The Bosch PLR 50 C is one of their higher end laser distance measurement devices which boasts accurate laser measurement up to 50m with an accuracy of 2mm in additional to angle measurement and leveling functions. With the ability to quickly sum up lengths as well as calculate volume and area, it is an extremely versatile tool for any DIY enthusiast or contractors.

The Bosch range of laser measurement devices can be bought at most major hardware outlets, they’re also widely available online.

Here are links to a few of the laser measurement devices in the range which are available on Amazon:

  • Bosch GLM 35 Compact Laser Measurement Device – Buy Here
  • Bosch GLM 50 C With Bluetooth – Buy Here
  • Bosch GLR 825 Long Range Measurement Device – Buy Here

Lets have a look at the PLR 50 C…

Whats In The Box

Bosch PLR 50 C

Included in the box or plastic packaging (depending on the region and model) is the PLR device, a handy cover, batteries and a small wrist strap.

Bosch PLR 50 C In Case

Technical Specs

  • Measurement Range: 0.05 – 50.00m (0.16 – 164ft)
  • Accuracy: 2mm (0.08″)
  • Weight: 0.13kg (0.28lbs)
  • Measurement Time: 0.5s
  • Batteries: 3 x 1.5V AAA
  • Laser Diode: 635nm

Basic Measurement Functions

The PLR 50 C is really easy to use, it has a single button to turn on and off as well as take measurements. All other settings and mode changes are done through the colour touch screen display.

There are two primary settings for the mode, the type of measurement and the zero reference point – the point at which the measurement is taken from.

The measurement type selection lets you choose between length, continuous length (giving you maximum and minimum), area, volume, angle, level and then three forms of indirect measurement which use trigonometry to calculate heights or distances based on two distance measurements and the angle of the device.

Measurement Type Selection

Three zero reference point settings are provided. These tell the unit where to take the measurement from, the front of the device, the back of the device or from the plastic clip on the bottom used for measurements from corners or tight spaces.

Reference Point Settings

Measurements are really simple to take. Once you’ve selected your mode, you press the button once to activate the laser pointer to direct you measurement point and then press again to take the measurement.

If you’ve selected the area function, the pointer will come on again after the first measurement and you’ll line up the second then push the button and the two measurements will be displayed along with the calculated area.

Area Calculation

The volume measurement works in a similar manner but with once extra button push for the third distance measurement.

Volume Measurement

Angle Measurement And Levelling Functions

Another useful feature is the inclusion of an inclinometer which lets you measure angles or alignment.

The angle measurement interface is also really simple with a display indicting the angle and a beeping tone when the device is perfectly horizontal or vertical.

Horizontal Measurement

There is also a sort of spirit level function which allows the unit to lie on its back for levelling tables, counter tops or other flat surfaces. Again, the unit emits a beep tone when the ball is perfectly centred.

Bubble Level Function

App Interface

Perhaps one of the most powerful features of the Bosch PLR 50 C is the app interface. The app is a very well thought out tool which enables you to take photos of your work, organised into projects or locations, and then automatically transfer measurements from the device via bluetooth and overlay them onto the photos.

This enables you as a DIYer or a contractor to take photos of a room or area, overlay measurements and then save the sketch to your phone to take along to your DIY store or interior designer etc.. You can also automatically compile your project into a PDF file to email through to your contractor or designer.

The PLR 50 C is really easy to pair to your phone via bluetooth and pops up in the app for you to select without any further setup.

Bosch PLR Measure and Go

You’re then able to create a project, take a photo and begin dropping measurements onto the image. You can also add notes or text and edit dimensions as you need.

Console Measurement

You can add lengths, areas and angle measurements directly into your photos.

Area For Tiling

The app keeps your projects organised with customisable names and thumbnails. All of your information is automatically saved and projects can be created or deleted as required.

PLR Measure And Go App

Likes And Dislikes

Likes

  • The PLR 50 C is easy to use. All of the options are graphically represented and easy to find.
  • The device is very accurate. I compared the results to a number of physical measurements and they were always spot on.
  • The range of functions and reference point settings make it an amazingly versatile tool. This is an accurate 50m measuring tape, level, calculator, log book, and height estimator (for trig based measurements) in a mobile phone sized package. You no longer need to carry a notepad and pen around with you.
  • The app is fantastic for home projects or for contractors who need to quickly take measurements for quotations and quantities and keep them well organise.
  • It is small, reasonably durable and with its pouch it fits into your pocket or bag really easily.

Dislikes

  • The PLR 50 C is quite expensive. Granted it does do a lot and with the colour touch screen and bluetooth functionality it is the flagship model. But paying over $100 for a device which competes with a measuring tape is hard to justify unless you use it daily or at least weekly.
  • The capacitive touch screen works well and is really responsive but only works with a physical skin touch. You can’t use the back of a pencil or gloves to operate the display which is sometimes an issue when you’re busy with DIY projects.
  • It takes AAA batteries. The battery life is fairly impressive and you’ll get well over a week’s worth of work out of a set but I would have liked to have seen a USB based rechargeable interface rather than having to carry replacement batteries around.

Final Thoughts

The PLC 50 C is a fantastic tool for your DIY or contractor toolbox. It makes taking measurements a whole lot quicker and easier. It is extremely versatile and accurate and the app does away with the need to carry a notepad and pen around.

The price is a little high but it really is worth it to get the app interface, you definitely won’t be disappointed. If you feel like you can do without the app then go for the basic version and you’ll save quite a bit of money.

Let us know what you think of the Bosch PLR measurement devices in the comments section below. If you’ve enjoyed this review, have a look at these 7 power tools to make your DIY work easier.

5 Replies to “Bosch PLR 50 C Laser Distance Measurement Tool Review”

  1. Thank you for the review!

    Do you know how this compares to the GLM 50C, especially when it comes to accuracy?

    The GLM versions are theoretically accurate to 1.5mm while this is at 2mm according to the specs.

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Theo,

      The two units are largely the same. The PLR is considered to be a DIY device and the GLM is part of the “professional” series. The only technical difference is the listed 0.5mm difference in accuracy although you’d probably not notice the difference. Neither of these devices are really designed for millimeter accuracy.

      Other differences are that the GLM has physical buttons where the PLR is a touch screen (apart from the measurement button). The GLM also takes 4 x AAA batteries where the PLR takes 3 x AAA batteries.

      I would make the decision based on whether you prefer working with a touch screen or physical buttons as well as what price you can get either at. The PLR series is often quite a bit cheaper than the GLM series.

      1. Thanks! I ordered the PLR 50C as it is on discount right now at Amazon.de for €57, while the GLM 50C is €109, so nearly twice as much.

        But I was hoping that I could get mm accuracy, as you said in your review the results where “spot on” when compared to tape measure (other reviews confirm this)

        1. Hi Theo,

          That’s great!

          I think it also depends on what you are gong to be measuring. The quoted accuracy would be a worst case scenario, so with a tool like this it would likely be at its maximum measurement range at around 50m. I doubt that you’d be able to get millimeter accuracy with any sort of tape measure at that distance either, you can’t see the end of the tape, the tape stretches with longer lengths and changes length (marginally) with temperature. For smaller measurements, I’d say up to around 5m, you’d probably get under a millimeter accurate results reliably. I only use my PLR for measurements around the home so these are typically in the 1m to 4m range and occasionally up to 10m or so and I’ve been very happy with the accuracy.

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