Indispensable for construction and renovation work, the laser level is a tool that is no longer reserved for professionals. Everyone can now get it and benefit from its ease of use and precision.
But how do you find the right laser level among the many models available on the market? For this, you must take into account the important characteristics and choose the one best suited to your type of work.
What is a laser level?
A laser level is a tool commonly used in construction and work of all kinds but not only, but many DIY enthusiasts also equip themselves to perform simple jobs while having the assurance of working just right.
The most common laser is a rotating device, which, once placed on its tripod will automatically level itself and then begin a permanent 360 ° rotation to project a horizontal reference line. This line will then allow plumb work.
Before the invention of the laser level, two people were necessary to obtain levels: one behind the dumpy level and another at the front equipped with the staff. Today, a single worker is able to get precise levels and very quickly.
The laser levels generally work with batteries and offer a long enough autonomy to carry out hours of plots. So no need to work in the sector since it must be able to be done on-site totally without electricity.
Dewalt makes a remarkable entry into our list with its DW089K 3-beam self-levelling multiline laser level. This tool is intended for professionals above all, but demanding DIY enthusiasts looking for professional quality will find it an unwavering ally. It offers precise self-levelling at ± 0.3 mm / m and projects three types of beams (1 horizontal and 2 vertical). The Dewalt DW089K is suitable for so many applications and allows you to work on different kinds of surfaces (floor, wall, ceiling). It is prepared for difficult conditions on construction sites and therefore relies on the housing which protects its calibration.
The high visibility of its laser beam is such that indoors or outdoors, you can be sure of having clear lines over a range of up to 50 meters when used with a detector. Its levelling is done automatically and quickly, including on inclined planes up to 4 degrees.
Using the good recipes from the two previous iterations, the Bosch Quigo 0603663500 allows levelling over a range of up to 10 meters. This laser level projects a perfectly visible horizontal and vertical line on a wall. It works very well and can be used in comfort. Bosch also comes with adjustment support and a MM2 clamp, allowing it to be fixed everywhere to work comfortably.
Not only can DIY enthusiasts use it, but some building or home professionals can find a precious companion there. To this end, the Bosch Quigo 3 demonstrates appreciable precision. The margin of error is thus ± 0.8 mm and the levels are obtained in no time, which allows you to gain efficiency and time. In addition, an inclination function allows the projection of inclined lines by simply tilting the device.
We come back to you with another laser level from Stanley, which improves the performance of the stht77504-1. We are dealing this time with a device that can project a horizontal line at 360 °, a vertical line and across, on a range of 10 m, or 20 m in diameter. Thanks to the line blocking function, it is possible to put the level on its flat and stable back, for a transfer to the ceiling. This makes markings easier.
The Stanley stht77504-1 360 excels in precision. The margin of error is indeed ± 0.02 mm / m, which makes it a laser level suitable for professional use. Its levelling is done automatically and in no time, which gives more guarantees as to accuracy. We find its beam a little weak outside. It is therefore much more suitable for interior decoration and decoration work. The manufacturer accompanies it with a tripod and a fixing accessory.
Bosch Professional 0601063S00 Laser Level GLL 3-80
This is the professional laser level better than many other models. We highly recommend it if you are looking for a complete device with impeccable precision. With an extremely robust, splash and dustproof construction, the Bosch GLL 3-80 is with you for indoor and outdoor work. Its laser beam is sufficiently powerful for this purpose and projects over a range of up to 80 meters in diameter, with the receiving cell.
The possibilities offered by the GLL 3-80 are very wide. Thus, this multifunction level allows you to obtain: a horizontal plane and two vertical planes, at 360 °. Whether for aligning, squaring or levelling, this laser level allows you to work efficiently with exceptional precision of ± 0.2 mm / m. The Bosch GLL 3-80 impresses with its speed of execution, in particular, a levelling time. It comes with a battery of accessories – tripod not included – which are all very practical.
Bosch offers a high-precision device for professionals and DIY enthusiasts looking for professional results in their decoration and interior design work. Equipped with powerful laser diodes, the Bosch PLL 360 projects clearly visible lines over a range of 20 meters. This laser level achieves different types of traces with remarkable accuracy of ± 0.5 mm / m. By simply pressing a dedicated button, you can thus obtain 360 ° horizontal, vertical and oblique laser line projections, thanks to the integrated locking function and making it possible to tilt the device.
Bosch supports this laser level with a tripod, which allows you to work at any height. The PLL 360 supports for different uses and applications. Whether for the construction of a platform, the installation of false ceilings or the hanging of frames and wallpapers, including in the descent of a staircase, for example, it is essential which proves effective and practical d ‘use. A small flat, however, the projected lines are not clearly visible with good light, which makes it a more suitable tool for indoor work.
Тhe installation of a wall mount or a floor will now be done with a minimum of effort using this self-levelling cross-line laser from Dewalt. Whether commercial or residential applications, DW088CG-XJ does commendable work on construction sites by projecting a brilliant interweaving of vertical and horizontal lines. It is made with precision to within an eighth of an inch at a distance of thirty feet. Although it has a full-time pulse mode that can be used with a laser receiver, it allows the working range of the laser to be extended up to 165 feet. It is fixing by clamping is one of its outstanding features which facilitates fixing to wall ends or tables. With three AA batteries for power.
Why you should buy a laser level?
Thanks to the laser level, a single worker is now able to obtain very precise levels. A tool that has truly revolutionized the world of construction and DIY.
Much easier to use and reliable than a plumb bob and a spirit level, this device has perfect alignment by projecting a light beam which serves as a line of sight providing good horizontality and verticality.
How to choose the best laser level?
This is the first criterion to favour when buying a laser level because it is especially for this parameter if we choose this tool. Expressed in nanometers per meter (nm / m) and determined by the wavelength, the precision is relative to the thickness of the laser beam per linear meter of the beam.
It is generally between 0.20 and 0.50 nm / m. Simply put, the lower the measurement, the greater the visibility distance of the beam and the more precise the laser. But be aware that your choice will depend on the type of work you want to do. To give you a reference, a model with an accuracy of around 4.5nm / 15m is particularly suitable for laying tiles and other squaring work.
It is also an important parameter for a standing laser level. It is thanks to the light beam if the vertical, horizontal or angled marks are more easily materialized. Its projection distance generally varies from 5 and 50 meters but can go up to 100 m.
Here again, you must choose according to the type of work to be carried out. For indoor use, a range of 15 m may do the trick depending on the size of the room. On the other hand, it is imperative that the line is visible up to 25 m at least if you are looking for an outdoor laser level for your large-scale construction sites.
The Point laser level is the simplest model on the market right now. Ideal for small interior works like the installation of partition rails, the point level makes it possible to precisely mark angles at 90 ° by making points appear. It offers a good projection distance ranging from 5 to 20 m, with an accuracy of 0.5 to 0.8 nm / m.
The line-level works the same as the point model. That is, with the same projection distance and the same precision except that it projects a single visible line. It is especially suitable for horizontal and vertical alignment indoors on spans of around 10 meters, especially for the installation of mouldings or plinths.
Cross-line laser level allows you to make squares by projecting two lines reproducing a 90 ° angle. Offering the same projection distance, and the same precision as the previous models, the cross laser level is intended for indoor use, particularly in laying tiles or fixing furniture.
Rotating laser level is the most complex model, and yet the most efficient. Dedicated for professional use, the rotary laser level is essential for very large indoor spaces, but especially for outdoor work, such as levelling or earthmoving. It projects a line using a diode, up to 360 ° and offers a range of up to 50 m with an accuracy of 0.25 nm / m.
Red or green laser level?
In the building industry, the red ray represents 90% of sales. The green laser takes its place slowly but the diodes remain more and the laser technology more pointed due to the stronger heating of the laser diodes.
The green laser is a more visible laser
The visibility of a green beam is higher than that of red beams and its localization quality is much higher than that of any instrument with a red beam laser diode, which increases the laser range.
Concretely, the more visible the laser beam, the greater the working comfort, the greater the range and therefore the greater the productivity gain. An additional cost to be favoured for use in bright conditions or on working amplitudes of 20 to 40 m of distances indoors beyond the use of a reception cell becomes essential because the laser beam is no longer visible.
Why the green laser is more visible?
The human eye only distinguishes light having a wavelength (measured in “nm”) visible in the spectrum. The human eye sees light falling between approximately 385 nm and 725 nm, the maximum at 555 nm. The green colour located in the middle of this range and reaching 550 nm is, therefore, the most visible light for the human eye. If you look at the specifications of most indoor red beam laser levels, you will see that the wavelength of the red beam is on average 635-670 nm.
The green laser level has a laser beam with a wavelength of 532 nm. The green colour occupies the segment of the spectrum which is 4.3 times more visible!
Some call it a receiver, others of a detector, others of a detection cell. It’s the same thing: an electronic device that receives signals from the rotating laser (or pulsed laser). Do not confuse with the target (rule where a laser cell can be fixed).
To work with a laser receiver, you must always set the rotating laser level to maximum speed so that the detector can easily receive the maximum number of signals. For a standard rotary laser level, set it to 600 rpm. Some large site laser levels intended for machine guidance, have rotation speeds greater than 1000 rpm. This speed is used for so-called digger guide receivers which are supposed to work over even greater distances.
If you choose a laser level for outdoor projects, you will have no choice but to buy one with good battery life. Rotating laser levels offer 30 hours of use per charge in this regard and are therefore very effective. In addition, you will no longer have to worry about finding a charging point on your site for your laser level.
When we talk about accessories for the laser level, we think first of all of the tripod, which allows working at height. In this case, we recommend that you turn to a model coming with this support, so as not to have to buy it separately. Another element that we find very useful is wall mounting. It makes it easier for you to take height measurements.
The integration of other accessories such as protective glasses, flexible target or the 360 ° swivel plate can make the difference, depending on the use you plan.
How to use a laser level?
Although the laser level is a fairly simple tool to use, it is important to know how to position it in relation to your needs. For the installation of a shelf, for example, start by drawing a mark on the ground with a pencil to indicate the position of one of the brackets.
Place the level opposite and perpendicular to the wall, making sure that the beam passes through the mark that you have previously drawn. With a measuring tape, measure the desired height and put it on the wall where the beam passes, then draw a cross to indicate the crossing. Once this first point has been drawn, you can then place a second level point for the second square.
To do this, simply place the laser level in front of the first point using a pole or a stepladder as support. The horizontal beam should go through the mark you have already made. You will then only have to transfer the desired distance between the two brackets, along the beam with the meter and draw across.
Which brand to choose?
Among the brands of references, we can quote you Bosch, DeWalt, Stanley, Einhell, Makita. All these brands make excellent products and we cannot recommend one more than another. It is above all about affinity with the brand! Even if Bosch often pulls out of the game with its German quality and innovations that are always well thought out, especially in terms of ergonomics and transport.
How much do laser levels cost?
There are at all prices! We can find cheap laser levels around 40 pounds at entry-level which will largely suit DIY enthusiasts who want to simplify their lives up to a few hundred pounds for construction equipment dedicated to building professionals for example. Namely that the investment quickly pays for itself when it is used on-site since, for certain operations, the laser level allows you to work alone where two people would have been necessary. In addition, it offers a level of precision much higher than that of human tracing.