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Bosch Laser Measure Review: GLM35 & GLM40


Pro Review

Ease of Use
Accuracy
Precision
Display
Value
Final Thoughts

Bosch's GLM35 and GLM40 Laser Measure manage to keep a lot of the simplicity we loved in the GLM15 while adding a backlit display and improved features.

Overall Score 4.5 Pro Review

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Bosch introduced us to several new laser products at World of Concrete. Without coming right out and saying it, they essentially made the point that they intend to be a major player in the jobsite laser sector. We’d already reviewed the Bosch GLM15 Laser Distance Maeasure when we were shown the Bosch GLM35 and Bosch GLM40. The GLM15 features simple, one button use and has just one function – measure the distance from point A to point B. The two newest Bosch laser measures build on that compact platform and increase the range while adding area, volume, and indirect measurements.

Bosch Laser Measure First Impressions

After breaking into the respective clamshell packages with my trusty CRKT Hootenanny, I noticed very little difference in the physical features of the Bosch GLM35 and Bosch GLM40. Both came with the required two AAA batteries. Upon further inspection, the two housings are identical. They feature five buttons as opposed to the single one found on the GLM15. There is also some rubber overmold around the top, control panel, and sides. This should help protect it in case of a drop. I’d like to see Bosch extend the overmold around all of the edges though.

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The GLM35/40 housing has a slightly larger footprint in length, width, and height. Despite this, it’s still easily manageable in your hand, though GLM15 users will notice the difference. Bosch adds a couple of extras to make the GLM40 a little more attractive to the pro. For useful additions, they include a sheath with belt loop as well as a lanyard. The lanyard loops in to  the bottom left corner. I mention that since it’s not crazy obvious like some lanyard holes. Being identical to the GLM40, the 35 has the same feature, but does not include the lanyard. The 40 also comes with a name sticker and a target card. Honestly, these aren’t major wins for me, but others may appreciate their inclusion.

Bosch Laser Measure Groups Shot

Bosch Laser Measure Specs & Features

Several improvements have been made the the new Bosch Laser Measures over the GLM15. First, the range is greatly increased from 50 feet. The Bosch GLM35 has a range of 120 feet while the Bosch GLM40 pushes it to 135 feet. The accuracy is now +/- 1/16″ instead of 1/8″ and the precision now lets you read to the nearest 1/32″ instead of 1/16″. The increase in accuracy and precision will certainly build some confidence in woodworking, cabinetry, and countertop applications. Seemingly catering to my wishes from our GLM15 review, both models include a backlit screen to greatly improve the visibility.

Bosch GLM35Bosch GLM35

  • Power Source: two AAA batteries
  • Range: 120 feet
  • Accuracy: 1/16″
  • Precision: 1/32″
  • Measurements: Continuous distance, area, volume, length, addition & subtraction
  • Memory Storage: None, 3 measurements held on screen
  • Water/Dust Protection: IP54
  • Run Time: 4 hours
  • Price: $79.00
  • Warranty: 2 years

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Bosch GLM40Bosch GLM 40

  • Power Source: two AAA batteries
  • Range: 135 feet
  • Accuracy: 1/16″
  • Precision: 1/32″
  • Measurements: Continuous distance, area, volume, length, addition & subtraction
  • Memory Storage: 10 measurements
  • Water/Dust Protection: IP54
  • Run Time: 4 hours
  • Price: $99.00
  • Warranty: 2 years

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Using Bosch Laser Measure’s Advanced Features

Getting your measurements for basic distance is easy. Just turn the unit on with power button and press the red arrow to take a measurement. Continue the process to hold up to 3 measurements on the screen. For that function, operation is simple and no more complex than we found on the GLM15. Like all laser measures on the market, these models are also calibrated to measure from the back of the unit.

I wanted to see how complicated finding area, volume, and indirect measurement would be… so I decided to try it without consulting the manual. After all, if I can use all of those features without it, then it’s likely going to be a pretty easy learning curve for the majority of users.

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Advanced Functions

When you turn the unit on, you’re in continuous measure mode. Scrolling through the functions is achieved by pressing the function button. A helpful icon on the screen lets you know exactly which function you are on. You’ll move through five different functions as you press the the button: continuous measure (on at startup), linear distance (without continuous measure on), area, volume, and indirect measurement.

To eliminate guesswork, the GLM35/40 flashes which measurement you are taking in area, volume, and indirect modes. Simply press the red arrow button to turn on the laser dot and take your measurements. That’s it, you’re good to go.

Bosch GLM40 Volume Calculation

Addition and subtraction functions weren’t as easy to sort out and I did have to resort to the manual. For a simple linear distance, take your first measurement, press the + or – button, take the second measurement, then press your + or – button again to get the calculation. Pressing the opposite button won’t change the operation after the fact, you’ll have to start over if you mess up.

Bosch GLM40 Volume Addition

For area, volume, and indirect measurement, the process is similar. Go through the all you measurements until you get a result. Then press the + or – button and go through your second set of calculations. Press + or – again to get your added or subtracted results.

Bosch GLM40 Memory

The Bosch GLM40 has the ability to store up to 10 measurements in memory. You don’t have a choice in which measurements get stored, you’re stuck with the last 10 that you took. To access these, press the function button until you see a disk icon with a number beside it on the top left of the screen. Press + or – to scroll through the saved measurements. I’d really like to see a feature that I can choose which measurements are saved here. Typically, I’m going to take enough when I’m going through a project (measure twice, cut once!) that I’ll need more than 10 slots to store every one that I took, or I’m simply going to write them down on paper.

Conclusions and Parting Thoughts

Upgrading the 50′ laser to the Bosch GLM35 or Bosch GLM40 is a no brainer for those that need area, volume, and indirect measurement functions. Pros will find that they save a lot of time over a traditional tape measure. In addition to the advanced features, the increased range, accuracy and precision will open some additional doors.

Bosch GLM40 In Use

The question that remains is whether or not to spend the extra $20 for the Bosch GLM40. Both Bosch Laser Measures perform very well. So is an extra 15 feet of range, a protective sheath, lanyard, target card, name sticker, and 10 measurement memory worth it? For me, yes. It’s not every thing in the package that pushes me over the edge. It’s really the sheath, lanyard, and increased distance that I like.

Bosch Laser Measure Conclusion

Aside from being able to select the specific measurements that go into memory, there’s really only one other thing I’d really like to have on these Bosch Laser Measures – a rechargeable battery. Bosch does make them with even more features than these, but I’d like to keep the simplicity there without having to keep a spare set of batteries on hand.

The Bosch GLM35 and Bosch GLM40 are pro level laser measures that are incredibly useful in any estimating applications. the increased accuracy and precision bring them to a level that they can be used in even more detailed applications as well. Unless you’re dead set on having a rechargeable lithium-ion unit, these new Bosch Laser Measure receive my pro recommendation.

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Pro Tool Reviews thanks for the review based on your experience at World of Concrete!