Hammerhead is expanding their lineup beyond their combination impact driver/auto hammer with the new Hammerhead Compact Laser Measuring Tool, also known as a laser distance measure. Given the success of Bosch’s GLM-15 laser distance measure with its simple design and tape measure accuracy, I’m curious to see if this offering from Hammerhead might actually appeal to some pros out there beyond the consumer nature of this brand.
Hammerhead Compact Laser Measuring Tool Specifications
- Power Supply: USB charger, cord and outlet adapter included
- Power Source: Integrated Lithium-ion battery
- Range: 1 – 100 feet
- Accuracy: +/- 1/8 inch
- Precision: 1/16 inch
- Battery Life (single charge): Up to 2000 single measurements
- Warranty: 3 years with registration
- Price: $49.99
Hammerhead Compact Laser Measuring Tool Features
- Compact Design
- Easy to Read Display
- Measures in Feet/Inches or Meters
- Measures distance (up to three displayed), area, and continuous distance
Hammerhead Compact Laser Measuring Tool Out of the Box
The very first thing that I noticed when I took the Hammerhead Compact Laser Measuring Tool out of the box was the charging cable. Here’s a $50 laser distance measure with a rechargeable Lithium-ion battery. This is a major win! Lasers are notorious for chewing up batteries, so I am very pleased to have a rechargeable option. There are several places with gray rubber overmold that both add some appealing color to the tool and offers a secure grip. I wouldn’t normally be concerned with this on a hand tool of this class, but it’s nice to have.
The back of the measure seems almost illuminated with a bright green warning label. Presumably, not everyone knows they shouldn’t point lasers at someone’s eye so there’s no doubt that you’ve been warned by Hammerhead. You’ll also find a welcome reminder of the mode icon meanings and your serial number for registering the tool back here.
The Hammerhead Compact Laser Measuring Tool isn’t quite as compact as the Bosch GLM-15 is, but it still fits very well in my hand at roughly the size of the old stick style cell phones. I love functional simplicity and there are only two buttons to be concerned with here. On the left side is the power/mode button. On front, you’ll find the measure button. Both are blue and contrast the housing design nicely so they are easy to see in almost any light condition.
Using the Hammerhead Compact Laser Measuring Tool
Like all Lithium-ion tools, the first thing you need to do is charge the battery on the Hammerhead Compact Laser Measuring Tool. A full charge cycle is only 2 hours. Hammerhead does warn against leaving the tool on the charger longer than 24 hours. Since this is just a wall charger, we don’t have the benefit of the electronic communication like we do in advanced chargers for our power tools.
Thanks you, thank you, thank you Hammerhead for the display on this unit! The easy to read display actually is easy to read. It’s a dark screen with light numbers and symbols that is many times easier to read in low light situations than typical LCD displays. included in the display is the current measurement, battery level indicator, reminder that the unit measures from the base, and arrow over the current mode.
To change modes, simply press the power/mode button on the side until you reach the measure, area, or continuous mode that you require. To turn the unit off, press and hold the power button for about 1 second. To change units from feet/inches (default) to meters, press and hold the power button for 3 seconds starting with the unit powered down.
Hammerhead Compact Laser Measuring Tool: Static Distances
To take one or two static measurements, start with the unit in distance mode. Press the measure button once to turn the laser on and a second time to take a measurements. Repeat the process to gather a second measurement. The Hammerhead Compact Laser Measuring Tool will display up to three measurements at one time. Turning the unit off will erase the stored measurements.
Hammerhead Compact Laser Measuring Tool : Area
With the unit in area mode, press the measure button once. It will measure and store the measurement of either length, width, or height (it doesn’t differentiate, nor does it matter which order you go in) with just the single press. Adjust the laser to get the next measurement you need and press the measure button one more time. It will gather the final distance and display it, multiply the length and width, and display the area. That’s all there is to it.
Hammerhead Compact Laser Measuring Tool : Continuous Measurement
Starting with the Hammerhead in continuous mode, press the measure button once to turn the laser on. Press measure again to start the continuous measurement function. The device will continue to measure constantly until you press either button to turn the laser off. The unit will still display the last measurement it gathered. The unit will continue to take measurements for three minutes until it auto shuts down the laser.
When compared to the Bosch GLM-15, there seems to be a lot more button pushes required. Hammerhead allows the display to remain on with the laser off by cycling the button presses the way that they do. I like the simplistic nature of the Bosch, but I also understand why Hammerhead designed the measuring the way that they did. Having the lithium-ion battery leaves me willing to recharge a little more often to get the more simplistic interface of the Bosch.
Accuracy and Precision with the Hammerhead Compact Laser Measuring Tool
Remember that annoying conversation about accuracy and precision in science class? Any time that you are discussing instrumentation like laser measuring tools, it comes up again. The accuracy of the Hammerhead Compact Laser Measuring Tool is +/- 1/8 inch. In other words, it can be be off by as much as 1/8 inch from the actual distance. This is a perfectly acceptable and normal amount of error. It is the same that we found in the Bosch GLM-15 and it’s not uncommon to find that much error in different tape measures.
The precision of the tool is 1/16″. This means that the smallest unit it will measure is 1/16 inch. To put it simply, the Hammerhead Compact Laser Measuring Tool measures to the same units as a traditional tape measure with the same amount of variation that you would find in them.
I absolutely love the display on the Hammerhead Compact Laser Measuring Tool. It’s easy to read design sets it apart from other options on the market. The design of the housing is great and I appreciate the rubber overmold that is there. The range on this model is 100 feet, making it twice as far as the Bosch GLM-15. I’m a huge fan of having a rechargeable laser at this price point.
While the vast majority of my measurements were within the +/- 1/8″ tolerance, I had several that were randomly off by close to an inch. While it’s entirely possibly that these were from the material or even paint color that the laser was reflecting off, it still bears mentioning. Laser distance measures of this class are really best or estimating jobs such as painting or flooring. Even with a very occasional error of an inch, it is unlikely to affect the amount of materials needed for the job.
It also is worth noting that while the laser measure fits well in your hand, that’s not where it does it’s best work. Even your breathing motion will move the beam around. Just try holding a laser on a specific point from across the room. Your best bet is to place the laser against the wall that you are wanting to measure. It calculates distance from the base, so you’re not introducing error into the calculation by doing that. Using the wall, door frame, or window frame to support the laser will ensure the most accurate data possible.
Overall, the Hammerhead Compact Laser Measuring Tool is a solid value at just under $50.