurate measurements.
Thanks to the advancements in technology, many handheld lasers will do an excellent job in a professional setting. If you are expecting to take measurements by yourself, then a tripod will really help you get the best out of your laser measure tool.
A handheld unit is perfect for use at home or on small jobs for the DIYer or handyman.
Can I Measure In All Directions?
The majority of measurement tools can only measure the distance from the tool to wherever the laser beam will land or strike, and that has to be a solid surface. So taking height measurements can be a little tricky when there isn’t a roof or ceiling.
Some laser measure tools have built-in features that allow the tool to take the measurement of the height of a target without having to climb up a ladder to aim the tool at the ground.
If this is something you will be doing regularly, then you should look for a tool that offers the vertical measurement feature.
How Do I Know My Tool Is Accurate?
It’s very easy to know if your tape measure is accurate after all the measurements are printed in black and white, though if you line up 10 different tape measures from 10 different brands, there will be some variance between them. This is just the way it is, and it’s something we have to deal with.
But using the same tape measure over and over, you can be sure of getting a consistent measurement each time. Though with a laser measure tool, this isn’t always the case. Some tools are designed to be able to self-calibrate, which ensures that your laser stays accurate. Others will require you to calibrate them yourself.
You should check to see how the tools you are interested in are calibrated before purchasing.
If I Accidentally Drop My Tool In Water, Will It Still Work?
This depends on the IP or protection rating of your tool. Some will work just fine; if they are quickly removed from the water, while others will just instantly stop working.
Many tools have been designed to be dust and water-resistant. This will help protect the delicate electronics inside the unit from short-term exposure to water, this isn’t the same as being waterproof.
The model you purchase will clearly display what type of protection it provides.
IF you can’t find any mention of what type of water or dust protection the laser measure tool you’re looking at offers. THen there is a very good chance that it has none. Those models are intended for use around the home, not on a construction site.
Best Outdoor Laser Measure Comparison Table
|Leica Disto S910 Laser Measure with Bluetooth Smart Connectivity||984-ft (300m)||1/16″||4X zoom||50||IP54|
|Leica DISTO E7500i Laser Distance Measure with Bluetooth||660-ft (200m)||1/16″||4X zoom||30||IP65|
|GLR825 Bosch Laser Distance Measure||825-ft (250m)||1/25″||1.6X zoom||30||IP54|
|Leica Disto x4 Laser Distance Meter||490-ft (150m)||1/16″||4X zoom||20||IP54|
|Hilti 2062051 PD-E Laser Range Meter with Soft Case||656-ft (200m)||1/25″||–||30||IP65|
|Bosch GLM400CL Blaze Outdoor Laser Measure with Camera||400-ft (122m)||1/16″||8X zoom||50||IP54|
|Bosch GLM 50 C||165-ft (50m)||1/16″||–||30||IP54|
Laser measuring tools help make it possible to take quick and accurate measurements for your projects. To ensure that you get the best laser measure on the market for your needs, you need to pay very close attention to the range, memory, display, and it’s measurement modes.
This way, you will truly get the best outdoor laser measure for your needs. Hopefully, my outdoor laser measure reviews will help you purchase the right one for your needs and that my buying guide has helped you learn exactly what it is you need to know to get the best.
If you have any questions or feel that there should be another tool on this list, please leave a comment below.