Sonic measuring tools use sound waves to calculate distances from the tool to an intended target. They work much like laser measuring tools, except these tools calculate distances based on the time it takes for sound waves to bounce back to the device, while laser measuring tools base the distance on the light of the laser. These devices can save a lot of time over using tape measures, particularly for long distances when two people might be required to get an accurate measurement. Instead, simply place the tool at the starting point of measurement and aim at the end point. The digital display will give you an accurate reading.
Many sonic measuring tools can perform calculations like addition, subtraction, area, volume and the Pythagorean Theorem (using two measurements to calculate the third). These tools are less expensive than laser measuring tools, but usually don’t have as many features. Another thing to keep in mind, particularly when measuring long distances, is you must have an end point for the sound waves to bounce off. That is, if you’re measuring from the ground to the top of a building, you need someone or something on top of the building at which to aim the tool.
Use our exclusive tool-comparison engine in the bar below to compare sonic measuring tools. If you’re unsure what to look for, read our full article on how to choose a sonic measuring tool.
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