If you work in construction or any field where you have to do a lot of measuring, you may want to invest in a rangefinder. This laser scanning tool can help with a range of tasks. Here's what to consider before purchasing one.
One of the first elements you want to check out is the accuracy levels. As a general rule of thumb, less expensive rangefinders are less accurate than their more expensive counterparts, but there are exceptions to the rule.
In some cases, rangefinders may be labeled as "estimators". That simply means the laser scanning tool is for estimates and you may need to repeat the measurements with a tape measure. In other cases, you won't see the word "estimator", but the packaging should note how accurate the scanner is.
Rangefinders can use a number of different units. Make sure the rangefinder you buy has the units you need. For instance, if you only need metric, get that, but if you work internationally, you may want both metric and imperial measurements.
3. Types of Measurements
It's also important to check out the types of measurements that the rangefinder can handle. All rangefinders measure distance, but you may also want one that can calculate perimeter or volume, based on a couple of input measurements.
4. Indirect Measurements
You may also want to look for a rangefinder that can handle indirect measurements. That can be useful for measuring around obstructures. For instance, if you are trying to figure out the volume of a room and there's a pillar in the middle of it, you need a laser scanner that can do indirect measurements.
5. Bluetooth Compatibility
Bluetooth compatibility makes it possible for your laser scanning tool to communicate with other electronics. If you use drafting software, you may want a laser scanner that is compatible with that type of software in addition to being Bluetooth compatible. Then, you don't have to take the time to write measurements. You also never need to worry about any errors due to transcribing the wrong numbers. Instead, all of the information is accurately related to your software.
Finally, you may want to add a tripod. When you are doing outside measurements with your rangefinder, a tripod can be essential. It holds the unit in place, helping you to get accurate measurements.
Ultimately, if you decide a rangefinder is not for you, you may just want to hire a professional. There are construction experts who specialize in laser scanning for all kinds of projects.