A range finder can be a hunter’s best friend. Quickly and accurately assess the distance to your game and place that perfect shot for the kill.
Sadly, a quick search online can reveal that rangefinders can get really, really expensive. We’re talking up to $400 or more for a little gadget. Not everyone is made of money, so we compiled this review of the best cheap rangefinders on the market.
|Simmons Laser Rangefinder||
||$166 Shop NowClick to read my review|
|Halo XL450-7 Laser Rangefinder||
||$278 Shop NowClick to read my review|
|Vector Optics Forester Rangefinder||
||$229 Shop NowClick to read my review|
|Bushnell Pro XE Golf Laser Rangefinder||
||$479 Shop NowClick to read my review|
For most rangefinders, the price quickly hikes up once you increase the range you want to measure and the level of technology you’re looking for. When you pass up the 600-yard mark, that’s when you have to prepare to hand over $200 or more. When looking for a good rangefinder that is below that price point, you can usually find an option that measures anywhere from 450-600 yards. Don’t expect your rangefinder to account for uneven fields of view, most of the cheaper rangefinders will have to be used on mainly flat terrain or fairly clear viewing paths. For your typical hunting circumstances, the budget-friendly laser rangefinders will do just fine, so don’t let a brand trick you out of a few extra hundred dollars!
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How Does A Rangefinder Work?
Before diving into rangefinder considerations, It’s a good idea to refresh your memory on how it works because knowing it is very beneficial. Laser rangefinders work by firing a laser at your desired target and measuring the time it takes for the laser to return. The distance to your target is determined by the laser’s set speed in relation to the time it takes to travel.
Things To Consider When Buying A Rangefinder
Understanding the distance between you and your target is the first step in making an accurate shot. Knowing this measurement can help you, especially if you enjoy hunting or game.
It has a significant impact on how effective your shots are. Rangefinders vary in magnification; most have a small amount of magnification, ranging from 5 to 10x. It’s easier to range a specific target in your field of view, even if it’s more distant away, of course, the Higher magnification will result in a clearer view.
Objective Lens Diameter
The greater the effective diameter of the objective lens, the greater the light-collecting power. As a result, the image is brighter and higher in resolution. The majority of rangefinders have a diameter of 20 to 25 millimeters. In comparison, most binoculars have 40 to 50-millimeter objective lenses, while spotting scopes have 50 to 100 millimeters.
Maximum Range Capability
The maximum distance a given range finder can accurately detect is the statistic that most shoppers looking for a rangefinder focus on. Remember that a long rangefinder is useless if you can’t see the target from where you are. Make sure you have a large enough magnification, at least 5x magnification, to see distant targets.
Along with battery life, it’s important to determine whether the battery is rechargeable or needs to be replaced. Something that will last you an entire season of golf is certainly worthwhile, but some will drain the battery much faster than this. In general, laser rangefinders have fairly long battery life.
Now that we’ve seen the factors to consider when choosing and purchasing a Rangefinder, let’s move on to our top picks.
Best Rangefinders 2022
Simmons Laser Rangefinder
Materials – This rangefinder is the cheapest option within this review. The housing is made of weather-resistant materials that have been sealed to avoid moisture and dirt entering it as well as extreme temperatures that cause damage. The 20mm vertical lens provides a clear picture with a 4x magnification power. It can read ranges from ten yards to six hundred yards away with an accuracy of up to one yard. A single button operates this rangefinder with a simple tap. The LCD screen can read your range in your preference of yards or meters. There is also a laser that emits a Class 1 beam, meaning it has a <1mw average power output.
Performance – For being the cheapest option within this review, and for being one of the cheapest rangefinders you can find at all on the market, you’ll see surprisingly decent quality out of this option from Simmons. The downside of this choice is that you won’t get quite the same magnification or yardage reading as a lot of other rangefinders. However, a 4x magnification and up to six hundred yards are still very functional and useful. The Class 1 beam is pretty average for what you’re going to see with all rangefinders, so there isn’t much to complain about there. The picture in the lens is clear and easy to view as well. While it’s certainly not the ”best of the best” you’ll find online, it’s a great value for the money.
What we say – The Simmons Laser Rangefinder is the best choice for hunters who don’t need to go beyond six hundred yards and usually hunt within mainly flat terrains.
- Cheapest option
- Class 1 laser beam
- Great value for the money
- Lower magnification and viewing range
Halo XL450-7 Laser Rangefinder
Materials – This rangefinder from Halo is highly ergonomically designed to fit comfortably in a hand, and it has textured, padded areas as well for additional gripping power. The housing is highly resistant to water and moisture. The bright and clear lens has a magnification power of 6x. You can scan your range of up to four hundred and fifty yards away with precise accuracy of plus or minus one yard. The special Ai Technology even accounts for slopes within your range as part of the yardage to your target. Included with the laser rangefinder is a single CR2 battery.
Performance – While this is one of the best cheap rangefinders we selected, it certainly is best for particular needs only. You definitely have to make a small sacrifice if you choose this option from Halo: you’re cutting down on your depth of range by about 150-250 yards. However, that’s for one very good reason: the special technology allows the user to compensate for slopes or dips in their terrain for an accurate reading. This can be very useful for many types of hunting. The ergonomic shape of the rangefinder is also a big plus, as we didn’t see many others that looked like this. It’s very comfortable for anyone with any sized hand to hold. The technology included does bump up the price a little bit, but it sure does beat those $400 rangefinders you’ll see on the market!
What we say – The Halo Laser Rangefinder is the best choice solely for hunters who frequent uneven terrains and know they’ll need to account for that.
- Provides a 6x magnification
- Ai Technology accounts for slopes in terrain
- Ergonomically shaped
- Measures ranges only up to 450 yards
Vector Optics Forester Rangefinder
Materials – The Vector Optics Forester Rangefinder has a multilayer coating that produces a very clear and sharp image. The red icons displayed during measurement, will not obscure the observed target and can be used in low-light situations. The sight size is 12 MOA, allowing you to precisely aim a variety of targets, from a target at a distance to moving animals or city buildings. The measurement range will differ depending on the type of target market.
Performance – When it comes to better user experience, I can say that this product is also good and I enjoyed using it as well. This rangefinder is manufactured by Vector Optics which is one of the well-known brands today. It also allows you to accurately measure the distance to a distant target during shooting practice. Another appealing feature is that it is made of plastic and rubber and has a classic contoured case that fits comfortably in the hand.
What we say – This Forester Rangefinder is a great buy that will serve you well. It allows you to accurately measure the distance between you and your target. It will also be of great help to you because it is an excellent tool for long-distance shooters. As a result, this product is certainly worth a try.
- Durable and easy to use
- Comes with multilayer coating lenses
- 6 x magnification
- Very fast response time
- Compact, portable size
- When used for a few hours, the battery drains quickly
Bushnell Pro XE Laser Rangefinder
Materials – The Bushnell Pro XE is housed in a fully waterproof metal housing, providing golfers with the most accurate and long-lasting laser rangefinder on the market. This rangefinder weighs only 11oz, but it includes a built-in enhanced backlight display and a CR-2 3-Volt Lithium battery. Another useful feature is the built-in BITE magnetic mount, which allows you to easily attach and mount your rangefinder to your game cart to save time. Very useful and impressive.
Performance – I can honestly say that this rangefinder will literally blow you away with its 7x magnification, which I appreciate because the image is very clear even at a far distance. Its 7x magnification is simply better for zooming in on pins or other objects to get the most precise measurement to exactly what you want. Also, if you get caught playing in the rain, this unit is waterproof, so you can use it in any weather conditions. It appears to be the sweet spot for a compact rangefinder with ease of use and clear optics.
What we say – The Bushnell Pro XE is sleek, compact, and modern, with cutting-edge technology that is both forward-thinking and accessible, including toggleable buttons for easy and quick use. Despite its high price, this type of rangefinder has a number of impressive features that you should try.
- Rubber armored metal housing
- Range of 1300 yards
- 7x magnification
- Comes With visual jolt technology
Our Favorite Cheap Rangefinder
All of these rangefinders are good buys, and each product has a great feature that will be very useful to you. Now, if you’re wondering what my top choice would be… if you got the cash, get the Vector Optics Forester Rangefinder. It’s a nice balance of features and price. You can’t go wrong with this product because it is one of the best rangefinders available today.
For the best budget buy, go with the Simmons Laser Rangefinder which is also an ok rangefinder but comes at a low cost. I hope this article has helped you to make the right decision. Enjoy and keep yourself safe out there.