How to use laser and digital measuring tools

Digital measuring tools are ideal for D.I.Y.ers who want to transform their house into a home. These tools are a great alternative to tape measures, spirit levels, and pure guesswork.

Your guide to digital measuring tools

Let’s go through the different types of digital measuring tools, their uses and more importantly, how to use them.

Laser measures

Say goodbye to ‘close enough’ measurements from your ordinary tape measure. With just the press of a button, laser measures allow you to calculate lengths, areas and volumes with maximum precision and reliability. These tools are perfect for D.I.Y. tasks like finding the exact dimensions for a fitted cupboard, how much paint you need for a feature wall, or calculating how much tiling you need when renovating your bathroom.

Start by placing the rangefinder on the surface, making sure to align it in a horizontal position. Most laser measures are square by design, and some come with an integrated bubble vial to help.

Next, aim the laser dot at the reference surface and simply press the button to get the result. For other measurements such as areas, volumes, and angles, simply follow the instructions on the screen. Results are typically accurate ±3.0 mm.

To ensure accurate results, make sure the path to the object (e.g. wall) is free from obstacles (e.g. chairs or tables). Ensure the area is free from smoke or dust that can absorb or partially reflect the measuring beam.

A person using a lazer measure to hang a picture on a wall

Cross and line lasers

Laser levels makes aligning objects around the room a breeze. Get error-free results for D.I.Y activities such as hanging pictures, installing shelves, aligning kitchen cupboards or hanging wallpaper straight. Cross and line lasers put an end to the complicated alignment of objects (Hint: you can have right angles wherever you want).

Many are self-levelling and come with different laser modes as well as a locking function (allowing you to project not only horizontal lines, but vertical and diagonal lines as well).

A person using a cross line to hang a picture on a wall

Stud finders

These handheld devices allow you to hang shelves, frames or storage systems in plasterboard and other materials. Plasterboard walls (or ‘stud wall’) are used in houses to separate rooms and consists of wooden beams going from the ceiling to the floor (or ‘studs’). These beams are what you want to drill in when screwing things into the wall. Otherwise, you might end up with a hole to patch. In your bathroom, pipes and wires can lurk behind walls, which can be disastrous if you end up hitting them.

Stud finders/detectors are compact and allow reliable detection of studs, metal, and live wire to help you easily - and safely - get the job done.

A person using a universal detector against a wall

Get started with digital measuring tools

Check out our full range of D.I.Y. measuring tools online or at your local Bunnings store and get started on your next project.

Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.
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