- Best Laser Level Reviews
- 1. Leica Lino ML180 Laser Level For Professionals
- 2. Bosch GLL3-330CG 360-Degree Green Beam 3-Plane Line Laser Level
- 3. Dewalt DW089LG 3 x 360° Green Line Laser Level Self-Leveling Line laser
- 4. Bosch GCL100-80C 12V Cross-Line Laser with Plumb Points
- 5. DEWALT DW088K Laser Level
- 6. Makita SK104Z Laser Level
- 7. PLS180 Red Cross Line Laser Level
- 8. Hammerhead Compact Self-Leveling
- 9. Craftsman 48250 laser level
- 10. Tacklife SC-L01 laser level
- 11. Bosch GLL 55 Laser Level
- 12. Huepar 621CG Laser Level
- 13. Johnson Level Tool 99 006K Self Leveling Laser System
- 14. DEWALT DW0811 Laser Level
- Types of Laser Levels
- Laser Level Buying Guide
- What is a laser level?
- How do laser levels work?
- How to Check Laser Level for Accuracy?
- Why Use a Laser Level?
- Why Choose Laser Levels Instead Of Spirit Levels/Bubble Levels?
- What Can You Do With A Laser Level?
- How to use a laser level
- Benefits of a Laser Level
- What is the Best Laser Level on the Market?
- What is the Best Rotary Laser Level on the Market?
- What is the best dot laser level on the Market?
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Which is the best line laser level for indoors?
- Which is the best line laser level for outdoors?
- Which is the difference between a green laser and a red laser?
- Which is the difference between the visibility range and working range of a laser level?
- How Often Should My Laser Level Be Calibrated?
- Can I Check Calibration Myself?
- What is the Difference Between Red and Green Laser Beams?
- Best Laser Level Comparison Chart
- Wrap Up
Using a top-notch laser level could mean the difference between excellent construction work or a sloppy end product. The most accurate laser level would be the obvious choice if you are after dead center, dead level construction accuracy.
But that doesn’t mean it’s the best laser level, depending on your building needs, you might want to invest in a small laser level or a more industrial outdoor laser level.
Regardless of the size of your project, whether it’s a DIY project, big or small, it shouldn’t be taken on without the best self-leveling laser possible. Nothing is more frustrating when measurements don’t line up, and your left admiring your project that’s askew or worse, not fitting together at all.
You might only have a small job right now, i.e., refitting some guttering, so you might be tempted to pick up the best cheap laser level. However, I advise you to shop around a bit and invest in the long term and pick up a professional level as from my experience, once you have one, it’ll get used often.
Hopefully, in these unbiased laser level reviews, I’ll guide you to purchasing the best laser level for the money but also your needs.
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Best Laser Level Reviews
Whether you are looking for the best line laser levels, or best rotary laser levels or even the best dot/plumb laser levels, I have you covered in these unbiased reviews. If you are unsure
about which type you need, I have a guide covering the differences between laser line levels, rotary laser levels, and dot laser levels later on in this article.
- Leica Lino ML180 Multiline Laser w/auto target seek on free standing swivel base (includes ML180 laser, hard case, XCR Catch Receiver, Li-Ion battery, charger, alkaline tray, large and small target plates, red glasses)
- Lino ML180 multi line laser
- XCR Catch with clamp
Lecia is known for its excellent digital cameras, but it also produces some of the best engineering tools, was it evidenced by this 90-degree cross line powerful laser level.
For me, the most significant advantage of the Leica Line ML180 is the XCR Catch laser receiver that comes complimentary with this Class II red laser level.
This is perfect for the solo engineer who likes or has to work alone, as you can align this laser via the remote control.
Along with the remote adjustment, this level is also self-leveling, it’s a plumb dot, and it also can use both rechargeable and alkaline batteries.
This is the best laser level for professionals by far.
You also get complimentary red glasses and a laser plate included in the package, so there’s no need to purchase additional accessories.
- The most accurate laser level on the market
- XCR catch laser receiver and remote control for effortless monitoring and handling
- Dual battery option, giving you up to 10 hours of battery life
- Self-leveling for long-distance markings
- Expensive (but worth it)
Leica laser levels are well known for their extremely high accuracy and durable long-term usage. These are two factors that are essential in today’s perfection-desiring engineering.
- ALL-IN-ONE: The Bosch GLL3-330CG 3 Plane Leveling and Alignment Line Laser is both a complete level as well as an alignment laser
- VISIBILITY: With Bosch’s built in VisiMax technology, the GLL3-330CG monitors power consumption to maximize line visibility and extend overall battery life of the line laser
- GREEN LASER: The GLL3-330CG offers a green laser which is up to 4X brighter than standard red beams, the leveling laser has a working range of up to 200 Ft diameter; Operating temperature -14° F / -10° C up to 104° F / 40° C
If you are a DIYer, then this Bosch 360 laser level is smart, durable, reliable, and well.. all-powerful.
This laser level has native Bluetooth support, where you can pair this with your smartphone and manage this level without having to be in the same room, that’s rather cool.
You also get a feature to see the battery level in real-time, a feature that helps keep you prepared in case of a power shortage. It’s also got dual power technology, and this is a welcomed feature that I’ve not seen in other laser levels. So you can use both plugged in power from a power outlet or battery power, so if you are at a construction site in the middle of a desert or forest, you can use AA batteries.
Are you a hobbyist who does remodeling in their spare time? Looking for a laser level for building decking? Maybe need to finish an incomplete carpentry job? This is going to be the best investment you make all year.
This is packed full of features and offers great value for your money, which is why it features highly on my list of the best green laser levels.
- Dual power technology with Li-ion battery + AA battery support and a battery level display
- Pulse mode
- The level can be clamped to a ladder (when a tripod is not available)
- Rather heavy
If you are a Bosch loyalist, there’s no need to think twice about this. This Bosch GLL3-330CG is right at the top of the bestselling lists in the market and is the only laser level with Bluetooth.
- 3 360 degree line lasers to aid in full room layout
- Height (inch) 12.5 inch, Overall length (inch) 6.125 inch, width (inch) 17.75 inch. A Green beam laser technology, which is four times brighter than red
- Integrated magnetic bracket allows for flush attachment to metal track and steel. Suitable for indoor visibility range is 100 feet. The working range is 165 feet. DO NOT use aggressive cleaning agents or solvents
The DW089G is already trusted by millions of construction workers around the world because it’s capable of generating three 360-degree green beam lasers so that you can accomplish any type of level, whether it’s line level, plumb or square jobs.
It’s powered green laser beams will give you visibility up to 100 feet even in broad daylight without the need for laser enhancement glasses or a target card (both of which come free with this model).
The 12v Li-ion battery is another great professional laser level. The charger allows you to charge a spare battery quickly so that you can swap the two should you need to.
I loved the fact that this doesn’t shut down after 20 minutes, you don’t need your laser level turning off while you are in the middle of squaring a bathroom project.
This also comes with an IP65 rating and a considerable storage kit. This is a cracking tool.
If you don’t need a green beam laser level, then you will be pleased to know that you can get a red beam laser level version of this in the DW089K, which I believe is the best for builders, though be aware that it has no pendulum lock, but does have a micro-adjust knob.
For me, this is the best laser level for decking, and it’s perfect for anyone looking to do some DIY home improvement jobs, it works in direct sunlight, it’s great indoors.
- 12V Lithium-ion rechargeable battery (with charger)
- 4x powerful green laser beam
- Strong magnetic base
- Locking pendulum prevents internal damage
- All-in-one functionality – facilitates one-person job setup with horizontal leveling, vertical alignment and plumb point transfer applications, connected capability
- Built in VisiMax technology – delivers maximum beam brightness, optimized energy efficiency and long-term tool reliability
- Bosch leveling remote app – Free to Download and free to use, this app turns the leveling laser on and off, selects the laser operating modes, adjusts line visibility
Bosch is well known for its rugged design and precision, and it shows in with the GCL100-80C, which is another pioneer in the field of layout machine tools.
The GCL100-80C red cross line laser level, though there is a green beam version available, which comes with plumb points, which is a handy feature to help simplify your layout tasks in any given setting.
The VisiMax technology built-in increases the brightness of the red beam and the power efficiency (via its Li-ion 12V battery).
The accurate working range of this model is 100 feet.
Don’t forget to register this product on the Bosch website, as this will give you another year of warranty.
- 12V Lithium-ion rechargeable battery (with charger)
- Power red laser beam
- Plumb points as well as a line laser level
- Better suited for indoor applications
- Projects bright crossing horizontal and vertical Lines. Laser Beam Color: Red
- Full Time Pulse Mode Allows Use with Detector and +/ 1/4 inch accuracy at 100 Feet
- Over molded housing and IP54 Water/debris resistance
If you are looking for a laser level that’s packed with features, then you’ll find it in this DeWalt DW08802CG review. Apart from its incredibly rugged design, it comes with an extended warranty and is loved by its users. It’s also lighter in weight than the DW089K, making this much more portable.
Whether you are laying tiles, working on electrical or plumbing jobs, this will pay for itself within a few months, and this is a perfect level for a small business, it’s reliable and highly accurate.
I love its self-leveling feature, but there is a drawback it doesn’t have a locking feature, which may put indoor carpenters off.
The DW088K is the best cross line laser level I’ve come across on the market while also being inexpensive, accurate, and portable.
The accuracy of this laser level is±¼″ per 100′ or ±1/8″ per 30 feet. It has an internal smart pendulum system, which is how it self levels.
if you need to use this further than 100 feet, then you can use the full-time pulse mode with the DeWalt DW0892G Line Laser Detector(sold separately) to extend the rage to 165 feet
It’s capable of both vertical horizontal and horizontal, vertical laser lines. This is perfect for use in the home for those home improvement jobs.
- Tough and durable build quality
- Enables outdoor use for up to 165 feet
- Affordable price
- Has a hard-sided carry case
- No locking mechanism
- Beam not visible in sunlight
- Line visibility range up to 50' depending on ambient light in working environment
- Accuracy - horizontal line (+/- 1/8" at 30'); vertical line (+/- 3/32" at 30')
- Fast self-leveling time; stability is achieved in 3 seconds for increased productivity
This is one of the most affordable laser levels I’ve come across. This Makita is a compact laser level perfect for beginners and DIY enthusiasts.
This has a range of up to 50 feet in ambient daylight, so this is a red laser level that gets layout jobs done. It’s also fantastic as a cross-line level for tiling and other construction purposes.
This has a quick 3-second lock for the self-leveling pendulum mechanism, it also features an auto-shutoff feature which is a hit and miss feature some people love it, others hate it.
It is a necessary feature as this runs on alkaline AA batteries, so power efficiency is not your friend. The batteries are going to be a long term cost you will need to bear.
I found this to be a fantastic little class II laser level for beginners and small-scale workers. It’s easy to carry around and fits on any tripod with a 1/4″ thread. This is a perfect little handheld laser level by Makita. If you are doing small-scale jobs like self and cabinet construction, tiling and drywall installation, this is perfect for you.
- A quick self-leveling feature which takes 3 seconds to lock
- Shuts down automatically to save power
- Compact and rugged design
- Quick self-leveling feature (takes 3 seconds to lock)
- Shuts down automatically to save power
- Compact and rugged design
This model from Pacific Laser Systems (PLS) gives you a hassle-free experience. There aren’t many switches or features to navigate. It’s just an excellent, straightforward red laser leveling and that’s it,
PLS is owned by Fluke, and this laser level has been drop tested for up to one meter, so it’s perfect for construction sites, thanks to its rugged design, which surpasses that of Bosch and DeWalt.
This is so easy to use, you just turn it on, and start working on squaring or tiling.
Comparing this to the original PLS180, this new model is much more accurate and rated for longer operating life.
You get 3-years of warranty, which is fantastic.
This is the best laser level for electricians and one of the most straightforward designs on the market. It’s a top-rated laser level and is budget-friendly while being easy to operate.
- 30 hours of runtime with just 3 AA batteries
- Magnetic wall bracket
- Easy to use
For such a cheap model, this comes packed with features. Though don’t expect the high-end features you would find on the Bosch or DeWalt’s.
This is the best budget-friendly line laser level for a reason! This is a level for indoor use only, and it is incredibly portable due to its compact nature.
This can project it’s red beam up to a distance of 30 feet and is self-leveling thanks to its internal pendulum system, which makes it’s a perfect plumb or level line. For example, if you place this 4-degrees out of line, the pendulum will automatically adjust the difference.
If you need to project a line out of level, the pendulum lock ensures that you can cast your line at any angle you need.
It takes two AA batteries to run this model, and it will run for 5 hours on each set of batteries. You get an adjustable clamp included in its package, which lets you use a ¼’’ tripod threading to attach this to any mount supporting that.
- 30-foot working range
- ±¼″ per 30 feet
- 5 hours battery run time
- Uses two AA batteries and chews through them every 5 hours
- It doesn’t have any IP rating, so prone to dust & water damage.
This model by Craftsman has an above-average working range, and not only that, the Craftsman 48250 has some other tricks up its sleeve as well.
Even though this can project at 100 feet, it doesn’t mean it’s any less precise, thanks to its dual-beam design, the accuracy, and visibility of this model remains the same regardless of the distance.
If you accidentally bump this out of level, it will emit a loud out of level alarm, and it will immediately start self-leveling which takes ~5 seconds. You can project both horizontal and verticle lines; you can emit these together for a cross line or individually, and you can move the lines up to 110-degrees in range.
You get a base to mount this level onto, and apart from offering strong magnets, so you can attach this to any metal surface, it also offers the standard 1/4″ camera-tripod connection.
And that’s not all; you also get pushpins so you can attach this to level to drywall and even side adhesives in case you need to attach to other surfaces.
This runs on 3 AA batteries, which last 20-hours per fresh set.
- 100-foot working range
- ±¼″ per 30 feet
- 20 hours of battery time
- Long projection range
- Double beam design ensures accuracy and visibility
- Rugged design can withstand a 10-meter fall.
- 1-year warranty.
- It doesn’t have any IP rating.
- ▲SMART PENDULUM LEVELING SYSTEM - Press the top power button or open the pendulum lock to activate laser beam, it auto-levels when placed within 4 degrees of horizontal/vertical; If out of range, the laser beams will flash to alert; Pendulum locked to start manual mode, can lock lines for alignment to other angles
- ▲FLEXIBLE MOUNTING DEVICE - The laser level can be mounted onto a tripod or affixed to most metal surface using the included magnetic bracket, support you to turn the laser level around at 360 degree , project lines in any position or angle or adjust the height from the tripod
- ▲CROSS-LINE MODE - Emits and projects a laser cross line onto flat surfaces with high accuracy of ±1/8 of an inch at 30 Ft, works best indoors; Ideal for tile alignment, wall studding, windows, doors, etc; Class II laser product, Output < 1mW
Looking for an affordable and durable laser level that’s also super-accurate? Then the Tacklife SC-L01 is what you are looking for.
It features a smart pendulum leveling system that auto-levels when placed withing 4-degrees or vertical/horizontal range. Place the unit outside of this range, and the beam will begin blinking until its back in range. It also displays a solid red cross on the target when it’s in range.
The projection range of this unit is 50 feet and 115 feet with a detector, and the device’s accuracy remains within ± 1/8″ at 30 Feet.
This is a very durable option and is IP54 rated, so DIY, and home improvement projects aren’t a problem, plus you get a 2-year warranty.
- 115 ft working range
- ± 1/8″ at 30 Ft.
- 12 hours of battery time
- VISIBILITY: This rugged layout laser features Bosch’s VisiMax technology to deliver maximum line laser visibility up to 50 feet in standard working conditions, as well as to ensure that the diodes don’t overheat
- EASY TO USE: Provides simple laser setup modes to project vertical, horizontal and cross lines; the Bosch GLL 55 can project 2 lines independently or together for straightforward job layout of tile work, bannister hanging or shelving installation
- SELF LEVELING: Includes Smart Pendulum System that allows the reliable laser tool to self level while also indicating out of level condition to help ensure an accurate setup, for confidence in a precise job
It’s not a surprise that this model from Bosch is on this list. At the time of writing, this is a best-seller, and it’s not a surprise when it features Visimax technology to deliver a maximum line visibility of up to 50 feet.
You get both horizontal and verticle lines so you can use this as a cross-line level. These lines can be projected together or independently.
The smart pendulum system allows this tool to self-level, and it will alert you to out of level conditions.
Its IP54 rating means it’s durable and can handle harsh conditions, including rain and dust. Plus, it has a magnetic L-mount so it can be attached to metal surfaces.
- 50ft working range
- IP54 rated
- Working range could be longer
- ✔️360-DEGREE HORIZONTAL LINE AND TWO PLUMB DOTS: With one ultra-bright 360° horizontal & one 140° vertical green beams, 621CG Laser Level provides all-around leveling coverage even in big job-site. And unique up and down plumb spots provide additional benefits of ceiling, points transfer, leveling, alignment, plumbing and squaring applications to suit users' needs.
- ✔️ALL-IN-ONE LASER: 621CG laser level offers all-in-one versatility for users who perform a variety of tasks involving squaring, plumbing and leveling. Five modes are freely selectable independently, including Horizontal mode, Vertical mode, Horizontal&Vertical mode, Plumb points mode, and all beams on mode.
- ✔️POWER-SAVING OUTDOOR PULSE MODE: This laser level projects brighter green laser than standard red beams with accuracy of +/- 1/9" at 33Ft for lines, 1/9" at 33Ft for dots. Besides brighter green beam, a power-saving pulse mode extends laser range up to 180ft with Huepar LR-6RG/LR-5RG Line Laser Receiver in bright light or outdoor conditions and use for a longer time.
The Huepar 621CG can project both a 360-degree horizontal line and a 140-degree vertical line. It has a self-leveling system and a warning signal if you are 4 degrees out of level.
You get a green target plate to help identify the laser point at a distance. You also get a rotating magnetic base, so this can be attached to any metal surface.
It’s equipped with two mounting thread sizes: 1/4″-20 and 5/8″-11.
It’s also capable of projecting centered points on both the ceiling and floor and the pule mode when paired with the Huepar Line Laser Receiver (not included); it extends the maximum range up to 180ft.
And if that wasn’t enough, it’s also IP54 rated for water and dust resistance.
- up to 180ft working distance with theHuepar Line Laser Receiver
- IP54 rated
- Dual mounting thread sizes
- Needs 4 AA batteries
- TURNKEY SOLUTION: The 99-006K self-leveling rotary laser system includes a soft carrying case (laser only), a 13’ grade rod, LED one sided detector, a contractor grade tripod, freestanding target, a drop-ceiling bracket, and laser glasses. Dimensions: 6.61" x 4.96" x 6.69"
- EXTERIOR RESIDENTIAL: Great for leveling forms and footings, aligning fence posts, grading/excavation, or laying out retaining walls, planting beds, and more. Rotation Speeds: 200, 400, 600 RPM. Laser Wavelength: 635nm±10nm (Red)
- VERTICAL AND HORIZONTAL USE: Use vertically for laying out walls and floors, or installing metal drywall track. Use horizontally to install wainscoting, drop ceilings, or for leveling cabinets. Interior Range- Up to 200 ft. diameter depending upon light conditions. Exterior Range- Up to 800 ft. diameter with detector (included in 40-6516 and 40-6517)
You are going to struggle to find a better priced rotary laser level with this many features anywhere on the market. If you are looking to revamp your home, perhaps with a new deck of a wooden fence, then this is the tool for you. This tool will ensure you cut down the cost of hiring professionals to do your home renovations.
This rotary laser is capable of projecting a 360-degree beam of light. And boasts three rotational speeds; 200, 400, and 600 RPM.
It’s able to level itself in both X and Y planes, and the locking mechanism protects the inner pendulum from any hard knocks while being transported over bumpy terrain.
When you use this outside, use the higher rotational speeds, you can pair it with a detector to extend the working range.
It is accurate for up to 1/8 inches at 50ft and has a 200ft working range.
It’s IP54 rated, so no worries about dust or water causing this any issues. And it only weighs 3.3 pounds.
- Self- leveling
- Value for money
- 3 variable rotation speeds
- Automatic locking pendulum for extra protection
- Can chew through batteries
- Simulates functionality of rotary laser and projects bright crossing horizontal and vertical lines
- Vertical-adjust base for easy set-up and fine tune adjustments
- Full-time pulse mode allows use with detector maintains full brightness for visibility
If you are looking for the performance of a line laser and the flexibility of a rotary level, this is it. Now, this is a line laser, but it simulates the operation of a rotary laser with its 360-degree ability.
It uses 3 AAA batteries, and the visibility can go to 165 feet with a laser detector, there’s also a button to lock the pendulum, so it’s protected from damage. It will also self-level if the level is out by ~4 degrees.
One feature I loved is that the three buttons have three different settings 360 degrees (rotary) and Horizontal plumb and Vertical Plumb, making this incredibly easy to use, and all three settings are self-leveling.
You get a carry case with this model, which is very rugged, so you know your level is being kept secure.
- IP54 Rated water-resistant design
- Full-time pulse mode
- Vertical-adjust base
- 30 hours of battery time
- Not for long-range outdoor use.
Types of Laser Levels
A line laser will project a straight line from one point to another, usually over a distance for 64-100 feet. Depending on the model, you can project multiple lines, allowing you to check for straightness and squareness.
Line lasers are usually very compact and can be mounted onto ladders, or even a regular camera tripod.
most line lasers are built for indoor use as they can be challenging to see in bright light, but newer models are equipped with better LED diodes that can be seen outdoors, green diodes tackle this very well,
Some also have a pulsating light technology that can be used with a laser detector for outdoor use.
Dot Lasers / Plumb lasers
As its name implies, the way this type of laser level works is by projecting single or multiple reference dots on the work surface. It works the same way a water level or plumb bob works, only much more accurate for longer distances.
The main problem with dot lasers is they tend to have shorter ranges versus the other types of laser levels; as such, they can be challenging to use for any other purpose other than as a reference point.
Rotary laser levels project a level line, very similar to a line laser, but this line rotates around a room in a 360-degree fashion. There’s usually both a single line generator and also a plumb up and plumb down capabilities in these.
Model models are remote-controlled for convenience. Rotary lasers are highly accurate and are ideal for outdoor work, such as laying foundations, pipes, and even grading roads.
While a rotary model is more powerful than a line laser, it’s also much bulkier and usually more costly.
You will need to use a sturdy base if you want to mount a rotary laser because they are bigger than a line laser. These are designed for foundation work so they can be substantial and must be mounted onto a platform or tractor.
Laser Level Buying Guide
Many different factors separate the best laser levels from the waste of money variety. Here are some things to look for.
The majority of laser levels these days offer two types of accuracy levels. Self-leveling and preset (or manual). I suggest you aim for a self-leveling version for the simple reason as they automatically find their true level, it saves you time and hassle.
They have an inner pendulum, which lets the level find it’s best accuracy.
However, while I think that self-leveling models are the best, they do tend to be more expensive, so if you are looking to save a bit of money, there is no harm in getting a preset manual version. If you do, make sure you get one that has an accuracy ratio of at least +-3Xm.
Ask a bunch of professionals or a bunch of hobbyists, and each group will give you different answers, not just at a group level but at an individual level. Some will vouch for red beams others for the green beam laser, so which should you go for?
Both of these color beams have their advantages and disadvantages.
- Red beams, for instance, will consume less power and are fantastic for all indoor tasks, but can suffer against bright sunlight.
- Green beams, on the other hand, provide up to 300 times more power, so they are ideal for working outdoors and in direct sunlight
So, if you will be working indoors, then a red beam laser is perfect for you if however, you are going to be doing work in direct sunlight whether indoors or outside, then green beams are a better option.
When looking at laser levels, you need to factor in how long the batteries will last. These are a running cost at the end of the day, so if you are chewing through batteries, it’s going to cost you in the long run.
So check for runtime, life cycle, Amp-hour rating, and voltage.
Runtime – as you might have guessed, is how long the batteries will last, some models offer up to 30 hours of runtime.
Life cycle – is about how many times the batteries can be recharged before they won’t recharge anymore. The higher the life cycle, the more rechargeable the battery will be.
Amp-hour – rating determines how long the battery will last
Voltage – This determines the output (or power) of the laser. If your battery provides more volts, the brighter the laser will be.
Voltage may not affect the effective range of the tool.
Ease of Use
Each model is going to be operated differently, some will have one or two buttons, while others – which are usually more advanced – will require you to configure their settings for each use.
So you need to select the right model for you; I aim for ones with as few buttons as possible. It just makes life easy, and I don’t need complicated setup every time I start my laser level.
There are typically two types of lasers and which one you need depends on where you intend to use it.
If you are leveling a floor, then a horizontal laser will let you quickly locate the spots that aren’t level.
Dual-beam lasers, while being more expensive, offer two beams simultaneously, (cross beam lasers for example) these allow you to measure both horizontally and vertically at the same time. Fantastic for installing cabinetry.
A common feature these days is that your level will automatically find “level” when you turn it on. You can still get manual/present models. But self-leveling is the way to go.
Operating Temperature Range
Generating a laser creates heat, being out in the sun or a hot room adds to that heat, so you want to ensure that your laser level has a large operating temperature range so that it can work in hot and cold climates.
Multiple Mounting Threads
Need to mount your level indoors and outdoors? Then you may need multiple mounting threads. Why? So you can mount the laser onto different types of surfaces. Some give you the option to attach them to tripods.
High IP Rating
IP stands for Ingress Protection. An IP rating tells you the degree of protection the tool will have against dust and water. The higher the IP rating, the more durable the product is. If you are only going to use your laser level indoors, then the IP rating may be pointless.
Though I tend to look for an IP54 rating, as this means it can get wet and won’t stop working!
Remote Control Capability
Being able to control your level from a distance remotely is handy, especially if you are working alone. Being able to make micro-adjustments without having to run back and forth from the laser and the work surface, well for me, it’s a godsend.
Though do note that the remote controls have their working range. Even the best remote controls have a range that usually only half the tools maximum operating distance.
Power Level and Warning Indicator
knowing how much power you have in the batteries is a convenient feature, you don’t want to be in the middle of a task then suddenly for your laser to die.
Having something like three small lights located on the unit which tells you how much battery power is remaining is very useful.
As for a warning level, it’s something that will tell you that something is wrong with the product. Some models display an audible warning; others do nothing but shut down when things are amiss.
What is a laser level?
A laser level is a tool that started in the construction industry, though it’s now widespread and something that every household should have. It’s a tool that measures levelness by projecting either a red or green light beam onto a flat surface.
Laser levels are used to deduce how level or straight a surface is, by project a light beam across or around it. Very similar to how you would use a chalk line.
Small traditional laser levels are perfect for use in and around your home for DIY projects, while the bigger and more industrial versions are better suited for outdoor and construction job sites. Home DIY projects, even small ones such as hanging picture frames or laying down carpets, really benefit from incorporating a laser level.
A good quality laser level will reduce the amount of measuring you would need to do and takes away the guesswork of knowing whether a surface is level or not. I must point out these you should never point these are someone’s eyes; these are lasers and will cause damage. Most laser levels are manufactured with a low-intensity diode and are battery operated, giving you the freedom of movement without the worry of tripping over long extension cords. The type of level you need will depend on the size of the project you have on hand and whether it’s indoors or outdoors.
If your aim is to hang a few picture frames, then it wouldn’t make sense to purchase an expensive industrial, professional laser level. In the way that a large, bulky laser level doesn’t make sense for small DIY jobs around the home.
Laser levels can be self-leveling, and all that means is that they can detect whether or not the area in which they are standing is level, with the help of internal self-leveling sensors.
These lasers are incredibly time effective and accurate compared to their manually set counterparts.
Most level lasers can be divided into three categories, Plumb, line level, and rotary. Plumb lasers have a dot sight or a reference point, unlike line lasers, which will project a visual line or two cross lines onto a surface. Rotary lasers project a level line around the entire room and are usually bulkier.
How do laser levels work?
Laser levels work by using a laser beam to pinpoint the origin of levelness on a flat surface. A beam of light is emitted from the laser level through a device called a diode. The word “laser” is an acronym that stands for Light Amplification by the Stipulated Emission of Radiation. I’m sure you’ll agree that that’s quite a mouthful, simply put, it’s when electrons are stimulated to give off a beam of light, which is collected by mirrors or prisms and pointed in a particular direction. For us, the result is a laser beam.
Laser levels are used to project a solid line (though sometimes dots) onto a surface; this works just like a solid chalk line. Need a thicker line? The size of the diode sets the thickness of the line. A thinner project beam will be more accurate than a thicker beam, as the reference point is within the beam, so the small the beam, the closer to the reference point you are.
Laser levels are be used indoors and outdoors, and there was a time that these devices were limited to just indoor use because the laser beam itself was too weak to be seen outdoors in direct sunlight.
These days we have much more powerful lasers, which also come with the added benefit of audible level detectors, which give off a beeping sound one the level has been reached. You will find that most laser levels come with some sort of swivel attachment bracket on the tripod so you can keep the laser level steady. A lot these days also come with self-leveling capabilities, though some are operated manually.
Self-leveling lasers can detect whether they are level by using electronic sensors. In contrast, manual levels make use of a traditional bubble vial, and there’s nothing wrong with a water level!
Self-leveling lasers tend to be more accurate, but that comes at a cost, as the electronic extras will drain your battery power much fast than a manual laser level with a bubble vial.
How to Check Laser Level for Accuracy?
When you are taking on a project, it’s always better to measure twice and cut once… or so they say. A laser level is your best and more accurate option when it comes to measuring level, but it’s only accurate when it is level. So it’s worth taking some time to do some maintenance on your laser level and ensure that it is reading level.
The best time to do this is to check the accuracy of your laser level before you begin your project.
Even the best laser levels become less calibrated over time and need to be checked. I do this regularly. It only takes a few minutes as it is worth doing, so you don’t hang your pictures or curtains out of level. Trust me. It will save you embarrassment.
- Place your laser level on a tripod in the center of a large room, the exact position doesn’t matter, but it should be at least 20 ft from the walls of the room
- Turn your laser on and project a vertical level against the wall. Mark off the point where the laser hits the wall with a pencil
- Rotate the level by 180 degrees and mark that point with a pencil. Compare the two marks you made to see if the difference is within the general range or not.
- Rotate the level by 90 degrees and mark off against the wall. Rotate by 180 degrees, then recheck the difference. If the vertical beam is not within reach or if the axis fails to show the correct results, then you may need to calibrate your laser level.
Why Use a Laser Level?
Ever tried to hang a gallery of photos on a wall? Simple right? Just decide a layout, hammer in some nails and hand your picture frames, easy, right? As you’ll discover, if you do it that way, it really isn’t, your pictures won’t have where you want, and nothing will line up.
Look, picture this, you’re up a ladder, a hammer in one hand, a lever in another hand, and you want to hang a series of photos, and you want them all to be in a straight line.
The problem is, you can’t hold a level and hammer in a bunch of nails. Using a tape measure, you’ll be out by a millimeter here or there. Even if you pick up an electric hammer, you’ll soon realize you still need both hands.
So what do you do now?
You could use a chalk line, but that requires a second person or an additional hole in the wall. You could put two holes in your wall and run a nylon thread, but then you are adding unnecessary holes just to ensure your picture hooks are aligned.
If only you could hang your level on the wall without needing a nail to hold it up, hanging those pictures would be simple.
Well… there is a solution, a laser level, even a cheap laser will that you chunk into your toolbox will sort this out, it’ll project a laser beam across the wall that’s level, and you can just knock a nail onto the line where you want your photos to hang.
The result will be perfectly hung photos.
Laser levels are standard equipment these days in construction and the civil engineering industries.
You can use them to make cabinets, check the alignment of windows, doors skylights, dormers, spotlights, and concrete and asphalt work.
I’ve even used mine to ensure that plants where planted in a straight line!
If the experts are using these tools, why shouldn’t you?
Why Choose Laser Levels Instead Of Spirit Levels/Bubble Levels?
Look, there’s nothing wrong with using a spirit or bubble level. The truth is somethings; using these In DIY or construction jobs, using them is impossible.
Take the photo gallery example above, you could use a spirit/bubble level to create a guideline or where to put your holes, but you’d need experience, and you may end up with unnecessary holes in your wall.
Another problem is that they are only accurate for the length of the level and sometimes, no, most of the time when you are trying to level is either longer than your level or shorter than your level (i.e., a tight space fitting blinds into a recessed window), this means you either need a range of levels or you need to keep moving your level and finding level both vertically and horizontally.
What if your workspace was 30 feet in length? that’s going to take some time.
A spirit or bubble level has a vial (some have multiple vials) that are mostly filled with a liquid, usually a colored alcohol. Because the vial isn’t entirely filled, there is a bubble in the tube.
If you place the bubble/spirit level is placed on a truly level horizontal or vertical surface, then the bubble will stay in the middle of the gauge.
Though, unfortunately, the middle of the gauge can be off by a few millimeters, which will throw off your accuracy. Also, if you are working in an incline or decline, it’s next to impossible to keep your level at the same inclination, even more so if you are moving in the process.
Think, putting gutters onto your home or garage, and you want a slight incline/decline to ensure the water runs into your downpipe.
These situations are where laser levels shine and are best used.
Here are some advantages to using a laser level over a spirit/bubble:
- Laser levels are easy to use – With a simple press of a button, you can create a guideline, check for alignment and even for squareness with no hassle. You don’t need to use a chalk line if you have a laser level.
- Highly accurate -laser levels are highly accurate, up to a fraction of a millimeter.
- Lasers levels work with inclines/declines – You can mount a laser level, so it maintains the same position while you complete your work. The settings do not change as you move them from one location to another, well unless you want them to.
What Can You Do With A Laser Level?
Over the years, laser levels have become smaller, more accessible, easier to use, more accurate, and much more affordable.
Today, laser levels aren’t just used in large construction projects, but also by do-it-yourselfers to ensure accuracy in their projects (me being one of them).
Laser levels are used for layout jobs that require high levels of accuracy. Think of hanging photo frames, that you want the level to each other, there’s nothing worse than one being out of level (unless that’s by design), for me, it’s one of those that once it’s been seen, it cannot be unseen and it’ll annoy me every time I see it.
Some common applications including installation of ceiling tiles, sewer pipes, or even the simple installation of chair railings.
Some indoor uses for laser levels
- Level floors with a single-line laser beam.
- Ensure walls are straight and perpendicular to each other using a three-beam line laser.
- Attached to a ceiling, it will help you with the installation of ceiling drops.
- A two-line later will help check for door or window heights
- Install chair rails and wainscoting in your home
- Use a tripod to install cabinets and trims, and even picture frames on your walls
- Match points on both the floor and ceiling
Some outdoor uses for laser levels
With a laser line detector or a rotary line laser, you can use your laser levels outdoors.
- Groud Surveying.
- Checking and aligning of posts and beams on decks, porches, and fences.
- Alignment of bricks and other masonry.
- Setting the layout of a new construction site.
- Check an area/site for elevation for improving drainage installation
- Can be used for contour farming for better irrigation
- Lining up plants when planting flowers
How to use a laser level
Setting up a laser level
- First, before you use your laser level, set it on a flat surface, I suggest using a tripod.
- If your laser level is manual, make sure that the bubble is in the middle (i.e., at the “level”). If it’s not, turn the screws near the vial until you reach level. Turn on the level and use it.
- If your level is a self-leveling laser, you will need a few seconds for it to level itself. Some units will emit a blinking light if it’s out of level. In this case, you will need to adjust the unit yourself, Turn on the level, and use it.
- If you don’t have a wall for your laser beam to reflect on, you can use a laser detector to find the beam. Check the manual to find out how your laser will signal “leveling.”
Hanging pictures with a laser level
You can see a detailed guide on my best laser level for hanging pictures guide
- Determine the height for your picture frame
- put a small mark on the wall to serve as a reference point of the topmost part of the frame
- Set your laser level on a tripod on level stable ground
- Turn on your laser level and align it horizontally with the mark you left on the wall and make sure your laser is level
- Now take a picture frame and measure the length from the top of the frame to the hanging mechanism
- use the distance you get from step four and measure the laser downwards to read that line
- Mark wall along this line as many times are you have frames to hang in the same location
- drive a nail into the marks you’ve made
- Place the picture frames onto the nails and check for alignment at the top using the laser.
Using Laser Level To Install Wall Tiles
Ever been into a hotel or home where the floor-to-ceiling tiles aren’t aligned, they are ever so slightly out of alignment? Doesn’t that annoy you? It does me!
They didn’t use a laser level, but you will, right?
As everything builds off of the first row, you can get that perfect row of tiles by following these steps.
- Create a 2-inch wide strip of straight board.
- Identify a point on your wall that’s a few inches off of the floor. Make sure that the distance from the floor to this point is less than the height of your tile.
- Turn on your laser level and align the horizontal line to the point you marked above.
- Line up the end of your 2-inch wide straight board with the laser line and screw the board to the wall.
- Rest your first row of tiles on top of this board, and this will make a perfectly level first row.
- Continue to up tiles up to your desired height on the wall.
- Once you’ve installed all the tiles, remove the baseboard.
- Now custom-cut tiles for the bottom so so you can keep consistent grout lines.
Using Laser Levels To Install Ceiling Fixtures
Floors and ceiling will typically have the same measurements, so if you are installing ceiling fixtures, it makes sense to lay them out on the floor first, trust me this helps prevent you from getting a stiff neck.
- Mark the position of your ceiling fixtures on the floor
- Put your laser onto a tripod and turn it on.
- Line up the downward-pointing beam to the center of the fixture marked on the floor.
- Use the upward-pointing beam to mark the location on the ceiling.
- On the floor, measure the length from the beam to the points where the fixtures will attach.
- Mark the measurements you found in the above step on the ceiling.
- Hold up the fixture to the ceiling and install it.
Benefits of a Laser Level
There are many benefits of using a laser level, whether you are working on a DIY project or a construction site. You can use them to keep pictures level, make sure a roof is built to the right incline, check a ceiling if it’s flat or not.
In addition to those, here are some of the many indoor and outdoor uses of laser levels.
- Align walls, cabinets, chair rails and shelves
- Install wainscoting, drop ceilings and chair rails
- Check heights of doors, ceilings, and roofs
- The setting of a grade for proper irrigation and/or drainage installation
- Carry out any type of basic surveys
- Layout flours in a flower bed
- and much more
What is the Best Laser Level on the Market?
For me, It’s the DW089K, and it’s such a versatile laser level that is ideally suited for indoor tasks.
What is the Best Rotary Laser Level on the Market?
The Johnson-Level-Tool-99-006K-Self-Leveling Rotary System is a fantastic rotary laser level, so for me, this is the best one on the market.
What is the best dot laser level on the Market?
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Which is the best line laser level for indoors?
For me, this is a toss-up. If you are a DIYer, then the best indoor laser level is the DeWalt DW088K. However, if you are a professional, then its got to be the Leica Lino ML180 for the best line laser level for indoors.
Which is the best line laser level for outdoors?
Again another toss-up, I personally love the DW089CG for outdoor use, but for professionals, the Craftsman 48250 is a better choice for the best outdoor line laser level. It offers a considerable projection range, it’s self-leveling and employs a double beam.
Which is the difference between a green laser and a red laser?
There are two significant differences between the two, green and red laser levels are first, that a green laser is 300% brighter than the red counterpart.
The result of this is you can see it at a considerable distance. The second comes down to power consumption. Green laser levels shine bright, and to do that, and they need to consume more power, so they have a battery life that’s much shorter than the red laser level.
Which is the difference between the visibility range and working range of a laser level?
The difference between the visibility range and working range is workability. If you have a laser that has a working range of 100 feet but is visible up to 500 feet, well, the later is useless.
It’s all about the working range; anything outside of that range will affect the accuracy of the beam. So when you are checking the specs of a laser unit, you should never check the visibility range, instead focus on the working range.
How Often Should My Laser Level Be Calibrated?
Most self-leveling laser levels do not need to be calibrated; however, if you want to be sure of its accuracy, you can take it to an accredited store every six months for a check-up.
This way, you can catch issues easily on, preventing the device from failure and from throwing out your projects.
Can I Check Calibration Myself?
Yes, you can. But to do so, you need to understand how levels work.
To calibrate it yourself, the most straightforward way is to project the beam or dot on a wall 5 to 10 meters away. Then turn the level 180 degrees and check that the lines match up with each other,
if they don’t, then the laser isn’t calibrated and must be returned or taken to a service center.
What is the Difference Between Red and Green Laser Beams?
Human eyes have evolved into seeing green light better than red so that green lasers can be seen at longer distances.
When used outdoors, usually in bright sunlight, green lasers can be seen much easier than red, red lasers can become next to invisible and require a laser detector.
Best Laser Level Comparison Chart
|PRODUCT||Working Range||Accuracy||Power||Laser Color|
|Leica Lino ML180 Laser Level For Professionals||66 ft/ 20 m||0.03 in @ 33 ft||AA Batteries||Class II Red|
|Bosch GLL3-330CG 360-Degree Green Beam 3-Plane Line Laser Level||200 ft / 60 m||3/32-in @ 30-ft||AA Batteries||Class II Green|
|Dewalt DW089LG 3 x 360° Green Line Laser Level Self-Leveling Line laser||100 ft / 30 m||0.125 in @ 30 ft||12V lithium ion||Class II Green|
|Bosch GCL100-80C 12V Cross-Line Laser with Plumb Points||100 ft / 30 m||0.125 in @ 30 ft||12V lithium ion||Class II Red|
|DEWALT DW088K Laser Level||50 ft / 15 m||0.125 in @ 30 ft||AA Batteries||Class II Red|
|Makita SK104Z Laser Level||50 ft / 15 m||0.125 in @ 30 ft||AA Batteries||Class II Red|
|PLS180 Red Cross Line Laser Level||100 ft / 30 m||0.125 in @ 30 ft||AA Batteries||Class II Red|
|Hammerhead Compact Self-Leveling||30 ft / 9 m||0.125 in @ 30 ft||AA Batteries||Class II Red|
|Craftsman 48250 laser level||100 ft / 30 m||0.125 in @ 30 ft||AA Batteries||Class II Red|
|Tacklife SC-L01 laser level||115 ft / 35 m||1/8 in @ 30 ft||AA Batteries||Class II Red|
|Bosch GLL 55 Laser Level||50 ft / 15 m||1/8 In @ 33 Ft||AA Batteries||Class II Red|
|Huepar 621CG Laser Level||130 ft / 40 m||3mm/10m||AA Batteries||Class II Green|
|Johnson Level Tool 99 006K Self Leveling Laser System||200 ft / 60 m||1/8 in @ 50 ft||AA Batteries||Class II Red|
|DEWALT DW0811 Laser Level||100 ft / 30 m||5/32 in @ 100 ft||AAA Batteries||Class II Red|
Hopefully, my unbiased best laser level reviews have helped you find the best self-leveling laser level for your needs.
There are a lot of options on the market, some good, some bad, I’ve whittled the list down, to the ones that I think suits everyone’s needs. But should I have missed one that you believe should be included or if I’ve failed to answer a question you may have before purchasing, then please let me know in the comments below.
Last update on 2021-01-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API