What is a Laser Level
Nowadays, you can find a lot of tools for buildings construction and home improvements that greatly facilitate the job of construction workers. One of them is a laser level - its main purpose is to show a leveled angle or direction projection during installation works inside and outside the buildings.
The operating principle is that a laser level creates a visible projection on almost any surface with a visible laser dot, line or even a grid for aligning things in accordance with a necessary angle. It can be implemented in various tasks, e.g. leveling or plastering out a wall or a floor surface, laying the service lines, installing a window unit or book shelves, smoothing plaster or simply aligning a picture frame on a wall.
What’s more, some laser levels can create a projection in three dimensions. This is really helpful because you won’t have to move it around, realigning each time for every direction. On the whole, the laser level will ease the tasks of many construction activities, increasing efficiency and improving overall results.
And if you are searching for the tools to measure distances in premises, check out laser distance meters. They will totally replace a tape measure in your inventory, as some of them not only can measure distance from wall to wall but also can calculate the area and volume of a room.
What Features to Compare
For starters, let’s take a look at what Types of laser levels are available on the market nowadays:
Point laser levels create a single laser beam that projects a dot on the surface if It’s pointed directly at it. Additionally, when the level’s body is flat near the laser source, it may project a short, but highly visible line if placed along the surface. This is helpful for making a straight line on the wall for hanging a wallpaper, aligning picture frames or shelf tops on the same level. It also allows you to check if the surface is uneven along the line. However, it might not be suitable for more complex tasks.
Line and cross line laser levels can project one or more long straight lines. With two or more lines you can simultaneously project them at direct angles to each other. This is helpful for installing power lines, an array of lamps, shelves, acoustic ceiling profiles, etc.
Rotary laser level project laser line in 360° from its head. Those are required for highly specific works, such as pouring cement floors, driving piles in, aligning pictures on all the walls at once in art galleries and so on.
It’s worth noting, that you can find laser levels with combinations of each type.
After you chose the type, don’t forget to take a look at Operating Parameters. The main one is a working distance. Most of laser levels have a working range within 50-100 ft. which is usually enough for most of the tasks. Please note, that in the daylight laser lines might be less clear due to the light dissipation. But if you are planning to use it professionally at construction sites, you might need the one, that works within 100 ft. range or can be used with a laser detector.
Another parameter is a Number of Laser Lines that the unit can produce. Two crossed lines are enough for plastering a wall or making the marks on it for tiling. Several beams are also required on big construction sites, as more people can work with one device simultaneously. For example, one person drills the holes in the walls, while the other one drills them in the ceiling. Also, check if the beams can be turned on separately for saving battery charge. Of course, don’t forget to take a look at the accuracy margin. To put it in simple words, the smaller this parameter is, the more exact your lines will be.
Features. Those are the things that make your work even easier. In our opinion, the best one is self-leveling. When a level’s position is leaned to a side, the pendulum inside makes the laser lines stay still and leveled. When the pendulum can't compensate an incline any further, the laser may start blinking, change the color or make a beeping sound to inform you about it. Less sophisticated models come with a built-in classic spirit level instead of a pendulum so that you could adjust it manually.
And of course, mind the Size of the device and what comes in the Kit Box. Small compact levels are perfect for tradesmen's use who are always on the move. Construction workers are usually less dependent from the equipment's weight and size, as it’s shipped onsite with all the other materials. Nevertheless, there are pocket-sized professional levels on the market already. As for additional things, the kit may contain a tripod and a case for transportation.
Despite having a similar operating principle, laser levels may boast many other unique features. So, we are going to straight out some of them right below. Let's take a closer look at the following products.
DEWALT had created an interesting cross line laser level that can provide a great assistance during construction works. Considering the fact, that this model is made for professionals by professionals, we think that it provides awesome performance. But all in good time.
DW088K model can project 2 crossed lines in front of it simultaneously. This comes in handy when you have to build a staircase, install suspended ceilings or anything else with perpendicular lines.
This device shows the best results inside a building and has an impressive working range. The tests showed that at 3 ft. the line projection is perfectly visible in the daylight and is approximately 0.1" thick. The further the surface from the device is, the more dissipated and harder to see the projection becomes. The line is still visible at around 40 ft. in the dull lighting and even further in the darkness. Moreover, you can drastically increase the operational distance by using a laser level in a combination with a detector. A laser detector is a device that can spot a laser beam from the distance even if it's already too diffused to be seen by a human eye. Thus, you can upgrade the working range up to 160-165 ft., and assign the DeWalt DW088K for a job on larger sites both indoors and outdoors.
In our opinion, though, the best feature of this model is a self-leveling. The horizontal and vertical lines will stay still even when the device is tilted by the wind or vibration from the straight position at up to 4°. If the angle is more than this, the laser lines start blinking. Therefore, you can rest assured that you won't end up with a new Frank Gehry's masterpiece.
DEWALT produces its products in accordance with all safety and quality standards. This laser level is no exception. It's certified with the IP54 standard. The numbers here stand for dustproof qualities and a protection from water splashes. However, the company doesn't recommend mounting it in a room with lots of hard particles in the air, that may appear during sanding or sawing works.
The special magnetic pivot bracket is worth mentioning, too. You can attach the device to a metal surface and turn it to the left or to the right. There is an included wall mount with a clip to set the level on a wall angle - yet another feature for installing acoustic ceilings.
DW088K is powered by 3 AA batteries and has two switches to turn on and off each of the lasers separately or simultaneously. There's also a LED indicator for low batteries level. That way, you will always know that you have to change them soon.
In conclusion, we want to note that this DEWALT laser level is worth every penny. All of the abovementioned functions work flawlessly and with high accuracy. Its multifunctional design has already been approved by many users. We join them by recommending this tool to you as well.
The DEWALT DW088K comes with a durable handheld toolbox to keep the device safe and sound during transportation. For an extra price, you can get a variant with included branded safety glasses that filter out laser waves. There is also an option with included laser level tripod that can be extended from 24" up to 69". Finally, there's a 3-in-1 bundle with all of the above to save money on shipping costs.
If you have just started house remodeling, you might also need a portable electric screwdriver which can offer you cordless freedom to work all around the house and in tight places.
Johnson Level and Tool 40-0921
For this review, we've tried to pick up as different laser levels as possible. As you might have noticed, this cross line level by Johnson Level and Tool company has a peculiar barrel design that attracted our attention. It can be applied in various types of construction works, but it's extremely easy to use even by non-professionals.
The 40-0921 projects 2 red cross lines through the little cross-shaped window at the front. The self-leveling feature keeps them straight along their corresponding axes even if the device is set on a slope. The self-leveling system compensates up to 6° deviation from the right angle. If the incline is bigger than that, the device will inform you by flashing the laser beams.
The red lines are clearly visible in the daylight within a close range. For better results, you may want to draw the curtains or use it in the evening glow when the light isn't as bright. If you do so, the visibility range can be increased up to 100 ft. It all depends on the projected surface color and lighting factors.
The device comes with an included short tripod that extends from 17" to 47". You can screw-in the laser level on top of it or use the unit separately. After you mount the level on the tripod, the barrel body can be rotated 360° around its vertical axis to project the lines on different walls at all the same height. Moreover, there is a graded ring at the base of the laser level that stays still while it's on a tripod. That’s convenient, for example, when you need to hang pictures or install sockets at the same height on the different walls in a room.
There's more: a pair of special glasses is included as well. Wear them to protect your eyes from laser beams. The hard carrying case (included) has compartments for a tripod, glasses, spare batteries and, of course, a laser level itself. Be advised that you'll need 3 AA batteries to power it up. There is no option to turn on lasers separately, but with 3 batteries you get around 12 hours of continuous work, which is usually more than enough for one or two working days. The whole pack weighs around 5 lbs, so it's easy to carry around.
Overall, the 40-0921 laser level displays an exceptional performance and comes with lots of interesting extra features. We can also recommend it right off the bat if you are up to tiling the walls in a bathroom or any similar tasks.
You might need a stud finder for drilling the walls. In simple words, it is a device applied to a wall for detecting the location of metal elements like nails or pipes and finding the framing studs.
Bosch GLL 1P
Like a Bosch
The GGL P1 laser level by world-renowned Bosch company looks almost like an office stapler and might be one of the finest solutions for people, who are not planning a grandiose house renovation, but want to fix some things at home. It's best suitable for smaller, simpler tasks like realigning picture frames, bookshelves, installing a TV mount or a handrail on a wall. The level can project one laser type at a time: a dot or a line. The pointer is very bright: at 50 ft. it can still be seen in daylight. You might need a darker room to distinguish it at a farther distance. As expected, the laser line is more or less visible at up to 16 ft.
The controls are pretty straightforward. There is a slider with 3 positions on top of the body. The first position - the laser dot is projected from one side of the device; middle - power-off; third - the horizontal laser line is projected from the other side.
2 AAA batteries are included to power it up. But even if they run out, you can still use the device for making accurate measurements due to built-in horizontal and vertical spirit levels that can be seen from one side of its body.
This Bosch laser level comes with a versatile wall mount. The magnets in the back of the level unit hold the device on it pretty well. The mount itself consists of a base plate and a rotatable holder to put the level on. The plate has a threaded hole that matches a standard camera tripod and a keyhole hanger to mount it on a screw right on a wall.
The level sticks to the holder's metallic plates that allow vertical or horizontal level's alignment. You can change the beam direction manually by rotating the holder. But for the most precise results, there are graduations on the plate and a special red-colored ribbed adjusting wheel. The only real drawback here is that there's no other way to attach the plate except for drilling a wall or driving a nail in it each time.
You may wonder how powerful the magnets are. They are, really. That's why we do recommend you to keep your mobile and other magnet-sensitive devices away from the laser level.
All in all, GLL 1P is a great little helper that would come in handy for all tradesmen, carpenters and housekeepers who often cope with little daily tasks.
Driving a lot of nails with a hammer can be an incredibly tiresome task. Especially, at awkward angles. However, a nailer will help you get the job done in just a few minutes.
Black & Decker BDL100AV
Stick to Your Guns
In 1917 Black & Decker company received a patent for the first of its kind electric drill with a pistol-like grip and trigger activation. One century later, we have at our disposal All-in-One laser level by the very same company. It turned out to be a pretty interesting tool with many features.
Let's start with an included special mount. You apply it to a wall, push the button and the mount temporary sticks on a painted wall or any other nonporous smooth surface with a suction cup. If you have a wallpaper or uneven dry paint, you can attach it with a simple pin through the little hole at the top. After that, you can stick the level itself to the magnet in the bottom part of the mount. Obviously, the level works separately from the mount too and features several modes:
- Spirit level, power off. You can check the incline by putting the device on a surface while looking at the bubble. Plain and simple.
- Spirit level, power on. The bubble is illuminated with red light until the horizontal surface is leveled out. When the surface is right, the red changes to green. Awesome feature.
- Spirit level, power and laser on. Same as the previous one, but with the red laser beam projected horizontally from the bottom part of the device. Best for drawing straight lines on a wall or for aligning several things at once.
- Sound mode. The rare feature for when you have to adjust a high wardrobe or a fridge but don't want to stand up each time to check the spirit bubble. The device beeps when there's an incline or makes a continuous sound when it is leveled horizontally.
If you need to level out a horizontal surface of one or several things at once, no matter how small or big, that's the device you are looking for. This pocket-sized Black & Decker laser level will surely help you with those daily tasks.
Black & Decker is a famous company known around the world for its electro-driven tools. And that’s what we all think of upon hearing their name. However, few of us know that back in 1910, Duncan Black and Alonzo Decker, the founders of the company, used to produce corks for milk bottles. They couldn’t foresee the success coming until 1917 when they designed and released their first portable screwdriver for home use. Since then, they only moved forward and succeeded in this business. In 1922, Black & Decker emerged on the Canadian market and few years after - on European. Just like most industrial companies at the time, Black & Decker was also engaged in the production of ammo during the World War II. Yet, the lack of narrow specialization didn’t affect company’s success in any way as it kept on expanding and gaining more trust and authority on the market. Baldwin, DeWalt, Oldham Blades, Porter Cables, and others are the brands that belong to one large Black & Decker family too. That is why, when it comes down to the construction tools, it is a go-to company, as with its high-quality products, you are getting a century-old wisdom seamlessly combined with modern technologies.
Aside from their prime medical application, infrared thermometers can also be used to detect hot wires inside a wall.
Now You See Me
Qooltek laser level boasts very attractive price and it has a number of useful features. Let's take a closer look at what they are.
The unit is powered by 3 AG13 batteries (included) and comes with a driver to open the battery compartment. We actually want to appraise this inclusion, because sometimes it's such a pain to find the right x-driver in a toolbox for a small screw that usually holds the door. In this model, the beam is reflected from a special mirror behind the lens and can be adjusted to project vertical, horizontal or even crossed lines.
The unit is turned on via easy-to-access red switch on the side, but changing the laser modes is performed by rotating a ring around the lens with a special metal ruler that comes in the set. It's worth noting, that the adjusting ring is somewhat hard to turn. That's why we suggest you use it in either cross-line or horizontal mode without ever changing it. Otherwise, the laser works great.
More and More
Finally, let's take a closer look at additional features. It has 2 metal rulers on the sides along with a long 8 ft. measuring tape that comes out of its back. As usual, there are imperial and metric units. You can also lock the tape with a slider button at the top. The next feature, as you might have already noticed, is the 3 spirit levels for vertical, horizontal and diagonal leveling. Extremely handy if you run out of batteries or just want to check an incline of the surface. The bubbles are also used to even out the laser lines when you turn the unit on. Still, the grades on the side rulers are painted, therefore it might be rubbed away pretty easily.
As a conclusion, we want to add that this laser level is designed to be used indoors and might be implemented in a large variety of tasks, like tiling the walls, installing sockets, hanging pictures or in any other project where you need straight leveled lines.
More Products to Consider
Stud Finder is an awesome tool designed to detect the thicker parts inside a wall so that you could drive a nail in there instead of an empty space behind the panel wall to safely hang a picture or a bookshelf.
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