Laser tape measures are great tools for measuring distances accurately over small and large distances. But with so many different makes and models available how can you know that you are buying the right one.
Throw price into the mix and the choice of laser tape measures can be bewildering.
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In this article I will be giving you my opinion on the Atolla T201 60m/200ft laser tape measure that I bought of Amazon in October 2021. I have been using and testing this laser tape measure over the last few weeks to see if it is any good.
I have owned and used laser tape measures for almost 15 years now. I still have my Leica Disto A5 that I bought back in 2007. It still works fine and is accurate. It has been calibrated recently and gets checked regularly against standard tape measures.
Why choose the Atolla T201 Laser Tape Measure?
I chose the Atolla T201 60m/200ft laser tape measure as it had the longest range of the cheap laser tape measures on Amazon at the time of purchase. The range and the features of this laser tape measure stood out for the price.
Is the Atolla T201 Laser Tape Measure any Good?
It’s OK. I am disappointed with the Atolla T201 laser tape measure. Of the 3 cheap laser tape measures that I tested head-to-head I think it is the worst. I paid just £19.99 for this laser tape measure in October 2021. To check out the Atolla T201 laser tape measure, use this link to Amazon.
First Impressions of the Atolla T201 Laser Tape Measure.
My first impressions of the Atolla T201 laser tape measure is how small and light it is. It is the smallest laser tape measure I have ever used. This is due to me being used to the Leica Disto A5 which is a much bigger and heavier laser tape measure. I find it a bit too small for my hand and the plastic is smooth but feels cheap.
I find it too small for my hands. This laser tape measure would be better suited for people who have small hands.
The buttons have a definite press feel to them. All buttons do one function each, but a long press is required to switch on and switch off the laser tape measure.
How to change the batteries in the Atolla T201.
Changing the batteries in this laser tape measure I found awkward. Awkward because the catch needed significant movement and was small, so caused discomfort to my fingers.
Once opened though changing the 2No AAA batteries is easy. Closing the battery cover is easy and there is a definite click when shut.
In my experience it is not very often that the batteries need to be changed in these laser distance meters. Quite often they last for years of measurements.
Is the Atolla T201 Laser Tape Measure Accurate?
Yes, the Atolla T201 60m/200ft laser tape measure that I tested was accurate. I compared it against my Leica Disto A5 and found that it gave the same distance to within 1mm. This test was done straight out of the box. No adjustment to the Atolla T201 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 Atolla T201 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 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 a distance of 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 has to 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.
What else can the Atolla T201 Laser Tape Measure?
Maximum and Minimum Distance Measurements.
With the Atolla T201 laser tape measure, a single press of the READ button will give a single distance measurement. But press and hold the READ button and the Atolla T201 laser tape measure will continuously take measurements until you press the READ button again.
It will continually take measurements and display the minimum measurement taken on the top and the maximum measurement taken underneath. At the very bottom of the display will be the current distance measurement.
I find using this feature is very handy. I predominately use it for finding minimum distances. By continuously taking measurements I can find the true minimum gap distance of many features. This helps me avoid common measurement errors that are so easily made.
Areas and Volume Measurements.
The Atolla T201 laser tape measure can also be used for measuring areas and volumes. It is very intuitive to work out the area or the volume of a space. The display indicates whether you need to measure the length, the width, or the height for working out areas and volumes.
I need to note that this laser tape measure will only work out the area of a square or rectangular shape. Working out volumes would also be based on the perpendicular height measured from the square or rectangular area calculated.
Recall the last 20 measurements.
One very handy feature I have found with the Atolla T201 laser tape measure is the recall function. With the recall function you can scroll through the last 20 measurements taken. The recall button is the small button in the centre, it has no markings on it.
Having a list of 20 measurements is handy if you want to check back. But with so many measurements available it can be tricky to know which one is which. The Atolla T201 does indicate which measurement it is. This is done by numbering them from 1 to 20. With 1 being the most recent.
Measure from the front or the rear of the Atolla T201 Laser Tape Measure.
Like most laser tape measures available today, the Atolla T201 laser tape measure allows you to measure from both the front and back face of the instrument.
Most of the measurements will be taken from the back of the instrument but there are occasions when you want to take measurement from the face of the instrument.
Calculate Total Distances with the Atolla T201 Laser Tape Measure.
Want to calculate total distances? Well, you can with the Atolla T201 laser tape measure. Take your first measurement and then you can add or subtract another measurement from the first. And you can keep adding or subtracting measurements as you go.
Simply take your first measurement then press the plus (or minus) key and then press the READ key again for your next measurement. These measurements are added (or subtracted) from one another to give you a total distance.
Want to add (or subtract) more measurements? Just press the plus (or minus) key again and then press the READ key. Continue until you have the total distance required.
Pythagorean Measurements with the Atolla T201 Laser Tape Measure.
If you need to measure a distance that is remote, one that you can’t reach safely then the Pythagorean measure function will be useful. There are two different methods available to use. One that will use two measurements and assume a right-angled triangle is used. And one using three measurements to work out the remote distance.
Accessing the Pythagorean functions is done by pressing the area button on the left-hand side of the keypad. You have to scroll through the area and volume functions first before getting to the Pythagorean measurement functions.
There are three different options for calculating remote distances with the Atolla T201 laser tape measure.
The first is measuring the hypotenuse of a right-angled triangle, and then measuring the adjacent side of the triangle enabling the calculation of the opposite side of the triangle.
The second method of measuring remote distance requires 3 measurements to be taken. One to the base, one to the centre and one to the top. The Atolla T201 will then calculate the remote length of the feature measured.
The third method involves 3 measurements again. But this time the measurements are taken from the base, then from a midway distance and finally from a point perpendicular to the surface to be measured.
Is the Atolla T201 Laser Tape Measure Sturdy?
I have not had the Atolla T201 laser tape measure for long enough to comment on this. For me to say that this laser tape measure is sturdy I think it should last at least a year without fault. At the time of writing this is not the case. I can however tell you that it has an IP54 Rating.
The Atolla T201 laser tape measure will withstand the rigours of outdoor use as it has an IP54 rating This means that it is partially protected from dust that may harm the Atolla T201 and can also withstand splashes of water from all directions.
If you want to know about the different IP ratings that are achieved by products take a look at this chart which details them. It is on the website at https://www.enclosurecompany.com/ip-ratings-explained.php#:~:text=IP%20(or%20%22Ingress%20Protection%22,%2C%20dirt%20etc)%20and%20moisture.
Final thoughts on the Atolla T201 Laser Tape Measure.
While the accuracy of the Atolla T201 laser tape measure is 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 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.