It’s almost plain silly to not use a rangefinder while hunting these days. There are plenty of benefits that come with using them. However, 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 made this review of the best cheap rangefinders on the market. We’ll select our favorite one at the end of this article.
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!
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 to enter 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 on 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 is 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 through 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
Materials – This cheap rangefinder from Wosports is advertised mainly towards golfers, but it works perfectly for your hunting purposes. The 25mm lens is sealed within the housing to be resistant towards water, fog, and dirt. There is a magnification power of 6x, and it can read up to seven hundred yards away. The laser can work on a continuous scan mode, or it can be used on the PinSeeker mode. While PinSeeker mode is targeted towards assisting golfers, it will easily acquire a point for hunters. The measuring accuracy is up to one yard. Included with this rangefinder is a carrying pouch, CR2 battery, carrying strap, cleaning cloth, and a quick start guide.
Performance – This cheap rangefinder may seem a little odd to consider at first because it really is advertised towards golfers, and hunters are mentioned as a second type of buyer. However, it offers the highest level of range finding power out of all the options within this review and has one of the wider viewing lenses. It’s comfortable to hold. While it doesn’t have a camouflage pattern, it does have a neutral toned surface that will blend in with your camouflaged gear okay. It comes with some helpful accessories, making it a better value for the money as well. If you’re hunting in a highly wooded area or an uneven terrain, you may have a little more trouble when using this option. Just give yourself the clearest viewing space possible.
What we say – The Wosports Laser Rangefinder is the best choice for those who need the maximum range finding option they can get for a low cost.
- 6x magnification and finds range up to 700 yards away
- Two range finding modes
- Comes with many extras
- Best for flatter terrain only
Materials – This rangefinder from Halo is highly ergonomically designed to fit comfortable 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 a 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
Materials – The LaserWorks’ cheap hunting rangefinder offers a 6x magnification, and it can measure any range from four to six hundred yards away. In some cases, it can recognize highly reflective targets of twelve hundred yards away. It’s capable of measuring with its Class 1 laser through fog or moisture. Exclusive to this hunting rangefinder is a solar panel, so users have the option of choosing between battery or solar powered operation. There is a single button for power and a single button for switching functions. After fifteen seconds of inactivity, the rangefinder will automatically power off. This option is covered in a camouflage pattern, so hunters can feel undetected while searching for their next target.
Performance – This hunting rangefinder is the only choice within this review that actually has a camouflage pattern for hunters. It’s also the only option that offers solar powered use, which is certainly a big plus for the economical hunter. There’s not too much to say that’s negative about this choice except that it’s the most expensive option within this review. While it’s still budget friendly, compared to many other rangefinders on the market, it may be pushing the line on “cheap.” This is the most conscious choice to make for saving battery power while still getting a wide magnification and yard-measuring range.
What we say – The LaserWorks Laser Rangefinder is the best choice for those who require a camouflaged option and would like to save their battery use while hunting.
- Solar powered panel
- Camouflaged exterior
- Automatically turns off after inactivity
- Most expensive option
Our Favorite Cheap Rangefinder
We thought the best cheap hunting rangefinder in our review was the laser rangefinder from Wosports. Despite it being mainly advertised towards golfers, it is one of the best choices for hunters looking to get a good value for a lower cost. It also happens to offer the largest magnification and yardage range within this review, so you’re really getting the most bang for your buck. You can select between a constant scanning mode, or you can try to use that PinSeeker mode to lock onto a specific area. The housing perfectly protects your lens and the battery powered components inside, and you can use it through foggy mornings. Providing the buyer with little extras, like a carrying case and strap, just makes it a more overall value. You’ll get the best balance between quality and price with the Wosports Laser Rangefinder.