Folding rule vs. laser distance meter: Which one suits better for measurement? The German “Malerbatt” which means “Painter’s Paper” did a test for answering this question in the 8/2014 issue.
Even if my last’s occupation measurement job is a few years ago I’m confident: Measuring is like riding a bike or swimming, you do not forget the technique. Yardstick against laser rangefinder – which one measures faster? I will try to clarify this question today. Our office with two rooms, hall, vestibule and toilets is used as a test object. I am working on a fictitious contract specification: ceiling, walls, floors, windows, doors, frames, radiators, etc. 14 different positions, I am going to measure. Let’s go
First, I measure the floor surfaces. As the room sizes are about six meters this is a tedious business with the folding rule. To make things worse, the walls are blocked up with cabinets and shelves. Thrice move the ruler – you have to work very concentrated, to avoid inaccuracies. After the floor, the ceiling, the walls … I quickly work at each point of the spec. After 39 minutes, I’m done with the first room.
The second space is done much faster. Some measurements are repeated or can be accepted. After 28 minutes, I’m through room two, then the hallway in 16 minutes, the vestibule in six and two toilets in two minutes. This makes 93 minutes in total, – for around 74 square meters. This seems slow. Whether I’m faster with the laser distance meter?
Measurement of windows
But first I have to reboot my brain. As long as I have the dimensions in mind, that could result in an advantage of the laser distance measurer. So I’m going to another “construction site”. There, I measure windows: 31 pcs. The pocket rule works without problem. In 25 minutes I’m done. Less than a minute per window, including the time for writing down the results – it went so fast. Now I do the same with the laser distance meter. This shows its strength especially with large windows that are surrounded with flowers and other accessories. The outer dimensions of the window are thus easier to take. In the end I am done in 20 minutes which means time savings of 5 minutes or 20 percent. That’s great! Fortunately, the total masses hardly differ: 81.79 square meters measured with a folding yardstick against 81.97 square meters with the laser distance measurer. These are just 0.22 percent difference. Despite the time constraints I worked accurately.
Back in the office I measure the rooms again, but now with laser and electronic assistance. Very clear: there is a big advantage of the laser at long distances. The advantage of the electronic meter is also in inaccessible places or high ceilings. Additionally it also makes a lot more fun.
But you hardly can resign the pocket rule entirely. As the laser always needs a reflecting surface. Surfaces without limitation, for example, door panels, cannot be measured without additional targets held or stuck at one end. Nevertheless, purely subjective the work runs much better with the laser measuring device. This impression is ultimately confirmed by the watch. After only 58 minutes all rooms are fully measured up. This is a time saving of 35 minutes or more than 37 percent against the folding rule. That’s the best reason for an appropriate investment in laser technology for distance measuring!