The Best Digital Tape Measures of 2022

An accurate tape measure is a key part of any tool kit. With digital technology, the best digital tape measure offers unbeatable precision for your home and garden projects.

By Bob Beacham | Updated May 27, 2022 12:05 PM

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The Best Digital Tape Measure

Photo: amazon.com

The steel measuring tape has been around since 1829 when James Chesterman patented it. These human readers can take the same measurement twice and see minor differences. Alternatively, laser measuring devices offer unbeatable accuracy every time.

The most basic options offer a clear digital readout, while more advanced models incorporate a laser-and-tape combo or no tape at all. We examined a variety of solutions to your measuring challenges to help you find the best digital tape measure for your next project. Read on for some important shopping considerations as well as our top picks.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Bosch GLM20 Blaze 65-Foot Laser Distance Measure
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Dtape Laser Tape Measure 2-in-1
  3. UPGRADE PICK: Leica DISTO D2 330-Foot Laser Distance Measure
  4. BEST SIMPLE TAPE: eTape16 16-Foot Digital Tape Measure
  5. BEST TAPE-AND-LASER COMBO: Lexivon 2-in-1 Digital Laser Tape Measure
  6. BEST OUTDOOR: Bosch Blaze Outdoor 400-Foot Bluetooth Laser Measure
  7. BEST DURABLE: Dtape 165-Foot Shockproof Laser Distance Measure
The Best Digital Tape Measure

Photo: amazon.com

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Digital Tape Measure

Options for the best digital tape measure will vary greatly within each product’s accuracy and features. Before selecting a digital tape measure for your needs, consider the intended use for your measure, its measurement types, its accuracy, and its ease of use.

Measurement Types

While most digital measuring tapes will calculate length in feet with a laser, some options also accurately measure distance in inches and meters with precision. Some digital tape measures include a laser as well as a tape measure for short- and long-distance calculations in inches, feet, and meters.

One other advantage of using some of the laser tape measures available is the ability to measure the area and indirect measurement (Pythagorean theorem) of a room or space. This is particularly useful when working on construction projects where height and/or the total volume of a space needs to be measured.

Accuracy

A hallmark of any good digital measuring tape is accuracy. Whether it is a traditional tape measure or a high-tech laser model, the best digital option will list a degree of accuracy on the packaging or in the manual. For a rule of thumb, however, look for a model with accuracy within 1/8 to 1/16 of an inch for truly dialed-in results.

Display

Unlike traditional measuring tapes, digital measures have backlit digital and LCD screens that display accurate measurements in inches, feet, or meters. Most laser tape measures have displays that are bright enough to see in lit or dark spaces for easy readability while digital measuring or changing modes. However, some models that are not backlit can be difficult to read in darker settings.

Battery Power

While you are measuring the height of a wall, the length of a room, or the total area of a space, the last thing you need is for your digital tape measure to lose power. Most of these laser tape measures are powered by disposable or lithium-ion batteries, making them last for 1 to 5 hours per battery pack or charge.

Both of these types of digital tape measures usually have automatic shut-off features that are triggered after 30 seconds or up to 3 minutes to conserve battery power and increase runtime.

Connectivity and Storage

Much like laser levels, some digital tape measures are capable of storing and sharing measurements and data between devices. Select products come with a certain amount of storage capacity, storing 5 to 20 measurements. Some brands offer a paid subscription for keeping many to an unlimited number of measurements stored.

For surveyors or builders, select high-tech options also come with Bluetooth connectivity for sharing measurements to iOS and Android smartphone apps or for saving on tablets and laptops.

Our Top Picks

There are a variety of digital tape measures available with a wide range of features that include ease of use, range, accuracy, versatility, and durability. Some of the best options were selected based on different categories so you can quickly find the digital tape measure that best suits your project needs and budget.

Best Overall

The Best Digital Tape Measure Option: Bosch GLM 20 Blaze 65-Foot Laser Distance Measure
Photo: amazon.com

The Bosch Laser Distance Measure is a great example of the benefits these tools provide. A standard steel builder’s measuring tape is 25 feet long; the Bosch measures up to 65 feet long. It’s accurate to ⅛-of-an-inch wide and is operated by a single button. Pressing the button a second time will keep the initial measurement while also giving “live” distance changes while you move around. A backlit display gives you clear readings in low-light situations, and units can be set to feet and inches, meters, or inches only.

Pocket-size, it requires two included AAA batteries that typically run the Bosch for 6 months or more. Add in its very reasonable cost and it’s easy to see what makes this such a popular tool. Other digital measures may have improved features in individual areas, but overall, the Bosch has everything most DIYers need.

Product Specs

  • Range: 65 feet
  • Accuracy: 1/8 of an inch
  • Display type: Backlit
  • Power source: Battery-powered

Pros

  • 1-button operation
  • Live distance changes
  • Measures in inches, feet, and meters
  • Compact and lightweight
  • 2 AAA batteries last for 6 months

Cons

  • No indirect or volume measurement features

Get the Bosch 65-foot digital tape measure at Amazon, The Home Depot, or Walmart.

Best Bang for the Buck

The Best Digital Tape Measures Option: Dtape Laser Tape Measure 2-in-1
Photo: amazon.com

Able to calculate with 1/16-of-an-inch accuracy at lengths of over 131 feet, this Dtape Laser Tape Measure 2-in-1 is a great option for jobsites and home use. This pick operates on a high-quality and recyclable lithium-ion battery that keeps running for 5 hours after charging and has a lifespan of over 2 years. The tape measure on this option can reach up to 16 feet, and both the laser and tape measure in inches, feet, and meters.

The Dtape measure is also capable of measuring area and is IP54-rated for its waterproof and dustproof construction. A touch of the “MEAS” button changes the unit of measurement quickly, and the large backlit display provides clear readings. Finally, two auto shut-off features turn off the laser after 30 seconds and the entire unit after 3 minutes to conserve battery power.

Product Specs

  • Range: 131 feet
  • Accuracy: 1/16 of an inch
  • Display type: Backlit
  • Power source: Lithium-ion battery

Pros

  • Measures length and area
  • Battery lasts for 5 hours
  • Measures inches, feet, and meters
  • Waterproof and dustproof
  • 2 auto shut-off features

Cons

  • Not recommended for outdoor use

Get the Dtape digital tape measure 2-in-1 on Amazon.

Upgrade Pick

The Best Digital Tape Measures Option: Leica DISTO D2 330-Foot Laser Distance Measure
Photo: amazon.com

The Leica brand has long been associated with optical precision, something now incorporated into their laser distance measure. At 330 feet, the range is outstanding. The Leica Measure maintains an accuracy of 1/16 of an inch with readings in hundredths of an inch.

In addition to distance, it provides area and Pythagorean calculations and will add and subtract. The intelligent endpiece can be extended to reach awkward locations, and the Leica automatically recalculates. The Leica’s size makes it easy to slip into a pocket, and a clip is included. It’s rated IP54 for water and dust protection and has operating parameters of 14 to 122 degrees Fahrenheit.

Bluetooth 4.0 allows the Leica to send data to Android and iOS devices, making it ideal for planners and surveyors. It is quite an investment, but it’s one of the best tools on the market for those who rely on accurate, recordable information.

Product Specs

  • Range: 330 feet
  • Accuracy: 1/16 of an inch
  • Display type: LCD
  • Power source: Battery-powered

Pros

  • Extending endpiece
  • Automatic recalculation
  • Bluetooth 4.0; compatible with Android and iOS
  • Indirect measurement feature
  • IP54-rated; water and dust protection

Cons

  • Some integrated apps require a paid subscription
  • Pricey

Get the Leica digital tape measure on Amazon or at The Home Depot.

Best Simple Tape

The Best Digital Tape Measure Option: eTape16 16-Foot Digital Tape Measure
Photo: amazon.com

The original idea for the digital tape measure was simply to provide a clearer way of reading accurate measurements, delivering repeatable accuracy. While the eTape meets that basic requirement, it also provides several extra features that considerably increase its usefulness. There are three memory functions: a short-term hold of the latest reading and long-term storage for two other readings. This tape can calculate the centerline of a room or the midpoint of an object, which helps hang pictures.

Fully extended, the tape is 16 feet long with measurements available in feet, inches, or meters. This is among the toughest digital tape measures on the list. The zero hook is double-pinned for a strong hold, and the main body is made of polycarbonate—the same material as many safety helmets—so it’s ready for use in tough environments.

Product Specs

  • Range: 16 feet
  • Accuracy: 1/10 of an inch
  • Display type: Digital
  • Power source: Battery-powered

Pros

  • Measures feet, inches, and meters
  • Durable construction
  • 3 memory functions
  • Calculates volume
  • Affordable

Cons

  • May be tricky for first-time users
  • May not be suitable for left-handed users

Get the eTape16 digital tape measure on Amazon or at Sears.

Best Tape-and-Laser Combo

The Best Digital Tape Measure Option: LEXIVON 2-in-1 Digital Laser Tape Measure
Photo: amazon.com

Sometimes you may not need absolute accuracy, and a quick guide will do. In those situations, an old-fashioned steel tape is still valuable. Other times, you may need the precision of a laser. A tool that offers both might be right for you.

The 2-in-1 from Lexivon may provide the perfect answer for many DIY users. The tape extends 16 feet, and the laser, which reaches 130 feet, offers the accuracy of 1/16 of an inch with readings displayed on a clear LCD.

The rubberized case provides good protection from knocks or drops, and it’s comfortable to hold. The magnetic zero hook slides to compensate for both wall-to-wall and material-length measurements. An auto-off function extends the battery life of the two AAAs that are supplied, and there’s a useful belt clip.

Product Specs

  • Range: 130 feet
  • Accuracy: 1/16 of an inch
  • Display type: LCD
  • Power source: Battery-powered

Pros

  • 2-in-1 functionality
  • Rubberized design
  • Magnetic zero hook
  • Auto-off function
  • Batteries included

Cons

  • Some users report difficulty using the tape

Get the Lexivon digital tape measure on Amazon or at Walmart.

Best for Outdoor

The Best Digital Tape Measure Option: Bosch Blaze Outdoor 400-Foot Bluetooth Laser Measure
Photo: amazon.com

With the ability to measure up to 400 feet, the Bosch Laser Measure has the longest range of any models we’ve come across. Plus, it maintains 1/16-of-an-inch accuracy over that distance. Because sighting a small red dot at that maximum length can be difficult for the naked eye, a fitted camera allows users to zoom in precisely on the object being measured. The camera can also record up to 600 images with the included memory.

The Bosch Outdoor Laser Measure offers 11 functions, including length, volume, and indirect calculations. It can send that data via Bluetooth to the free Bosch app on smart devices. The durable case includes an anti-scratch, shatter-resistant screen. A lithium-ion battery that can be recharged through a USB provides the power.

Product Specs

  • Range: 400 feet
  • Accuracy: 1/16 of an inch
  • Display type: Backlit color display
  • Power source: Lithium-ion battery

Pros

  • Fitted camera
  • Holds up to 600 images
  • Length, volume, and indirect measurement
  • Bluetooth compatible
  • Anti-scratch, shatter-resistant screen

Cons

  • Pricey
  • The laser can be hard to see

Get the Bosch 400-foot digital tape measure on Amazon or at The Home Depot.

Best Durability

The Best Tape Measures Option: DTAPE Laser Measure 165ft, DT50Laser Portable Digital
Photo: amazon.com

Understandably, some buyers are concerned that digital measuring instruments might be fragile. Most are reasonably robust, but the Dtape, with both an IP54 rating and an extremely resilient hard rubber shockproof case, is as durable as it gets.

The Dtape has a 165-foot range that comes with 1/16-of-an-inch accuracy. The results can be displayed in meters, feet, and inches, with fractions or up to three decimal places. The LCD screen is easy to read, and the unit itself offers all the distance, area, and Pythagorean calculations you would expect from a competent all-around digital measuring device. It’s a pleasant surprise to have memory for 20 data sets as well as an automatic shutoff to extend battery life, especially at this low cost.

Product Specs

  • Range: 165 feet
  • Accuracy: 1/16 of an inch
  • Display type: LCD
  • Power source: Battery-powered

Pros

  • Measures meters, feet, and inches
  • Calculates length, area, and indirect measurement
  • IP45 rated
  • 20 data-set memory
  • Automatic shutoff

Cons

  • Not suitable for outdoor use
  • Some users report difficulty measuring

Get the Dtape 165-foot digital tape measure on Amazon.

Our Verdict

For a reliable digital tape measure, we recommend the Bosch 65-foot digital tape measure. This pick is affordable, accurate to 1/8 of an inch, and measures up to 65 feet in inches, feet, and meters. Alternatively, for a pick that can measure length and area, the Dtape digital tape measure 2-in-1 has a powerful lithium-ion battery that lasts for over 5 hours. It calculates inches, feet, and meters, and is IP45 rated for its waterproof and dustproof construction.

How We Chose the Best Digital Tape Measures

We researched the most sought-after digital tape measures in their respective categories and discovered that the best models are determined by their range, accuracy, ease of use, power source, durability, and other special features included by top brands.

While searching for the best digital tape measures available, the most popular options among users had ranges of 16 to 400 feet and were accurate to 1/8 or 1/16 of an inch. Many of these picks were easy to read with large LCD, digital, or backlit displays and were either rechargeable or battery-powered to last throughout a project. Plus, some of these picks can measure length, area, and indirect measurement.

Most of these distance measures are lightweight and compact enough to fit into a pocket or backpack and come with IP45 ratings for waterproof or dustproof constructions. Select picks are also Bluetooth-compatible, come with two-in-one functionality, built-in memories, and automatic shutoff.

FAQs

If making an informed decision on this handy tool feels like information overload, you’re not alone. Let’s answer some of the most frequently asked questions about the best digital tape measures. Be sure to check for an answer to your question listed below.

Q: How does a digital tape measure work?

Using a digital tape measure is very similar to using a standard tape measure, except with a beam of light instead of metal tape. Once you have the laser in the right location for measuring, turn on the button and a display will illuminate the measurement of length, volume, and/or the indirect measurement of a room.

Q: How accurate is a digital tape measure?

Standard digital tape measures will be accurate within 1/8 to 1/16 of an inch.

Q: How much does a digital tape measure cost?

The average digital tape measure will cost anywhere between $25 to $40, while higher-end models could cost up to $300.

Q: Where can I buy a digital tape measure?

Digital tape measures can be purchased at most home improvement stores including Lowe’s, The Home Depot, and Walmart, or on some online retailers such as Amazon.