Written By Car Bibles Staff
Published Oct. 15, 2018

Precision is the name of the game in construction and surveying. This is precisely (pun intended) why engineers heavily invest in their tools, including a laser level, which is primarily used to level off any ground.

Laser levels are measuring and controlling devices that make use of laser beams supported by either a stationary or rotation tripod. They are crucial in charting horizontal or vertical lines or even planes as human measurements are usually prone to errors. While laser levels serve the same function, there are many different versions available for purchase. Don’t be tempted to buy the latest or the priciest just yet; know your options first as we highlighted them below for your reference.

The Best Laser Level

Featuring a unique triple 360-degree line Class II laser system that can make quick work of any project you have at home, this DEWALT laser level is definitely one of the best. It’s powered by a unique 12-volt MAX system, allowing you to complete more tasks while its locking pendulum system ensures you’ve got all sensitive components well protected. It also comes with a green laser light that is four times brighter than conventional reds.

The durable construction of this green laser level is made even more remarkable by its IP65 rating, so even if you do have to work outdoors in a drizzle this laser level will not fail you. Its 360-degree design, self-leveling capabilities, and precision craftsmanship will definitely give you the edge when it comes to ensuring accuracy in your work. It is clearly one of the top laser levels on the market.

Related Post: Best Dewalt Power Tools

Key Features
  • Three 360-degree line lasers
  • Green beam laser technology with 12-volt MAX battery
  • +/- 1/8 inch laser accuracy at 30 feet
  • Range: 100 feet
  • 1.5 mW power output
  • IP65 rating with 2-meter drop test
Specification
  • Brand DEWALT
  • Model DW089LG
  • Weight 8.35 lbs

For really tough jobs or projects that require absolute precision, you can depend on the Johnson laser level. With an interior laser range of 100 feet, the 40-0921 can provide you up to a quarter of an inch in laser accuracy at a distance of 35 feet. But what really appeals to the pros is the Johnson’s 360-degree rotation, making it a nifty manual rotary laser level. There’s no need to reposition the laser level just to get precision levels.

It also comes with its own tripod that can be easily adjusted anywhere from 17 inches to 47 inches, so you can easily prop the Johnson self leveling laser level right in the middle of the room without the need for any other secure attachment. You can always do away with the tripod, of course, and the Johnson will still be able to provide the same level of stability because of its extra-wide and hefty base construction.

Key Features
  • 3 line modes – plumb, level, cross
  • +/- ¼ inch laser accuracy at 35 feet
  • Self-leveling within 6 degrees
  • Range: 100 feet
  • With tripod for maximum height of 47 inches
Specification
  • Brand Johnson Level & Tool
  • Model 40-0921
  • Weight 6.24 lbs

The GLL 55 is German technology at its finest. It’s the go-to laser level for those who require absolute precision. The Bosch laser level features VisiMax technology to give you superb laser light visibility, ensuring the best quality of work that you can possibly produce.

The over-molded construction ensures dependable operation through the years, keeping its sensitive components well protected against dust and moisture. Its smart pendulum system allows for self-leveling for up to four degrees and can alert you to instances when the system is off-level, although you can always go manual and lock the laser lines at any given angle. Laser level users speak highly of the self-leveling laser level from Bosch, underscoring the brand’s unique understanding of construction and building tools to get the job done.

Key Features
  • 3 line modes – cross, plumb, level
  • Self-leveling within 4 degrees
  • VisiMax technology
  • +/- 1/8 inch laser accuracy at 33 feet
  • IP54 rated with
  • Range: 50 feet
Specification
  • Brand Bosch
  • Model GLL 55
  • Weight 1.08 lbs

Makita is one of those brands that one can trust when it comes to precision and high-performance power tools. The SK104Z is no different. This laser level comes with a self-leveling mechanism plus a unique laser span to give you optimum coverage for the room you are working on. Its vertical laser line can span a full 120-degrees, while the horizontal laser allows for a 180-degree coverage.

The integrated pendulum lock on this handy tool allows for use in incline applications, while its Pulse mode can help extend its battery life for more tasks. It quickly self-levels to cause lesser interruptions, getting the job done much quicker. The Makita laser level can be easily mounted onto its accompanying magnetic bracket for optimum versatility.

Key Features
  • 3 line modes – cross, level, plumb
  • +/- 1/8-inch horizontal laser accuracy at 30 feet; +/- 3/32-inch if vertical
  • Laser span – 120-degrees vertical, 180-degrees horizontal
  • Self-leveling with 4 degrees
  • 0.95 mW power output
  • Range: 50 feet
Specification
  • Brand Makita
  • Model SK104Z
  • Weight 2.4 lbs

HAMMERHEAD’s laser level comes with a quarter-inch accuracy rated at 30 feet to make sure you get precision levels and alignments in your DIY home improvement projects. It’s perfect for wall studding, tile applications, window and door applications, and a whole lot more. It even comes with its own clamp that can be easily mounted onto any sturdy structure, although some laser level users strongly recommend getting a tripod for greater versatility.

The self-leveling laser level from HAMMERHEAD also comes with a LED indicator to tell you if it’s off-level. It has a manual lock feature that effectively cancels out the self-leveling capabilities of the HAMMERHEAD for those instances when you don’t need a perfectly parallel or perpendicular line.

Key Features
  • +/- ¼ inch laser accuracy at 30 feet
  • 3 line modes – cross-line, plumb, level
  • Self-leveling within 4 degrees
  • With mounting clamp
  • Requires 2 AA batteries
Specification
  • Brand HAMMERHEAD
  • Model HLCL01
  • Weight 1.45 lbs

Like most laser levels on the market the Firecore F112R comes with magnets fully integrated into its rear so you can easily mount it on steel or metal tracks, eliminating the need for a tripod.

This Class II laser can provide accuracy up to an eighth of an inch from a distance of 30 feet. The casing is robustly constructed and has been tested to withstand drops of up to a meter high. Some folks, however, complain of poorly visible light especially outdoors. This is quite understandable since its range is only rated at about 42 feet, lower than other systems in the market. Overall, however, the Firecore is still a nifty level to have at home.

Key Features
  • 3 line modes – plumb, cross, level
  • +/- 1/8 inch laser accuracy at 30 feet
  • Self-leveling within 4 degrees
  • Range: 42.65 feet
  • IP55 rated with 1-meter drop test
Specification
  • Brand Firecore
  • Model FBA_F112R
  • Weight 10.6 oz

Not only is the TACKLIFE laser level waterproof and dustproof, it is also shockproof so you can work on all of your different DIY projects with peace of mind. This self-leveling laser level can be easily secured onto the accompanying L-shaped bracket and allow it to be rotated a complete 360-degrees. This makes it a good rotary laser level to give you excellent coverage of your room.

The pendulum system can be unlocked in situations where you’re working with different angles that require more precise leveling and aligning. There’s no need to take out another device just to create a straight line between two points as the TACKLIFE can easily do it for you. 

Key Features
  • Smart pendulum leveling system
  • Self-leveling with 4 degrees
  • +/- 1/8-inch laser accuracy at 30 feet
  • < 1 mW power output
  • Range: 50 feet, 115 feet if used with detector
  • IP rating: IP54
Specification
  • Brand Tacklife
  • Model SC-L01
  • Weight 1.05 lbs

The PLS 180 laser level is intended for serious DIYers and professional contractors and builders when they want a device that can provide them with precision alignments and leveling. It has one of the greatest laser ranges in the field at 100 feet when used together with a laser detector.

This self-leveling laser level also comes with the greatest self-leveling range of six degrees. Its sturdy construction makes it the perfect partner for tough projects, although it can be quite bulky considering other gadgets can sit comfortably on the palm of one’s hand. Regardless, the PLS 180 is still one of the best laser levels for those who want a more rugged, more versatile, and more accurate level.

Key Features
  • 3 line modes – level, plumb, cross-line
  • +/- 1/8-inch laser accuracy at 30 feet
  • Range: 100 feet indoor, 200 feet outdoor when used with laser detector
  • Self-leveling with 6 degrees
  • With magnetic wall bracket
  • < 3 mW power output
Specification
  • Brand Pacific Laser System
  • Model PLS-60521N
  • Weight 1.5 lbs

This green laser level from Huepar has the advantage of greater visibility outdoors compared to units that employ red laser lights. It is twice as bright as a red laser. And when the system is placed in an environment where the intensity of light can reach 14,000 lux or when in an overcast sky, the green laser light will still be very visible for up to 40 feet.

Like other systems, the Huepar comes with a pendulum system that can be locked and unlocked depending on the project one is working on. From the installation of a drop ceiling to the mounting of wall tiles, photo frames, and lighting fixtures and a whole lot more, you can bet the Huepar to get everything in line.

Key Features
  • +/- 1/9 inch laser accuracy at 33 feet
  • 3 line modes – cross-line, plumb, level
  • Self-leveling within 4 degrees
  • Range: 100 feet
  • Requires 2 AA batteries
Specification
  • Brand Huepar
  • Model 9011G
  • Weight 1.15 lbs

The MICMI laser level is a multi-purpose, four-in-one tool that effectively replaces your conventional bubble level, ruler, and tape measure, although it still comes with three built-in bubble levels oriented in three different positions.

First, the MICMI comes with a six-inch ruler that is integrated into the entire length of the base. Second, it comes with an eight-foot steel tape measure which should come in handy for certain aspects of a project. Third, there are three bubble levels integrated onto the top of the MICMI, one each for horizontal, vertical, and 90-degree angle leveling. Lastly, there’s the laser level that comes with a very simple switch mechanism to run through the three different modes.

Key Features
  • Self-leveling and adjustable laser
  • 3 line modes – level, cross-line, plumb
  • +/- 2mm laser accuracy at 10 and 25 meters
  • 0.5 mW power output
  • Built-in 8-ft tape measure, 6-inch ruler, and 3-position bubble level
  • Requires 3 AG13 button cells
Specification
  • Brand MICMI
  • Model LV-03
  • Weight 7 oz

Best Laser Level Buying Guide & FAQ

Things to Consider when Buying a Laser Level

It’s never too easy to pick the best laser level, unlike traditional bubble levels. Taking the following into consideration should help narrow your choices.

  • Purpose

One of the basic questions you have to answer is related to how you want to use the laser level. Will you be using it to create a single level line on a certain section of your wall such as hanging wall art or even painting? Or do you need a cross-line for installing tiles and suspended ceiling, among others? Or will you be setting up your own building and construction company, in which case a rotary laser should do the trick? Before you start picking a laser level, make sure you understand what you really need. Think about future uses as well.

  • Laser range

This has something to do with the size of the area you will be working on. You would want the laser to be projected onto the surface to be clearly visible to you. Most single line lasers typically have a range of 10 to 25 feet while cross-line laser systems can have a range of 25 to 100 feet. Professional-grade rotary laser levels can have more than 100 feet of laser ranging.

  • Accuracy

Installing custom cabinets or even laying down tiles requires very precise measurements. As such, it is important to look at the accuracy of the laser level. Here’s a tip. Look at two very important measures: the accuracy level measured in fractions of an inch and the distance of the laser source to the surface. The smaller the fraction and the greater the distance, the more accurate is the laser level. For example, a device with a rating of 1/8-inch at 35 feet is far more accurate than a ¼-inch at 30 feet-rated device.

  • Ease of Use

Always go for those with self-leveling mechanisms, off-level indicators, manual overrides, and power level indicators as well as pendulum locking. Of course, if you don’t mind tinkering with your device, then you can go for more complicated models.

  • Power Source

Most laser levels can be operated with standard AA alkaline batteries although these can sometimes be replaced with rechargeable ones. There are also those that run on proprietary power systems that somehow limit their use since sourcing the battery often means getting it directly from the manufacturer itself.

  • Safety

While Class II laser levels are generally considered safe, you’re still not supposed to stare directly into the beam. Class III and higher models will require special eyewear so this should be made as an important part of your decision.

  • Durability

You may also need to look at how the unit is constructed. Drop test ratings can provide you a good idea of the strength and durability of a device. Sadly, not every product will have this printed on their flyers. Choose one with a longer warranty period as it gives you the assurance that what you’re getting is a high-quality product.

Benefits of Using a Laser Level

There are many obvious benefits to using a laser level over conventional bubble levels. First, it allows for greater accuracy and more precise levels and alignments. Using bubble levels are only accurate as the eye can see. Laser levels eliminate this human factor so you get more precise measurements.

Laser levels also hasten the speed of completing the job or project. For example, some types of laser levels can produce a beam that is projected across the entire span of a room. This greatly eliminates the need for multiple leveling at different sections of the same wall since the laser line is already there to follow. This can save you a lot of time for the project while also making significant reductions in the cost of completing the project.

There is another benefit to using a laser level. It is so versatile that it can be used in a variety of applications. As long as there is a need to draw a line, whether it’s imaginary or not, on any structure, a laser level can do the job perfectly and with greater precision.

Related Posts: Best Laser Measuring Tools and Best Tape Measure

Different Types of Laser Levels

Different jobs require different tools and laser levels are no different. Each of these types of laser levels is intended for a specific purpose so it would be wise to learn more about them.

  • Line Lasers

As the name implies, these laser levels project a straight line onto the wall and are some of the most common laser levels both at home and on the jobsite. The projected line can be horizontal or vertical or can be manipulated to be oriented at a certain angle. The point is that these are ideal for installing cabinets, shelves, tiles, or drop ceiling. They are also ideal for framing as well as deck installation outdoors.

  • Point or dot lasers

These laser levels are just like your ordinary laser pointers that project a dot or multiple dots onto a surface. This type of level is specifically useful when transferring a point from one particular surface to another surface. As such, they are especially useful in such applications as electrical work, plumbing installations, framing applications, and HVAC projects.

  • Rotary Lasers

Professionals use rotary lasers because of the versatility these devices can provide. They are mostly found in professional construction use such as masonry, layouting, digging foundations, and grade work. They’re especially useful in ensuring the continuity of a predetermined pitch over a much larger area. As such these are more powerful units fully capable of projecting laser light over greater distances, although they can be best enhanced with the aid of detectors.

How to Use a Laser Level

If you’ve ever used a traditional bubble level before, using a laser level shouldn’t be any different. In fact, it is way easier than conventional aligners and levelers. You simply place it several yards from the wall or surface you are working on. Make sure that it is on a stable and flat surface and one that you think is very close to being ‘level’. This is where tripods, mounts, or clamps can come in handy. Once you’re happy with the position, simply turn on the laser level and watch it project a line of laser onto the wall. It couldn’t get any simpler than this.

Best Laser Level FAQ:

Q:  Do laser levels damage the eyes?

  The short answer is yes, laser levels can damage the eyes. Even Class II laser levels can still damage the eyes if the eyes are exposed to the light longer than 0.25 seconds. This is roughly the amount of time that the blink reflex is activated. So any exposure longer than a quarter of a second can potentially lead to eye injuries. Overexposure to Class II laser lights can lead to retinal burns or photochemical retinal damage. The higher the Class of the laser level, the greater is the risk for eye injuries. Class III lasers can lead to retinal burns and cataracts with prolonged exposure.

Q:  How often should my laser level be calibrated?

  If you use your laser level on a daily basis it is highly recommended that it be recalibrated once every 6 months. If the device is only used twice or once a week it can be recalibrated every 12 or 24 months, respectively.

Q:  Can I check calibration myself?

  Most products come with instructions on how to check the calibration of the laser level. Generally, you position the laser level some 5 to 10 meters from a wall. The laser is activated and the laser lines are evaluated if they are within the acceptable levels of tolerance according to the specifications of the manufacturer. The laser is then turned a full 180-degrees either on its mount or on a tripod and the lines are evaluated again. These need to be checked against the specifications of the manufacturer. If you’re not sure, it is often best to bring the laser level to a service center.

Q:  What is the difference between a green and red laser?

  The sensitivity of the human eye peaks at about the same wavelength as the green light in the color spectrum. As such, given red and green laser lights both having 1 mW power output, the green laser light will come out 30 times brighter than the red light. Greenlight also tends to scatter more than red light so the beam can travel greater distances than a red beam. In simple words, green lasers are brighter and are more visible over longer distances than red lasers even without the aid of laser detectors. Because of this, green lasers are costlier, too.

Our Top Pick

DEWALT’s DW089LG laser level is considered by many as the best laser level in the business. For starters, it emits green light which is much more visible in more varied settings than red light. It also comes with three 360-degree spanning lasers to provide excellent room coverage for any project. Its over-molded housing plus IP65 rating give this green laser level exceptional robustness made even more spectacular by the use of a 12-volt battery system. Accurate and very precise, the Dewalt laser level is trusted by more professionals and serious DIYers than any other system in the market.

Laser levels simplify the way we accomplish our DIY home improvement projects or any other tasks we have in mind where precision levels and alignments are a must. These are very easy to use and offer accuracy that no conventional bubble level can.

Related Posts: Best Truck Tool Boxes and Best Tool Backpacks

Sources:

  1. How Laser Levels Work – HowStuffWorks
  2. Precise Leveling With Laser Technology – Hunker

MORE TO READ

Load more...