Despite being small enough to fit in your pocket, a tape measure is one of those tools that is almost impossible to use by yourself. Laser measuring devices are far easier to wrangle if you don't have an assistant -- even with just one hand -- but it's taken decades for a company like Bosch to finally create a version that's as compact as roll of metal tape.
Available come September for just $US49, you won't need a giant toolbox to haul around the Bosch GLM 15. In fact, the unit is so compact you can probably get away with slipping it into the pocket of your skinny jeans. Using a laser rangefinder blasting out from the top of the device, the GLM 15 is able to measure distances up to 15m in length with an accuracy of about an eighth of an inch. So while it's probably not designed for professional carpenters or architects, it seems perfect for weekend warriors building their first deck. [Bosch]