Purpose of Laser Tape Measures

Purpose and Importance of Laser Tape Measures

The Purpose and Importance of the Laser Tape Measure.

Laser tape measures are a relatively new way of measuring linear distances. They have not replaced the traditional tape measure, but they do have some advantages over them. In this article I will be going through what purpose laser tape measures serve and why they are important.

Every day we use distances, whether they are estimates or accurate measurements.

We need to be able to understand the distance.

If we are travelling down the road and we need to take a turning in ten miles, then it doesn’t matter if the turning is in 10.1 miles or 9.7 miles. The distance is near enough.

But if we were to measure a 30ft span then our measurements need to be a lot more accurate. If you ordered a beam that was only 29ft long for the 30ft span, you’d have a problem.

Most of the measurements we will do are short, less than 100m or 300ft. And most of these measurements will need to be accurate. As a general rule the smaller the overall distance measured, the more accurate this measurement needs to be.


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What is the Purpose of the Laser Tape Measure?

The purpose of the laser tape measure is to accurately measure linear distances. Being able to measure accurately has many benefits in both our personal and working life. We need to be able to communicate with each other about linear distances and understand what the distances are.

It doesn’t matter what unit we converse in. Whether it is metric or imperial, being able to understand linear distances between things is what is important.

Accurate measurements will prevent costly mistakes from being made. Remember the adage, measure twice, cut once.

Be sure of your measurements to prevent wasting materials. Ensuring that we don’t waste the resources we have is important. That is why it is important to have the best laser tape measure you can. My favourite would be the Leica Disto D2 like this one on Amazon.

Why is a Laser Tape Measure Important?

The laser tape measure is an important tool for providing both accurate and precise linear measured distances. Having accurate and precise measurements not only cuts down on material waste but also improves our productivity.

By reducing the chances of errors being made in our measurements we increase our productivity. Having to re-cut or re-make an object is one of the biggest factors affecting the rate of productivity.

Defining accuracy and precision in measurements

Accuracy refers to how close the measurement is to the true value. In this case how close is the linear distance from the laser tape measure to the true distance.

Precision refers to how close repeated measurements are to each other. In this case how close together are the measured linear distances.

There is no doubt that measurement mistakes can be very costly. But we also need to bear in mind that the actual act of doing these measurements can also be costly, so therefore we do need a balance. This is the balance between getting the measurement perfect and good enough. This is where standards of accuracy and tolerances come in.

For this reason, we have in every industry a standard of accuracy that competent operators can achieve with certain types of equipment. Tolerances give an acceptable amount of play between objects so that they can fit together correctly.

The need accurate measurement

Whenever we take a measurement, we want it to be as accurate as possible. We need the measurement to be right. But we know that any measurement that we take will have an error associated with it.

If we do not have accurate measurements, then whatever we are building or constructing will not fit together. Inaccurate measurement means that the piece that connects two items together maybe either too big or too small. This leads to waste of materials and a drop in productivity.

Hence why we have tolerances for our measurements. Tolerances ensure that whatever we are building or constructing fits together just right. The finer the tolerance, the more we must eradicate errors from our measurements. The more accurate the measurement needs to be, the longer it is going to take to eradicate the errors from our measurements.

For information on measurement errors in construction setting out, have a look at the article on this website on how to avoid the 3 measurement errors in construction setting out.

What accuracy do we need for our measurements?

The desired accuracy of the measurement is dependent on what we are building or constructing and the size of the building or construction. No matter what it is that you are building or constructing, the accuracy of the work will be determined.

The accuracy required in the completed work, or stages of the work, will be determined by the specification. Any work that is carried out should be specified by the client.

That doesn’t mean that we don’t have to pay attention to our measurement accuracy until the end of the works. Quite often greater accuracy may be necessary in parts of the work to achieve this. This is often the case when we are working with different types of materials and manufacturing processes. This is often true when items are made or cast prior to coming to arriving at home or work.


Related Articles

Beginners Guide to Laser Tape Measures

Are Cheap Laser Tape Measures Accurate?

Review of the Leica Disto D2

Are Laser Tape Measures Worth It?


What accuracy can you achieve with a laser tape measure?

You can achieve a much greater accuracy with the laser tape measure than you ever will with a steel tape measure. With a laser tape measure, a 50m measurement should be accurate to within 3mm. The main advantage of using a laser tape measure is that you do not have to account for tape sag or tape tension in your measurement. Therefore, the measurement has a greater accuracy.

How to check a laser tape measure.

With any accurate measuring device, it is important to be able to check the instrument for accuracy. Checking tape measures will be a simple check for damage and wear and tear. Checking laser tape measures will require a known distance. Laser tape measures should also be calibrated yearly.

It is really simple to check your Laser Tape Measure or Disto.  All you need is a known distance that you can check or a traditional tape measure.  I have checked my Leica Disto A5 against an 8m traditional tape measure.  I have use used a good quality Stanley 8m tape measure for this.  This check should be done over two separate distances.

First of all I have checked the Disto over a length of 800mm.  To do this I have simply put the Stanley tape on the desk, with the end against a wall, something that the Disto can measure to.  I then align the laser tape measure against the traditional tape measure so that the reading that I get from the laser tape measure should be 800mm.  In this case I have got a reading from my laser tape measure of 799mm and I am happy with this measurement using this method to check distances.

Checking a Laser Tape Measure

The second measurement check has been done in the same manner, but this time I have measured a distance of 8m (8000mm).  I have laid out the traditional Stanley tape measure on a flat floor and put the end against the skirting board, I will be measuring to the skirting board with the laser tape measure too.  Once more I align the laser tape measure with the 8m mark on the tape measure and take a distance with the laser tape measure.

Laser Tape Measure Checks
Laser Tape Measure Checks

If you happen to have numerous laser tape measures (generally you will only have one) you can check them against each other to see if they are accurate. I did this to see if 3 cheap laser tape measures I bought from Amazon were accurate.

Cheap Laser Tape Measures Compared
Checking laser tape measures.

Are cheap laser tape measures any good? (3 models tested)

Laser Distance Meter 50M/165ft, Mileseey IP54 Laser Measure with 2 Bubble Levels,Portable Laser Rangefinder Digital Distance Meter with 4 Line LCD Display and Bigger Clear Backlight (Battery Included)
  • ✦ 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.
atolla Laser Measure Device, Laser Distance Meter up to 60m / ± 2mm Digital Measure Tool Range Finder with Bubble Level and Large LCD Backlit and Waterproof IP54

[Various measuring modes from 0.15 to 60m] - the atolla Laser Distance Meter is designed for indoor as well as for outdoor construction sites. It has different measurement modes: single measurement, continuous measurement (with Min/Max function) and measurement of surfaces/volume /indirect measurement (Hypotenuse function with 2 or 3 points). Measuring range covers from 0.15 to 60m.
[Precise measurement]- Thanks to the advanced laser technology, a measuring accuracy of +/- 2mm is achieved. The multi 4-line backlit LCD is easy to read and can also be used in dark environments. There are 2 bubble levels installed for precise vertical and horizontal alignment of the laser. The measurement start reference point can be configured as the front or back of the device. If necessary, the measurement results can be adjusted by +/- 7mm.
[Extensive functions] - With this handy laser distance meter you can easily set the display unit between meter/inch/foot. Up to 20 records can be saved and retrieved. The device also has addition, subtraction, self-calibration, and mute buttons.
[IP54 & Energy Saving] - The housing of this high-quality T201 is made of robust PC and ABS plastic. It is dustproof and protected from splashing water (IP54). Besides, the device has an Auto-Off function, which allows the meter to switch off after 3 mins of inactivity.
[Easier & Compact] - The atolla laser distance meter provides a much simpler, faster and more precise measurement. Due to its compact design, it can be easily stored in a bag or jacket pocket. A removable hand strap provides safe handling.

Conclusion.

Laser tape measures are an invaluable tool for taking accurate linear distances. Getting the best one you can afford is also the wisest choice.

Below are my favourite laser tape measures that you can currently buy.

Leica Disto D2 Laser Distance Meter
  • Bluetooth Smart (4.0)
  • Measure areas and volumes
  • Flip-out end-piece – For measuring from edges or corners
  • Pythagorean functions - Indirect width and height measurements for inaccessible positions
  • Leica Disto Sketch
Laser Distance Meter 50M/165ft, Mileseey IP54 Laser Measure with 2 Bubble Levels,Portable Laser Rangefinder Digital Distance Meter with 4 Line LCD Display and Bigger Clear Backlight (Battery Included)
  • ✦ 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.

One last thing on checking laser tape measures.

If you are finding that you are not getting accurate measurements, then I would recommend first trying a new set of batteries. It is most likely the cheapest fix for inaccurate measurements.

Duracell NEW Plus AA Alkaline Batteries
  • UP TO 100% EXTRA LIFE*
  • Suited for everyday devices
  • SAFETY : Superior Nylon top closure helps preventing our batteries from leakage
  • DURABILITY: Duracell technology keeps the energy of your unused batteries for up to 10 years in their packaging (ambient storage)
  • 98% of our paper-based packs are made from recycled materials.
  • AA and AAA manufactured in Belgium; available in AA, AAA, C, D, 4.5 V and 9 V sizes
  • * Longevity performance compared to the Minimum Average Duration of the 2015 IEC AA Digital Camera test. Results may vary by device or usage pattern (IEC's website)
Duracell NEW Plus AAA Alkaline Batteries
  • UP TO 100% EXTRA LIFE*
  • Suited for everyday devices
  • SAFETY : Superior Nylon top closure helps preventing our batteries from leakage
  • DURABILITY: Duracell technology keeps the energy of your unused batteries for up to 10 years in their packaging (ambient storage)
  • 98% of our paper-based packs are made from recycled materials.
  • AA and AAA manufactured in Belgium; available in AA, AAA, C, D, 4.5 V and 9 V sizes
  • * Longevity performance compared to the Minimum Average Duration of the 2015 IEC AAA Motorized Toy test. Results may vary by device or usage pattern (IEC's website)
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