Best Digital Tape Measures 2020 – Reviews & Top Picks
The tape measure is one of those tools that have been around for many years with very little modifications. As the old saying goes, if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it. However, modern technology has made it possible to upgrade even a tool as simple as the tape measure in powerful ways. Lasers can measure further and straighter than you ever could hope to with tape, and there are no retraction nightmares. The digital screen is easier to read than tape, and it can store your measurements as well as perform calculations.
If you are in the market for a new type of digital tape measure and are wondering which brand is the best, we’ve picked 10 brands to review for you, and we’ll fill you in with all the pros and cons of each one. We’ve also included a buyer’s guide well we take a close look at the digital tape measure to see how it works and what features it should have.
Continue reading while we discuss laser distance, modes, tape quality, durability, and more to help you make an informed purchase.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
|Best Overall||Bosch Blaze Pro 165’ Laser Distance Measure||
|Best Value||General Tools 2-in-1 Laser Tape Measure||
|Premium Choice||Leica DISTO 200ft Laser Distance Measure||
|eTape16 Digital Tape Measure||
|Tacklife HD60 Classic Laser Measure||
These are the ten digital tape measures we found to review for you.
The 10 Best Digital Tape Measures – Reviews 2020
1. Bosch Blaze Pro 165’ Laser Distance Measure – Best Overall
The Bosch Blaze Pro 165’ Laser Distance Measure is our pick for the best overall digital tape measure. It’s easy to use and features a durable keypad. One button operation will get you the measurements, and it works in real-time, so it will continuously measure as you move. You can store up to 10 measurements for easy recall later, and automatic square calculation technology, and you can also add and subtract measurements right in the display. It’s Bluetooth-compatible and allows you to switch between fractions and decimal point measurement display.
We enjoyed reviewing this digital tape measure and found it to be extremely accurate. The only thing we could complain about is that the fractions are a bit small and hard to read.
2. General Tools 2-in-1 Laser Tape Measure – Best Value
The General Tools LTM1 2-in-1 Laser Tape Measure is our pick for the best digital tape measure for the money. It features both a laser and old-fashion tape. The laser is class 2 and can measure distances up to 50 feet accurately to within ¼-inch, and the 16-foot tape measure is textured and retracts easily. It’s compact size easily fits in your pocket, and it has a clip for your belt.
The main downside to the General Tools LTM1 is that the display is upside down from the way you use it, so you must flip it around to read it. It’s also a little hard to read, especially the fractions, because there is no backlight.
3. Leica DISTO 200ft Laser Distance Measure – Premium Choice
The Leica DISTO E7100i 200ft Laser Distance Measure uses a class 2 laser to get measurements that are accurate to within 1/16-inch. It uses very little power and can take up to 5000 measurements before you need to change the batteries, and it can read distance up to 200 feet. The backlit display is easy to read, and continuous measurements allow for real-time readings. It’s compact and durable and features helpful modes like Min/Max and Area/Volume. There are more modes and options available via Bluetooth and a compatible smartphone app.
The Leica DISTO E7100i is one of our favorite digital tape measures. The only problem we experienced while we reviewed it was that the Bluetooth compatibility needed some work, and the app doesn’t seem finished or provide many useful features.
4. eTape16 Digital Tape Measure
The eTape16 ET16.75-db-RP Digital Tape Measure is digital in the sense that it helps you read the tape measure easier. There is no laser built-in to this device. The large display is easy to read, and it can hold the latest measurement in its memory short term or long term. It’s capable of standard to metric conversion, and its polycarbonate case is ergonomic and durable.
While the large digital readout of the eTape makes taking measurements easier, there were a few things we don’t like. It’s expensive for a tape measure with two memory locations and no laser. It’s not always accurate because you can pull the tape out too quickly to register. Finally, some of the cells burnt out in our display, which made it hard to read.
5. Tacklife HD60 Classic Laser Measure
The Tacklife HD60 Classic Laser Measure features a 196-foot range thanks to its class 2 laser, and it should be more than enough for measurements around the house. It’s accurate to within 1/16-inch, and the backlit display is easier to read in low light conditions. There are plenty of measurement modes and calculations you can use, including Min/Max, volume, area, and more. It’s lightweight and can easily fit in your pocket, and a convenient carrying case comes with it.
The downside to the Tacklife is that it can be inaccurate, especially at greater distances and brightly lit rooms. It’s very slow to start up and to take measurements, and it can be difficult to read some of the information on the display screen, especially fractions.
6. DTAPE Laser Tape Measure
The DTAPE Laser Tape Measure features a long-lasting and rechargeable lithium battery, so you never need to worry about purchasing replacements or losing power in the middle of a job. It’s a two in one digital tape that uses a class 2 laser for distant measurements up to 131 feet away and a standard tape measure for measuring close objects up to 16 feet away. It’s waterproof, so it won’t get damaged if you use it in the rain or it accidentally gets wet. It’s accurate to within 1/16-inch, and it automatically shuts off after 30 seconds of inactivity to conserve battery power. You can also switch between inches, meters, and feet at the press of a button.
What we didn’t like about the DTAPE was that it’s not always accurate, and there is considerable discrepancy between the tape and the laser in terms of distance. The tape doesn’t stay extended because the lock doesn’t hold it in place very well, and the tape folds and bends easily. It’s also thick, and a bit cumbersome compared to other models, and the buttons are hard to press and gets tedious when taking several measurements.
7. LEXIVON 2 in 1 Digital Laser Tape Measure
The LEXIVON 2 in 1 Digital Laser Tape Measure is a two in one digital tape measure that features both a laser and a standard tape measure. The laser is accurate to 1/16-inch and can measure up to 130 feet away and also has a stud finding feature. The LG LCD is easy to read, and the anti-skid ABS casing is tough and durable. Auto shutoff protects battery life, and a belt clip makes it easy to keep with you.
The problems we had with the LEXIVON all stem from the tape measure part of the tool. The tape is very thin and won’t stay straight after only about 6 inches. It has a soft lock that allows you to pull out more tape, but it doesn’t hold it in place very well, and some tape could slide back in while you’re using it. It’s extremely hard to read the smaller divisions on the tape, and because the retracting spring isn’t very strong and the tape bends considerably, it’s hard to get back in the casing after you pull it out a few feet.
8. Meterk Laser Tape Measure
The Meterk Laser Tape Measure Is another two in one tape measure on our list. It features a powerful Class 2 laser that can measure up to 131 feet away with an accuracy to 1/16-inch. It features a rechargeable battery and can take up to 3000 measurements on a single charge. It’s weatherproof and features a backlit screen and plenty of measurement modes, including area, volume, Pythagorean, and double Pythagorean. The tape measures out to 16 feet and is one of the more readable tapes on this list.
The downside to the Meterk is that the laser beam wasn’t straight on the two models we tried. On the first model, the laser pointed slightly downward, and on the second, it’s pointed slightly to the left, which would skew the measurements we were taking, So we needed to check our measurements with other tools continuously. The case is also very flimsy made, and a single drop can easily break or crack it.
9. MulWark MLK-53774 Digital Tape Measure
Te MulWark MLK-53774 Digital Tape Measure helps you read the readings on the tape measure more easily by displaying the measurement currently on the tape. It can also store the measurement in one of two long term memories, and it can perform multiple calculations, including auto midpoint calculation, and inch, centimeter, feet conversion. It has a replaceable, long-life lithium battery and a backlit display that’s easy to read in low light conditions.
The problem we had with the MulWark MLK-53774 is that it’s sort of a pain to use. The buttons are not easy to find or press, and it doesn’t always zero out after each measurement, so it adds the last measurement to the new one. Straightening out these problems is time-consuming and can lengthen your workday quite a bit. It also doesn’t lock down the tape very well, so you’re constantly struggling to keep it in place, and there’s no laser. It is strictly a tape measure.
10. CO-Z 3 In 1 Digital Metric Laser Tape Measure
The CO-Z 3 In 1 Digital Metric Laser Tape Measure Is the last digital tape measure on our list to review, and it’s also the only three in one tool. This model features a 16-foot tape measure, a 131-foot laser measure, and a 90-degree cross line laser leveler for making sure your laser is straight and taking the most accurate measurement possible. It uses a Class 2 laser and can store up to 20 measurements in its memory. It features multiple measurement modes, including continuous scan, distance addition and subtraction, area, volume, Pythagorean, and Double-Pythagorean mode. It has a durable, heavy-duty construction that can take a fall and an easy to read backlit LCD. Its ergonomic design is comfortable to hold, and the buttons are easy to press.
Unfortunately, there are a few problems with the CO-Z 3, the primary one being that we couldn’t get an accurate measurement. If we rested the unit on a shelf and took five measurements, each one would result in a different reading, and none would be correct. The instructions are extremely hard to read and understand, and it took us a long time to learn how to use it even though we’ve used plenty of these devices before. We could only get our readings in metric, though this could have been due to the instructions, and the back was hard to close once you put the batteries in.
Let’s look at some of the important parts of the digital tape measure to help you know what to look for while you’re shopping.
Laser versus Non-laser
One of the first things you’re likely to notice about digital tape measures is that there are two types, laser and non-laser.
Digital tape measures that have an onboard laser usually use a Class 2 laser to measure distance up to 165 feet. Internal mechanisms use time of reflections to determine the distance, and the quality of the internal mechanism will determine accuracy. The user reads the result on a digital display.
Non-laser digital tape measures are not that different from a standard tape measure. You take your measurement using tape as you ordinarily would, and the internal mechanism knows what the reading on the tape is and presents it to you via a digital display. The readout is often much easier to read than the tape, and it can also perform calculations and conversions right inside the device.
These devices still require you to measure like normal, but they can dramatically speed up your work time.
As we’ve mentioned, the inner components of the device largely are responsible for the accuracy, and we’ve tried to mention in our reviews which units did and didn’t perform accurate calculations. However, there are still other things that affect laser accuracy, including sunlight, fog, smoke, and even dust. Sunlight is the biggest factor as the Class 2 laser is no match for the bright sun, and it can often cause the laser to malfunction. Humidity is the next big factor that can bend the laser, causing miscalculations.
Both laser and non-laser digital tape measures can perform calculations based on the measurements you take. You can usually find the area and volume of a room, as well as several other important calculations like Pythagoras and double Pythagoras.
When purchasing a digital tape measure, the display is one of the most important parts. You need to be able to read the measurements it provides, and you also need to be able to change modes and take measurements easily without struggling with buttons or complex menu systems. Displays that have backlighting are often the easiest to read and can be used even in low light conditions.
When choosing a digital tape measure, we recommend one with the laser as it’s more useful then the non-laser type for most people, and they cost about the same. The Bosch Blaze Pro 165’ Laser Distance Measure is our pick for the best overall because it’s easy to use and provides you with the longest measuring distance possible from a Class 2 laser. Another great choice is the General Tools LTM1 2-in-1 Laser Tape Measure, which is our best value. This inexpensive digital tape measure can use a laser to detect distance up to 50 feet and also has a built-in tape measure for quick and easy close-range measurements.
We hope you have enjoyed reading over our reviews and found a digital tape measure that’s right for you. If you’ve learned something new from our buyer’s guide and think others will find it helpful, please share this guide to the best digital tape measures on Facebook and Twitter.
Featured Image: General Tools LTM1 2-in-1 Laser Tape Measure, Amazon
- A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
- The 10 Best Digital Tape Measures – Reviews 2020
- 1. Bosch Blaze Pro 165’ Laser Distance Measure – Best Overall
- 2. General Tools 2-in-1 Laser Tape Measure – Best Value
- 3. Leica DISTO 200ft Laser Distance Measure – Premium Choice
- 4. eTape16 Digital Tape Measure
- 5. Tacklife HD60 Classic Laser Measure
- 6. DTAPE Laser Tape Measure
- 7. LEXIVON 2 in 1 Digital Laser Tape Measure
- 8. Meterk Laser Tape Measure
- 9. MulWark MLK-53774 Digital Tape Measure
- 10. CO-Z 3 In 1 Digital Metric Laser Tape Measure
- Buyer’s Guide