Dremel has launched a new 3-in-1 Digital Laser Distance Measuring Tool, with the tag line point it, pull it, roll it.
In their customer newsletter, Dremel says that one tool measures up in 3 unique ways, and can be used for measuring distance, area, circumference, curves, and also uneven surfaces.
At its core, the Dremel 3Z Laser Measurer, model HSLM-01, is a laser distance measuring tool with 65′ range and ±1/8″ accuracy.
The Dremel laser can be used in much of the same ways as other basic laser distance measuring tools, for taking point to point measurements where a conventional tape measure might be too short or clumsy to use.
The laser operation is simple, with just one button. It can store 2 measurements at a time and has a built-in area calculation function.
But, there’s more to it than just the laser distance measuring functionality.
The Dremel 3Z Laser Measurer comes with two attachments – one has a roller and the other a measuring tape.
Both the roller and tape measurement attachments said to have 5-foot measurement ranges.
The Dremel wheel attachment is described as being used for measuring the distances between two points in interior areas.
The tape adapter can be used for measuring circumferences, such as of vases and pipes, or the lengths of freestanding objects, such as TVs, shelves, and other such interior areas.
It looks like both attachments can quickly measure uneven shapes without having to improvise or do any math.
The tape has a negative LCD display with backlight, and is operated by 2xAAA batteries (included).
Dremel ships the laser with both attachments (wheel and tape measure).
This laser is part of Dremel’s Home Solutions collection and looks to be launching as a Home Depot exclusive.
If you’re looking for a basic laser distance measuring tool, the Bosch 65′ GLM20 is a solid recommendation.
I find a couple of things to be curious.
First, Dremel recently released a new cordless rotary tool with built-in Bluetooth connectivity. I would have expected them do the same here, but they didn’t.
Second, Dremel advertises the new 3-in-1 laser alongside their “4V cordless USB tools” in their introductory consumer newsletter, but this tool does not come with a built-in rechargeable battery. Instead, the Dremel laser measurer is powered by 2xAAA batteries.
I am pleased with both design decisions, although I would have expected for one or both of these features in an $80 tool.
Dremel is a Robert Bosch company, and so they likely leveraged Bosch’s laser distance measuring tool tech for this product. (That’s another good thing.)
I can understand why the laser is sold as a kit with both attachments, but $80 seems steep. As an aside, Dremel does not show or describe a case, but I hope the measurer comes with one, to help users avoid losing the attachments.
The 3-in-1 functionality seems a little gimmicky, but it could work. There’s a fine line between gimmick and innovation, and I think that Dremel landed firmly on the innovation side.
Let’s talk about the price.
$80 is more than enough for a standard-style tape measure or two, a soft tape measure, and a great basic laser distance measuring tool, but it might be difficult to match the roller wheel attachment’s functionality.
There are a couple of things differentiating the new Dremel laser distance measuring tool from other one-button basic laser measurer devices, but the attachment interface and 2 included accessories are going to be the biggest deal.
I find this to be an interesting and unexpected launch. Dremel’s marketing language very strongly suggests that I am far from their target audience here. However, while this isn’t the type of tool that would appeal to me, I definitely do see how it might appeal to homeowners and other such tool users.
It is certainly sleek-looking. I agree, this could be a useful gadget for the right user – but I’m not him.
Not sure how I feel about “attachments” for a tool like this. I suppose they had to be separate pieces to avoid it looking like a new Kelvin 23.
Wait, could I use the tape measure to calculate sag? That actually would be handy. It would need the ability to “zero” with the tape partially pulled out (you can do it without that feature, but then math is needed).
Does it do metric too?
The user manual doesn’t have anything in it about metric or unit changes.
They show the range specs in metric units, but I don’t see any indication about unit customizations or alternatives.
I realize I’m not in their target audience, but I just get past the thought of “these are toys” every time I see a Dremel branded tool.
I don’t know. The Dremel target audience probably skews towards tinkerers, homeowners and those who like crafts – but the tools themselves seem like reasonably good quality.
I have the screwdriver on the left in the “meet our full collection” picture. above. I picked it up on a whim when I spotted it on clearance. It’s no Dewalt Atomic brushless XR drill – but the construction actually feels and looks quite nice.
The plastic Dremel uses seems sturdy and tough. The rubber over molding feels good. I wish it had more settings and power, but for what it is I wouldn’t call it a “toy”.
I think the “toy-like” appearance is intentional, to make the tool less intimidating to certain users.
Ah, that makes sense. Probably why shy away from them.
At first glance this seemed gimmicky, but the more I think about it I bet the “roller wheel” for measuring distance has all sorts of niche uses, it just doesn’t address any of my needs. The tape for measuring the circumference of objects just seems like an overly complex and awkward replacement for a traditional flexible tape measure. Speaking of which, in addition to cloth tape measures commonly used by tailors there are also flexible metal tape measures. Some of them are meant for measuring the diameter of a pipe or a round vessel via its circumference and are marked as such. I’d think tools like those would be much easier to use than this electronic wind-up contraption.
Looks like a rebranded Bosch Zamo (Bosch owns Drexel):
I searched and searched, and couldn’t find any Bosch products this could have been rebranded from, and came up short.
And now I’m bummed a bit – I thought Dremel put something new together here.
Maybe one day they will?
They just aren’t the old Wisconsin innovator they once were.
That one offers a third attachment for leveling, too, and it’s available separately.
The Zamo level attachment is pretty useless, I’m afraid.
Such a small and fiddly bubble setup is near impossible. Wonder if they know that and it’s why they left it of the Dremel variant.
(Despite that attachment’s uselessness, I do like the Zamo. V handy, particularly for internal measurements.)
Yes, I live in the UK now and I had seen it recommended to me on Amazon UK, so I get to see stuff that doesn’t make it across the pond.
Oddly, though the selection of German tools like Knipex or Wera is better on Amazon US than Amazon UK.
That roller seems like a missed opportunity. Why only 5′?
Also, with a couple of tweaks, they could have made a competitor to this
which would have turned that $80 price tag into a deal.
That is an odd choice. I’m sure it’s just a rotary encoder inside the tool attached to that roller so there’s no reason for any limit on its measuring range. It’s clearly a design decision, and a strange one at that.
The lack of a metric feature seems strange as well, if it were me I’d put a “unit” button on there that switches between inches and cm/mm just the same way my kitchen scale switches between grams and ounces with the press of a button.
That – and other models like it – is the only wheel-based measuring device I’ve seen, at least as far as indoor-use devices go.
The Dremel is designed for larger objects, while the Calculated Industries is used for measuring drawn features on paper, such as in blueprints.
But as a contractor, I have to bring the scale master with me to jobsites at times for site walkthroughs and such. It’s delicate and easily broken if not handled with care and they don’t survive on job sites.
You say the Dremel is for larger objects…but they limited it to 5′ (what a waste).
My point is that Dremel could have (with potentially minimal tooling) replaced the scale master on job sites for project managers that already use both a scale master, tape measure, and laser distance finder for job site measurements and verification.
It could have been a perfect crossover…but instead, they added two “features” with very limited measurements that I can’t justify over a $5 mini tape measure that will do the same thing.
A Klein laser is $35 (with better distance, equivalent/better accuracy, standard and metric units, etc)
and a $4.25 tape measure (with better distance, equivalent/potentially better accuracy, standard and metric units, non-proprietary).
I can literally kit out with better equipment for less than half the price and I can easily replace or buy multiples and still not spend as much.
The $80 price point and the very limited functions kill this on arrival.
The wheel could have been the difference, but they didn’t push the design far enough.
Koko The Talking Ape
I was just about to post that. The roller is interesting, and why is it limited to 5 feet? I could see a limit on DISPLAYED distance, because the display only has so many digits.
Maybe the limit comes from how many figures it can hold in its tiny memory. It has a resolution of at least 1/16″, so that’s four bits after the decimal point already. Five feet is 60 inches, less than 64 or 2^6, so that’s 10 bits total. Wow. With just two more bits it could do over 21 feet, which is much more useful.
I’m not critiquing your reasoning, I don’t understand the bit description.
But the laser and screen can display 65′ or with fractions as high as
64′ _ 11 – 31/32″. So based on your thought, why couldn’t the wheel be capable of the same distance? The logic board and screen already can.
It might come down to accuracy. Without downloading the online manual again, I believe the roller accuracy was something like 1/16” per foot. If you don’t track perfectly, and if that error compounds, measurements at longer distances could lose their reliability.
The screen looks unreadable in bright light, like the dewalt one.
Best laser measure I have is a green one I bought from Aliexpress
I’m intrigued – I know the other day I said I wanted a digital tape measure – but not like that.
I’d even be ok with a device that used BT to my mobile so no display etc – but encoder and bits in the tools spit out measurements to my mobile. but alas I know I am weird.
Interesting but probably not for me. The reason that wheel thing is limited to 5 feet is accuracy and ergo. Look how small it is. And if you were going to do much distance – you’d trade to the laser measure.