Nikon ACULON Laser Rangefinder
Last updated date: September 10, 2019
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We looked at the top 1 Rangefinders and dug through the reviews from 4 of the most popular review sites including BestReviews, Ranging With Style, Laser Golf Rangefinder, Target Tamers and more. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Rangefinder you should buy.
With 6X magnification and 18mm eye relief, the Nikon ACULON Laser Rangefinder has plenty of benefits. Perhaps its biggest draw is its price, though. At less than $150, it's by far the most affordable rangefinder in its class. For that price, its water-resistant build makes it a winner. In our analysis of 68 expert reviews, the Nikon Nikon ACULON Laser Rangefinder placed 8th when we looked at the top 10 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.
Editor's Note May 8, 2019:
Checkout The Best Rangefinder for a detailed review of all the top rangefinders.
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From The Manufacturer
Nikon is the world leader in optics and is on the cutting edge of laser rangefinder technology. The new ACULON Rangefinder delivers world-class performance in an extremely compact body. Nowhere else will you find the speed, the precision and the optical quality of the palm-sized ACULON.
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An Overview On Rangefinders
If you like to hunt, you already know there is no shortage of tools to make your life easier. A rangefinder is one of those tools, allowing you to spot your prey far better than you ever could with the naked eye. But different types of hunting call for different types of rangefinders, so it’s important to know what to look for before you buy.
If you’re a bowhunter, angle-compensating software is essential since you need to be able to calculate the angle necessary to hit your mark. Rifle-geared rangefinders aren’t as sophisticated as precision-shooting rangefinders, which are made for those hunters who are very particular. You’ll find many rangefinders tackle the basics of helping you spot prey from a distance, but some have special features built for the type of hunting you’ll be doing.
Weather is an important consideration when you’re researching rangefinders. Some rangefinders are more waterproof than others, making them ideal for those early morning rainstorms. You’ll also find some rangefinders struggle to work in low lighting, forcing you to wait until daylight to get started.
Performance is going to be your top consideration with a rangefinder, which means you’ll need to look at distance abilities. Some rangefinders are built to read targets from farther away than others, which is something worth considering if you want to cover a broad distance. But once your rangefinder has spotted a target, the reading it gives needs to be accurate and quick as well. The goal is to be able to spot your target and take action in milliseconds, rather than wasting valuable time.
Lastly, tripod compatibility will also be a factor if you want to be in hands-free mode. In some cases, you can simply buy an inexpensive tripod sleeve to turn your handheld into a mounted device in a matter of seconds. As you’re considering that, keep weight and size in mind. You’ll probably want a rangefinder that is easy to carry along with you as you head out on your hunts.
DYWM Fun Fact
Advancements in technology mean rangefinders are better than ever while also being smaller in size and, therefore, easier to carry around. Using that technology, today’s rangefinders can not only measure the distance between hunter and prey, but they can also provide unprecedented accuracy in their readings. This accuracy means that hunters can both reduce the time it takes to get results out on the range as well as make more humane kills, hitting every target on the first try. Additionally, advancements in rangefinders allow them to replace the binoculars and spotting scopes that were once required tools in every hunting kit.
The Rangefinder Buying Guide
- First, it’s important to factor in the type of hunting you’ll be doing. Vortex Optics Ranger Laser Rangefinders feature angle or slope compensation distance, ensuring your hold is illuminated even at the harshest angles. Whether you’re hunting with a rifle or bow, this feature can make a big difference.
- If you’re looking for distance, the Sig Sauer Laser Rangefinders are the way to go. You can target any range within a 2-mile distance, thanks to specialized LightWave DSP technology. Distance depends on what you’re targeting, though. You can only range trees within 1,600 yards, and deer are limited to 1,300 yards. With the Vortex Optics Ranger Laser Rangefinders, you’ll get a range of up to 1,000 yards, but that range shortens if you’re targeting smaller or non-reflective items. The Bushnell Tour V4 JOLT Laser Rangefinder can reach up to 1,000 yards.
- Magnification also plays into how well a rangefinder performs. Vortex Optics Ranger Laser Rangefinders and the Nikon ACULON Laser Rangefinder offer 6X magnification, while the Bushnell Tour V4 JOLT Laser Rangefinder only offers 5X.
- You should also pay close attention to eye relief, which has to do with the distance between the eye and the lens. The minimum you can have with a clear view is 15mm, so you’ll want to stay close to that range. Vortex Optics Ranger Laser Rangefinders offer 17mm, and the Nikon ACULON Laser Rangefinder provides 18mm eye relief.
- Some rangefinders can be prone to errors, so it’s important to look at advertised accuracy ratings. Sig Sauer Laser Rangefinders have exceptional accuracy, displaying readings that are exact to the nearest 1/10 yard. Vortex Optics Ranger Laser Rangefinders and the Bushnell Tour V4 JOLT Laser Rangefinder only promise range increments in 1 yard.
- You don’t have time to waste once your rangefinder spots something. For that reason, scanning speed is essential. Sig Sauer Laser Rangefinders use HyperScan™ Technology to provide four range updates per second when in scan mode. The Bushnell Tour V4 JOLT Laser Rangefinder, by comparison, can take one to four seconds to offer a reading.
- Sig Sauer Laser Rangefinders also features something called RangeLock™, which locks in your last range result to ensure you never lose a reading.
- Some hunters like to set their rangefinders on a tripod to keep their hands free for when they need to take action. Sig Sauer Laser Rangefinders offer a separately sold sleeve that you can use with a tripod. Vortex Optics Ranger Laser Rangefinders have both a belt clip and a tripod socket.
- It’s also important to consider size and weight if you’ll be carting your rangefinder around all day. The Bushnell Tour V4 JOLT Laser Rangefinder is both the smallest and lightest, at 3.1 x 4 x 1.6 inches and 12 ounces. It’s also ergonomically designed.
- You won’t always have dry conditions, so it’s important to consider how weatherproof your rangefinder is. The Nikon ACULON Laser Rangefinder is both water-resistant and rainproof. Vortex Optics Ranger Laser Rangefinders are built with a rubberized coating and an O-ring design that seals the interior, which helps protect them both against water and dust.
- Some rangefinders struggle in low light. Since you probably won’t limit your trips to daylight hours, you need to look for a rangefinder that can perform when the sun goes down. Vortex Optics Ranger Laser Rangefinders uses red digital lights that stand out against all types of backgrounds, as well as keeping visibility high at night. You can adjust the lighting display for whatever time of day it is.
- Rangefinders can be on the expensive side, but you can get the Nikon ACULON Laser Rangefinder for less than $150. The Bushnell Tour V4 JOLT Laser Rangefinder retails in the $200-$300 range, while Vortex Optics Ranger Laser Rangefinders sell for between $300 and $400. On the high end are the top-performing Sig Sauer Laser Rangefinders, which retail well above $400.