Buying a laser tape measure can be a difficult choice. Buying the right one for under $100 is even more difficult. There are a lot of laser measures available now for under $100 and not all of them are worthy of your hard earned money.
In this article I will guide you through what I think are the best laser tape measures available to buy today for under $100. And I will tell you which one I would avoid.
I have been using laser tape measures for over 15 years now since I bought my first Leica Disto. But before that the technology used by laser tape measure was found in total stations or EDM’s that I have used for many years before on large infrastructure projects throughout the UK. Where accurate measurements are crucial to the building of these projects.
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What is the Best Laser Measure for Under $100?
I think the Leica Disto D1 is the best laser measure you can get for under $100. It has one of the cleanest interfaces of any laser tape measure with only two buttons on the front. It has a class 2 laser that has a power rating of 1mW output.
The Leica Disto D1 has a range of 120ft and a quoted accuracy of 1/16”. The diameter of the laser dot is 3/16”mm at 30ft from the instrument. This should be visible to most people in most daylight conditions.
Not only do you get the robustness of the Leica Disto D1 it also has Bluetooth. Being able to connect your Disto to your phone and plot out your measurements using the free accompanying Disto Sketch app that is available for android and apple devices.
The Leica Sketch app simplifies your measurement tasks by effortlessly connecting to your smartphone or tablet. Letting you take readings quickly and easily. You can easily create sketches on your device and add photos with dimensions to clearly communicate your measurements.
The Leica Sketch (also known as Disto Plan) app is free. But to get all the features in the Sketch app you do need to make some purchases. These can be purchased monthly, yearly or unlimited. Not all the app functions will work with the Leica Disto D1 as they require features not found on the D1. It does clearly state in the app which Disto you need for the additional app features.
Talking of robustness. The Leica Disto D1 has a two-year guarantee as standard. This is longer than most other manufacturers guarantee. If you look after your Leica Disto there is no reason it shouldn’t last many years. My Leica Disto A5 is still going strong (and accurate) and I have had it since 2007.
Using the Leica Disto Sketch App makes measuring rooms easy and straightforward. This will help you save time if you have a lot of rooms to measure.
- This unit contains a Class II Laser with 1mW output
- Simple two button operation with no sacrifice to professional quality with all Leica geosystems products
- Meets accuracy standards of the Leica Disto family by maintaining +/- 1/16" (2mm) accuracy
- Max working range is 120 feet (40M) with the ability to distance track or take simple straight line measurements, metric or imperial units can be selected
- Bluetooth 4.0 provides the ability to work on the fly with connectivity to many apps, including our free Disto sketch app
- Leica Disto sketch app offers the ability to create simple floor plans or overlay lines and measurements within a Picture to keep you organized in the field, available in iOS & Android
Mileseey S2 Laser Tape Measure.
The best laser tape measure for under $100 that I can recommend after the Leica D1 is the Mileseey S2. I bought this cheap laser measure in October 2021 and have been testing and using over the last few months.
What impressed me the most about the Mileseey S2 was its accuracy. I tested it against my trusty Leica Disto A5 and found it to be just as accurate. In fact, it gave the same distance measurement as the Leica Disto A5. This test was done straight out of the box. No adjustment to the Mileseey S2 laser tape measure was required.
For me, accuracy is the most important feature of any laser tape measure. If the measurements it is providing aren’t correct, then whatever you are trying to fit or make or cut just won’t work. And that will be highly frustrating. It will most certainly be costly.
The accuracy quoted for the Mileseey S2 laser tape measure is plus or minus 2mm. I found it to be well within that range with the measurements I have been taking over the last couple of weeks.
What Distance can the Mileseey S2 Laser Tape Measure Achieve?
The quoted measurement range for the Mileseey S2 50m/165ft laser tape measure is 50m or 165ft. When I tested it against a cream-coloured brick wall I could only achieve 48.728m. This is a little bit short of the quoted range. While disappointing, I am not unduly concerned at this short fall in range.
Over the past few months, the Mileseey S2 has performed just as well as my Leica Disto A5. Impressive as it cost a tenth of what my Leica Disto A5 cost. I still prefer my Disto as the measurement range is greater. But you will not get a new Leica Disto for under $100.
There is a full review of the Mileseey S2 available on this website. There is also the article about comparing three cheap laser tape measures here too.
Summary of the Mileseey S2 Laser Tape Measure.
I am surprised by the features and the accuracy of the Mileseey S2 laser tape measure. For me it is accurate enough to use around the house and out on construction sites.
I am impressed by its accuracy. Performing just as well as the Leica Disto A5 that I have had for years.
I also like the price. I paid under £30 (I am in the UK) for this model. For me, I would not be too concerned if it got damaged or lost during the working day. Annoyed for sure, but not the end of the world…
- ✦ PRACTICAL FUNCTION & HIGHER ACCURACY - Measuring range 50m/165ft,accuracy: ±1/16 inch,unit:m / in / ft / ft + in,and distance, area, volume, Pythagoras (indirect measurement), continuous measurement, addition and subtraction, maximum values and minimum, can meet your different needs.With unique 2 Bubble Levels, providing more precise measurement compared to one bubble.
- ✦ LARGE LCD BACKLIGHT SCREEN & Mute Setting - Large backlight screen provides users with a better visibility.Mute setting allows your different needs .With accuracy up to ±1/16inch, the portable laser measure can perfectly finish a measure task ranging from 0.16 to 165 feet. Also 4 interchangeable units among m / in / ft/ ft+in are designed for people with different reading habits.
- ✦ EASY TO USE - Handy and compact mode provide good operating feeling; IP54 waterproof level and dust-proof function protect the laser distance measure to the maximum extent,It's suitable to use everywhere.
- ✦ WIDE APPLICATION - With multiple measurement modes like distance, volume, area measurement, continuous measurement and measurement by Pythagoras, the laser level is ideal for home, construction and industries, especially in large areas such as rooms, apartments, buildings, real estates, factories, warehouses, etc.
- ✦ Package Contents & Warranty - 1*S2 50m/165ft Laser Distance Meter; 2 AAA Batteries; Package Box; User Manual; 30-Day RETURN refund guarantee.
Don’t Waste Your Money.
Buying any sophisticated equipment cheaply is fraught with danger. You think you are getting a bargain. But what you really get is a laser measure that doesn’t do what it is supposed to do. This is the most expensive equipment in value terms.
This is true when buying laser tape measures. If it does not live up to the description, then it is a waste of your hard-earned money.
Avoid buying the Atolla T201.
Probably the best bit of advice in this article is this. Avoid buying the Atolla T201.
The main way we learn as humans is through mistakes. Either mistakes that we make or by learning from the mistakes of others. Learning from the mistakes of others is by far the easiest and cheapest way.
Learn from my mistake and don’t buy the Atolla T201.
I bought the Atolla T201 in October 2021 to compare it against 2 other laser tape measures. I found during the testing of the 3 cheap laser tape measures that the Atolla T201 was the worst performing.
I was disappointed with the Atolla T201 for several reasons. The first was that it could not achieve the range specified. The accuracy of this laser measure was on the limit of the specification too. And the Atolla T201 I found was just a bit too small for my hands.
What Distance can the Atolla T201 Laser Tape Measure Achieve?
The quoted measurement range for the Atolla T201 60m/200ft laser tape measure is 60m or 200ft. When I tested it against a cream-coloured brick wall I achieved 45.682m.
This is woefully short of quoted range. No matter how many times I have tried, I have not been able to get anywhere near the quoted distance for this laser tape measure.
I think this is due to the small lenses on the Atolla T201. To be able to achieve long distance measurements there must be enough light reflected and captured by the device. The Atolla T201 is just too small.
Most laser tape manufacturers will quote the maximum range in favourable conditions. These will be low light and a good reflective surface. The test I did was during the day and on to a surface that anyone can measure against. Measurements that you and I would take day in day out.
I also found the accuracy was the worst of the three laser tape measures that I tested. Let me clarify that the accuracy was within the tolerance quoted, but only just. There is a way to fine tune the measurements on the Atolla T201 but why should you have too. They should work straight out of the box.
Overall thoughts on the Atolla T201 Laser Tape Measure.
I am very disappointed with the range achieved by the Atolla T201. I would avoid this laser tape measure and choose either the Wesco or the Mileseey S2.
While the accuracy of the Atolla T201 laser tape measure is just good enough for me to use around the house I don’t think it will be up to the rigours of outdoor use. Even though it has an IP54 rating.
I like the price. I paid under £20 (I am in the UK) for this model. But I think I would not pay more than £20 for this one. I think £20 is the upper limit in value for this laser tape measure.
What is the Best Laser Measure for Under $100?
From my experience of using laser measures and testing some that are available for under $100, I would choose the Leica Disto D1. I am a fan of the Leica Disto, I have used them for many years and cannot fault them.
If I couldn’t afford the Leica, then I would choose the Mileseey S2. I think the Mileseey S2 fulfils all the specifications that it has quoted for it. It is accurate, has the required range and is packed with features. It is also well under $100 when I bought it.
I would avoid the Atolla T201. It just doesn’t live up to the expectations. I think if you buy this one you will be disappointed with it just like I am.