CST/Berger TLM100 Review: Handheld Laser Distance Measure

The CST/Berger TLM100 is a hand-held laser distance measurer that is well-suited for use around the home, for basic DIY tasks and for hobbyists. Like other laser measures, it allows you to quickly get a highly accurate reading when measuring distance and works by using a laser. Here, the laser is projected from the front of the device and will then travel in a straight line to your chosen end point. Once it makes contact with the wall, the pillar or whatever else you are trying to measure, it will be reflected and bounce directly straight back. The device will time how long this process takes and that way, you’ll be given an accurate measure of the distance!

This can be useful for tiling estimations, for making window fittings considerably easier, for painting, for hanging wallpaper, for laying carpets and for measuring gaps for furniture. There are plenty more options and applications for laser measures too, but is the CST/Berger TLM100 a good pick?

Product Description: Basic Specs With Good Performance

The CST/Berger TLM100 has a range of 100 feet, meaning that you can use it to measure distances 100 feet long and no larger. This in turn means it is really best for indoor applications. The minimum distance is 2 foot, meaning that it may not be precise enough for some woodworking applications.

Within that range, it has a good accuracy of 6mm (meaning that it will be accurate to within 6mm). This is not industry leading but it is a good number for the price.

The device does have some other decent bells and whistles. For instance, it comes with a graphical LCD screen and has a decent case with rubber grip to ensure that a) you don’t drop it and b) it won’t break if you do drop it.

The device is light at 12.8 ounces and small enough to be slung in a bag or even to slip into a pocket (with definite, noticeable bulge).

Pros and Cons: Not the Most Powerful or Functional but Good for What it Does

  • The pros of this device revolve largely around the convenience, the small size and the price. On the other hand, the cons tend to revolve around the lack of advanced features.
  • This device is very quick and simple to use. In our testing, we found it to be quick to pull out and very accurate with just the touch of a button. That’s good news of course because it saves a lot of time and means that you aren’t waiting for things to boot up or find your way around complicated interfaces. The battery life is good too and the exterior – though not particularly attractive – is great in terms of ergonomics and durability.
  • This is better than the comparable product from Stanley and anything cheaper is likely not a true laser measure but rather an ultrasonic measure – these aren’t as accurate and you need to be very careful when buying!
  • On the downside though, there are really no bells and whistles here. There is no fold out attachment which means you’ll have to hold it in place and rely on your steady hands. There’s no on-board memory, 100 foot isn’t a huge range and there’s no attachment for a tripod.

Conclusion: What do You Want From a Laser Measure?

As is always the case, the suitability of this device for you is going to depend entirely on your intended use case scenario and the kind of work you do. It ultimately comes down to what you expect to get from a laser measure and what you’re using right now.

If you’re comparing this to a top of the range laser measure, then of course it’s going to lack advanced functionality. But if you’re currently using a tape measure and a pencil, then this will be a huge step up that will improve your accuracy and your productivity. It saves time and makes more accurate measurements.

It’s not over-designed and it really is the bare minimum in terms of what you can expect to get from a laser measure. But for the right kind of user, that’s going to be perfectly fine and possibly even desirable. A great choice in 2017 and 2018!