DeWALT Laser Distance Measurer

Point and press measuring doesn't get any easier than this


DeWALT Laser Distance Measurer

Laser distance measuring devices (LDMs) have been on the market for well over a decade. In the past couple of years prices have dropped significantly, making these products easily affordable for tradespeople and DIYers. These newer LDMs are generally smaller in size and very easy to operate. While they do not entirely replace conventional measuring tapes, they considerably speed up the process of measuring distances, square footages and volumes. Real estate agents, avid DIYers and just about any trades person - carpenters, electricians, plumbers, painters, contractors and the like - will benefit from one. They're quicker to use than bulky reel tapes, and best of all, it only takes one person to do the measurements. Another benefit of LDMs is that you can very easily take dimensions in areas where accessibility is difficult (crawl spaces, attics, high ceilings, areas cramped with materials).
The new DeWALT DW030 Laser Distance Measurer is a ruggedly constructed tool encased in an impact resistant ABS plastic housing and covered with a rubber overmold. At just over 5 ounces, and about the size of a cell phone, it fits easily into tool belt or jacket pocket, or on a belt in the supplied canvas pouch. A lanyard is also supplied so that you can securely attach the DW030 to your wrist, when, for example, climbing up a ladder or scaffolding. The unit is warranted to be impact resistant when dropped from a height of 6' (it's also dust and water resistant, not that I do much under water renovation work any more). I tossed the unit across a tile floor several times - no damage (to either unit or floor).
The DW030 is powered by two AAA batteries. DeWALT doesn't specify run time, likely because battery life is dependent upon so many factors. I've an MP3 player that uses a single alkaline triple A battery and it gives a good 16 hours of run time. Even if the DW030 gives half that time I'd be pretty content, particularly for a product that is used on an intermittent basis rather than run continuously.

Easy to read screen
Easy to use control panel
The display screen measures about 1-1/4" by 1-1/8"; it's very bright and clear, and the characters are large enough that I can read them without my glasses. Even the fractions are quite legible. The DW030 has an automatic backlight - the screen is bright green when you first turn the unit on, and every time you press a key; otherwise it dims down to save on the battery. After 3 minutes of inactivity the unit automatically turns off; which means I don't need to remember to turn it off. Great feature. Plus, there is a battery power level indicator on the screen that lets you know when to hunt for replacement batteries.
The keyboard layout is easy to remember (there are only seven large keys) and each key has an intuitive icon on it. You can display measurements in feet and inches, inches, and meters. The DW030 is supposed to be accurate to within 1/8" over 100 feet. I can't think of very many applications where I'll need to measure distances longer than about 60 feet, so this feature suits me fine.
The DW030 measures straight distance, area and volume, and it adds and subtracts consecutive measurements. It will also do continuous length measurements (tracking mode) - as you move forward or backwards the unit will automatically adjust the measurement (based on your position), which is a very handy feature. Using any of these features is a piece of cake. You can take the square footage of a room in a matter of seconds.

The DW030 takes measurements from the back of the unit, which is logical, and what you would want for most of your measuring. There isn't a tripod mount, which I would have liked, particularly when taking measurements for mouldings or cabinets. For really precise measurements you need to keep the unit rock steady, particularly as the DW030 only takes measurements in increments of 1/16". In lieu of the tripod mount a built-in bubble level would have been a nice feature as an aid in hand holding the unit level to floor or wall. There are three additional missing features which, thought not a deal breaker, make the DW030 a three and a half star rather than a five star product. You can't take indirect measurements, for example where you need to measure part of the height of a wall, or an opening in a wall. There is no stop bracket (swing out pin) to enable you to take diagonal measurements across a room. Nice to have, but not critical. But, there is no memory function. An oversight I feel.
Nonetheless, the DW030 is a well built, durable, easy-to-use tool. If you don't need the memory function, but you do want a reliable tool that gives you the basic distance, area and volume functions, then the DW030 just might be the right laser distance measuring tool for you. Point and press measuring doesn't get any easier than this.


  • 1-1/8" x 2-1/4" x 4-5/8"
  • 5.4 ounces (154 grams)
  • 1/8" accuracy over 100'
  • Displays measurements in feet & inches and inches (up to 1/16") and meters (up to 3 decimal places)
  • Impact resistant up to 6' (2m)
  • Dust and water resistant
  • Measures distance, area, volume
  • Adds and subtracts consecutive measurements
  • Continuous length measurements
  • Rubber overmold
  • Automatic backlight
  • Automatic shut off (after 3 minutes)
  • Battery power level indicator
  • 3 year warranty/1 year free service/90 day money back guarantee
  • Includes: 2 AAA batteries, lanyard, pouch, instruction booklet

Available From:Tool and equipment suppliers nationwide
Retail Price:$179.00
Model #:DW030
Made In:China
Carl Duguay, March 2010
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