Rangefinders are the new hip gadgets everyone wants to have; however, they have been in existence for a while.
A lot of professionals rely on them for their games, I wonder how they survived without this tool before it was created. It mustn’t have been easy for them.
Rangefinders make it easier and faster to locate and measure the distance of target objects that are far.
Best Rangefinders: An In-depth Review
In this article, we will review the ten best rangefinders in the market today, in the year 2022.
These rangefinders can be used for a varied number of things including golfing, hunting, ballistics, forestry, surveys, and even rangefinders for sailing.
Some of the rangefinders that will be reviewed here have amazing specifications that make them impervious to certain weather conditions including rain and fog. They are also tolerant of rugged terrains.
Without further ado let us get into the review. The best rangefinders in no particular order include;
1. Bushnell Pro XE – Overall Best Rangefinder
Best known for its super quick and accurate readings
Improved Version of Bushnell Pro X2
The Bushnell Pro XE rangefinder was designed and produced after the Bushnell Pro X2. The XE is an improved version of the X2 model and they came with a surprisingly amazingly extra fast and accurate reading.
It isn’t a simple upgrade of the X2 model, it is a whole new model of a Bushnell rangefinder that came with amazing new specs that fans are raving about.
Another major difference between the X2 and the XE is that the XE is much heavier than the X2 users were originally used to.
However, the new and added features are so impressive that users are willing to overlook the weight of the rangefinder.
Patented Slope Technology with Temperature and Barometric Element
In general, Bushnell now has a new patented Slope Technology that provides golfers using their rangefinders the most accurate distance readings.
The Slope Technology also has a temperature and barometric element feature that ensures readings are accurate and clear.
It has a magnetic clasp that allows users to latch the rangefinder onto anything metallic as a holder. This is one of the best rangefinders with magnet.
The readings are so accurate and spot-on that it doesn’t alternate between the usual + or – 5 yardage readings that most rangefinders usually alternate between.
This rangefinder will give you the same reading every time for the same point you want to be measured.
It has a very useful jolt or vibration feature that some rangefinders don’t have. The jolt feature allows users to know that the rangefinder has locked onto its pin.
After the lock-in jolt, the rangefinder screen shines out in red light, this is to inform the user that the distance reading has been pinpointed and they have a reading that is a hundred percent correct.
It has a 7x magnification feature and it produces very crisp and clear images that users are very excited about.
These amazing features do not come at a cheap rate, this rangefinder could cost between $450 – $550.
2. Precision Pro NX9 – Most Affordable Golf Rangefinder
Best known for its accuracy, fast readings, and affordability
This rangefinder model is mostly opted for because of the value buyers get for their money and the money being spent will not break the bank. If that isn’t a game-changer, I don’t know what is. The Precision Pro NX9 is a highly sought-after rangefinder that costs about $200 – $220.
This rangefinder, like the Bushnell Pro XE, also has an inbuilt magnetic that allows users to securely latch it onto any metallic object around them.
Lens and Optics
The lens and optics production of this rangefinder is optimally satisfactory and users have raved about how light the rangefinder is even though it also has an inbuilt magnet.
The rangefinder may be affordable but it was made with quality build materials that make it an amazing rangefinder.
Easy to Use
It is very functional, optimal, and easy to learn and use. It has a very useful mode that allows the rangefinder to alternate between slope mode and non-slope mode.
Keep in mind that if you press and hold the mode button, the rangefinder readings will alternate between yards and meters.
This can be confusing if you are a first-time user, you might think the reading is inaccurate but it is simply alternating between yards and meters readings.
Now, of course, the most important feature every rangefinder should have – accurate readings.
This rangefinder provides users with quick and accurate readings, maybe not as quick as the Bushnell Pro XE I reviewed before but it is right up there next to it.
The Precision Pro NX9 HD rangefinder has the jolt or lock-in vibration to assure the user that their aim is really locked-in.
However, this vibrating feature on this rangefinder is not an accurate representation of the target being locked in.
3. Bushnell Golf Tour V5 – Best Rangefinder Without Slope
Best known for its accuracy and speed. Also, the best alternative to Bushnell Pro XE
The Standard Tour V5 is the rangefinder you buy when your budget is not enough to buy the Bushnell Pro XE.
It is not called a solid alternative to the Pro XE in both speed and accuracy for nothing. The Tour V5 is considered best in every single faucet including speed and accuracy, it is only second best when the Pro XE is also in the lineup.
It has the jolt or vibration feature that assures users that their target is accurately locked in. The lock-in feature is also indicated by a red light that shines around the display when the rangefinder has locked on a pin or a target.
These indicators, the jolt, and the red light inform the user that the distance measurement provided by the rangefinder is accurate.
Speed and Accuracy
It provides distance readings in a matter of split seconds much like the speed of the Pro XE and the accuracy was not exempted in this model.
Lens and Magnification Power
Its lens and the images produced are top tiers with its 6x magnification lens feature. It provides crisp and clear images.
The display is made of great quality, it is easy to read and not cluttered with unnecessary information. This is one of the best rangefinders with an illuminated display.
It also has an inbuilt magnet for easily latching it onto any metal for safekeeping.
This model costs less than some high-end Bushnell models at $300 – $350.
This model, however, does not have a slope mode and even though some users do not mind this feature being absent, Bushnell anticipated other users who may want the slope mode and also made a slope mode model available at an extra $100. This is the best rangefinder without slope.
4. Nikon COOLSHOT PROII STABILIZED – Best Rangefinder with Illuminated Display
Best known for its stabilized targeting, great optics, and quick response
Everyone knows Nikon produces some of the best gadgets in the market today, and the Nikon Cool shot Pro II Stabilized rangefinder is not exempted.
Protection against Shaking
It was specially made to be that rangefinder that can counteract any factor that can cause the rangefinder to shake which may impact the results of the rangefinder.
The shaking can be caused by hand-shakes or environmental factors that cause the rangefinder to shake while being used.
The stabilized feature steadies the view of the rangefinder and improves its focus even amid shakiness. This is the best rangefinder for shaky hands.
Another amazing feature of this rangefinder is its top-tier optics.
Maybe it’s because they are very adept at making cameras and they use that knowledge to make this rangefinder.
It has one of the best lenses and optic output as far as rangefinders are concerned.
It has a screen quality that leaves users amazed every time. Its designs are very easy and it’s also quite easy to learn how to use. This is the best rangefinder with an illuminated display.
It has a mode button that allows users to utilize the rangefinder in the four modes installed into the device. The different modes are; actual distance mode, actual distance and height mode, horizontal distance and height mode, and golf mode.
The golf mode is basically just the measurement of an actual distance and an adjustable slope distance mode.
The golf mode has two modes, the slope mode, and the non-slope mode.
Screen Quality and Display
As far as the Nikon Cool Shot Pro II stabilized rangefinder is concerned, I think it doesn’t get enough Rave for its superior optics as it should.
It has hands down the best optics, screen quality I have ever seen, maybe the Bushnell Pro XE can compete with it but still it is right above every other rangefinder I have ever tried.
These guys took it a step further to make the rangefinder a dual-colored device that shines red when you are trying to lock into a target and when you’ve successfully locked in a target a green ring appears on the screen to indicate accuracy to the user.
Honestly, the only device that can compete with this is the Bushnell products and theirs is not even dual-colored.
Slope Mode with Echo Technology
This device also managed to introduce some features that rangefinder users are accustomed to in order not to alienate some loyal customers.
The slope mode I already mentioned is one of those features, it also has the echo technology that in a way replaces the jolt or vibration feature users are accustomed to.
The echo technology works by introducing the green ring light I mentioned when a user locks into a target to indicate to the user that their target is accurately marked.
After the green light appears, the rangefinder emits a chirpy sound to function as an audible indicator.
Generally, this device is a great one, it is made with good quality material and is waterproof. It is also one of the best rangefinders for sailing.
As expected, this device is on the high end, it costs about $450 to purchase and it will be worth your money if these qualities are things you’d love.
5. Bushnell Tour V4 – Best Optics
Best known for its optics, good quality, and fair price
To be very honest people would only veer towards this rangefinder because of its pricing.
Rangefinders are not generally known to be affordable, so if you find one that can do its job and comes at a fair price then you should grab it. That is the Bushnell Tour V4.
This brand comes with a battery and it is generally made with plastic materials that can be said to be of good and durable quality.
It has a jolt or vibrations technology that alerts users that their targets are locked-in, however, in this model, this feature does not work as accurately as one would expect from a Bushnell product.
Also, the accuracy may be off a few times but these shortfalls can be overlooked when the price is considered.
However, when a few concerned and unhappy buyers reached out to them, they stated that this problem in technicality was only with the first set of the devices that were released.
They also replaced the faulted rangefinders with new ones that seemed to work fine.
This Bushnell product may not be the best when it comes to the Bushnell standard but it is very functional and it does its job, it produces clear images and measures distance to an accurate limit and it has a slope mode feature.
Its ergonomic and minimalistic design makes it very easy to learn how to use and alternate from slope mode to non-slope mode.
After the initial technical glitch that almost made this model fail, I tried it again and this device performed really well.
It quickly located and locked in on targets and the accuracy was great. The initial glitch was quickly forgiven.
The Bushnell Tour V4 costs between $200 – $250 and this device in slope mode is a top-tier rangefinder.
6. Precision Pro NX7 Golf Rangefinder – Best Rangefinder with Vibration
Best known for its affordability
Remember the first Precision rangefinder I reviewed? The NX9. Well, the NX7 Pro was made before that one.
In other words, the NX9 is an upgrade. Hold on, that doesn’t mean the NX7 is no good.
It has its uses and it is stupidly affordable for a rangefinder costing between $190 – $200.
The quality of this model is not quite like that of the NX9 but it is a very functional model. It is made with strong and durable materials that ensure that even though they are surprisingly very affordable you get your money’s worth at the end of the day.
Easy to Use
Its design is simple and easy to use, and it carries its own weight when it comes to quality.
Jolt Technology with Slope and Non-slope Mode
It has a mode feature that allows the rangefinder to calculate yardage in slope mode and non-slope mode. It has the Jolt or vibration technology that signals to users that their target has been locked in.
Users have also referenced that the slope mode on this device is one of the most accurate and easy to use. This is one of the best rangefinders with vibration.
It has a 6x magnification feature, so you can imagine that its optics are good, surprisingly so.
If you are used to high-end top-notch quality products like the Bushnell XE then this model is probably not for you.
This caters to users who are looking for retail rangefinders that can get the job done and wouldn’t break their banks.
7. The Bushnell Prime 1700 – Best Rangefinder for Long Range Shooting
Best known for its lens quality and its ARC feature
The Bushnell Prime 1700, as I indicated in its unique selling point, it is best used for hunting but of course, it is not limited to this function alone.
This rangefinder has a 6x magnification feature that gives it great picture quality and image provision.
The rangefinder also comes with an objective lens of 24mm. The magnification feature and the objective lens alone already make this rangefinder a good one for gauging long distances.
It has a multicolored light transmission with glass and an incredibly clear LCD.
Because of the primary reason, it was made, hunting, this rangefinder is equipped with an angle compensation or an ARC that compensates for uphill and downhill landscapes that would impact the distance reading of any other rangefinder.
As indicated in its name, the Bushnell Prime 1700 has a 1700 yardage range. It is one of the best rangefinders for long-range shooting.
8. Vortex Optics Ranger 1800 – Best Rangefinder with Ballistic Calculator
Best known for its long-range accuracy and fully multicolored optics
Like the Bushnell Prime, this rangefinder was made with hunting in mind, it comes with mouthwatering accessories that include a battery, utility clip, and a case carrier.
Its maximum range is indicated in its name, it can read up yardage up to 1800 yards with incredible accuracy. It is affordable and people who aim long distances need to have this rangefinder.
It also has multicolored lenses like the Bushnell prime, it is easy to read and use because of its minimal interface. It is one of the best rangefinders with a built-in ballistic calculator.
It has a 6x magnification and a 22mm objective lens. It can function properly in a lot of conditions except when it is dark because of the 22mm lenses.
9. TecTecTec VPRO500 Golf Rangefinder – Best Rangefinder under $150
Best known for its easy-to-use interface, precision, and affordability
This rangefinder is wildly popular and even though it is not the best in terms of accuracy or the best in shooting long ranges, it is easy to use and very affordable.
It has a maximum range of 500 yards indicated in its name. Its precision within its range is very impressive and accurate.
This laser rangefinder has amazing optics with really clear imaging, it is lightweight and a portable design. This is one of the best rangefinders under $150.
10. Callaway Laser Golf Rangefinder – Best Peak Pulse Rangefinder
Best known for its Pulse technology, affordability, and slope mode feature
The Callaway rangefinder has a maximum range of 300 yards and it has a slope mode feature that is a surprising relief for a rangefinder within its price bracket.
It is affordable and it made this list because of its pin-location, PAT pulse technology. The pulse technology by emitting a little buzz or pulsating motion ‘pulse’ whenever the rangefinder locks in on a target within its 300 yardages. This is the best peak pulse rangefinder.
The pulse is like the Jolt or vibration technology, to signal to the user that the target has been locked in and the distance reading is sent.
Interestingly, this rangefinder also has a built-in magnet.
Relatively, the rangefinder costs between $190 – $200. It also has a 6x magnification feature with an accuracy that ranges between + or – 1.
Buyer’s guide – things to consider when buying a rangefinder
Everyone knows that there are some very basic things every efficient rangefinder should have and they include; accuracy, magnification, useability, and even something as seemingly unimportant as the readability of the rangefinder.
In the buyer’s guide, I am going to go over all the important details you should always look out for:
The accuracy of the rangefinder is, dare I say, the most important feature of a rangefinder. If the accuracy on a rangefinder is off then what of what use is it?
The accuracy of a rangefinder can singlehandedly make a rangefinder premium or less than. The accuracy of some rangefinders ranges between + or – 5, some more accurate rangefinders range between + or – 1.
However, some have some tech features to counteract factors that can affect the accuracy of the rangefinder and give it 100% accuracy.
Before buying a rangefinder, make sure to find out the accuracy of the rangefinder. Also, make sure to find out the accuracy of the rangefinder within its maximum ranging distance.
2. Ranging distance
The ranging distance of a rangefinder determines the shooting distance of the rangefinder. The ranging distance is also important to know because of the different uses of rangefinders.
When being used for hunting, getting a rangefinder with a bigger range would be more ideal.
A rangefinder with a maximum range indicates that when a user uses the rangefinder and exceeds the maximum range, the distance reading would most likely be inaccurate.
Always operate within the ranging distance of a rangefinder. Most rangefinders companies indicate the ranging distance on the name or body of the rangefinder like in the case of The Vortex Optics Ranger 1800.
However, if the name is not indicated on its name or the body of the rangefinder, then you must request it from the store. Ask them what the ranging distance of the rangefinder is.
The magnification of rangefinders influences how accurately the rangefinder can lock in on its target and pin it.
Generally, the higher the magnification, the more accurate the rangefinder would be. There are rangefinders with up to 7x magnification, others usually fall between 4-6x magnification.
4. Slope mode
A slope mode feature in rangefinders is the button that simply alternates between slope mode and non-slope mode.
The slope mode helps the rangefinder to calculate the changes in elevation of the golf course or the environment where the rangefinder is being used in.
A slopy course will have a different distance measurement from flat terrain. Professional golfers are not allowed to use the slope mode during tournaments, however, it is a very convenient and useful feature in a rangefinder.
5. Ease of use, readability, & efficient designs
Ease of use is what everyone wants in a device that gets the job done. No one would like to be confused about the operative mechanics of their device, they would get tired and give up trying to learn it eventually.
Some rangefinder manufacturers, in a bid to impress users, overstuff the device with features that it can do without, and these extra features clutter the screen of the rangefinder, confusing the user.
Except you are already used to a type of rangefinder and its interface, I would advise you ensure to enquire about the ease of use of the rangefinder before you buy it.
Is it the type that you would always need to go online to read up on how a certain feature works? This will prove to be very inconvenient.
Go for a rangefinder that is easy to use, easy to quickly read the distance, and its design is simple, minimal, and efficient.
6. Pin-sensor technology
Pin-sensor technology is also popularly referred to as the pin-seeker. Newer models of rangefinders integrated this amazing feature into their rangefinders, the pin-seeker can lock in on a specific target even amid surrounding objects.
For example, if you intend to target a particular tree in a forest, the pin-sensor will lock in on the closest tree you targeted and notify you that the object has been targeted. Usually, users are notified by an accompanying jolt or vibration or pulse technology, another method of notifying user is with the technology called the Chirp technology.
With the chirping technology, the rangefinder emits a chirpy sound to signal that the target is locked in.
7. Size of the rangefinder
From experience, small-sized rangefinders have been known to prove quite difficult and impossible to use with two hands.
Typically, ranging with both hands ensures that the rangefinder remains steady and focused but with small rangefinders you may have to use just one hand.
I reviewed a rangefinder that has a stabilizing feature. This is one thing you would have to consider.
8. Ranging scan mode
Not a lot of rangefinders have this feature, but the ones that have the foresight to have a scan mode, end up better for it.
The scan mode ensures that while holding the range button-down, or a few seconds after you have pressed the button. The rangefinder in its scan mode will scan its environment to get the right target. This is a very easy way to use a rangefinder.
However, it is not a compulsory feature to have. However, if you are new to ranging, I think you should try out this feature.
The battery is pretty much one of the last few things you would remember to enquire about when buying a rangefinder because it is not foremost in the design of the rangefinder.
Batteries are, however, very important when it comes to rangefinders except you want the rangefinder to die on you while being used.
The traditional type rangefinders we are used to, have very affordable replacement batteries that are easy and convenient to carry around in case you need an urgent replacement.
Also, for irremovable batteries, you need to ask or check how long the battery lasts before you have to charge it again. A battery with a short life span can be very frustrating.
10. The purpose or use of the rangefinder
Before you up and buy any rangefinder, even if it is the best rangefinder in the market, there is one very basic question you must answer first. What do you want to use the rangefinder for?
What is the purpose? Rangefinders are used for different reasons. People use it for golfing, hunting, surveying, security, and surveillance purposes, and even foresters have to use rangefinders at some point.
11. Optics and image quality
Have you ever looked into a device and felt immediately turned off? Yes, we all have and it is because of how bad the optics or the images were.
On the flip side, who doesn’t like to view images in HD or clear and crispy pictures? Absolutely nobody.
Some rangefinder manufacturers will spend a lot of time and resources to create and improve on a lot of important features on the rangefinder and they overlook or pay minimal attention to its optics.
If you are an old rangefinder fan, then you would know this is a hit and miss because users may applaud its accuracy or its speed but the optics will still be a turnoff. It can also make readability difficult.
Some rangefinders are equipped with illuminated displays and multicolored LCDs to make ranging easier and more fun for users. These are some of the things you should consider before buying a rangefinder.
12. Budget and price
Rangefinders vary in any way you can think of, including pricing. The rangefinder you would ultimately settle for falls within your budget.
Obviously, the difference in pricing comes with a difference in quality and certain features.
Major uses of a Laser Rangefinder
Have you ever been to a forest? It is cluttered with trees, shrubs, and a lot of animals. Hunters have particularly had it easier since the invention of rangefinders. The forest or any other hunting environment is a wild place and entirely unpredictable, you could even find mountains there.
You could be on top of a small hill and target a game animal beneath you. Hunting rangefinders have the technology to take into consideration the position of the hunter and the game.
It can also bypass surrounding objects like trees, stumps, and the likes and focus solely on the target of choice. In any case, rangefinders have been of immense help to hunters and it will be for a long time to come.
Although, rangefinders are not allowed in professional tournaments, professional golfers, however, have found it very helpful in building their skills.
Even amateur golfers have found it exceedingly helpful. Rangefinders with slope mode are especially great on the golf course.
Archery is a professional sport or method of hunting game animals.Professional archery raves about the usefulness of rangefinders to their craft. Its angle compensation is a very important skill in this regard.
Other important uses of rangefinders include surveying, security and surveillance, target shooting, and photography.
Editor’s Choice Rangefinder
I’ve reviewed the top ten rangefinders that can be considered some of the best in their various field for some of the best features a rangefinder can have.
These rangefinders are all winners in their own rights and they are all very useful and efficient for the purpose users intend them for.
However, there can only be one favorite and in this article, the editor’s choice or favorite is the BUSHNELL Pro XE.
The Bushnell Pro XE hands down is one of the best rangefinders in the best in the market right now. It has a lot of amazing features that make it the rave of every rangefinder user.
Although, it is pretty up there when it comes to pricing at about $450 – $550. This rangefinder has a strong inbuilt rangefinder that makes it very easy for users to clasp in against metallic objects for safekeeping like a golf cart.
It has the best magnification feature ever in any rangefinder, with a 7x magnification feature and a great – and I mean greatttttt – optics and clear crispy image production.
Another unmatched feature is the accuracy of the rangefinder, it has a 100% accuracy that emits a jolt or vibration technology when it locks in on a target.
It provides very quick readings and it also has an Improved Slope Technology with a temperature and barometric pressure sensor. It is resistant to a foggy environment but not waterproof.
The rangefinder is a little on the heavy side, not at all what the fans of Bushnell devices are used to. Although I have ascribed this heaviness to the premium quality materials used to make this rangefinder.
The slope technology, as you know, has the slope mode and the non-slope mode feature that measures accurate distances even in a hilly course.
The temperature and barometric sensor are to counteract any difference that the environment’s temperature or pressure might have on an accurate distance reading.
I know, you might think it’s too expensive but if you want a worthwhile premium rangefinder, then you can save and buy this.
Otherwise, other good rangefinders will fall within your budget reviewed in this article that costs between less than $150 and a little above $200.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best brand of Rangefinders?
Which rangefinder do the pros use?
This rangefinder is accurate to within 1 yard and can measure distances up to 1,000 yards. It also has a slope compensation feature that adjusts the distance depending on the incline or decline of the terrain.
What is a good price for a rangefinder?
Is a range finder worth it?
Do I need slope on my rangefinder?
Why do some rangefinders have 3 lenses?
Is a rangefinder with slope illegal?
Some rangefinders that include slope readings are considered illegal for use in certain competitions, while others are not. It is always best to check with the governing body before using any equipment in order to avoid any penalties.
People buy rangefinders for different reasons and these reasons vary widely, and they include the list of things already mentioned in this article.
Rangefinders are amazing devices and they are very helpful to users.
Other than needing a buying guide, you should also know that they need to be treated with care and stored away properly.
Rangefinders often come with storage carriers along with other accessories. When not in use, they should be turned off and kept in a safe place.
Read More: Best Rangefinders Under 200