Here’s our picks for the Top 10 Laser Levels in the 2016 product lines to help you get the most value for your money. Our laser level reviews are based on research and comparison of the entire spectrum of models and brands. If you’re new to laser levels it is really important that you understand what you are looking at here before you jump off to Lowe’s or Home Depot to buy one.
How to buy a laser level:
- Figure out if you want a rotary or straight line laser level
- Check the most popular brands for a good fit: Bosch, Dewalt
- Read reviews from people that gave just 3-stars to understand limitations
- Buy a laser level
Take a few minutes and check out these resources:
- Hanging pictures with a laser level (or this video from Lowe’s)
- Ask The Builder: Guide to a level floor
- This Old House: Establish a level grade line
- Use a Laser Level to Align Fence Posts
These are just some of the many uses for a laser level. If you’re already familiar with them or if you understand how they can help you on your DIY project then you are ready to take a look at the wide variety available. We’ve reviewed them so that you can choose the right one for you.
Importance of Choosing the Best Laser Level
A proper Laser Level is a must for any construction enthusiast or professionals who require a perfect and most accurate alignment for their projects or tasks to be accomplished. With the help of this tool, you can acquire a degree of accuracy, which cannot be reached with normal human eyes or a spirit level. But for this you cannot just go and pick a laser level out of the shelf. It is very important to have the right and appropriate tool.
Not all laser levels are the right fit for every job. The high quality laser levels are meant for wide range of applications and very high accuracy, but each has some limitations. Also some buyers might require a laser level for very small jobs rather than large industrial jobs, so according to the need, the right laser level must be selected. You should also know some of the mistakes by laser level buyers, so that you can learn from their mistakes and not repeat the same while selecting a laser level. Here we provide some of the factors of a good laser level and also few of the most common mistakes committed by people while purchasing this tool.
1. Good accuracy
The most important factor that makes laser level is the good accuracy. for example, the top quality laser levels has accuracy of around -+1.5Xm at 30 m distance and a good quality laser level will have at least -+3Xm. the accuracy rating will decide how much precise the laser level is. If the accuracy rating is more than 3Xm or less than 3Xm, this might affect the leveling task and so will the accomplishing of the project be hampered.
2. Visible and bright beam
A good laser level must have a clearly visible beam. As the laser beam projected by the laser level plays the main role of leveling, it is of no use if the beam is not clearly visible. Laser levels with red beam are most commonly used, but for high quality indoor construction sites, green is more visible as compared to red. Some low quality laser levels produce laser beam with very low brightness which is not visible even at very low lighting. A laser level must have bright beam so that the user can easily see the lines in normal light as well as to the maximum extent when the laser level is being used for high lighting worksite or at outdoors.
3. 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.
4. Maximum range
Range of the laser level is the amount of area that can be covered by the laser beam produced by the laser level. A good laser level must be able to cover the maximum area required to be leveled. For indoor jobs, range may not be that important, as almost all the laser levels can cover up the area that might be required for the indoor leveling, but for outdoor jobsites, it is very important for the laser level to have maximum range of beam visibility.
5. Good rotating speed
Rotating speed in a rotary laser level decide the visibility of the beam projected by the rotary laser level, especially for those users who need the laser level for outdoor use. Many good rotary laser levels come with wide range of rotating speed option, while there are some laser levels that have very less options. Having many options can be very helpful because sometimes when the speed is too much, the beam might not be visible and also vice versa as for larger cover up more speed is necessary. A good rotary laser level needs to have many rotating speed options for more user convenience.
6. More IP rating
The higher is the IP rating, the better is the quality of the laser level. As IP ratings determine the durability of the tool against elements like dust and water, it is very important for a good laser level to have more IP rating. 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.
7. Quick leveling
Laser levels come with two types of leveling; one is manual leveling and the other one is self-leveling or automatic leveling. Manual leveling requires the user to level the tool manually, whereas automatic laser levels come with a feature of self-leveling. Some come with manual and some are automatic. There are also the high quality laser levels that come with both manual and self-leveling features, which offer the user with more leveling options. With both the features in one tool makes the work easier for the user.
8. Highly durable
In most cases, the laser levels become useless if any if the internal parts of the device gets damaged. Especially in outdoor job sites it is obvious for the laser level to knock down or encounter maximum bumps. For this it is very important for the laser level to have strong and rugged construction that can bear even the worst accidental fall. the internal parts of the laser level should be secured strongly and in case it is a rotary laser level, the rotary motor should be very strongly connected as the first thing that gets damaged in the rotary laser levels is the rotary motor. The device should be able to resist various elements like dust, debris and water and should last long throughout the worst condition.
9. Easy to install and use
Like all technical tools, laser levels are also somewhat complicated. There are many laser levels that are of high quality and more complex to install and use and consumes a lot of time in simply installation. But there are also many high quality laser levels that not only have precise features but are also very easy to install and use, such as specific buttons, easy control and digital display for user convenience. A good laser level should not take much time to be set and must be easy to use, so that even an entry level user can use it easily.
10. Many mounting threads
A good laser level must come with many mounting threads. The tool should be mountable in many possible ways. It is likely to be used for different worksites, from home to outdoor sites like farming field. Various laser levels can be mounted on walls, posts, rails and many more. Some laser level cannot be mounted on tripods, which can be problematic if the laser level is to be used outdoors. So a good laser tool should be mountable anywhere as desired.
The most important feature of a good laser level is that the laser level should be safe for use. The laser beam of the tool not only can affect the user but it can also bring certain damage to the passersby around. A good laser level should not cause any such damage to both. There are many laser level meant for outdoors and come with larger diode than the standard ones and can project more harmful beam. The laser level should not be so effective that it could burn skin or clothes and it must be of limited strength. A good laser level will always be safe for the user and others.
Laser levels come with not only varieties of features, but also with wide range of price tags. It is not always important that all high quality featured laser levels should also come with high price tags. There are many such laser levels that are precise and come with an affordable price. Only a pricey laser level doesn’t decide that it is the right tool. The device which is right and comes in affordable price is considered as a good laser level, you should select your laser level wisely with full knowledge about certain factors.
Common Mistakes Committed by Laser Level Buyers
Many a times the buyers regret buying a particular laser level. Here are some of the most common mistakes committed while buying a laser level that should be considered as a lesson:
- Buying the wrong tool: Many people regret buying a totally different laser level that is not capable of fulfilling the requirements desired by the user while performing the task, for example, they buy a laser level which is not compatible for outdoor use but they need the tool for outdoor applications, making the tool completely a waste. It is very important for you to know the real purpose of the laser level and the type of laser level which will suit your project and tasks and buy according to that.
- Too many features: Some would require a laser level only for simple builds and occasional use and some need the tool for continuous use for wide range of applications. Buyers often get confused on which laser level to buy or how many features should be there. If the laser tool is required for simple and same type of tasks, it no use buying laser level with too many features.
- Unnecessary leveling pattern: Different laser level offer varieties of leveling pattern, like some offer horizontal, some vertical and many offer grading pattern. One should be specific about the pattern of leveling they have to deal with currently or in future. It is no use buying a laser level that offers grading pattern if they require only either horizontal or vertical lines for leveling and vice versa, as it can create complications on the task.
- Wrong beam color: Though green beam laser levels seems to be more visible indoors, some buyers confuse it with the visibility at outdoors too and chose wrongly thinking that they won’t have to use a laser detector while using the laser level with green beam, and end up paying more bucks for that. Later they would have to again purchase a laser detector for outdoor use, which can be a total waste of money. So the beam color should be chosen wisely.
- Non-mountable: Many buyers often neglect the mounting ability of the laser tool and simply buy according to the feature and type, forgetting to check the mounting threads and later regret their buy. There are some laser levels that come with magnetic stand and can be mounted only on iron surfaces, and you will have to purchase extra straps. Tripods and poles are extremely useful when laying out a job site indoors or outdoors and having a level with versatile mounting options is very helpful in the real world.
- Wrong level: As there are two types of level, manual and automatic, some buyers get over confident and in the intention of saving few bucks, they go for laser level with manual level, which they later regret as manual leveling needs more concentration and time. If more precise accuracy is required for the work, an automatic laser level is always recommended.
- Paying too much: If you need an alignment of precise level with perfect accuracy for larger industrial work sites, then a laser level with highest quality features, expensive and with most strong construction is necessary. But if you are just an entry level user and needs a simple laser level for periodic use for simple installation tasks, then you are recommended to go for mid-range laser level with entry level features and which is less expensive.
Summary of the Best Laser Level Reviews
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 find an often used tool in your box.