I wrote about the Dewalt Atomic laser distance measuring tool about a year ago, and was surprised to see that there’s a similar Craftsman tool, model CMHT77721.
This shouldn’t have come as a surprise, as I’ve observed cross-branded layout tools between Dewalt and Craftsman before, such as with their low-profile stud finder. But, I was surprised anyway.
Like the Dewalt Atomic laser distance measuring tool, the Craftsman LDM has a 55 foot range and built-in rechargeable battery.
It’s a simple tool with one-button operation, but for many DIYers and even pros, that’s all you really need.
I recently parted with my first-generation Dewalt rechargeable laser distance measurer. It worked alright, but I wasn’t a fan of its too-small size. The newer Dewalt Atomic LDM is a better size, in my opinion, and I assume the same is true about the nearly-identical Craftsman.
Neither Craftsman now Lowe’s list the dimensions, so here are the Dewalt Atomic LDM measurements: 2.5″ long x 1.5″ wide x 3/4″ thick.
According to its packaging, the Craftsman is said to have ±1/4″ accuracy at 32 feet.
Craftsman’s website says that the CMHT77721 can provide area and volume calculations, but I assume this is an error. The Dewalt Atomic LDM doesn’t offer this, and I don’t know of any one-button LDMs that do.
At the time of this posting, the Craftsman laser is priced at $32, whereas the Dewalt at $40. The Dewalt is also out of stock at most retailers.
If you want something a little better, consider stepping up to the Bosch GLM20, which has a 65-foot range and ±1/8″ accuracy. The Bosch is a great tool, but it’s a different form factor; the Bosch is larger and works with 2xAAA batteries.
Save your money. Better ones go on sale for not much more.
But is there a better compact LDM *right now*?
I always look at the Bosch – so far nothing else really comes close unless someone puts out out at half price. It’s not the overall distance it’s the accuracy. why not pay a little more for a bit more accuracy?
meanwhile other than lawn work – longest distance I need to worry about is around 20ft. but 65 ft does plenty
*Shrug* SBD: Rebrand, Reuse, Repeat, Respond With New Version, Repeat.
You know it’s true. Once they have something that is what they deem “Important to the Demographic” from one of the main arms of the umbrella, they copy it, recolour and rebrand it, and put it in every other company under that umbrella that needs one. They spend more time doing this than putting out new products they’ve never done before. They’ll come out with new versions of the same stuff, sure, as soon as they figure out the engineering for it, it becomes that thing that gets rebranded and recoloured. But overall… their release cycle is more centric to the rebranding and recolouring to fill out their roster of offerings for every brand, rather than filling out the extensions of any one brand. DeWALT seems to get the first pick on the big stuff, but if it becomes popular enough, it gets copied to Craftsman at the bare minimum, and then the rest of the orphans as time rolls on.
I think Porter Cable may be Little Orphan Timmy at this point though. SBD either forgot they ever adopted them, or stopped feeding them a while back. The outlook is not good for Timmy, and someone should probably remind SBD that Timmy won’t survive this way.
Having moved into our new home in Round Rock TX Nov 2020, there were several projects I wanted to address in 2021. I was seriously considering a Bosch laser measure but saw a ToolGuyd article about the Dewalt just as it was being introduced at the ridiculous price of $20. I rushed to Home Depot and since then have not even considered any other. It is a great tool, easy to use and fits nicely in a pocket. The Bosch is a great tool but I do love my Dewalt!
Bought an ACGMET for $34 a couple years ago. It measured a distance of 82 feet 5 and 13/16 inch on a building I was measuring up. I repeated the test with an $750 Leica Disto D810 Touch and the measurement was EXACTLY the same.
Every measurement I took with both units were the same.
Let’s be fair, the Disto can take all the measurements without being near the building. You wouldn’t spend $750 to take <100ft direct measurements. I use them to make 3D models of buildings.
It also has a feature that I think should be on most lower cost LDMs that have a level, which is indirect height measurements (Bosch's term). It's a single distance measurement Pythagorean calculation for the height of an object. Or, if you don't know your LDM is at the same level as the ground at the base, it can take two measurements and add/subtract them.