How Does A Laser Rangefinder Work

How Does A Laser Rangefinder Work?


We use a lot of tools when we go hunting. Among them, one of the essential tools that we use all the time is a laser rangefinder. We use laser rangefinders not only for hunting also for archery.

you could think that it’s a simple calculation of shooting the laser beam and collection of the beam. But we would like you to know things are not that smooth.

So how does a laser rangefinder work? Stay with us to Know more.

How Does A Laser Rangefinder Work?

How Does A Laser Rangefinder Work

Well, it’s pretty simple in theory. You should first know that the laser rangefinder emits travels at the speed of light. When the laser hits the target, it bounces back in the laser rangefinder. The system inside the rangefinder calculates the time the laser took to get around and gives the reading.

Rangefinder Lens


Rangefinder Lens


For the laser to hit the target, the rangefinder first needs to pick the target. So the rangefinder needs to be equipped with a powerful lens. Most of the lenses in the market have objective lenses more than 20mm, and lens magnification is more than 5X.

Why are these so important. Well, how would a rangefinder measure the target if it can’t even pick it up? That’s why the rangefinder comes with a powerful lens so it can pick the target from far away.

Beam Divergence – How does the beam hit the target

Beam Divergence

This beam divergence may seem a little complex, but trust us, it’s simple, and we’ll try to tell you in a more straightforward term. When the rangefinder emits a laser beam, it starts as a few millimeters in diameter, but as the laser beam travels and gets closer to its target, its diameter increases. The diameter widens more if the target is too far away.

For this cause, there is a good amount of chance of the reading being incorrect. So when it comes down to it, Most of the calculation depends on the software programmed into the laser rangefinder.

When the target is far away, it may pick up many unnecessary objects, so it’s up to the software to figure out which one is the real target.

That’s why the rangefinder can calculate reflective targets better.

Rangefinder Laser

Rangefinder Laser

The laser beam is the central part of the rangefinder; it helps the software to determine the distance. The rangefinder shot’s the laser beam, and the laser then reflects the rangefinder, and the sensor calculates what it took to return.

In this way, the rangefinder shots multiple lasers to determine the distance correctly. And most of the part also depends on the holder.

You have to aim the rangefinder correctly. If not, it would bring a range of other things. Like there is prey, suppose a deer is standing beside a tree. If you don’t aim correctly, it may not bring the correct result.


How the software will interpret the data largely depends on how the software is developed. It will shot multiple laser beams to determine the accurate distance. When the prey is far away, the laser beam picks up multiple targets because of beam divergence. So its software work to identify what to measure.

Most of the rangefinders come with target lock systems, so it has become more manageable now.

Learn how the software works


It’s better to choose a laser rangefinder that can range long distances. These rangefinders are a bit pricy, but it’s better to have a long-range one.

If you are using it for archery practice then you already know what distance you will need.

Angle compensation

Imagine you are standing on a tree stand or maybe on a hill, and your target isn’t at the same distance as you. So, if a rangefinder possesses angle compensation, its AI technology automatically calculates the angle, compensates the space, and provides the correct measurements.

The Verdict

Well, it’s not like you have to know about how a laser rangefinder works. But, knowing something is a plus. You might want to know about what are the best hunting rangefinder. We do have an article on it. You can also try vortex 1800 or tectectec pro wildthese both are excellent hunting laser rangefinders.

So, how did you like our How Does A Laser Rangefinder Work?.

We hope you found it helpful.

papon ahamed

My name is Papon Ahamed. I’m a hunting enthusiast, digital marketer and have a bachelors degree in finance. As CEO of outdoor topic reviews, I get to do what I love: reviewing products and writing about my adventures!
I am not even married – but friends say that doesn’t matter because they know how lucky I will be when the right person comes along!

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