- Best Dot Laser Levels Reviews
- Dot Laser Levels Buyer’s Guide
- Dot Laser Levels Comparison Chart
- Wrap up
When it comes to doing a job, using the right tool pays off. Laser levels are essential for a wide range of construction jobs, home renovation tasks, and other DIYer jobs. Laser dot levels are one of the best types of lasers on the market today. Though there is a large number of different models to choose from. So how do you know which one is the one right for your needs? Well, I’ve looked at some of the best dot laser levels on the market and produced these unbiased dot laser level reviews.
In a hurry? Then I highly suggest the Johnson Combination Laser it’s a 5 point dot laser and a laser line level, it’s the all in one.
The analysis for my reviews is based on several factors such as cost, visibility range, accuracy, warranty, visibility range, and additional features.
I’ll also cover the important things you need to look for when you shop, so you get the best laser dot levels on the market.
If you are a household user or a DIYer who wants to purchase a dot or plumb laser level for residential applications, then my buying guide will get you sorted.
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Best Dot Laser Levels Reviews
This dot laser level from DeWalt offers five reference points. It’s the best laser level for electricians. This is a very handy product that is favored by those who are looking to use it solely for indoor applications.
It features a micro-adjust know for precise and highly accurate alignment of the 90 degree intersecting lines over great distances. The over-molded housing ensures that this laser level will maintain it’s calibration even under job site conditions.
This uses 4 AA batteries
- High-focus laser dots that are visible at up to 100 feet
- Compact and portable design, easy to carry
- Includes a rugged plastic kit
- The laser is weak for outdoor use
This Pacific Systems Laser (PLS) is a company that’s lasted for more than 50 years. It’s a brand that’s trusted by construction workers because of the wide range of quality industry-grade products.
This is a battery-powered level, which can last for 30 hours, it’s perfect for those installing electrical or HVAC.
It’s IP54 rated to perfect for water and dust exposure, though it’s not waterproof. It also features a self-leveling pendulum to ensure that it’s constantly in level. You get a magnetic L-bracket so you can mount this to metal surfaces.
- A working range of 100 feet
- Self-leveling within 6 degrees of level
- 3 years of warranty
- Includes a floor stand, magnetic L-bracket, and a UB9 wall and ceiling bracket
- Doesn’t do well with outdoor applications due to low-focus red light
- This unit contains a Class II Laser with 1mW output
- Self-levelling for ease of use^Excellent for plumbing up and down^Pulse Technology allows for both indoor/outdoor with an optional detector^Dust and splash-proof and can be locked to protect unit during transport^Includes target plate, magnetic multifunction adapter, batteries, and carrying pouch.
This Leica Lino laser level is a self-leveling 5-point laser that uses pulse technology to ensure high-focus laser lines in both indoor and outdoor settings.
You get a hard case to ensure that when you transport and store this laser, it remains safe and calibrated, you also get a magnetic floor and wall bracket so you can mount this anywhere where there are metal surfaces, it’s self-leveling pendulum ensures that you are never out of level if for some reason this laser goes out of level it switches off its laser lines.
It’s also IP54 rated, so it is dustproof and splash protected.
This is a highly accurate level favorited by professionals
- Self-leveling laser
- Powerful laser producing 1mW output
- Pulse technology ensures a sharper beam
- Pendulum locking mechanism for safer transit
- IP54 rated so is dust and splash-proof
- Include a laser target plate and magnetic multifunction adapter
- Low working range, limited to a max of 50 feet
- Accuracy reduces over prolonged period
This Johnson level tool is another fantastic option from a brand that’s been leading the power tool industry for more than 70 years in the US.
The Johnson 40-6687 is a hybrid of both line and dot laser levels, so you get two different laser types in a single package, talk about value for money.
You can use both the line and dot lasers simultaneously, which is amazing. Add to that it’s alarm system that warns you as soon as the laser goes beyond level.
If you are surveying or doing restroom plumbing, this tool will give you the upper hand thanks to being able to project both beams simultaneously, though do note that when you use this mode, the battery is drained very quickly.
This, unfortunately, doesn’t use a rechargeable battery, so you will have to bear that in mind. Instead, it uses 3 AA batteries, and your first set is included
- Self-leveling laser and cross-line functionality
- Visible and audio alarms for out of level
- Manual mode for self defined angles
- dot and line lasers can be used both together and individually
- Includes a hard case, a laser receiver, and a magnetic stand
- Batteries tend to drain quickly due to dual-mode
- ACCURACY: The Bosch GPL 5 Five-Point Laser offers a five-point level with points up/down, front and sides for plumb, level, align and 90° square. It provides an accuracy of +/- 1/4 In. at 100 feet
- MOUNTABLE: The laser tool over-the-track application design accurately transfers and aligns laser points by magnetically mounting to metal. Multi-purpose attachment positions the mount with magnets, strap or threaded mounts (5/8 inch-11, 1/4 inch -20)
- SMART SYSTEM: With Bosch’s Smart Pendulum System, the GPL 5 has automatic out-of-level sensing with blinking lasers indicating out-of-level condition. It is self-leveling and locks when switched off
Bosch is loved by DIYers and professionals, so much so that there is a Bosch fan club where owners share tips and tricks on how to get the best out of their tools.
This is an incredible laser, being able to project 5 points with a quick setting pendulum, you’ll be setting transfer points in no time.
It’s incredibly accurate at ± 1/4 inch at 100 feet, you will accurately transfer level, plumb, and 90° square points and alignment in no time at all.
There’s an included magnetic mount, a strap, and also threaded mounts, which you can choose to use 5/8 inch-11, 1/4 inch-20 threads.
Its robust housing ensures many years of dependable operation
- Self-leveling laser with smart pendulum system
- Four selectable modes for easy use
- Simultaneous and individual use
- Pendulum switch and out-of-level indication
- Doesn’t project lines or cross lines
Dot Laser Levels Buyer’s Guide
What is a Dot Laser Level?
A dot laser level is an electrical tool that uses laser beam technology to create reference points for using either horizontally or vertically to help with alignment. These can be used to position items or make calculations
The way it helps is by creating a level or a reference dot across a horizontal line such as a floor or ceiling or a vertical line such as a wall.
Laser levels were originally invested, and their intended use was for outdoor construction purposes and still the best laser levels they are widely used for those applications across the world. Dot laser levels are now used extensively by household owners who want to install a chair rail around a room at an equal height or hang perfectly level curtains in a straight line.
A dot laser is also known as a plumb laser level due to how it’s application is remarkably similar to the old traditional bubble level and plumb bob, these have today become an intrinsic part of a home tool kit.
Modern Day Dot Laser Levels
Compared to the bulky systems once used on job sites in the ’80s and 90’s today’s dot, laser levels have become more efficient and drastically cheaper.
These days they can be carried around for use in different sites and also they don’t need multiple workers, a lot of experts believe that laser level technology has revolutionized the construction industry, these days dot, like and rotary lasers are commonplace.
When you compare dot laser levels to the other types are cheaper, easier to use, and highly portable, though their applications are somewhat limited.
General Applications of a Dot/Plumb Laser Level
Let’s say you want to hang some pictures on two different walls, but want them both to be at the same level.
The first thing you would need is a reference point on both walls that are at the same length from the floor as each other. You could use a measuring tape and do it the traditional way, or you could take advantage of a plumb laser level.
Firstly fire yup your dot laser level, and set a point on one of the walls, and then trigger the rest of the points to create an align level on both the walls at an equal distance from the floor.
What if you want to run a row of pictures that hang diagonally? Not a problem, just tilt your laser level, the possibilities are endless, and you won’t ever have to worry about your friend criticizing you for being “out of alignment”.
Ever wondered how your local boutique bookstore ensures that their shelves are level and uniform across the store… well, now you know.
For a lot of householders, a dot laser level can be a lifesaver. For builders, it’s a necessity.
Some of the primary tasks of a dot laser level are:
- Laying tiles, installing cabinets, shelves, and chair rails, hanging curtains and photo frames
- Aligning fences and paint stripes, leveling cabinets and shelves, and a surprising one.. painting stripes
Job site applications include things such as:
- surveying, aligning bricks and squaring up battern boards. leveling of floors, site layout, and contour farming
Note – This is a minimal list; the applications for laser levels are countless
Why Choose a Dot Laser Level?
There are a variety of different types of laser levels that you could choose from. For me, the single most important reason to choose a dot laser level is its accuracy.
There is no beating it with a plumb bob and a bubble level, it trumps line lasers as well where you need just a reference point.
Also, they are incredibly easy to use. They can be used one a single person alone, there’s no need to have a few people managing a plumb bob, or going up ladders to take measurements.
Finally, they are incredibly versatile, even more so, with the models that allow you to cast out multiple dots or lines in multiple directions at the same time.
I can’t see my self going back to the old school, not when tools like this exist.
Features to Look For
With so many laser levels to chose from, you need to know what to focus on. For me, it starts with the price, there’s no point in looking at models that offer all the bells and whistles if firstly you can’t afford them, and secondly, if you are a homeowner wanting a laser level to hang photos, you don’t need the features that a professional carpenter may need.
Then it comes down to accuracy, I want the most accurate laser level in my price range. Finally, I look at the range, I want a minimum of 20ft of working range. The more, the better, really.
I then look at other things such as included accessories, or diode color.
How to Use a Dot Laser Levels
Say you are an electrician who is looking to install ceiling lights in parallel lines.
You could bust out a measuring tape, a ladder, your trusty pencil, and take all the measurements, going up and down your ladder marking and checking locations before then going up and down your ladder drilling and fixing the fixtures.
But when you have a tool that provides automation and simplicity and reduces your effort and time taken while also increasing your precision, why wouldn’t you utilize it?
Here are some simple steps for installing ceiling lights using a dot/plumb laser
- Layout your light fixture locations onto the floor in the locations you want them to appear on the ceiling, and mark a reference point
- Use your 3-point laser and place it on top of the first reference point you made
- Fire the level and see the red dot pointed straight onto the ceiling, this is where your first light fixture will go.
- Mark that point with a pen, and repeat for each reference point.
What would have taken an hour or so with a lot of difficult measuring from the top of the wall across the ceiling, now takes less than 10 minutes and is done on the floor without the need of a ladder or trying to balance a tape measure spanning from your ladder to the wall.
This is the power of plumb laser levels, you can also use a 5-point laser level if you install lights onto the walls as well.
Types of Dot Laser Levels
There are a few main types of dot laser levels, the two common ones are 3-point laser levels and 5-point laser levels, both have their own features and diverse applications.
The number of points of a laser specifies how many points a laser can produce onto a surface.
When purchasing a laser level, make sure to look into it’s leveling technology, most laser levels mention self-leveling or automatic, these are very different from each other.
Self-leveling lasers make use of a pendulum system, whereas automatic leveling lasers use a stepper motor technology. The latter is more expensive and will require periodic maintenance
How to Use Laser Levels like a Pro?
Using a laser level is surprisingly easy, but there are ways in which you can maximize its output and efficiency, which will make your job easier and quicker.
The following at tips that I’ve picked up from pros to help you use your laser level like a professional even if you aren’t one.
Wear special red glasses
Look, detecting a red laser beam in bright sunlight is challenging. By using laser detector glasses, you can make the whole process much easier.
These glasses improve the visibility of the laser even in broad daylight.
Use a laser level tripod
While most heavy-duty laser level systems are designed to be used exclusively with a tripod, users can make use of a tripod even with the smaller models.
The majority of dot laser levels have a threaded hole in the bottom, which is designed to use a standard 1/4-inch tripod mount. This allows you to adjust the height of the laser, even on uneven surfaces.
Use a laser target card
A laser target card is a reference place that you can use to follow and detect a laser dot even in bright environments. Target cards are generally dark-colored, so they can easily detect the red/green lasers.
Bosch is known to manufacture large target cards that allow engineers to have increased visibility
Use a laser receiver
If you are going to use a red laser level for outdoor applications, then you need to use a laser receiver.
Turn on your laser and make sure to use the receiver to detect the laser, even when you are way beyond the working range, the receive will issue beeps or will indicate in other ways such as a display showing if the laser is level with the detector.
Some models, such as this one from Johnson level, the 40-6687 line and dot laser come with complimentary laser receivers.
You can take advantage of attachments such as a leveling pole, clamps, and tool mounts to position the laser for various different applications.
The pole system is used by professionals for surveying and various other construction applications
You can choose to use a Li-ion battery, which lasts longer than NiCad batteries. These tend to work better in lasers.
Wall mounts/Mounting device
When using these indoors, such as photo frame hanging or cabinet installation, you can purchase and use a wall mount or other mounting device to fix the laser to any object, such as a wall to ensure precise alignment.
Since dot lasers are still electrical equipment, you have to take care and ensure they are handled and carried carefully to ensure their longevity.
If you follow these tips and tricks, you can ensure that this is a one-time investment that will work for years and years.
- Always keep the device calibrated. If you have dropped or knocked it over while using it. Ensure that the calibration does not go beyond the specified tolerance if it does take it to a service center
- Always carry the device in its carry case while traveling
- Switch off the laser when not in use.
- Unlike other power tools like a drill, laser levels are meant to be handled with care. Their internal components are very sensitive
- If you are a new user, read the manual completely before operating
- Keep the device away from liquids and semisolids (concrete, paint, etc.) even if it has a high IP rating
- Place the laser level back into its carry case after each use
- Store the laser level in a dry place
- Look for models that are dust, water, and shock-proof so that you do not have to worry about using it in extreme conditions. (Leica Lino P5 is one such example)
- Remove the batteries if you do not intend to use the equipment for a long period
- Keep your batteries charged before taking the device for a specific project.
Dot Laser Level vs. Plumb Bob
Plumb Bobs and bubble levels were what the construction industry used to measure plumb and level in their surveying and various other construction-related tasks.
Thankfully over time, technology advancements have meant that new technology powered by batteries has been produced to make our lives easier.
A plumb bob is a bob made of metal that is attached to a string to form a plumb line.
A dot laser level is used for long-distance leveling, such as building a fence. While a plumb bob is used for shorter distances i.e. creating a plumb up or plumb down for a wall building.
A dot laser level can be used by a single person to complete a job, while a plumb bob usually requires two people.
A drawback of a plumb bob is that they cannot be used in windy conditions, which is a major drawback, whereas a dot line laser doesn’t suffer this problem.
Advantages of a Dot Laser Level
a dot laser level is the modern alternative of a plumb bob, and some of it’s biggest advantages are:
- To transfer points from the floor to the ceiling for install lights for example
- Produce vertical and horizontal alignment
- Create a plumb line with a simple click of a button
- Create reference points
- It’s smaller and more compact than a plumb bob and bubble level
- it’s cheaper than line lasers or hybrid models
- It’s more efficient and much easier to use than a plumb bob
Dot Laser vs. Line Laser
A dot laser only produces dots onto a surface. There are two main types of dot lasers, namely 3-point and 5-point.
A 3-point dot laser has a horizontal dor, a plumb up and plumb down, whereas a 5-point dot laser has two additional horizontal dots at 90-degrees.
Dot laser levels are designed to be used mostly for indoor applications, such as kitchen cabinet layout, light and switch placement, as well as chair railing measurements, etc.
On the other hand, a straight-line laser will project a line beam, one horizontally and one vertically, and when projected together, they form a cross. These are usually referred to as cross line lasers.
If you need a combination of both a dot and a line laser, then the Johnson and Bosch models reviewed above offer both features in one handy package.
It’s thanks to brands like Bosch and Johnson, we are now able to take advantage of both line and point lasers in a single package.
Dot laser levels usually are capable of ranges of up to 100 feet, if you need further, then the best rotary laser levels can reach 200 feet or more.
Dot Laser Levels Comparison Chart
|DEWALT DW085K||1/4-in @ 100ft||100ft (30m)||±4°||20 hrs||3 years|
|PLS 3-Point Laser||1/8-in @ 100ft||100ft (30m)||±6°||9 hrs||3 years|
|Leica Lino P5||1/16-in @ 16ft||50ft (15m)||±4°||20 hrs||2 years|
|Johnson Combination Laser||1/8-in @ 50ft||Lines: 150ft|
|±4°||20 hrs||3 years|
|Bosch GPL 5||1/4-in @ 100ft||Lines: 30ft|
|±5°||5 hrs||2 years|
I hope that my best dot laser level reviews have helped you purchase a dot laser that you will be happy with. If not, I hope that my buyer’s guide has at least helped you to know what you need to look for to find your perfect plumb line laser.
If you have any questions or you feel there is an option that I should have on this list, please let me know in the comments section below.
Last update on 2020-09-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API