A small differential laser Doppler velocimeter which uses a semiconductor laser and a small number of optical components is described. In this device the light from the laser diode is split into coherent beams by means of a diffraction grating. The two first-order beams are crossed in a probe volume with a lens. In a test experiment the velocity of water containing 0.9 mu m polystyrene spheres was determined from the fluctuation of the scattered light. This velocity agreed with the velocity calculated from flux measurements.