Earlier this year, I bought Stanley's FatMax laser measuring device — mostly because I liked its price. At $99 it costs a fraction of what most laser measurers go for. Even though it doesn't have the features or accuracy of more expensive models, the manufacturer's claim of +/-1/4 inch over 100 feet is accurate enough for estimating.

Operation The tool has only four buttons, but each cycles through a few options. To begin you click the "on" button and aim the laser at the target. Once the red dot is correctly positioned, you click the on button again; the laser blinks and displays the measurement in standard or metric units. As with other laser measurers, you can...

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