Last updated: September 4, 2020

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If you need to take measurements and don’t want to use a tape measure every time, think about updating your toolbox to include a laser rangefinder. Not only are these devices much more accurate and easier to operate than traditional tape measures, but they also take measurements over much greater distances.

These devices are also very handy in sports such as golf, where it is important to accurately determine distances to certain objects, such as the golf green or the flag. Some professional-grade rangefinders have the capacity to measure distances greater than 12 miles, which makes them very versatile and useful in many different industrial situations. To make the process of buying a laser rangefinder easier, we’ve prepared the following article for you, to answer any questions you may have and to give you all the information you need to make a confident decision.

Key Facts

  • Laser rangefinders are highly accurate instruments that have different measuring ranges, some so powerful that they have allowed the space station astronauts to measure the distance separating them from the Earth!
  • Rangefinders measure the distance that separates the tool from a particular object. To do this the tool sends a laser beam to an object, and the bean then bounces back.  The time taken for the beam to to the tool return is used in a calculation to determine distance.
  • Laser rangefinders are very highly regarded in the world of outdoor sports such as golf, target shooting and archery. Some models have the ability to measure not only the distance, but also the speed of an object. Modern rangefinders also have the ability to read area, volume and direct and indirect length using the Pythagorean theorem.

Our selection: The Best Laser Rangefinders on the U.S. Market

There is a wide variety of laser rangefinders on the market with some models being designed for professional jobs that have the ability to measure distances greater than 12 miles. Others are compact and perfect for household jobs. Finding the right laser rangefinder for you own specific needs is not always easy, so we have made this list of the best laser rangefinders on the U.S. market.

Bushnell Tour V4 JOLT Golf Laser Rangefinder

Bushnell golf brings you the next evolution of pin seeker with jolt technology in the Tour V4. This laser rangefinder packs an unbelievable feature set into a smaller, more ergonomically sound form factor. The Tour V4 has the pin seeker with jolt technology you love and delivers the unrivaled accuracy you come to expect from Bushnell in a smaller and faster package.

Bushnell jolt technology provides you with short vibrating bursts to reinforce the laser is locked onto the flag. The Tour V4 is legal for tournament play and provides ranges from 5 to 1,000 yards with one yard accuracy. It provides yardages to flags from as far as 400 yards out. The Tour V4 is perfect for golfers of all abilities. A carry case and battery are included. Comes with a two-year limited warranty.

Bozily Golf Rangefinder, 6X 1000 Yards, Flag-Lock, Slope Tech, Fog Resistant

BOZILY DA01-800G Slope Golf Rangefinder – Laser Range Finder with Ranging, golf and speed modes: Flagpole Lock, 6X Magnification, 900YD Measurement, Slope Adjustment Function, Waterproof, Fog Resistant and Scan Mode Support.

The DA01-800G Golf Rangefinder uses the latest technology, making it more accurate and flexible than any other measuring device. It provides the true measurement accurate within ±1 yard, helping you to find the distance to flags, trees or hazards. This laser rangefinder even has diopter adjustment functionality to provide a clear view. Whether you’re near or farsighted, you’ll be able to see the object you’re measuring clearly and find its distance using our fast-measuring technology.

Golf Rangefinder 900 Yards-  7X  USB Charging Cable and Wrist Strap Included –

This rangefinder uses the latest technology, it can measure up to 900 yards, and is more accurate and flexible than any other measuring device.his rangefinder’s measuring model can be changed by one button, it is very convenient; You can use Range model, Speed model, or Scanning mode to measure the objects in different conditions.

One user states: “This range finder is nice you can zero in on an object easily and it’s easy to use. I think it’s nice that it comes with a micro USB charger.

TecTecTec VPRO500 Golf Rangefinder – Laser Range Finder with Pinsensor Includes Battery

The TecTecTec VPRO500 uses the latest technology, making it more accurate and flexible than any other measuring device. It perfectly measures distances quickly, letting you improve your game like a pro. Our laser rangefinder even has diopter adjustment functionality to provide a clear view. Whether you’re near or farsighted, you’ll be able to see the object you’re measuring clearly and find its distance using our fast-measuring technology.

The VPRO500 has three different scanning modes that are suitable for every situation. Its advanced Pinsensor lets you accurately measure overlapping targets and is perfect for measuring the distance to pin location and wooded areas! Its measurement locking function will give you even greater confidence!

Nikon 8397 ACULON AL11 Laser Rangefinder

Nikon is the world leader in optics and is on the cutting edge of laser rangefinder technology. The new ACULON Rangefinder delivers world-class performance in an extremely compact body. Nowhere else will you find the speed, the precision and the optical quality of the palm-sized ACULO

The ACULON Rangefinder has 6x magnification and a 20mm objective lens. It features long eye relief (16.7 mm) and is engineered using Nikon’s multilayer coated optics, which provide an even higher light transmittance across the entire visible light spectrum. This minimizes the loss of light due to reflection, thereby ensuring a more natural, clearer view.

Shopping Guide: Everything You Need to Know About Laser Rangefinders

Laser rangefinders are high-precision instruments, ideal for replacing tape measures, but also useful for larger projects/measurements. They are commonly used in outdoor sports such as golf as well as being commonly used by hunting enthusiasts. To help you choose the best laser rangefinder on the U.S. market, we explain everything you need to know about them in the article below.

Laser Rangefinder

A long range laser rangefinder can measure up to 12 miles when mounted on a tripod with an angular support.
(Source: Stylephotographs: 124333700/ 123rf.com)

What exactly is a laser rangefinder?

A laser rangefinder is a measuring device that uses a laser beam to determine the distance from its position to a specific point, which is usually determined by an object, such as a rock, tree, wall or golf flag. The most common type of laser rangefinders function by the principle of “time of flight,” which sends a laser pulse in a narrow beam towards a target and calculates the distance there and back.

Due to the high speed of light, and the rangefinders generally being handheld, human-operated devices, this technique is not suitable for high-precision submillimeter measurements, where triangulation and other techniques are better utilized. A long-range laser rangefinder can measure up to 12 miles when mounted on a tripod with an angular support.

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Laser rangefinders can measure height and “azimuth” (an angle measurement).

What is azimuth and how does it relate to a laser rangefinder?

An azimuth is the angle formed between the reference direction and a line between the observer and a point of interest in the same plane as the direction. It refers to an angle of orientation on the surface of a real or virtual sphere. The precise meaning of the term has special meanings according to the discipline in which it is used, such as nautical or astronomical uses of the term.

In astronomy, the azimuth is the angle or length of the arc measured on the celestial horizon formed by the north cardinal point and the vertical projection of the star on the horizon at latitude. It is also used in nautical navigation, where it can be used with compass. Azimuth is also used in cartography (study and practice of making maps), where it is measured from the north cardinal point.  With a laser rangefinder, all of the calculations are performed for you!

What is the range of a laser rangefinder?

Compact laser rangefinder models, designed for indoor measurements and similar to laser distance meters, can measure accurately up to about 50 yards without problems. Outdoor laser rangefinder models have much higher capacities, from 600 yards to 12 miles in distance, provided there are no visual obstructions.

Laser Rangefinder

Laser rangefinders are more precise and easier to handle than traditional tape measures and they can also take measurements over much greater distances.
(Source: Vitaliy Makarov: 75250942/ 123rf.com)

What technologies do laser rangefinders use?

Rangefinders are capable of calculating the measurements of very long distances withincredible ease and accuracy. Unlike traditional measuring techniques, they not only measure distances, but some models can also measure direct and indirect lengths, volume and area, all very quickly. The following technologies are used by laser rangefinders to provide these measurements:

  • Flight time: Measures the time it takes for a light pulse to travel to the target and back. Knowing the speed of light and with an accurate measurement of elapsed time, the distance can be calculated to a high level of accuracy. Several pulses are triggered sequentially by the rangefinder and the average response is used in the distance calculation. This technique requires very precise sub-nanosecond timing circuits.
  • Multiple frequency phase shift: This technology is used to measure the phase shift of multiple frequencies when reflected, then the tools’ built-in technology completes a calculation to give a final measurement. No more calculations out in the field.
  • Interferometry: The fascinating and most precise and useful technique for measuring distance changes instead of absolute distances.

What applications does a laser rangefinder have?

Laser rangefinders have multiple applications. As mentioned above, smaller, more compact models are used for DIY or construction work. They are also commonly used for cartography, 3D modeling, sports (such as golf or archery), hunting, and in all types of industrial production processes.

Here is a detailed list of the most common uses for laser rangefinders.

  • Military: In military use, laser rangefinders offer an exact distance between targets beyond the effective range of artillery. They are also used for zoning and military engineering. Military rangefinders can cover up to 15 miles and have the ability to measure azimuth, inclination, height and length.
  • 3D modeling: Used in 3D object recognition and modeling as well as areas related to artificial vision. This technology is somewhat superior, as it usually includes 3D printers with 360º vision. These devices have algorithms that merge the distance data of a single object obtained from multiple angles.
  • Forestry engineering: Special laser rangefinders are used within the forestry industry. They have anti-leaf filters and work with retroreflectors to guarantee exact distance measurements.
  • Sports: They are very effective for certain sports that require very accurate long distance measurements. They are mainly used in golf, hunting and archery and many sports laser rangefinders come with advanced features such as CAD (distance angle compensation) and multi-distance capability.
  • Topography: These rangefinders are used in road construction work and precise measurements for construction projects.
  • Industrial production processes: Used for automation of raw material management systems and in the production processes of the steel industry.
  • Building and construction: They are used in many tasks such as construction, DIY and renovations. They are very good alternatives to tape measures as they are more accurate and practical, as well as possessing the ability to measure angles and areas very quickly. They store the information and their screen allows the results to be read easily. These are time- saving devices and are therefore money-saving devices.

What types of laser rangefinders are there?

A laser rangefinder is a device capable of measuring distances remotely; these devices are even used by astronauts in the international space station to measure the distance they are orbiting from Earth. There are different varieties of laser rangefinders available that are differentiated by the principles of operation and their uses.

Types Operating principle Uses
Optical Calculates the distance to the object from the length of the base and the subtended angles between the axis and the base line Measurement of far-away objects
Morphic Calculates the distance by using trigonometry Used in topography and photography
Ultrasonic Distance is calculated by elapsed time and echo phase Widely used in cameras
Laser Measures distance automatically, like ultrasonic, but with greater accuracy Used in theodolites (surveying) as well as in industrial tools

How accurate are laser rangefinders?

The accuracy of a specific laser rangefinder is determined by the rise or fall time of the laser pulse and the speed of the receiver. A rangefinder using very sharp laser pulses with a very fast light detector that can determine the distance at which an object is with a margin of error of very few millimeters, between 1 and 5mm.

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Using the focus ring, images are superimposed on a scale that shows the distance.

How is a laser rangefinder used?

Rangefinders are used to measure distances without the need for physical contact with the points to be measured. With these tools, anyone is able to determine the distance between two points with a very high level of accuracy. This device is widely used in the construction industry, but also in carpentry, surveying, locksmithing and interior design.

Here’s a step-by-step description of how to use a rangefinder.

  • Getting started: The first thing you should do is read all of the instructions that come with the laser rangefinder as well as to familairize yourself with the different parts and accessories that come with the rangefinder. Next, install the batteries and turn the rangefinder on.
  • Screen interface: The screen plays a very important role, as it shows the results of the measurements, as well as providing information on how to use the tool. Be sure you can read the screen clearly. Once you’ve turned the device on, review all the details displayed by the on-screen guide and follow all of the instructions–do not skip any steps.
  • Measurement types: Use the screen on the rangefinder to choose the type of measurement you want to perform. Most models have options to measure direct and indirect lengths, area and volume, etc.
  • Measurements: Place the rangefinder in the position from which you want to measure distance and point it accurately at the object to which you want to measure the distance. Most rangefinders incorporate level bubbles so that you can position the equipment as level. Once you have set up the device correctly, press the button to start the measurement and wait for the results to appear on the screen.

Shopping Criteria

When choosing a laser rangefinder, it is essential that you evaluate a number of aspects of this product so that you can make a confident decision. Here is a handy guide that will provide you with the most important purchasing criteria to make a satisfactory purchase. There are so many rangefinders available on the market, if you want to find a quality laser rangefinder that will last you many years into the future, follow this criteria:

Use

The first thing you need to determine regarding a rangefinder is how you plan to use it. If you want a laser rangefinder for indoor use, look at the minimum size you’re going to need and make sure you choose equipment that caters for these small measurements. Compact rangefinders, for DIY and construction use, are usually capable of measuring between 10 and 40 yards with a high level of accuracy.

If you require a laser rangefinder for outdoor use, whether for hunting or sports such as golf, choose a tool with a larger measuring range, yet something that isn’t too heavy. In addition, for outdoor sports use, you should also have an option to take speed readings and change the accuracy and range of measurement you need (less or more precise). Make sure your outdoor rangefinder is weather proof as well.

Functions

Many models allow you to work with different metric measurements and with the simple click of just one button you can change to a different measuring system. In the U.S., for example, the imperial system is used in measurements, but you may need to make use of themetric system from time to time. Most models allow you to switch back and forth between the systems you want.

Some models also measure distance, area, volume, multiple surfaces, stake, angle and speed. Generally speaking, the more options you have, the better. We recommend that you choose a model that has all the features you need to get the job done.

Size and Weight

Size and weight are also very important factors when choosing a laser rangefinder, whether you plan on using it for home or professional use. Generally, the lighter and more compact it is, the better as you will be able to handle the rangefinder better and carry it with you to more places.

Battery

Another very important factor that you must take into account when making your decision will be the battery life and the way you charge the device. You probably know that not all batteries last for the same amount of time, so you should buy a model that states the expected time between charges and choose accordingly to your need. Be sure to reaserach battery life and weight along with options and price to find the balance of features that suit you best.

Beam

Although a laser beam is extremely narrow, it has a long range and the more concentrated the beam, the further it will reach. The rangefinder receiver must have a fast reading, as this influences the accuracy of the measurement. Professional laser rangefinders contain high-capacity lenses that ca accurately detect the returning signal, although they can perform poorly in bright, sunny conditions. Keep this in mind if you plan to use your rangefinder in sunny conditions and read some customer reviews to make sure this is not a problem with the rangefinders you are considering buying.

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Models for do-it-yourself or indoor work have a range of 20 to 50 yards. Laser rangefinders for professional work have measuring ranges that exceed 12 miles.

Measuring Range

One of the direct indicators of the quality of a laser rangefinder is the measuring range. By knowing the maximum distance of the rangefinder, you will be able to quickly narrow down the options on the market that suit you. There is no recommended standard measurement for a laser rangefinder, as it all depends on the intended use.

There are models for indoor use with measurement ranges of 5, 10, 50, 100, 150 and 200 yards on the market right now. For the sports and outdoor market, there are rangefinders that can measure accurately more than 5 to 15 miles. As general guide, we recommend that you choose models with the longest possible ranges while staying within your budget, and thinking about weight and durability.

Screen

Outdoor models do not have a screen display as the range and measurements are displayed inside the lens when you look through the viewfinder. These systems can be slightly more complex, so if you’re not familiar with using them, keep in mind that it may take some time to learn how to use the technology. Compact indoor devices have LCD screens on which all measurements and numbering are displayed clearly and accurately. Again, if you plan to use the rangefinder in sunny conditions, make sure the screen is designed to be easily read outside in direct sun.

Design

Although it may not seem so, the design of a laser rangefinder is an important factor. The design will determine the portability of the laser rangefinder and directly influence the size and weight of the device. Indoor models should be compact and be able to fit into your pocket easily, while outdoor professional models are usually more bulky and often require a tripod to take the measurement.

Handling

When it comes to handling your laser rangefinder, you’ll want to make sure it has quick access buttons to the functions to make it easier to use as well as having functions that are easy to understand. Remember that these can be complex devices that require a certain amount of expertise and skill to use them efficiently. Our general advice is, the simpler the device, the better.

Data Transmission

Some laser rangefinders offer data transmission features, which enables the device to send measurement data to another device. On the market today, there are many models that are built with wireless technologies such as WiFi and Bluetooth. The most basic models and cheaper models still require the user to write down the different measurement data.

Memory

In some models, you will find rangefinders that allow you to record and store all the measurements you take within the device. This is very useful for measuring large surfaces without having to stop to write down each measurement or having to measure a distance a second time if you forget to write it down. This function is very important if you plan to use the rangefinder for construction.

Summary

Taking accurate measurements is one of the most important parts of some jobs, so it is important to have a practical and accurate tool to do this task for you. Laser rangefinders allow you to measure longer distances without having to move and provide these measurements at a level of accuracy that you may have never thought was possible.

Laser rangefinders are complex devices that are used for a wide variety of tasks, from topography to sports such as golf or archery. When buying a laser rangefinder, there are many factors to look for, such as accuracy, measurement range and memory. Now it’s your turn, follow our recommendation and choose the laser rangefinder that best suits your needs.

If you liked the article, leave a comment or share it with your friends and family to help them buy the best laser rangefinder on the Australian market.

(Source of featured image: Alexlmx: 92620035/ 123rf.com)

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