Do You Laser? Watching the Red Dot

Do you laser - laser distance measuring tool

Laser Measuring Tool

One of the fastest and reliable ways to measure properties is with a laser distance measurer.  These devices are accurate to 1/8th inch over long distances, not that we ever need that preciseness.

I started in this business like most other appraisers using a 100′ tape and a 25-30′ tape. I still carry those in my ‘tool pouch’ when measuring, but a majority of the time I use my laser. There are times when I find the tapes better for a particular situation.

There are several manufacturers of laser distance measurers, with probably the best known having a name that starts with “D.” While excellent, these can be pretty expensive depending on the model, and in some versions, quite large, so carrying them and using them, and justifying the cost, may be an issue for some appraisers.

You may not know this, but most of the primary internal components of laser measurer devices are made by Leica, a respected German lens and laser manufacturer. So regardless of which brand you buy, the actual laser is probably from Leica. Generally speaking, the more you spend, the longer distance you can ‘shoot’ and the more features the hand-held unit will have.

So that brings me to the point of this message. And by the way, I don’t work for, or have an ownership interest, in any of the companies mentioned here. Today I found a smaller laser measurer from a ‘big box hardware store’. I use a similar-sized laser from another manufacturer. For most properties, this one will be adequate for your first laser, or perhaps to replace the big brick unit you may now have. Here’s the link.

I’ll promise you this: once you start using a laser distance measurer, you will hardly ever need to drag out your tape. And you’ll probably wish you had started using a laser a long time ago!  If you’re a bit nervous to spend the buckaroos, contact local appraisers you know and ask to see how they work ‘in the real world’. Good appraisers won’t mind helping you learn.

And there are video’s on YouTube done by appraisers Dustin Harris The Appraiser Coach and Michael Mila who show how to use a laser distance measurer in the field.

Watching the red dot…

Dave Towne
Dave Towne

Dave Towne

AGA, MNAA, Accredited Green Appraiser - Licensed in WA State since 2003. Dave Towne on

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3 Responses

  1. Hammad Khan on Facebook Hammad Khan on Facebook says:

    I used it..It is called marketed by Hilti in Pakistan, measuring precision is not so impressive but way precise than measuring tape..One draw back is you can’t use it while measuring GEA in the sunlight..

    • Avatar ValleyGal says:


      I have one with a digital viewfinder and I use it in very bright conditions.

      It also has the obstruction feature that I use all the time.

      I’m interested in knowing how appraising differs in Pakistan. What are the issues appraisers deal with in Pakistan. Do you guys deal with AMCs? Pressure from clients, low fees, scope creep etc.?

  2. Mike Ford, CA AG, AGA, SCREA, GAA, RAA Mike Ford, CA AG, AGA, SCREA, GAA, RAA says:

    I’m hesitant but ordered it anyway. AT that price I can afford to gamble. If it is accurate to within 1/2 foot at 100 feet, I’ll be happy. If it is reliably accurate to within an inch at the same distance I’ll be ecstatic.

    If its only accurate to within “4%” like most claim, I’m going looking for Dustin! Just kidding Dustin, I appreciate the heads up on this one. I’m too cheap to spend hundreds of dollars on one without knowing how accurate they really are.


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Do You Laser? Watching the Red Dot

by Dave Towne time to read: 2 min