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Measuring Tools: Tape Measure vs. Laser Measure

Measuring tools are some of the most important tools you should have in your hard case. Even the smallest error in measurement might be all it takes to ruin your project. Investing in quality measurement and layout tools that will remain accurate for many years is always a smart decision. To help you narrow down your options, here are the most essential tools you’ll need to complete various measuring tasks.

What are the 5 Measuring Tools?

Tape Measure

You’ll need a tape measure with a sturdy hook that moves so you’re able to extend and retract it with ease. It’s one of the essential parts of your measurement equipment.
tape measuring tool

Mechanical Carpenter’s Pencil

Mechanical carpenter’s pencil is a great solution for marking as it can extend lead as needed just with the touch of a button.


The protractor works by pressing the legs against two surfaces then reading the angle between them. This tool can tell you what angle to set your mitre saw to.

Speed Square

This is the measuring tool most carpenters keep on their hip. It’s a light and strong tool that can serve as five tools in one – mitre square, try square, line scriber, protractor and saw guide.

Laser Measure

This tool has become a go-to distance measurement tool as it provides instant real-time results, no matter where you point it.
laser measure option tool

Tape Measure vs. Laser Measure

Whether you’re a carpenter, woodworker, architect, engineer, contractor or DIY enthusiast, you know that distant measurement accuracy is very important for your project results. You can find a variety of measuring tools available on the market these days, but choosing the right one might be a daunting task.

As technology evolves, the question of whether a laser measure is a good replacement for the traditional tape measure is evermore present. Is it more accurate, easier to use and can boost your productivity? To find out, here is a comparison between the two, which can help you make your final choice.

Tape Measure

Tape measures are narrow strips with linear-measurement markings that are intended for taking distance measurements. They are one of the oldest and most common distance measuring tools. Also referred to as measuring tapes, they can be made of different materials, such as plastic, fibreglass, metal and cloth.

There are two basic types of tape measures – spring return tape measure and long measuring tape. Both come with an end piece and markings on both sides of the tape which help provide accurate measurements. All of them work by the same principle, but can be found in different scales, based on their intended use.

Keep in mind that all measuring tapes are not the same and their accuracy is the most important factor to consider when deciding on the right distance measuring tool you need for your work. You should know that the tension or pull force applied to a tape measure can affect its accuracy. However, the ability of a tape measure to withstand pressure and tension mostly depends on the material it’s made from. In general, the accuracy of measuring tapes is classified according to their level of tolerance within prescribed limits.

Laser Measure

Laser measures are modern handheld distance measuring tools that rely on the optical measuring process to calculate distance. They determine the distance between point A and point B with the help of laser technology and provide the readings on their displays in digital form. They are convenient, easy to use and portable measurements tools.

A laser distance meter works by shooting a laser beam from a point to a target and measuring the amount of time the light takes to reflect off the target and return to the tool to calculate the distance between the two points. This working principle is known as the “time of flight” and is based on the speed at which laser light travels through the atmosphere of the earth.
laser measuring tool man measure

Thanks to the focus of the laser light and the high speed at which it travels, this calculation is accurate over distances of kilommetres, but the accuracy may decrease with farther or closer distances. To measure distance with a laser distance meter, you need to press the power button and switch the tool on. Once it’s on, you’ll need to line it up at one end of the object or line you want to measure and place a target at the other end.

Then, aim the laser light at the target and press the button for measuring. Make sure to keep the tool in a fixed position and wait for it to record a measurement and display it on its screen. You’ll know when it’s done as the laser will go off. However, each brand and model are different, so the best thing to do is read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions properly before operating the tool.

The accuracy of laser measures is one of their biggest advantages and it depends on the reflection of the original pulse back to the device. This means that the accuracy of the laser measure depends on the ability of the target to reflect and return the light to the device.

In the end, both tape and laser measure provide high accuracy, which is most important for the success of your project, so you may choose depending on your budget and working habits, too. Tapes are best when it comes to short distance measurements, transferring dimensions and marking several markings at short intervals, while laser measures offer a superior level of convenience, they are faster and support one hand operation.