Introduction to the Laser Level
- 1 Introduction to the Laser Level
- 2 Top Ranked Laser Levels
- 3 Top Rated Laser Level Summary
- 4 Laser Level Buyers Guide
- 5 Common Uses for Laser Levels
- 6 Different Types of Laser Levels
- 7 Why Don’t I Use An Old School Spirit Level/Bubble Level Instead?
- 8 Considerations For Choosing the Best Laser Level
- 9 Laser Level Safety Considerations
- 10 Laser Level Benefits
- 11 Conclusion
We underestimate how important it is to find the perfect level for things. Just imagine if your stairs were a little off level, or your ceiling, or even your floor. The world would definitely seem out of balance if we didn’t have a tool to create the precision that we need. This is where levels come into play, and laser levels are the latest and greatest in leveling technology. Laser levels are pretty much a standard in the construction and civil engineering industries these days. You can use them to make cabinets, check for alignment of windows, doors, skylights and dormers, as well as for concrete and asphalt work. If experts are now using these tools, why shouldn’t you?
Whether you are a professional builder or someone who just likes things to be in balance at home, you’re going to find that these top rated laser levels are the best of the best. Constructed from the highest quality materials and designed for the utmost in precision, you’re going to get results with these devices that you can’t get with a traditional level. In our buyer’s guide you can also see what other kinds of laser levels are out there, so you can make the most informed purchase.
Top Ranked Laser Levels
DEWALT DW088K Self-Leveling Cross Line Laser
This 1/4 inch laser tripod from Dewalt works perfectly with your Dewalt laser to effortlessly level structures, level grade job sites, and to prep farmland. The mounting pole can extend up to 69 inches, and the tripod features durable, quick-release legs that are easy and fast to set up and take down. Featuring 1/4 inch x 20 mounting threads, this tripod is compatible with all 1/4 inch lasers and distance measurers. The DEWALT DW088K Self-Leveling Cross Line Laser is made from lightweight and durable aluminum material, and has a 360 degree rotating head for perfect laser alignment. A top rated self-leveling cross line laser, this is one of the best on the market due to its ease of use and solid construction.
When it comes to finding the perfect laser level, it all comes down to precision and functionality. This product stands out among the rest, and customers consistently note that it’s incredibly easy to use and can stand the test of time. DeWalt is the leader in terms of tools you need on the job, and this product is just another fine example of how this brand is leading the pack. Whether you need a laser level for your job, or for your own personal use, this is going to be a leveling product that you can really stand behind.
Bosch GLL 1P Combination Point and Line Laser Level
This laser level from Bosch is the GLL 1P model, and it provides you with greater versatility when it comes to leveling and alignment applications, giving you a combination of bright line laser projection and point laser capabilities. This level is quite easy to set up, and uses a quick leveling system with bubble vial. Featuring a built-in vial level and strong magnet, this unit provides you with quick and easy horizontal and vertical leveling, while being effortlessly mountable for various angle applications. With this product you get a mounting plate, adhesive mounting strip, thumb nail mounts, and two AAA batteries.
This leveling device is superior because it’s compact in size, lightweight, and works with great precision. Easy to use, the level clearly indicates its data, and operates for quite a long time with the batteries provided. Constructed of solid materials, this is a level that you can be guaranteed will stand the test of time, and works for a number of leveling applications. This is a top rated laser level for good reason, and customers across the country swear by it.
Black & Decker BDL170 BullsEye Auto-Leveling Laser With AnglePro
From Black & Decker you can get the Bullseye Auto-leveling laser that features AnglePro for efficient hanging of decorative items, shelving, angled applications, pictures, and hanging items along the staircase. This product features a bullseye auto leveling laser that levels automatically without the need for adjustments, and the device can also project horizontal and vertical lines for added versatility. Some other features that you will enjoy include an automatic reference for angled lines, rubber over-molds for added protections, and a back light for enhanced visibility of all angle reference points. This is a class II laser and it comes backed by a handy 2 year limited warranty, and with your purchase you get two AAA batteries and a wall mount.
A top rated leveler, this device stands out from the rest for its ease of use and solid construction. The level is also incredibly portable, making it easy to take on the go to any job site. Whether you’re a professional, or someone who just likes to perfectly hang pictures at home, you’re going to see that this product can get the job done at an affordable price, and with great precision. Black & Decker is one of the leading brands when it comes to tools for the professional and handyman, and this is just another tool that you should add to your arsenal.
Top Rated Laser Level Summary
Over the years, laser levels have become smaller, easier to use, more accurate and more affordable. Today, it is used not only in large construction projects, but also by do-it-yourselfers who need to perform two- or three-man jobs on their own. In general, laser levels are used for layout jobs that require high accuracy. Some common applications include the installation of ceiling tiles, sewer pipes, or even as simple as the installation of chair railings.
These top rated laser levels stand out from the rest because they’re built from the finest materials, are affordable, and easy to use. These tools are essential if you’re someone that likes to build things around the house, such as shelves and stairs, or if you simply like your pictures to be hung as evenly as possible. Laser levels are the latest and greatest in leveling devices, and they’re much more affordable than you might think. You can be sure when you purchase one of these products that you’re getting a level that will perform better than the rest. Customers consistently agree that these models are the best on the market, and will give you the precise levels that you require. Should you want to continue your search for the perfect level, the following buyer’s guide will give you more information about what kinds of levels are out there, and what features you may want to look out for.
Laser Level Buyers Guide
A laser level is a highly necessary tool at home and for several different industries. Often you need to create a perfectly horizontal surface for a number of different applications. When it comes to hanging shelves, the need for perfect leveling is fairly moderate, but when you need to install a slanted foundation or floor correctly, it could be devastating if you’re even one degree off. There are traditional air-bubble levels which have been used for decades and are incredibly accurate, however, the latest laser levels offer you more accuracy, as well as providing additional functions like plumbing and distance measuring. This is a multi-purpose tool that is economical, saves you space, and is incredibly convenient.
You need to acquire a basic understanding of all levels in general before you purchase a laser level. You also need to become familiar with the different types of laser levels on the market, and understand the safety considerations that apply to all lasers. When you take the time to understand these components, you’ll be much more prepared to make a good decision when it comes time to make a purchase.
Common Uses for Laser Levels
A well-built laser level can perform a number of tasks, such as:
- Installing something that must be perfectly horizontal, like floors, ceilings, shelves, chairs, stairs, cabinets, rails, and pipelines
- Plumbing columns, walls, and vertical pipes
- Hanging pictures and mirrors
- Measuring distances between various objects
- Often used by high-tech industrialists as well as homeowners
- Use two line lasers to check for door or window heights
- Install chair rails and wainscoting in your home
- Alignment of masonry
- Setting layout for a new construction site
- Ground surveying
- A good level will serve many functions in one unit
Different Types of Laser Levels
There are many different kinds of laser levels, and they all use a beam of light to determine an angle by measuring the beginning and the end points of the beam. That means that a laser level can be used in any direction. A laser level also indicates not just horizontal levels but also vertical plumbing. The most common kinds of laser levels are the dot laser, line lasers, and rotary lasers.
Dot Laser Levels
Also known as zero-dimensional lasers, these levels display one or more dots onto a surface. This dot can show a level at the same height on an opposite wall, and it can line up the top of one window frame with another. These dots can be marked on the surface then with a pencil. When there are several dots shown they function like a line.
Line Laser Levels
This is known as a one-dimensional laser level, and they use a single laser beam through 180 degrees to determine an absolute vertical or horizontal line. This beam can also be used as a straight-edge, and can be helpful for lining up a row of pictures, or installing a shelf on a level plane along the wall.
Rotary Laser Levels
These kinds of lasers are similar to line laser levels as they use a single laser beam. But, this beam is able to travel 360 degrees, giving you two dimensions. This is a handy features when you are installing a chair rail around three or four sides of a room. Most rotary lasers offer accuracy to 1.4 inch per 100 feet when used manually and 1/8 inch with automatic operation.
Horizontal Vs. Split-Beam Laser Levels
With a horizontal level, you get a laser that is shot only in one direction, while a split-beam laser will send out a horizontal and vertical beam at the same time. What this allows you is an installation level and plumb level at the very same time.
Why Don’t I Use An Old School Spirit Level/Bubble Level Instead?
There is nothing wrong with using spirit/ABS/bubble levels, but the truth is that there are construction jobs where they are impossible to use. Take for example the scenario in the introduction. Spirit/bubble levels will help you create the guide line, but you’ll need experience to do it. Also, do you really want to add unnecessary holes in your wall?
Aside from aesthetics, another reason why I don’t recommend spirit and bubble levels for construction is that they are only accurate for the length of the level (around 1 to 4 feet), which means you’ll have to keep checking for leveling up to the other end of your work space. What if your work space was 30 feet in length? For sure, that would take a long time to measure.
Spirit/Bubble levels have vials that are incompletely filled with liquid, in most cases, a colored alcohol. Because the vial is not filled completely, there is a bubble in the tube. If the spirit/bubble level is placed on a truly horizontal or a truly vertical surface, then the bubble stays in the middle of the gauge. Unfortunately the middle of a gauge for one may be a few millimeters off for another. Also, if you want to work with an incline, it is almost impossible to keep the level at the same inclination, especially if you have to keep moving in the process.
Considerations For Choosing the Best Laser Level
When you say a laser level is accurate, it means that it is able to determine the leveling of a work surface by a fraction of an inch. A tool that has an accuracy rating of +5/16in. is less accurate than those with + 1/8in. The more accurate the laser level is, the better. Meanwhile, the visibility range refers to the distance that the laser can be seen with the naked eye. The longer visibility range, the larger work surfaces one can work with. Most Class 2 laser diodes can be seen up to 50 feet indoors. If you are working for small to mid-scale construction sites, then 50 feet should be enough. However, for large scale construction, you will higher visibility tools.
Manual Leveling VS Self-Leveling/Automatic Leveling Lasers
Some cheap laser level are manual leveling, which means that the user have to look at a bubble vial to check if the unit is leveled or not. To manually level the unit, he would need to adjust some thumb screws, which are, needless to say, cumbersome for first time users. Self leveling lasers have an internal pendulum that does the leveling for you. As its name implies, it automatically levels itself up to 5 degrees – even if the surface is not fully horizontal/vertical, as long as the inclination is within 5 degrees, then you can use it as a reference point. If the unit is jarred and it gets out of level by 6 degrees, then an out-of-level indicator typically blinks.
There are advantage and disadvantages to both types. Both types are useful, except that self leveling lasers will save you time and can ensure more accurate results. Meanwhile, most manual leveling lasers are virtually maintenance-free, whereas it can be difficult to discover if a self-leveling laser is not calibrated.
Horizontal VS Dual-Beam Lasers
Horizontal lasers emit only laser beam, and are useful for checking floor leveling. It has the capacity to highlight irregularities in the work surface, its applications are limited, but can also be cheaper compared to dual beam lasers. Meanwhile dual beam lasers emit two beams – one horizontal, and one vertical. Most dual beam laser levels have individual buttons for the two beams so they can be used separately, hence allowing greater flexibility. This type of laser can be used simultaneously as plumb and level reference lines. It is best used for throwing lines onto floors and walls at 90 degrees, hence ensuring the squareness of a surface.
Some dual beam lasers project a cross line instead of individual horizontal and vertical lines. These types of dual beam lasers are perfect for installation of much bigger wall fixtures as well as partitions and drop ceilings. Rotary lasers are also dual beam lasers in that one beam is a plumb up dot on the ceiling and the other is a horizontal line around the room. This kind of laser level works best if you want to check the leveling of the walls and if you have to install a wainscoting or cabinetry that spans the entire room.
Laser Detectors (Laser Receivers)
Laser detectors or laser receivers have two primary purposes: to extend the working range of a laser level, and to enable laser levels to be used outdoor or in bright light conditions. Most detectors emit sounds to help you get on level – a fast tone to move the detector down, a slow tone to move up, a steady tone when you are at level.
The decision to purchase a laser detector depends on the kinds of application you want to use your laser level for. If you don’t intend to your laser level outdoors, then a laser detector may not be a good investment. It is important to note that not all laser levels accept laser detectors, so if you have intention of buying detectors in the future check your laser level’s specifications first.
IP stands for “Ingress Protection” and refers to the quality of sealing of a product and its effectiveness at preventing the intrusion of foreign bodies (such as dirt and water) to the product core. The first digit of the IP rating refers to the size of objects that can intrude the product, while the second digit refers to the capacity of product to repel or protect against moisture. The higher is the IP rating, the better is the quality of the laser level. The IP rating might not be so important for laser levels that are likely to be used for indoor applications as there won’t be much exposure towards these elements. In case the tool is to be used for outdoors, the laser level is considered good only if the IP rating is high. The laser level with IP67 is the most dust and water resistant. With more resistance towards these elements, the tool automatically gains better durability.
Mounting options are important because there are certain applications when we want the laser level to be stable. For example, if we want to keep the beams to a certain height, or a specific position, mounting threads will come in handy.
Most laser levels can be mounted on a standard tripod, while others require a special mounting device. Needless to say, the more standard the mounting threads of a laser level is, the easier it is to mount since you can use a camera tripod for the purpose.
Long Battery Life
As almost all the laser levels work on battery, most of the laser levels eat up the battery power very fast and requires to be charged repeatedly, which can be very annoying. This issue is encountered in most of the rotary laser levels. There are many high quality laser levels that have been designed to consume very little power so that the battery life is longer than standard laser levels. A good laser level should have the quality of consuming less power and work efficiently for longer duration so that the task can be completed at one go without needing to take a charging break.
Laser Level Safety Considerations
There are many different kinds of lasers, and it’s important to keep in mind that some can potentially cause some damage, especially to the eyes. Most lasers that you will find run a Class IIIA, and this notably produces parcial blindness in spots of the visual cortex as well as other kinds of eye damage. That’s why it’s always important to not allow the laser to reach direct contact with your eye. When operating a laser be sure to follow these safety guidelines:
- Always read the directions carefully before operating a laser level
- Never look directly into the laser beam. When the beam is visible, do not stare at the beam for more than a couple seconds, and look at the surface where the laser hits only when necessary
- Never tamper with the laser housing or mechanism. You should not try to repair a laser on your own, and always leave stickers and labels intact
- If you’re ever unsure about how to operate the laser, consult the guide or contact a professional
Laser Level Benefits
With the help of a laser level you can reach a degree of accuracy that is not possible with the human eye or a traditional spirit level. But you must consider the fact that you’ll have to use a battery to operate the level, and it poses a health risk when not used correctly. That being said, there is no better source of accuracy than the use of a laser level. This is the ideal type of level if you enjoy technological gadgetry, and want the ultimate in precision when you’re hanging pictures at home, building shelves, creating floors, and a whole host of other tasks. Not only can professionals benefit from owning a laser level, but even home owners and handymen will see the difference when they invest in this remarkable tool. Most laser levels are quite lightweight and portable as well, making it easy to take them on the job site or anywhere else they need to go. Laser levels are pretty affordable as well. If you want to check out some cool uses for your laser level, check out this video below!
Knowing what your usage of the laser will be will help you choose the classification; plumb dot, laser line or rotary. A weekend handyman will have quite different needs than a man using this tool to earn money. Preparing yourself with knowledge and reviews will help you purchase the right tool for the job.
When it comes to building anything, it all comes down to precision. You know that if you’re installing a floor, if your measurements are off by even a couple of degrees you can seriously ruin the whole project. Levelers have been used for ages to ensure that the floor, the ceiling, and the stairs are just perfectly leveled. These days laser levels have changed the whole game, offering superior measurements in a more refined and precise way. If you’re someone who constructs things, or if you’re just a stickler about getting all the pictures in your home on the same plane, then owning a laser level is the smart choice. You can be guaranteed the most accurate results, while enjoying ease of use.
The buyer’s guide above is intended to inform you about what kinds of laser levels there are out there, and what your options might be. When you better understand this remarkable tool it will be easier for you to make an informed decision when it comes to purchasing. All the top rated levels that we discussed are leading the pack when it comes to accuracy, portability, and ease of use. You can be guaranteed when you buy one of these models that you’re getting a product that is built for durability and long life. All of these products are also user-friendly, so even if you’ve never used a laser level before, you should be able to figure it out quickly.