I love to work with my hands and in my spare time, I like to dabble in some small home renovations. As an electrician, I have picked up many great tips and skills from a whole range of quality housebuilders over the years. One little device that has really cut down my time spent on the job is the Bosch Blaze Laser Rangefinder.
There is a whole range of these little devices on the market now and some are really advanced with over the top functionality like
- Bluetooth app support
- Area, Volume and Angle measurement
- Larger range over 50m or 165 feet
- Brighter Laser dot with improved accuracy
- Large Memory storage
- Calculator addition and subtraction support
So let’s look into which Bosch laser distance sensor is best for the home handyman or professional builder. These are the top 3 I often see around on work sites.
Bosch measuring tools
Bosch Blaze GLM20 handheld laser distance meter review.
Every home in America should have one of these little Laser measuring devices. It cuts down the inaccuracy of using a tape measure that can bend or warp and will require 2 people to hold it up on longer runs.
The Bosch Blaze 20 Laser range finder is simple to use. All you need to do is press the red button for a second until the display turns on and you are now in the live measurement mode.
Where ever you point the measurement will be displayed on the backlit screen in real time. The length of the electronic rangefinder is automatically taken into account so when you place the base on the wall it will measure the distance up until it hits a solid object like another wall or a piece of furniture.
In the live measurement mode, the laser is constantly on and the distance is updated in real time.
The low power but super bright laser red dot makes it easy to see where you are pointing at to get that accurate measurement. It can measure accurately up to 20m or 65 feet. The fault tolerance is 1/8-inch. I checked this out with a tape measure as I was a little skeptical but wow it is very accurate.
Each time you press the red distance button it will store and display the last live reading. This way you can quickly get two measurements and have them stored on the screen.
It won’t do smaller or closer than 15cm range (5.9 inches). It will just display an error but this is fine as I can just use a ruler or a small tape measure for this small gap. I have had no trouble measuring in the direct sunlight or in the middle of the night in a dark room. Yes some of us have to work overtime to finish the job.
Batteries seem to last a while. I use it 5 days a week for a few minutes a day and the batteries seem to last around 4 months. I use rechargeable eneloops so its hard to compare these to normal alkaline batteries.
How do you change the unit of measure from feet/inches to meters?
I asked Bosh customer service how to do this as I had long gotten rid of the instructions and it is rather quite easy. With the Blaze GLM 20 turned off, do a long press of the red button. This will cycle through the range of options from imperial to metric.
- Feet/ inches
- Inches only.
Press the red center button again and this will store your selection into memory for the next time you turn your electronic measuring device on.
Mini laser room measurer – Who is it for?
If you do any type of home renovations then this is the low-cost laser distance sensor for you. It’s accurate and easy to use with the display recording 2 measurements. I found this extremely useful for when measuring up the length and width of my kitchen to install LED downlights.
Also, it is the perfect tool to measure the lounge room walls to install roof cornice as well as floor trim. Saved me heaps of time and I was able to do it by myself without a helping hand.
My wife even used it to measure the length and width of our windows so we could get some custom blinds made up. Thinking outside the box she also uses it as a laser height measurement device to see how tall the kids are. Just place a book on their head and beam from the floor up to the book.
The kids like to use the laser pointer to annoy the cat with the red laser dot so I guess its money well spent.
Blaze GLM 20 aka Zamo 2
Note: In countries other than the USA, Bosch has brought out a metric only version of the Blaze GLM20. Its called the Zamo 2. It has all the features and range of the GLM20 but its just metric only.
If you require more details like angles, and more storage measurements then you will have to upgrade to one of Boshes pro models like the GLM 50 or 100c which we will cover further down in this post.
Bosch Blase GLM 20 vs Dewalt pocket laser distance measurer
Now for most people, this Dewalt 9m mini laser measurer will be fine. It’s not very often you need to measure something longer than 9m. Bust as a sparkie I needed to be able to send a beam down the length of the house to work out how much cable I need to run.
65 feet (20m) is more than enough for me. But I do like the tiny footprint of the Dewalt rangefinder. Both are small enough to fit in your pants pocket.
The Bosch Blaze Professional GLM 20 is slightly longer but has twice the range. I also like the fact that you can change the unit of measure. Both are tradesman grade and will lake a beating in your toolbox.
At the end of the day, it comes down to size and price for me. The Dewalt 9m laser measure is the cheaper option of the two but at only 1/2 the range. The Bosch is still small enough that I don’t know that I’m carrying it. I just wish it came with a belt pouch. But I guess they have to cut costs somewhere.
They are both good but in my opinion, Bosch vs Dewalt laser measure: Bosch handheld laser distance meter wins hands down better value.
Bosch GLM 50 and GLM 100C Bluetooth electronic tape measure.
Most of us don’t need these high-end features but I think they are really cool. I first came across the Bosch GLM 100C when we had an estimator come around to draw up the floor of our house to give to the bank.
All they had was the GLM100C and a tablet, within 20minutes he had the whole house drawn up to scale inside and out. Check out the video below for the Bluetooth laser range finder in action.
With many homeowners now days seeking better mortgage rates and refinancing these tool have become very popular in the real estate and home estimator business. Gone are the days with the old metallic tape measure that usually needed 2 people for long measurements.
The bosch laser distance measurer has 2 red buttons which you will use the most. The bottom one with the letter C is the on / off button. The red arrow above is what you will press to take your distance reading.
- One press turns on the laser
- The second press will take the distance measurement.
Area, Volume button
The button to the left of the on-off button is your area and volume button. It looks like 2 small boxes. What you need to do is take 2 measurements and then press the box button. This will tell you the square feet of the room.
If you press this button again you will be into volume mode and will have to take a 3rd distance measurement.
Volume = width x height x depth
Pressing the box button again will put the laser tape measure into continuous mode. This means as you move the reading will be continuously updating.
Adding and subtraction
This is a really great and easy function to do. First, take one measurement and then hit the plus (+) key. Take another measurement and then press the equally (=) key. Both results will be added together and displayed on the screen.
This is handy if you are working out how many lengths of skirting board you will need for a room or two.
Subtraction works the same way. Just like using a calculator.
This unit had an angle measurement tool inbuilt. If you press the button once it will activate the angle display. I like the fact that you can measure angles either from the back of the Bosch GLM100c or from the side. This way you will always have the display pointing towards you.
The bottom right key that looks like a piece of paper with writing on it is the memory retrieval button. Pressing this button will cycle between the various measurements you have taken along with the mode you were in.
This is handy for going back over your measurements for stock ordering or just the fact that you don’t need a pen or paper on the job. Up to 50 measurements can be remembered with this device.
Pressing this button will put your laser measurement device into an advanced mode which can do things like indirect mode.
Indirect is the ability to measure a distance with an object in the way. If you remember back to your school maths days when you would work out a length of a right angle triangle side by given one length and an angle. It is a lot like that.
This will activate the Bluetooth connectivity to connect to your android or apple device. Make sure to have the Bosch measuring master app installed first.
Features of Bosch GLM100C
The main feature of the Bosch GLM 100C is the Bluetooth connectivity. This saves you having to write down your measurements. With the free Bosch laser distance apps for Android, iOS, and PC you will have that floor plan drawn up in no time.
With the Apple iOS Bosch measuring master free app you will need iOS 8 or later on iPhone or iPad.
Bosch blaze 100C handheld laser distance meter has the most features and is their flagship model. With special features such as:
- Backlit screen for working in the dark to rotating screen means you will always be able to read the display no matter what position you are in.
- Measures distance up to 330-feet to within 1/16-inch.
- Built-In tilt sensor to display 360-degree angle measurements in two axis rotations.
- Option to add the R 60 digital level attachment down the track to modify the GLM 100C into a 24-Inch digital laser level.
- Handheld laser distance meter fits in the palm of your hand
- Ten measurement mode selections such as length, area, volume, angle, min/max, continuous, single indirect height, single indirect length, combined indirect height, and multi-surface measurement.
You can see with all of these options you will really need to read up on the Bosch GLM 100 C user manual. Being dust and weather resistant its made for the worksite. I like that it is made tough with like a rubbery feel over the sides.
Best digital tape measure
At the end of the day, we all want quality tools at a budget price. Bosch is one of the world leaders in optical distance measurement. As I have a lot of their blue tradesman tool range I know that I am buying quality. In fact, my wife even has one of Boshes new women’s heated jackets. German engineering at its best.
Like I mentioned before on worksites Bosch rules. They are everywhere and I’m glad they have a whole range of models to chose from. If you are just a weekend handyman then the Bosch light measurement tool GLM 20 is for you.
If you are a tradesman that wants to throw away the old tape measure and upgrade to a Bluetooth laser distance measurer then the GLM 50C may be for you.
As always be safe on the job and take care of your mates. Let me know in the comments below what is your favorite best digital tape measuring device?