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I will admit, I have looked over at tools – circular saws, levels, and the like – that are equipped with lasers and ponder just how they’d fit into what I need on my workbench. I mean, c’mon, it’s lasers! Getting that clean line of direction is slick. However, if you relied on lasers to help you measure, then, all the better. That’s what the Magpie M-30+ is offering up in a super-compact package.

On one hand, the technology to use a laser to measure a distance isn’t that difficult – you shoot the laser out, have it bounce back, and then a sensor picks that up and calculates the distance based on the shift in the waveform. Then again, I still remember seeing the massive setups involved when I first saw a laser in a science museum exhibit. To have it showing up in a device that fits in the palm of your hand is nothing short of amazing to me.

There’s also a variety of smarts packed into the device, allowing it store your measurements (no trying to remember what you just measured or needing to jot it down on a scrap paper, calculating volumes, and even doing the calculations using the Pythagorean theorem. Why is this handy? Well, if you’re on the ground and you need to know how long that piece of fascia board is (that’s 15 feet up in the air on the house), you can measure from the ground by hitting the two end points, and it does the triangle math to tell you how long it is.

The Magpie M-30+ does this all in a rugged IP54-rated casing that will keep it’s guts (including the rechargeable battery) safe and sound. The campaign is well over-funded at this point, and has another 15 days to go (it ends on June 9), with units available at $49, a savings of $20 off of the MSRP. You can check it all out over at the campaign page.

Tech Specs from Magpie


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By Patrick Kansa

A big data developer and leader with a penchant for gadgets, books, watches and beverages. You can find my work on WristWatchReview, Knapsack.News, and Slushpile. If you're on Twitter and/or Instagram, you'll find me there as @PatrickWatches.