How to compare rangefinders and make the best choice for your needs Complete Guide

Are you looking for a rangefinder to enhance your outdoor activities but can’t decide which one is best? You’re not alone. With so many options in the market, comparing rangefinders can be overwhelming.

Fortunately, this guide has everything you need to know to find the perfect fit for your needs. Let’s get started!

Choosing the right rangefinder for you and your specific needs can be difficult, especially for novice users. Rangefinders come in different types, sizes, and features – making it hard to decide which is best for your needs. This guide serves to provide background knowledge about rangefinders and help you compare various products to make the best decision for your individual requirements.

This guide will begin with an explanation of how rangefinders work, followed by an overview of the most popular types of rangefinders on the market today and their basic features. Next, this guide will provide several considerations and criteria you should consider when comparing rangefinder products in order to make sure a product is right for you. Following that section are some tips to use when shopping online or in person and we end with a comprehensive list of frequently asked questions about purchasing rangefinders.

Definition of rangefinders

A rangefinder is an optical device used to measure distances in golf. It works by calculating how long it takes for a laser beam to travel between two points. Generally, rangefinders are handheld and include a viewfinder and settings that can be adjusted depending on the conditions of the course being played.

Rangefinders are often equipped with additional features such as slope technology and scan modes which can further enhance your golfing performance by helping you determine where you should aim your shots. Rangefinders typically provide ranges from 5 to 800 yards, accurate to within a few yards of precision.

When choosing the right rangefinder for you, there are certain features and specs to take into consideration such as magnification, size, weight and price.

Purpose of rangefinders

In contrast to other types of survey instruments, rangefinders can quickly measure both horizontal and vertical distances with great accuracy. Rangefinders are used in many applications from golfing to surveying to military use. They make complex measuring tasks easier by sending a laser beam out and then listening for the reflected signal. This data can be used for a variety of tasks such as determining the size of a remote object or determining an area for agricultural application.

Rangefinders also come in different varieties. Some measure horizontal distances only; others measure both vertical and horizontal distances; and still others are capable of calculating slopes/grade/angle. When comparing rangefinders, it is important to determine which type best meets your needs so you can purchase the one that accurately captures your desired measurements without wasting money on features or functions you will not use. To help you compare rangefinder models, here is an overview of their primary characteristics:

Importance of choosing the right rangefinder

When selecting a rangefinder, it is important to consider the type of activity you plan to use it for, your skill level with using rangefinders, and the angle you need to measure distances. You should also consider the size, weight, durability and battery life of a rangefinder before buying.

Rangefinders vary in accuracy depending on their technology. The most accurate rangefinders are those designed specifically for golf courses. This type of laser distance measurer can provide golfers with distances from specific objects on a course such as trees or bunkers. They can also provide more precise control over shots thanks to the ability to measure distances up and down hillsides. Furthermore, many higher-end golf rangefinders come with specialized features such as graphical displays that allow for even more accurate distance measurements due to new technologies like Slope Technology.

Hunters and target shooters may want a laser rangefinder that uses an infrared beam rather than the visible light beam used by golf rangefinders. These devices measure the reflection from targets with greater precision at longer distances and in any lighting conditions without alerting wildlife or being distracted by background lighting conditions. For safety reasons high power emitters are preferred not just because they will achieve better performance but also because they will be less likely to cause injury using too much power when used close up or in enclosed spaces like inside buildings or submarines where higher powers may cause injury if extreme care is not taken when measuring targets very close up. Finally depending on the size of target ranged you may decide if you prefer one type of emitter (either IR or Visible Wavelength) over another one due its better performance at larger sizes when hitting farther away targets in comparison with smaller sized ones.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Rangefinder

When considering a rangefinder, there are several factors to consider. First of all, you should consider what type of rangefinder best suits your needs. Are you looking for one for shooting or hunting? Or are you only looking for measurements in yards or meters? You should also take into account the rangefinder’s accuracy, as this will play a key role in its performance. Accuracy can be determined by taking a look at the specs and features that each rangefinder offers.

Additionally, you should consider the size and weight of the rangefinder, as these may affect its portability and convenience when using it in the field.

Other important factors to consider include power sources and battery life, as well as user-friendly features such as ease of use and visibility depending on where you will be using it. Additionally, some rangefinders come with accessories such as carrying cases that can be beneficial when travelling with them.

Lastly, it is important to think about budget — while more expensive models may offer more features, they may not always be worth it if they don’t provide effective performance in different conditions or don’t fit within your budget.


Range includes both the minimum and maximum distances that a rangefinder is able to measure, which means it’s important to pay attention to this factor when you’re shopping for a model.

The advertised “maximum range” for a specific model can be affected by fog, haze, dust, or other environmental conditions — and that maximum might not be attainable in your conditions. Make sure to read reviews from buyers who have tested the unit outdoors in real-world conditions before you buy.

Additionally, you’ll want to look at minimum range too: as short as most lenses can focus, some targets may still be too close for your chosen model.

That being said, almost any well-functioning rangefinder should provide accurate readings at least up to 600 yards depending on the make and model— both animal applications and golf applications will be within scope of most current models offered on the market today.


The accuracy of a rangefinder is one of the main factors to consider when comparing different models. The accuracy will determine how precise the readings are, and how reliable they are when making measurements. Although most rangefinders are designed to be reasonably accurate, some are better than others.

Rangefinder accuracy can be measured by two factors: repeatability and precision. Repeatability is the measure of consistency in the rangefinder’s readings over multiple measurements, while precision refers to how close the measured distance is to the actual distance. Generally speaking, higher end models offer more accuracy compared to lower end models.

When shopping for a rangefinder, you should look for one that has a stated accuracy rating of +/- one yard or less (1 yard = 3 feet), and also has features such as laser targeting or digital distance readout that help guarantee precise measurements every time. In terms of precision, it’s important to make sure that you understand what kind of environment your measuring device will be used in so you can make sure it is suitable for your needs.

How To Choose A Rangefinder | Leupold


Magnification is an important factor to consider in comparing rangefinders. Magnification (measured in objects height x magnification) tells you how large the image will appear when looking through the eyepiece. The higher the magnification, the better detail you will have in looking through your rangefinder. Many rangefinders have magnification levels ranging from 6x-7x to 10x-15x, with larger numbers indicating greater magnification power.

Additionally, some rangefinders allow users to customise their magnification settings to suit personal levels of zoom or eye relief. For example, someone who uses a rangefinder for bird watching may prefer higher magnifications while those who plan on using a rangefinder mainly for hunting may be better served by opting for lower magnifications and wider field of view provided by slightly lower magnifications.


Speed is an important factor to consider when comparing laser rangefinders. The speed of the unit indicates how quickly it can accurately measure a distance. In general, higher-end models are faster and can measure a distance in a fraction of a second. Lower end models may take several seconds to acquire a target before providing you with accurate measurements.

It is important to note that different rangefinders may provide measurements in different units, so make sure that you understand the unit of measurement used by the rangefinder before making your purchase.

Size and Weight

When you’re shopping for a rangefinder, size and weight are important factors to consider. Rangefinders come in a variety of sizes, from small handheld models to more bulky professional models. While larger, more powerful rangefinders might provide better quality data, they can also be much more difficult to carry and use in the field. Smaller handheld rangefinders tend to be much easier to use but may not provide as accurate readings or have as many features as their larger counterparts.

When choosing a rangefinder for your needs, you’ll also want to consider its overall weight. Some of the most powerful models may weigh several pounds, which can cause fatigue and make them difficult to handle if you’re working for long periods of time or in difficult terrain. On the other hand, lightweight models may be easier to handle but may not offer all the features you need for your project. Choosing the right balance of size and weight can ensure that you get both maximum performance and comfort while using your device.

Battery life

A rangefinder’s battery life has an important role in its performance. Generally, a rangefinder that has a short battery life runs out of juice quickly and requires frequent recharging, becoming practically useless on long trips. More importantly, depending on type and make of a particular model, the battery should be replaced after X amount of time (usually this could be one to several years).

Therefore, when making your selection, it is important to understand how often the batteries need replacement in order to avoid unexpected hassle and expense. Another factor to keep in mind is that any additional features like laser for laser rangefinders or wireless capability for Bluetooth-equipped models will reduce battery performance. Be sure to take these things into account when assessing battery life of your ideal choice.


In conclusion, when you’re considering a rangefinder for your outdoor activities, remember to take into account both your skill level and the type of activity you plan to do. Choose a rangefinder with the level of magnification and features that will best suit your needs. Be sure to compare several models in order to make an informed decision as to which features are most important for you.

Finally, aim for accuracy in all aspects of rangefinding – from identifying the target, to ranging it correctly and making adjustments based on conditions such as temperature, angle and elevation. With a little practice and the right rangefinder, you can ensure that you get the most out of any activity – no matter what the distance!

Rangefinder buying guide: How to shop for distance-measuring devices


What should I look for in a rangefinder?

When looking for a rangefinder, you should consider its accuracy, range, size, weight, display, battery life, and durability.

What’s the difference between rangefinders?

The main differences between rangefinders are their accuracy, range, size, weight, display, and features such as slope compensation and Bluetooth connectivity.

What is the best rangefinder?

The best rangefinder for you will depend on your specific needs and preferences. Some top options on the market include the Bushnell Tour V5 Shift, Nikon Coolshot Pro Stabilized, and Leupold GX-5i3.

What are the different types of rangefinders?

The main types of rangefinders are laser rangefinders, GPS rangefinders, and hybrid rangefinders that combine both technologies.

What is the purpose of a rangefinder?

The purpose of a rangefinder is to accurately measure the distance between the user and a target object, typically used in activities such as golfing, hunting, and surveying.

What’s the difference between a cheap and expensive rangefinder?

Expensive rangefinders typically have higher accuracy, longer range, more features, and better build quality and durability compared to cheaper models.

What is the advantage of rangefinder?

The advantage of a rangefinder is that it provides accurate distance measurements, which can improve performance and accuracy in activities such as golfing, hunting, and surveying.

Is it worth buying a rangefinder?

It depends on the intended use. Rangefinders can be helpful for hunting, golfing, or photography, but may not be necessary for everyone.

Are more expensive rangefinders worth it?

It depends on the features and quality of the rangefinder. More expensive rangefinders may have better accuracy, range, and durability, but it’s important to consider one’s budget and needs.

Are all rangefinders the same?

No, rangefinders can differ in terms of accuracy, range, size, weight, features, and price. It’s important to research and compare different models before making a purchase.

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