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How Accurate Are Laser Measures?

Laser measures are becoming increasingly popular not just among professionals but also regular folks, and why wouldn’t they? This compact device can easily measure the dimensions of a room at the click of a button.

Gone are those days when you had to use a tape, thanks to this awesome invention. With tapes, though, you could be assured that the results were highly accurate. Thus, the question arises, how accurate are laser measures?

Basic Principles of Laser Measures

A laser distance measurer basically sends a very finely focused light pulse out to a target and deflects the reflection. What the tool measures are the times taken between these two events. Then, it mathematically converts the measurement into a distance.

For those absolute nerds, this is a simple formula where distance equals half of the time multiplied by speed. However, the measurement for the speed of light is basically 300,000 kilometers/second.

To resolve differences of one centimeter, the laser measure must measure time intervals of the order of billionths of a second. Thankfully, the technology behind this is well established and very reliable.

How Accurate Are Laser Measures?

Very. Over a distance of up to 30m, or 100 feet, a laser distance measurer is accurate to within 3mm, or 1/8 of an inch. Compared with using the good old fashioned tape measure, you don’t have to worry about certain issues, such as it twisting, sagging or bending, which you would typically have to deal with.

What’s also great about laser measurers is that you get a choice of units of measure, which means that the chances of misreading it do not exist. In addition, a laser distance measurer measures an area amazingly quickly. All you need to do is point and click, and you have your result on display.

This makes the job done in just a matter of seconds, unlike a measuring tape, wherein you would need to walk around everywhere to measure, maybe write it down and do some quick maths. In some cases, you would also need additional help, especially if you can’t keep the tape on the floor. Best of all, you can get accurate results with your laser measure by simply using it in one hand.

Laser vs. Tape Measures

All laser measures come with a laser dot to measure and a backlit display. This allows it to be used in areas with poor lighting conditions. This makes the result more accurate than tape as you don’t need any light to read the measurements.

What’s even better is that you don’t need to worry about obstacles, whether they are on the ground or in the room. As long as there is a line of sight to the target and is within the right range, then you will get accurate results.

  • A Laser Measurer Brings in Safety Benefits Too

We have covered how accurate the results from a laser measurer is. However, that is not the only benefit. Laser measurers also bring in safety benefits.

For instance, if you need to measure vertically, you would typically need to climb a ladder if you are using a regular tape measure. Thanks to the laser measurer, you no longer need to be scrambling up ladders or getting on top of wet or steep surfaces to get measurements.

These versatility and safety benefits are undoubtedly valuable around hazardous areas. Then, there are certain instances where using a regular tape won’t even be an option. This is when a laser measurer becomes highly useful.

  • Measuring Something That Is Not in Sight

Take, for instance, you need to measure a cable that runs underneath a building. It is obvious here that there isn’t exactly a sight between the beginning and the end of the run, so you will have to walk around the corner. It gets obvious that this becomes a highly complicated task to accomplish with just a regular tape, and even if you do do that, this will follow with some serious work on a calculator.

With a laser measurer in your hand, all you will need to do to measure this is by measuring the two sides of the right-angled triangle. This will automatically work the third one out thanks to the in-built Pythagoras functionality.

  • Other Benefits of a Laser Measurer

In a similar way, you can easily get an accurate result of the height of a structure. Simply by pointing and measuring the distance from the top to where you are standing, then do the same by pointing to the base; a quick calculation and voila, you know the height. Equally, you will be able to measure the structure’s width by standing at a distance and taking all the measurements from there and following the same method.

Another thing that a regular tape cannot accomplish is to work out an area from two length measurements or a volume from three measurements. A laser measurer will be able to answer this in seconds without the need for a book and a calculator.

A laser distance measurer is much more convenient as it can measure in situations wherein you need to continually reposition a regular tape measure. Again, you can take your measurements from a distance without constantly bending down and picking up a traditional measure. This is an added bonus as it protects you when working in hazardous environments.


To answer the question, how accurate are laser measures, we have to state that they are very accurate. Using a regular tape is, without a doubt, very simple and is also quite reliable, but it comes with several limitations. You may end up needing an extra person to help with the measurements, get risk assessments, and so on.

With the help of a laser measure, you will not just get accurate results of measurements, but they will be quick and can be done with just using one hand. This makes it easy to use and highly versatile.

Because it comes with features, such as the Pythagoras functionality, it can even triangulate and calculate for accurate results. With a laser distance measure, you can measure safely at a distance in poor lighting conditions and even subtract, add, and calculate volume and areas.


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