Editor's Review: The New Stabila Measures Up
review date: January 21, 2010
A few months after I wrote a review of laser measuring devices (FHB #198), Stabila released a number of new tools and sent me a midrange laser-measure tool to test. It quickly became my go-to laser measure, and I’ve been using it in all my work since.
The tool has similar functions to the full-feature tools I tested from other manufacturers. It has a hook that does double duty locating measurements from outside and inside corners, and it adds and subtracts distances, calculates area and volume, and includes a Pythagorean-theorem function for taking indirect measurements. It also has a continuous measurement utility, which is similar to hooking a tape measure on something and pulling it out to mark a series of lengths. The LD-400 stores fewer measurements than the previous Stabila model, but 10 measurements on my digital cutlist is more than enough for one trip to the saw.
Although I didn’t scientifically test Stabila’s claim that the tool is accurate to 1/16 in. over 200 ft., I can tell you that it was certainly exact enough for my uses. The LD-400 is about the size of a cell phone and weighs just 4 oz., so it often stays in my tool bag all day—that is, if I can wrestle it away from my brother.
It has been too long since I did the comprehensive review of laser measures for me to place this new tool in any kind of ranking with the others I tested, but I feel confident recommending it to anybody in the market for a laser measure. Its middle-of-the-pack pricing (it’s actually less expensive than the Stabila LE-50 model it replaces) and its long list of features make it a solid entry.
Editor Test Results:
|Manufacturer's Web Site
|Manufacturer's Phone Number
||1/16 in. to over 200 ft.
||about the size of a cell phone