Pro Tool Review: The Bosch GLM 50 Laser Rangfinder

I recently received a Bosch GLM 50 Laser Rangefinder for review. Let me say right off the bat I was sceptical about the accuracy of these electronic measuring devices, but after about 15 minutes with the unit, I was measuring things I would never have before.

It's a compact unit about 4.5" x 2" x 1" and is really very simple to operate. Without looking at the manual I was measuring things and calculating square footage and meterage of just about anything around. It has well placed buttons that are intuitively labeled. The display is bright and large enough that I didn't need my glasses. The unit displays measurements in imperial decimals, fractions and metric and in the volume mode allows you to shoot 2 dimensions to calculate volume. Measure anything from 2" to 165 feet and as claimed, the GLM 50 was within 1/16 of an inch accurate every time. This is especially good over longer distances as there is no "tape sag" or stretch providing much greater accuracy. The beam was easy to see even in sunlight and proved accurate on each test.

The Bosch GLM 50 even has a feature that allows you to shoot the top and bottom of a window that is not accessible to measure conventionally. Simply measure distance A and distance B in sequence for the length measurement being sure that a right angle exists between distance A and the sought after dimension X. It sounds way more complicated than it is but the accuracy was remarkable. Instant Pythagorean theorem.

Do you really need one of these? Well with a MSRP of $125 it is a bit more expensive than a tape measure but if you are anything like me after using it for a bit I definitely consider the Bosch GLM 50 a TINTO (Tools I Need To Own).

The Bosch GLM 50 comes complete with a carry bag and batteries. Laser glasses and a reflector plate for transparent and reflective surfaces are options. The unit can be tripod mounted.

Until next time