BOSCH Professional GLM 50 C Laser Measure

BOSCH GLM 50 C Laser Measure Vs The Tape Measure

This morning, I thought I would have some fun at work, and try out the new BOSCH Professional GLM 50 C Laser Measure. I am just getting familiar with this newly released laser measure. But one of the intriguing features of the GLM 50C is the MeasureOn App for smartphones that interfaces with it.

Currently, I have used a BOSCH GLR225 for years and have found the laser measuring technology to be quite a step up in ease and accuracy. In my work, I have taken curb-to-curb dimensions across busy city streets or across the Massachusetts Turnpike without the need to hire a detail cop to stop traffic, in order for me to pull a tape across the roadway.

Bosch Technology vs Old School Tape Measure

I am a big fan of this technology. Wow, the GLM 50C and the MeasureOn app takes this technology to a whole new level.

Last night, I downloaded the MeasureOn app for iOS and got my iPad talking to the GLM 50C over Bluetooth in no time and with no hassles.

Bosch MeasureOn App

This morning, I decided to do a mini-test, pitting my newly found knowledge, MeasureOn App and GLM 50C against conventional construction technology and reporting methods.

At  the construction trailer, I  asked the field engineer to measure up our trailer for new carpet. In addition, I requested a spreadsheet and a sketch for the area calculations, but I did not tell him why or ask him to pay particular attention to the request.

I asked him to measure up the overall floor area in the trailer, that is shown, below:

The trailer has three interconnected rectangular rooms with two internal partitions to separate them.

The engineer broke out a tape measure and hand measured each room. He did a quick hand drawn sketch as I had requested. He made an excel spreadsheet, scanned the sketch and emailed me the results. The process took 33 minutes from start to receipt of the final document. The engineer’s spreadsheet and hand sketch are each shown below:


This is a A Tale About a Horse Drawn Carriage vs a Tesla. You have seen the carriage.

Bottom-line quantity was approximately 407 sq ft. and I had the information in about a half an hour.

Bosch Quick Sketch

Now I had a baseline against to work for testing out the GLM 50C and MeasureOn application software. I started out by making what BOSCH calls a ‘Quick Sketch’. This type of sketch generally replicates the number of rooms and configuration for the task. Note that there is nothing accurate about the dimensions shown on the initial Quick Sketch. I was not trying for any type accuracy. My Quick Sketch is below:

The next step with the BOSCH Professional GLM 50 C Laser Measure was to ‘convert’ the Quick Sketch into a Detailed Drawing by pressing the icon in the upper middle of the screen that opens a dialog box that warns you that you cannot reverse the conversion process. If you select convert, the drawing is changed into a detailed drawing of the same information that you created in Quick Sketch, except this detailed drawing is redrawn to scale with wall thicknesses. The app changes the dimensions to account for the wall thicknesses, but they values still have nothing to do with the actual dimensions of the trailer. The detailed drawing is shown below:

Fast and Efficient


By the way, the two drawing processes took less than 2 minutes to create.

Now it was time to let the technology work. By selecting an individual wall, the app allows you to measure either the inside or outside dimension of the wall. In this case, I picked the inside measurement of back wall of my office. I selected this particular wall by clicking on it and the app then opens a window where you can either input manual values (sort of defeats the purpose, no?) or by selecting the laser measurer icon at the lower left portion of the screen. This action opens up another window where you turn on the laser. You take the laser measurement, confirmed with a beep, and magic happens. The Bluetooth interface has transferred the measurement to the drawing.


The App has the measurement from the laser tagged to the correct wall and rescales the drawing automatically in proportion to the new  measurement. Moreover, since the trailer is a consistent rectangular shape, all of the other parallel walls are drawn with the correct measurements. You can see these changes in the following picture:

To complete the drawing, I repeated the process for the three long dimensions in the other rooms. At this point, I had a fully annotated and to-scale drawing of the three rooms of the trailer. The conversion into an area calculation was easy. I found the icon on the menu system at the left hand side of the screen and selected the area function. The App created a shaded and annotated drawing of the three rooms with their individual area calculations. Also, in the upper left of the detailed drawing was the calculation for the total area of the trailer.

Overall Thoughts on the BOSCH GLM 50C Laser Measure

Bottom-line, I created the area calculations with the BOSCH Professional GLM 50 C Laser Measure to show a total square footage of 411 Sq. Ft. This is a slight difference in square footage from the conventional approach. Look at the two results and tell me which one you believe.

From the time I sat down with the App and a blank iPad screen to the time I had the completed drawing was a total of 6 minutes, 30 seconds.

For my first time using the App, I created a more accurate and presentable document in 1/5th of the time.

The App has a lot more capability than just a simple area calculation. You can take pictures of the interior of a space and annotate the dimensions on the image using the same sort of techniques. The user can create even more complex drawings containing stairwells, doors, door swings and windows and can add these elements into detailed drawings. The App and laser then measures them out – true to scale.

In summary, the marriage of the BOSCH Professional GLM 50 C Laser Measure with a well-designed app gives impressive results. Wow. This saves time and creates much greater precision. In a practice where time is money, this hardware and software combination is a clear winner. Great job, Bosch!


About the author

Stan Durlacher

Stan has been involved with Design and Construction in the commercial industry since 1975. He is currently the President of Design and Construction for a major St Petersburg, FL developer. Before that, he was a Project Executive for a prominent Boston Construction Manager, building high-rise apartment and office buildings. One of the hallmarks of his career has been innovative problem-solving. As Assistant Secretary of Transportation for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Stan was instrumental in bringing the hydro mill slurry wall machinery and technology to Boston in the 1990s for use on the Central Artery Third Harbor Tunnel Project. Stan has been an avid woodworker since college and brings an innovative point of view to this field. Before Florida, he owned an 1886 farmhouse near Concord, Mass, and his skills and time were never idle for long. His barn and attached spaces serve as his ever-expanding workshop. Stan is a self-avowed tool hound. In 2013, Stan decided to design and build his own CNC router. This machine has become a centerpiece of his woodworking and craft focus. Stan will share many of the ways that this innovative technology has solved many current problems and how CNC will begin to impact the woodworking and home renovation businesses.

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  1. Steve M

    I have the GLM40, which is the GLM50C minus bluetooth, 30ft lesser range and a non-color display. It does area, volume and indirect height.

    It’s true – this thing saves a ton of time. Even for basic jobs at home, it reduces all kinds of measurements to a trivial press of a button. Magic! I find myself measuring things just because it’s so easy.

    I’ve used mine to measure the height of our foyer ceiling, the length of our gutters and dozens of other things. Even for a homeowner, there are lots of measurements where a laser is far more convenient and far more capable than a tape measure.

  2. […] or sqft measurements, or heights, or any other measurement that’s longer than my tape. Stan reviewed it a couple years ago and it’s still a great tool. On sale now at ACME Tools for just under […]

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