5 Best Distance Measuring Wheels for Site Surveyors and Estimators
A distance measuring wheel is a convenient tool for measuring long distances on site. This tool consists of a wheel, pole (steering or handle), kickstand and the meter (measuring dial). There are various types of measuring wheels, some with collapsible wheels which can be reduced to 50% of their original size for easy packing and storage. The most common type of measuring wheel is the single-wheel, but there are models with dual wheels. Estimators, property valuation surveyors, construction site workers and site surveyors are known to use measuring wheels for sites with long spans.
In order to start measuring, you have to mark the starting position on the ground. Start pushing the wheel using the steering pole. Focus in the direction of your destination, and make sure you are moving in a straight line. As you move, the tool will measure the distance travelled which is shown on the meter. In case you want to take a rest, push the kickstand down, and the machine will stand still on the spot.
To measure a new line or single instance, you have to reset the meter, which will begin at zero. Push the wheel and repeat the steps outlined above. As you can see, it’s very easy to operate this instrument.
Depending on the tools available in the market, distance measuring wheels come in different sizes. The wheel diameter ranges in size from 4 inches to 4 feet. In metric units, that’s 102mm to 1220mm.
Before you purchase a measuring wheel, you have to understand its purpose and limitations. The measuring wheel is suitable for measuring long distances out in the field or site. It’s very hard, time consuming and just not practical to measure long distances with a measuring tape. Also, the accuracy of a measuring wheel is less than that of a measuring tape, but a measuring wheel allows you to measure long distances much faster and with little effort.
Where rough measurements are required, as on a farm, plot, vacant lot or building site, you will need a measuring wheel to accomplish the task. Measuring tapes are only needed for small spaces such as the size of rooms in a dwelling or office building.
The accuracy of a measuring wheel depends on the hardness and smoothness of the surface. The accuracy is much higher on a hard, smooth and level surface, and much lower on a loose, rough and uneven surface. In this case, you would get much higher accuracy on a paved or tarred surface, and lower accuracy on a sandy, grassy, muddy or gravel surface.
To get higher accuracy, the wheel has to keep in contact with the ground at all times. A lot of bouncing and bumping will reduce the final measured length. A slightly heavier wheel will keep to the ground most of the times, much more than a light wheel. You also have to take into account the obstructions that come in your way, for example, rocks and boulders along the path. Whenever you have to move around or jump over these obstructions, you will be required to make adjustments in your measurements.
With that said, here are some of the best distance measuring wheels that you can get on the market. These are highly reviewed wheels:
TR Industrial 88016 FX Series Collapsible Measuring Wheel
This black and yellow measuring wheel can be used on most types of ground situations such as grassy and dusty lands. The tool includes a 2ft 9inch handle, 1ft diameter collapsible wheel, kickstand, distance meter and storage bag. Warranty – 1 year.
Price – $34.66
Keson RR310 Roadrunner 3 Measuring Wheel
This orange and black measuring wheel is 12.5 inches in diameter, 3 spoked, has a 38.75 ft handle. It can subtract measurements for backward movement and it works on different situations such as snow, grass and dusty ground.
Price – $64.36
Calculated Industries 6540 Wheel Master Pro
This good looking light-green/black measuring wheel by Calculated Industries is foldable, includes a handle, measuring dial, kickstand, reset counter and transmission gear. The wheel is 12.5 inches in diameter, it will adjust measurements for reverse motion and it comes with a free zipped nylon case which you can use to carry the wheel as a backpack or travel bag. Warranty – 2 years.
Price – $77.97
Komelon ML1212 Meter-Man Measuring Wheel
The Komelon ML1212 has an adjustable telescopic handle, small wheels measuring 4 inches in diameter. The full length of the handle is at least 18 inches, it can be locked and twisted as desired. It works on all types of terrain and it’s lightweight and durable. Other features of this tool include a 5-digit distance reader.
Price – $23.46
RolaTape RT312 Measuring Wheel
This measuring tool has a diameter of 12.5 inches, made of aluminium with black tyre treads. The handle is telescopic, allowing you to push it inwards to reduce the overall length for storage or pulling it outwards to extend the pole. It includes a kickstand, and distance meter. It will record negative measurements when moved backwards to calculate the reduced distance. Warranty – You can buy a 4 year warranty for only $8.17
Price – $52.99