I have posted about the Bosch GLM 20 laser distance measuring tool before, most recently in May when it went on sale before Father’s Day, and it’s worth a quick Holiday 2019 revisit.
Right now, you can buy this 65′ laser distance measuring tool for $30, via Amazon and a couple of other retailers.
A few years ago, the Bosch GLM 10 was a $30 special buy. The GLM 20 can measure to a greater range and also features a backlit LCD display, at the same $30 promo price point.
The GLM 20 has been on sale for $30 since at least early November, but it’s still a good deal.
Features and Specs
- 65 ft range
- ± 1/8 in. accuracy
- Backlit display
- Powered by 2 AAA batteries
- Weighs 0.2 lbs
- 4″ long x 1.4″ wide x 0.9″ tall
The GLM 20 is a no-frills one-button laser distance measuring tool that pretty much anyone can use without hassle. Reading the manual will tell you about unit changes, but other than that, it’s easy to just pick up and use.
Bosch is sponsoring ToolGuyd for the next week, to share and talk about their new Blaze LDM (laser distance measurer) contest. (This post is not part of it.) The contest and our posts about it will be centered around a different model (GLM 50C, which I’ll be discussing separately), but I have a special soft spot for one-button models and wanted to post about the GLM 20 first (you’ll see why).
I’ve been a fan of Bosch laser distance measuring tools for years, and I think it was the GLM 15 (which preceded the GLM 10 and GLM 20) that really “wowed” me. The GLM 20 is better in a couple of ways, and more affordable.
If you KNOW you need a laser distance measuring tool, and are interested in more functionality and calculations, that’s where models like the GLM 50C come in (check price via Amazon). More featured tools like that are a bigger investment.
If you’re curious about laser distance measuring tools but aren’t certain if or how they can work for you, that’s where the GLM 20 comes in. It’s a good tool, reliable too, but its price is low enough that you don’t have to feel bad if it lives in your tool box or kitchen cabinet most of the time.
I’ve seen some rather ridiculous tape measure wrangling over the years, from realtors, DIYers, and contractors. In quite a few of those instances, a laser distance measuring tool would have been a quicker and better means of taking a measurement.
It’s awkward for me to put it bluntly, since 1) ToolGuyd earns affiliate commissions from purchases made through the following links, and 2) Bosch is sponsoring us to promote an unrelated LDM contest, but here goes:
If you have never used a laser distance measuring tool before but think you could benefit from one, or you’re looking for a compact and simple LDM to complement a larger and more featured model, the Bosch GLM 20 is the one to buy. Just buy one and give it a try. I love mine!
Sure, you can go smaller and cheaper, but with compromises and sacrifices. You can also step up to more features and functions if you want more from an LDM than simple point to point measurements.
Buy Now via Amazon
Buy Now via Acme Tools
Buy Now via Tool Nut
If you are already using laser distance measuring tools, do you find them useful? What do you think of the one-button Bosch GLM 20?
I have one of these. I often forget about it and end up using a tape measure – but whenever I do have occasion to use it, its been great. Great tool for quickly taking room measurements for flooring or longer distances than are easily managed by a tape measure. I really like how simple it is too – there’s no need for more buttons.
I could use one of these if I could toggle to meters & back. Any such critters?
The GLM 20 in this post can do it, it has 3 modes:
1. Inches only
2. Feet and inches
I scored a GML-42 a few months on ebay for $40. It also has the ability to measure in feet, inches only, meters and centimeters.
You can switch the units by pressing and holding the button while the unit is off.
I have the GLM 50C mentioned. Amazing tool and worth the upgrade if you use one of these. I use the memory function a lot, and the improved screen is great.
I don’t know what models have what features – and some features probably fit how and for what you use the instrument.
On my Disto – I like that it does the math for legs of the triangle. I can point (angle it) it up at the gutter etc. and it can tell me distance to the wall and height of the wall. This is quite handy dealing with foundation plantings that would otherwise be in the way of the measurement. It also allows me to take a picture of a room or a window and then provides me with fairly decent dimensions. I have a phone app that can translate what I measure into a floor plan
The GLM20 is awesome. I got it in a kit last year with a laser level and both have seen more use than I would have thought. It’s crazy how fast you can measure area with the GLM20. It’s a really small unit too. Simple and very accurate indoors as long as you stay under their ‘max’ distance rating.
Don’t use it much on the job, but really nice for estimating rooms for all sorts of materials, and also really helpful for precise inside measurements.
Homeowners are always impressed, which counts for something I suppose
Does it include the length of the unit in the measurement? So if you measured wall to wall with the bottom of the LDM against one wall and the laser at the other? Thoughts on this vs the DeWalt LDM?
Yes, this unit appears to only measure from the rear edge and would include the length of the tool in the displayed measurement.
I just purchased the Bosch GLM 50C after seeing the low price on Amazon. My main motivation, other than the price, was the bluetooth connectivity. I does have a few more functions, and a little more reach, than my two year old GLM 42 but bluetooth is the biggest difference for me.
My first laser measuring tool like this was a cheap Lowes unit that I think you posted about a few years back, but it only lasted about a year before it died without warning or error. I think it was good for about 65′ and had always proved useful and accurate until its untimely death. The GLM 42 was its replacement and a big step up in quality and function with a nice color screen.
What does the bluetooth do?
Bosch has an app called MeasureOn, to capture and integrate measurements sent via Bluetooth to a smartphone or tablet from one of their bluetooth capable devices. The measurements are added to your photos or drawings.
I have one of these plus the GLM50C and I love this one. I used to think it was just for rough room measurements and the planning phase of projects, but I’ve found it to be so accurate that I use it for almost everything that I can make an “inside” measurement of now.
I even use the GLM20 to do the wheel alignment on my Jeep Wrangler – the measurements are so accurate and the process so fast that it’s make what was a 40 minute job into a 5 minute job.
Love this and at $30 I might just buy my 3rd laser measuring device just to keep it in the toolkit in the house…
Lowe’s also has them for$30. I paid$40 last year for mine.
I have one of the older units that i can’t recall the model number of. It isn’t an everyday tool for me, but I love the precision and ease of use for those situations I need it for. My most recent usage was measuring the gap between joists to create box supports in a tight spot. These have to be tight, so I appreciate the fine precision and accuracy while using it in awkward angles.
Because of this post, I’m highly interested in the GLM50C. The usability seems so nice, along with that inclinometer(?). I love the beep-when-level feature of the Stabila electronic level and would be thrilled at having it in this laser measure for tighter spots. My favorite convenience features across any of my tools.