The Right Tape Measure for the Task at Hand
A guide to the best measuring tools and tricks when every inch counts.
Craftsman Laser Guided Measuring ToolThe tool you need to most easily and accurately calculate things like how much paint, wallpaper, or flooring to buy. This model can add a room's dimensions together for you and figure square footage or cubic feet. Push a button for metric.
To buy: $35, craftsman.com.
Positioning the tool: Hold it against the wall so the bubbles in the two built-in levels are centered. Make sure that no objects―
especially anyone's eyes―block the path of the laser beam. (Staring directly into the beam can result in serious eye injury.)
Taking a reading: A laser target is beamed onto the opposite wall; a digital readout then tells you the length or width of the room. If you're projecting onto a soft or very light-colored surface―an upholstered wall, glass, or a curtain―tape a piece of dark paper or cardboard to your target so the tool can sense its end point easily.