(Pocket-lint) - If you’ve ever had an estate agent measure up your house you’ve probably seen that natty little box they wield, zapping the walls in an attempt to get a grip on the dimensions of your rooms. Eliminating the need for tape measures, this is JCB’s contribution to the “tapeless” tape measure.

On first impressions the device looks easy to use and the instructions clearly lay out on how to get the best out of the device. Its rugged design also positions it as a tool for the building site as well as the DIY enthusiast.

However, when we put it to the test it seemed to occasionally give inaccurate readings when compared against measurements taken with a traditional tape measure.

This may be down to user ineptitude, but you have to be very careful not to fire the sonic ‘beam’ at curtains, picture frames etc. In the garden this becomes even more problematic to get accurate readings, where you have to find a place with a solid wall at either end and no plants or trees blocking the line of fire.

When the measurements were accurate it made the volume and area calculations faultlessly, but this doesn’t really help when we couldn’t get the device to carry out its core function effectively - that of taking accurate measurements.


In principle the distance meter is a great little gadget and should make lives of the mathematically challenged much easier (we include ourselves in that group). However, its lack of accuracy does let it down.

If you spend a lot of time needing to get a rough idea of the large distances and a decent wall without clutter to measure then this might be a useful tool. However, for the majority of jobs it's not money well spent and sometimes the cheap, manual option is best.

This product was kindly loaned to us by www.jcbshop.com

Writing by Ben Harvard Taylor.