2021 Best Laser Rangefinder Buyer’s Guide

Are you a laser rangefinder aficionado or a GPS golfer? If you’re the former, this is your lucky day.

Whether you’re looking to buy a new laser rangefinder today, seeking buying advice or just want a closer look at what’s on the market, this guide will help you find the right laser rangefinder to fit your needs

Each year, there is more technology packed into each unit. For example, Bushnell and Precision Pro have units that take into account temperature, altitude and wind to provide you an actual “play-like” yardage that others don’t.

Some can provide GPS measurement readouts on the unit itself for quick feedback. Also, some OEMs have an application that provides more information about the specific hole you’re on.

What’s most impressive about this year’s group of laser rangefinders is that accuracy has improved dramatically across the field. Nearly every rangefinder in the test is accurate within five yards.

Winner: Bushnell Pro XE

Best Laser Rangefinder

If you want the best laser rangefinder that will get you dialed in, go for the Bushnell Pro XE. It comes with adjusted slope and takes into account temperature, barometric pressure and distance to provide an accurate “play-like” yardage. It has a magnetic mount to attach to the cart so it is easily accessible. Throw in a two-year warranty and you have the winner of the 2021 Most Wanted Laser Rangefinder Test.

  • 1st in accuracy
  • 4th in speed
  • 1st in optics
  • 4th in display
  • 3rd in features
BEST RANGEFINDER FOR SHAKY HANDS - Nikon CoolShot Pro Stabilized

BEST RANGEFINDER FOR SHAKY HANDS - Nikon CoolShot Pro Stabilized

If you have shaky hands and struggle to lock onto targets, give the Nikon CoolShot Pro Stabilized a try. Integrated Vibration Reduction technology that is in their cameras helps you lock onto targets quickly and efficiently. Many golfers will find it’s the one feature they absolutely can’t do without.

Best Laser Rangefinder

Features That Matter

Accuracy

A laser rangefinder is useless if it’s not accurate. By and large, the rangefinders we tested read within five yards of each other. Lasers that consistently give the same number every time provide much-needed confidence that the reading can be trusted. We test each laser rigorously to verify that the numbers provided are both accurate and consistent.

There are no more consistently accurate laser rangefinders than those from Bushnell. In 2021, the Pro XE, Tour V5 Shift, and the Tour V5 were at the top of the accuracy list. The Cobalt Q_6 Slope also performed well in this category.

Optics and Display

When we talk about the optics of laser rangefinders, we’re focused on the clarity of the viewfinder and the digital display. The simpler the display, the easier it is to understand. Ideally, you want to look for a display that provides clear and concise information so you know you’ve got the correct yardage every time. Most units include a diopter adjustment to improve focus.

The best laser rangefinder optics in the 2021 test belong to the Nikon Coolshot Pro Stabilized. The clarity of the lens allows you to easily lock on a target and get an accurate yardage.

If you prefer to have the most amount of information available on a single display, the Garmin Approach Z82 employs a GPS-generated hole flyover visual, yardage to front, middle and back pin positions, distances to all hazards, and slope. Precision Pro R1 Smart also has GPS numbers on the display along with an app to tell you what club you should hit based on your club numbers.

Locking indicator

There are a number of different ways laser rangefinders can use to lock on to a target. Some work better than others. Jolt technology, pulse and visual indicators are all examples of alerts that serve as notification that you’ve found your intended target. It’s personal preference but, in our experience, a combination of these alerts, as well as a distinct yardage read-out, tend to be the best.

The Bushnell Pro XE gives you a flashing red visual indicator in addition to a jolt technology alert.

Best Laser Rangefinder

BEST TECH - Precision Pro R1 Smart

BEST TECH - Precision Pro R1 Smart

Do you want a rangefinder that has all the bells and whistles? If so, look no further than the Precision Pro R1 Smart. It comes with GPS readouts, wind direction, slope to name a few. However, MySlope takes temperature, wind, barometric pressure and provides you with what club you should hit based on your individual launch data. Trust me, this rangefinder app combo is a game changer.

EXPERT TIP-Slope

If you play on a course with considerable elevation changes, a rangefinder that calculates slope will give you the most accurate yardage readout. It takes the elevation changes into consideration and generates both the actual yardage as well as adjusted yardage.

BEST LASER RANGEFINDERS 2021 - FEATURES

 ProductMagnificationReticle ColorRangeLock IndicatorSlopeWarranty
Blue Tees Golf 3 Max

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6XRED5-900PULSEYES2 Year
One of the best golf rangefinders, the Bushnell ProBushnell Pro XE

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7XRED5-1300JOLTYES2 Year
One of the best golf rangefinders, the Bushnell Tour V5Bushnell Tour V5

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6XBLACK5-1300JOLTNO2 Year
Bushnell Tour V5 Shift

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6XBLACK5-1300JOLTYES2 Year
Caddytek CaddyView V2

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6XBLACK5-800VIBRATIONYES1 Year
Callaway 350TL

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6XBLACK5-1000PULSEYES1 Year
Cobalt Q 6 Slope

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7XRED5 TO 2500SURGEYESLifetime
One of the best golf rangefinders, the Garmin Z8Garmin Approach Z82

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6XRED5-450LASER RANGE ARCYES1 Year
Golf Buddy Aim L10

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6XRED5-880BLACK SQUAREYES1 Year
Inesis 900

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6XBLACK5-1300BLACK CIRCLEYES2 Year
Leupold GX-5i

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6XRED5-450RED TRIANGLEYESLifetime
Nikon CoolShot 50i

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6XRED6-1200RED CROSSHAIRSYES5 YEAR
Nikon CoolShot Pro II Stabilized

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6XRED8-1200GREEN CIRCLEYES5 Year
Precision Pro NX2

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6XBLACK4-400BLACK CROSSHAIRSNO2 Year
Precision Pro NX7 Pro Slope

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6XBLACK5-400PULSEYES2 Year
Precision Pro NX9 Slope

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6XBLACK5-400PULSEYES2 Year
Precision Pro R1 Smart

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6XBLACK5-400PULSEYES2 Year
Shot Scope Pro L1 Blue

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6XRED/BLACK5-875VIBRATIONYES1 Year
Sureshot LaserPinloc 5000IP

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6XBLACK5-1000PULSENO1 Year
Fastest Rangefinder - Sureshot Pinloc 5000iPS LaserSureshot LaserPinlock 5000IPS

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6XBLACK5-1000PULSEYES1 Year
Tour Trek Signal Slope

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6XBLACK5-1000VIBRATIONYES1 Year
Voice Caddie EL1

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6xBLACK5-1000VIBRATIONYES1 Year
Voice Caddie L5

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6xBLACK5-1200VIBRATIONYES1 Year
Voice Caddie SL2

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6xRED5-1100VIBRATIONYES1 Year
Zero Friction SM

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6XBLACK5-1000BLACK CROSSHAIRSYES1 Year
Zoom Focus Tour

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6XBLACK5-800VIBRATIONYES1 Year
Zoom Focus X

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6XBLACK5-800VIBRATIONYES1 Year
FASTEST RANGEFINDER - Sureshot LaserPinlock 5000IPS

FASTEST RANGEFINDER - Sureshot LaserPinlock 5000IPS

No time for BS? If not, get the fastest rangefinder on the market. The SureShot Pinloc 5000iPS Laser quickly locks on to your target. The highly ranked accuracy, optics and display features allow you to get a clear picture of what obstacle you need to overcome. This one is worth your consideration.

More Tips

  • You don’t need both a GPS and a laser rangefinder. The Garmin Approach Z82 and Precision Pro R1 Smart combine both technologies into one device.
  • We’ve found that ease of use in laser rangefinders has to do with the individual golfer, or user, error. For example, it’s easier to stabilize a larger device than a smaller one if you have large hands. We’re advocates of trying before buying to see what fits you.
  • Many rangefinders have additional features that make life easier. Magnetic mounts, sensors that integrate weather conditions into yardage numbers, vibration reduction, integrated GPS functionality … the list is long. Before buying, decide what features you have to have and those you can do without.
  • Golfers with shaky hands will benefit from the Nikon Coolshot Pro Stabilized. Integrated Vibration Reduction technology helps you lock onto targets quickly and efficiently. Many golfers will find it’s the one feature they absolutely can’t do without.
  • Some laser rangefinders use standard disposable batteries while others use charging ports and store power, much like a cell phone. Again, it’s personal preference. Battery life varies widely between each model. If you prefer models that uses disposable batteries, Precision Pro will provide you with an unlimited supply of free replacement batteries for life.

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How We Test

We're here to help you find the perfect laser rangefinder to fit your needs.

To do that, we employ a thorough and fully independent testing process that leaves no feature unexplored, no display unchecked, and no stone unturned.

Our Metrics

Rangefinders are tested head to head with rigorous protocols.

The metrics we consider when rating rangefinders include Accuracy, Speed, Optics, Display, and Additional Features.

BEST LASER RANGEFINDER 2021 - RESULTS

 ProductAccuracySpeedOpticsDisplayFeaturesTotal
One of the best golf rangefinders, the Bushnell ProBushnell Pro XE

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1st4th2nd4th3rd94.5
Nikon CoolShot Pro II Stabilized

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6th13th1st2nd3rd94
Precision Pro R1 Smart

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6th4th5th6th1st93
Bushnell Tour V5 Shift

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1st4th1st15th5th92.5
Voice Caddie SL2

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11th11th11th2nd5th91.5
One of the best golf rangefinders, the Garmin Z8Garmin Approach Z82

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5th24th22nd1st3rd91
One of the best golf rangefinders, the Bushnell Tour V5Bushnell Tour V5

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1st4th1st24th11th90.5
Cobalt Q 6 Slope

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1st4th5th22nd11th90.5
Precision Pro NX9 Slope

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15th13th5th6th5th89.5
Fastest Rangefinder - Sureshot Pinloc 5000iPS LaserSureshot LaserPinlock 5000IPS

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6th1st8th6th18th88.5
Nikon CoolShot 50i

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6th13th8th4th16th88.5
Precision Pro NX7 Pro Slope

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15th13th11th6th9th88
Golf Buddy Aim L10

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15th13th15th15th5th87
Tour Trek Signal Slope

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11th1st13th15th18th86.5
Blue Tees Golf 3 Max

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21st13th15th6th11th86
Inesis 900

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15th13th17th6th15th85.5
Caddytek CaddyView V2

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21st21st22nd6th9th85
Shot Scope Pro L1 Blue

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11th24th17th6th11th85
Sureshot LaserPinloc 5000IP

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6th1st8th24th25th85
Callaway 350TL

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15th21st22nd15th16th83.5
Precision Pro NX2

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15th13th13th6th25th83
Leupold GX-5i

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11th11th17th15th25th82.5
Voice Caddie EL1

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23rd4th25th24th18th81.5
Voice Caddie L5

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24th4th25th24th18th81
Zero Friction SM

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25th23rd27th22nd18th78.5
Zoom Focus X

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26th26th17th15th18th78.5
Zoom Focus Tour

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26th27th17th15th18th77.5

Best Laser Rangefinder

The Best Laser Rangefinder of 2021 – FAQ

Q: Are more expensive rangefinders better?

A: Not for everyone. Keep in mind that a good bit of the cost associated with the most premium units is a result of features that not every golfer needs or even wants. If you’re looking for every bell and whistle the market has to offer, expect to pay more. That being said, there are several lower-cost units that, while not feature-rich, cover the basics every bit as well as the more expensive units. Brands like Inesis and Precision Pro offer excellent products that won’t break the bank.

Q: Do I need a laser with slope functionality?

A: It really comes down to use. For serious golfers, slope technology can help you make smarter decisions on the course. It can be an invaluable tool for tournament golfers looking to learn the nuances of a new course during practice rounds. Golfers who just want to know the yardage to the target and are happy to figure the rest out on their own should consider skipping the slope feature and saving some money.

Q: What’s the best rangefinder for a shaky hand?

A: If you struggle to hold a laser rangefinder steady, there’s really only one model to consider. The Nikon Coolshot Pro Stabilized “freezes” the lens and allows you to lock on to the target. While the Nikon is on the upper end of the price range, it is well worth the money if you have shaky hands.