The rangefinder is a very useful device for measuring distances, whether in golf , hunting, photography or in forestry surveys.
However, not all the models on the market were designed for the same purpose, so it is essential that you choose one that suits your needs.
In this buying guide, we will explain what they are, how they work and what aspects you should take into account to find the one that best fits your budget and meets your expectations.
Our 5 Favorite Halo Range Finders
What is a rangefinder?
A rangefinder is a device that helps determine how far an object is. It does this by measuring time, a method by which the rangefinder measures the time it takes for the laser to reach the object and converts it into distance.
The best rangefinders of 2020
With the number of offers that are presented to us, it can be difficult to decide on a specific model. To help you in your choice we have selected the three best models of the year:
The best value for money
Multifunction laser range and speed detector. A portable optoelectronic device with combinations of laser range, speed detection, height measurement, angle degree, and monocular in one. You will be amazed by its streamlined design that provides a sense of rhythm. With a soft rubberized handle that makes it much easier to hold.
The best high-end model
This model incorporates a pulse vibration system. The minimum scanning range needs more than 30 meters when scanning from far to near, then you will feel pulse vibration. It is a high precision tool, short measurement time, low power consumption and automatic shutdown.
The best cheap model
Long range and high precision rangefinder. Its unique drop resistant design provides water resistance for jobs performed in adverse weather conditions. It incorporates fog mode, pin finder mode, distance measurement mode and speed mode.
Why buy a rangefinder?
The rangefinder has a long list of uses, making it a very versatile device. These are some of the advantages that you can get with your purchase:
For easy length calculation
These devices are often used in the areas of photography and surveying, as well as to perfect the aim of projectile weapons and even navigation. The list of uses is getting longer, which is not surprising at all because its benefits are surprising.
Golfers may need a rangefinder to measure the distance from the ground or take the slope indicator to improve their technique and match it to the needs of each shot. They are also used in firearms to cover great distances without losing the target, as well as in topography and even for virtual reality.
To save time on jobs
This device is also very useful for many types of professions. The advantages of the rangefinder can be used by people from almost all professions, due to its capacity for improvement and its comfortable and simple operation.
Therefore, it also saves a lot of time in doing any job. Military personnel can optimize their work with the rangefinder, as can hunters or photographers.
Oh, do not worry if you have never used one of these devices before, as it is very intuitive and simple to use. Once you have caught the trick, it will be your best ally.
How to choose a rangefinder?
With so many different models, it is normal to have doubts when buying. Therefore, we have prepared a guide with useful information so that you know what to choose when buying a quality model. Do not miss it!
Size and weight
Some rangefinders are very bulky and heavy, making them more uncomfortable to carry; while others are very light and compact. It is best to opt for seconds whenever possible.
Size and weight is an important aspect because if the activity you are going to do requires you to move a lot, a heavy model can become a problem. Therefore, always check the most appropriate size and weight for you.
The range of a rangefinder has to do with how far it can go in terms of distance. Some can calculate the angle between the weapon and the target and when exactly the bullet is supposed to drop. This makes hunting much easier.
It all depends on the activity to be carried out. If too much distance is not required, you can get a short or medium rangefinder. Models with advanced technology often come with magnifying glasses to show you your goal.
Please note that devices are marketed with the maximum readable distance possible. However, it can lead to confusion, as it can be specified as a 1500-yard rangefinder, but only under ideal weather conditions.
There are a number of factors that can affect the accuracy of a rangefinder, such as battery power, environmental conditions (low light, fog, heavy rain), and the quality of workmanship used.
The low battery device does not calculate the distance correctly. Most models use a 3V CR2 battery. They are small, but they store a lot of energy and last a long time.
Some rangefinders have a rechargeable battery via USB. Check that the model you are interested in keeps the battery fully charged between uses.
The different models of this device that are on the market today can be classified according to the optical quality that they incorporate into their functionalities.
These devices use optical lenses, just like the everyday glasses we all know. If the quality is poor, it can adversely affect performance, as with glasses.
A rangefinder uses three main types of optics, which we describe below:
- Laser rangefinder. It uses a laser beam to determine the distance of an object. It does this by measuring the time it takes for the beam to reach the object and return.
- Optical rangefinder. It uses optical and mechanical principles to determine the distance of an object. It normally consists of multiple lenses and images are transferred between them in a few seconds to determine the exact location of the object.
- Infrared rangefinder. Infrared uses triangulation technology that emits an infrared ray. Then use the detected angle to measure the distance from the object or just the distance.
Before buying any model, it is essential to be clear about the use to be made of it. Some are specifically designed for hunting, others for surveying, and some for golf. Therefore, check the specifications and options that make it useful for the use you intend to give it.
For example, many models have waterproof and fog proof systems. It is an important feature because most rangefinders are used outdoors and can get wet and foggy. And if the rangefinder is not waterproof it can stop working.
Where to buy a rangefinder?
In our opinion, the best option to get a rangefinder is to go online. At Amazon, for example, you can choose from many models, they have affordable prices and fast shipping. On the other hand, you can find this device in specialized stores.
How does a rangefinder work?
By understanding how rangefinders work, they can be better used to get the most out of it. Laser rangefinders (LRF) operate using the same basic concept.
The rangefinder emits laser beams at the push of a button. Those rays bounce off distant objects, and your high-speed watch measures the total time it took from the rays leaving the unit until they returned.
Since we know how fast the beam traveled (speed of light) the unit can use that time measurement to calculate the distance it traveled, and then display the distance to the user.
Although laser rangefinders all work on the same line, some incorporate new technology that modifies their performance. They can depend on many factors, especially when used for distance shooting or hunting.
For example, they have the ability to detect the target. For this they incorporate a good quality optics with an adequate magnification. You can’t hit the target if you can’t find it, so most choose an 8x or 10x magnification.
How to use a rangefinder?
The rangefinder, as we have mentioned, is used in outdoor sports, since it makes estimating distances easier. However, the productivity of a laser rangefinder is subject to how well it is maintained and stored. If not properly maintained, it is not guaranteed to have a long life.
When it is going to be used for the first time, it is advisable to read the instructions well, as the operation may vary depending on the model or type of rangefinder. Extend the scope of your skills by knowing specifications such as measurement range, standards, errors, field of view, and construction. Take it to the field to have a correct reference of the distances.
- Readjust the degree of the rangefinder eyepiece to make the object clearer in the field of view.
- Click range mode and find the reticle to enlarge it. Point the device at the target.
- To increase accuracy, keep pressing the power or mode button for a fraction of a second until the target distance appears again.
- Adjust settings or modes according to conditions or weather, such as fog or drizzle.
Keep in mind the following aspects when keeping the appliance in good condition:
- Always keep the rangefinder out of direct sunlight, as it may damage the device.
- Remove the battery if it is not going to be used for a long time, since leaving it inside can cause it to emit liquids that can oxidize the metal parts.
- Keep the rangefinder away from excessive heat. It can accumulate moisture that will blur the lenses and adversely affect the performance of the rangefinder.
- Always wipe the exterior of the rangefinder with a clean, soft cloth.