The range of a laser tool describes how far it can reach and still give you an accurate measurement. The bare minimum for a good laser tool would be about 100 feet. For most small jobs, especially if you are just a homeowner who is sick of using a tape measure or ruler, this will be plenty of range.
If, however, you are a general contractor who regularly works on a much larger scale, you will want to get a tool that has a much longer range. Otherwise, the tool won’t be all that helpful. The largest range available is upwards of 300 feet.
Obviously, no matter the size of your job, you want your measurements to be as accurate as possible. That is why you should always be willing to spend the extra money to get a tool that has a better accuracy rating. Otherwise, why even get the tool?
A laser measuring tool’s accuracy can be affected by several different factors. They will be less accurate at their range limit and under less than ideal conditions. For instance, on hot and humid days, the beam can run into interference from all of the water vapor in the air. Though of course, some models work better in these conditions than others.
The other great benefit of using a laser measure rather than a standard tool is that a laser measure can be used in lots of different modes. These different modes make it easier to measure not just in a straight line, but in a variety of ways.
So how many different modes do you need? Well, it all depends on what type of work you intend to be doing. If you only need straight line measurements, then one or two additional modes are more of a bonus. If, however, you need to measure distance, volume, area, circumference, and any other types of spatial reasoning, then the more modes your tool can do, the better off you will be.
Easy to use
With more modes, comes more controls. The fewer modes that a tool has, the simpler it is to operate. If you are sure that you don’t need all sorts of fancy modes, then opt for a simpler model so that you can use the tool quickly and easily without having to figure out exactly what you are looking for.
If, however, you do need all the different measurement modes out there, then be sure to get a tool with an easy to read display, and clear directions. That way, you’ll be able to get your tool up and running without a whole headache.
The display from a laser measuring tool should be clear to read. That doesn’t just mean you should be able to see the numbers. Instead, you need to look for a device that clearly labels whatever information is being displayed.
For instance, you should know what mode you are in at all times, and what each type of measurement on display means. Otherwise, you’ll have a hard time reading the display, which could lead to measurements that are way off.
All laser measurement tools are graded on a rating scale that is used to describe two different factors that would have a negative effect on how well the tool works. The first digit, which is on a scale from 1 to 7, describes how tightly the device is sealed against dust. The higher the number, the greater the resistance.
The second digit in the rating scale describes how water resistant your device will be. This is rated on a scale from 1 to 9, with one being the least resistant to moisture and nine is completely watertight. Depending on the type of application you intend to use your tool in, you need to be sure that you get a model that will stand up to the conditions.
The amount of measurement memory that you need in your device largely hinges on how many different measurements you are going to be taking in a given period. Most laser tools come with a memory of about five measurements. This will be plenty for the home handyman, as you probably won’t take more than this many measurements at any given time.
If, however, you are a general contractor, then you might want to spend a bit more money and get a device that has a larger memory. That way, you can get all of the measurements that you need in one fell swoop, which will save you lots of time.
Now, you might be thinking, why would I need this tool to be compatible with Bluetooth? Isn’t that just for music? Not at all! Bluetooth capability is a great feature in a laser measure, though it does tack on a bit of cost.
Basically, the way that it works is that if you have a tool that can connect to a Bluetooth capable device, like a tablet, phone, or computer, then you will be able to put your measurements right into those devices. This cuts down on the need for excessive memory and helps to keep your measurements and projects organized.
Inside or outside use
Depending on the rating of your device for dust and water, you might be able to use it pretty much anywhere, including the outdoors. With a high enough rating, you won’t need to worry about the elements ruining your laser tool.
However, you also need to make sure that the tool is powerful enough to be used outdoors. Unlike an indoor setting, the outdoors will throw in a list of variables that might mess up your laser. More powerful and advanced lasers can power through this interference, while cheaper and less powerful ones will struggle.