Bosch DLR165 Digital Laser Rangefinder Review

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bosch dlr165

Many things we review here at The Gadgeteer are devices somewhere between tech-toy and tech-gadget or accessories meant to protect, carry or power those devices. All perfectly well and good, mind you….most of those (still) make my tech-geek heart a flutter. But, other than iPod speakers or noise isolation earbuds, few assist me in my other passion; fixing up old houses, home improvement projects, working on the yard, etc.  The Bosch DLR165 digital laser rangefinder is a great gadget-tool, designed to replace your old tape measure in a multitude of construction applications.

bosch dlr165 frontback

My initial impression of the DLR165 was that it was a slick/high-tech tape measure. Allowing you to measure distance quickly and easily without the hassle of stretching a tape across a room or whatever distance you are looking at. But after playing with it I come to find out, it can do a great deal more. Once you figure out how to use some of its more complicated capabilities, it can take care of the burdensome/heavy-lift calculations that are potentially needed during construction efforts; standard length (A to B), area (A x B), volume (A x B x C), continuous length (adjusts while moving), and indirect length (Pythagorean theorem (a2 + b2= c2)) plus being able to add or subtract measurements as you go (M+ or M-, just like a calculator).

Measuring Modes:


  • Length
  • Area
  • Volume
  • Continuous
  • Indirect Length

bosch dlr165 contents

The DLR165K, where the ‘K’ stands for kit; includes instructions, batteries, belt case, strap/handle, and the the range finder itself.


  • Precision Laser Measuring Technology – Laser beam does both pointing and measuring
  • Pocket-Sized Only 4″ tall
  • Four Measuring Reference Points – Back, front, swingout extension pin for measuring from inside corners or channels, or center of optional tripod
  • Three Measurement Systems — Feet and inches, decimal feet, and metric
  • Length, Area and Volume Measuring Capability
  • Continuous Measurement Mode — Measurement automatically adjusts when walking-off distances
  • Continuous Laser Mode — Reduces the number of key strokes when making rapid sequence of measurements
  • Indirect Length Measurement Mode — Calculates inaccessible distances that cannot be measured directly due to obstruction or lack of reflecting surface using Pythagorean theorem (a2 + b2= c2)
  • Limited 3-Year Warranty
  • Ergonomic Soft-Grip Area — For sure grip and comfort


  • Accuracy: +/- 1/16″ (1.5 mm)
  • Battery Life: Approximately 30,000 Individual Measurements
  • Dimensions: 4″ x 2-15/16″ x 1-1/4″ (100 mm x 68 mm x 32 mm)
  • Laser Class: 2
  • Laser Diode: 635 nm, < 1mW
  • Measuring Time, Max: 4 sec.
  • Measuring Time, Typ: < 0.5 sec
  • Power: 4 AAA Batteries
  • Range: 2″ – 165′

bosch dlr165 topbottom

On the front of the DLR165 are the laser and distance sensor. The rear has a swing out extension pin for measuring from inside corners or channels. The rangefinder has four measuring points of reference; front, center, rear, and end of the extension pin. The device can measure between two inches and 165 feet with an accuracy of 1/16″. The measurement appears on the display almost instantaneously. Distances can be displayed in three systems of measurements; feet and inches, decimal feet, and metric.

bosch dlr165 sides

The device has an ergonomic form and is lightweight, much lighter than a quality tape measure. Bosch includes a very simple but functional belt holder for the measuring device. Allowing the rangefinder to be at your side whenever you need it, much easier to get on/off your belt than the typical clip of your tape measure.

bosch dlr165 accuracy1

I have found the DLR165 laser rangefinder very accurate (using a standard tape measure as my reference). As you can see, both are measuring exactly 5 feet. I compared the two in several scenarios, all of which showed within 1/8″. That difference can easily be attributed to human error (especially over longer distances).

bosch dlr165 measuring

The DLR165 rangefinder is ideal for measuring distance with some sort of backstop (aka a wall or side of a hill or building). It would be difficult to measure a board for cutting or plotting out an area of land to put a foundation.

bosch dlr165 boys

Unless you have someone to hold something at the desired point of measure for the laser to hit. That limitation not withstanding, this compact, lightweight, highly accurate rangefinder will be a great benefit to many future construction projects.


Product Information

Price:MSRP: $291 (online for around $100)
  • - Highly accurate laser range finder
  • - Lightweight
  • - Compact
  • - Able to calculate area, volume, and indirect length
  • - Expensive (compared to a typical tape measure)
  • - Difficult to measure board-length

5 thoughts on “Bosch DLR165 Digital Laser Rangefinder Review”

  1. Gadgeteer Comment Policy - Please read before commenting
  2. I have an earlier model of this and it works very well and is highly accurate. Makes measuring rooms, etc. a breeze.

  3. I am thinking of getting this for my dad for Fathers Day. What is the difference between the Digital Distance Measurer Kit and the Digital Laser Range Finder Kit?

    My dad is a pretty skilled at-home handy man, fixing things from bathrooms to molding to shelving to gardening beds to plumbing to…you name it. I’m willing to spend a little more to get the better tool but don’t know enough about either to make an informed decision. I’ve read reviews but I don’t understand the difference or why someone would choose the cheaper model over the laser range finder other than the metric/inches issue.

    Can you help please?

  4. Replacing my tape measure was one of the best decisions i have ever made! No more awkward situations fumbling around with tape. I use my bosch not only in construction projects though…it also comes in very handy whenever i build new furniture to fit a room perfectly!

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