Using a laser measure is becoming a lot more popular as they get more and more accessible and affordable. When precision is key, you want to be doing the least amount of measuring possible, to get the necessary sizes without relying too much on previous measurements. Analog measurement methods don’t have the kind of precision that is often required in modern construction. Therefore, laser measures are used to achieve quicker, more accurate results.
Much like with any sort of tech, it can be confusing at first when trying to decide which type or brand of laser measure to go for. That’s why we will narrow it down to the two leading brands straight off the bat: Leica and Bosch. Both of these companies make very high-quality products, so either is a fine choice. Let’s get into specifics.
Leica vs Bosch
Leica laser measures are some of the best laser measures available, as Leica is a world leader in precision engineering. Leica has a great range of Leica laser measures which will be suitable for any industry or surveying application.
Leica lasers are designed with the surveyors and engineers needs in mind and are perfect for all types of measuring applications including rough levelling, topographical surveys, volume calculations to complex 3D building surveys.
The Leica RMS 511 laser distance meter can be used by professionals who need to take reliable high quality measurements quickly and accurately. It features an outstanding accuracy 0.5mm over 1000m±, which is better than many other brands.
This company has a couple of lines of ever-improving laser measures on the market. You can go for one of the older models if BlueTooth connectivity and the ability to measure large distances are not that important to you. However, if you want all the features, then definitely opt for the newest in the range: the Leica Disto D2. The D2 has connectivity to your phone, so any measurements that you take can be directly imported. The app then takes your data and transfers it straight into Leica Disto SketchUp.
The new version also has an improved range of 330 feet (100m) and seems to be very accurate at that outer range. Error-values for measurements are within plus or minus 1 sixteenth of an inch (about 1.5mm). This means that there is no need to double-check with a tape measure, as that is likely to be a lot less accurate.
The memory can hold up to 10 measurements, but this will not be an issue as long as you have the BlueTooth data connection to your phone switched on. If you need to keep measurements in front of you, that is not an issue either, as this measure can hold up to three on the screen at any time. The protection rating is IP54, which means this tool is resistant to water splash (rain), and dust.
A disadvantage of the Leica Laser measure when compared to the Bosch measure, is that its screen is only backlit, and does not display color. Obviously, it isn’t necessary to display in color unless the tool also takes photos… which the Bosch measure does!
These are the specs for the Leica Disto laser measure. The company does make a variety of high-quality measures that have more features than this, if necessary. If simplicity is all that you need, then they have some cheap, good laser measures to suit that niche as well.
Bosch Laser Measures
The Bosch measure that we will compare to the Disto D2 here specifically is the GLM 50 C. This is the most popular tool from Bosch in the laser measure category. Like with the Leica lineup, there are a lot of different models to choose from if you need something fancier. The cheaper end of the spectrum lacks the color screen and maybe also the app connectivity.
The protection level is the same as that of the Leica laser measure, rated at IP54. This means that this is just as well protected against rain and dust as the other.
Something that is a lot worse than on the Disto D2 is the range. The GLM 50 C can measure distances up to 50 meters away with accuracy, where the Disto D2 can measure double that, at 100m. However, this only becomes a problem if you are measuring large outside spaces. If you are indoors measuring ceiling heights, then this will not cause any problems.
The measurement memory is up to 30 measurements, but like with the Leica, there is an app that you can send data to. It will then create a digital render as Leica does with Sketchup.
The display is backlit and represents the room in color. It has this functionality because there is a camera on the device for taking photos. The measurements that you take are then shown on the photos, and these are sent to the app. This is a considerable function advantage over those of the Leica Disto D2 series. It allows you to visualize your measurements relative to one another, and to recall the space better later.
Both laser measures can do all the things that you would expect. There is no clear winner here. The best way to decide which to get is to consider the functionality of each and see which will be a better fit for the work that you need to do. The Leica has the advantage if distances of measurements are the most important thing, or if you need to measure anything over 50m.
If the ease of use and visual representation are the most important features, then the Bosch GLM 50 series is the better option. The display allows you to see what you have already measured and how these measurements relate to one another.
Both laser measures have the same protection level and precision factor at their respective distances. They can both do the basics, like taking angle measurements and calculating volume and perimeter. They are both able to take indirect length and height measurements.
If the price is a consideration, then it’s worth noting that the cost of both measures is about the same, both being available online from about $100. These are fairly high-end measures, so the price reflects this. If you are willing to compromise on functionality, then both companies make cheaper models with fewer capabilities.
Now that you have all the information to reach an informed decision, it will be easy to choose!