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Plumb and level, two basic construction concepts that are critical. For example, when raising walls, installing subfloors, or hanging pictures.
Bubble levels are useful. But laser levels had made their mark, transforming how we make things flat, plumb, or straight.
If you are considering one, this list of the 8 best laser levels is a good place to start your search.
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In short, the Johnson 99-006K is a rotary laser that is at home on most construction sites. The range and accuracy are good and it includes a set of useful accessories, including a grading rod.
For those who prefer cross line lasers, the Dewalt DW088LG provides a bright, accurate beam. And it is all housed in an IP65 rated package, ready for the demands of any construction site.
For the DIYer that wants the best buy, look at the compact Firecore F112R. It provides lots of self-leveling laser level benefits that are easy to use for indoor applications.
We have done all the research for you and the 8 best laser levels are reviewed below.
Accuracy: ± ⅛ in. at 50 ft.︱# of Planes: 2︱Indoor Visibility: 200 ft.︱Power: AA batteries
Johnson is a well-known manufacturer of laser levels. But most of their products are expensive and geared for large contractors. But this rotary laser product is not only more affordable, but it is also easy to operate.
This kit is perfect for a farmer, small contractor, or even an experienced DIYer. It comes with:
The self-leveling beam is powerful, visible at 200 feet indoors, and discernable up to 800 feet using the included detector. You can also select from three rotation speeds; 200, 400, and 600 RPM.
As for use, you can use the included mount to place it on the wall and quickly install a drop ceiling. Or you can check the floor heights before pouring concrete. The included grading rod also lets you do things like check drainage slopes.
Build quality is good and users will appreciate the professional-grade tripod that is included. If you would like a hard-side case or rechargeable batteries, Johnson does offer other variations of this kit with those options.
Quality, lots of accessories, and a powerful laser make this laser level a good deal. Another nice feature is the travel lock, which protects your interior mechanisms from bumps and jolts when in transit.
So, this unit may not be right for the occasional DIYer. But anyone who does a lot of work where level, plumb, or straight are important should consider the Johnson 99-006K.
Accuracy: ± ⅛ in. at 30 ft.︱# of Lines: 2︱Indoor Visibility: 100 ft.︱Power: Dewalt 12V Max Rechargeable Battery Pack
Dewalt tools are a favorite of many contractors and serious DIYers, and this green line laser will not disappoint. Four times brighter than red lasers, this green laser offers a range of 100 feet and decent accuracy.
This kit includes:
If you are willing to spend a little more, you can buy a variation that also includes the tripod.
The Dewalt DW088LG is a dual-line laser that projects crossing horizontal and vertical lines. And with the included 12V Max rechargeable battery, you have plenty of operating time on site.
For many applications, you will mount the laser on a tripod or just set it on a flat surface. But the included bracket can be hung on a nail. Or use the integrated magnet in the bracket on steel studs or other steel surfaces. Lots of mounting options mean versatility.
Also included is a self-leveling mechanism. You simply set the unit up to get it close (within 4° of level), then turn it on. The laser level then adjusts and finds level on its own.
Like other quality laser levels, this unit has a locking mechanism that engages when the unit is turned off. The lock prevents damage during transportation.
It is interesting that Dewalt also touts its housing. But they have designed and tested it to be debris and water-resistant. Not a bad feature for any tool used in the construction trade.
Accuracy: ± 1/13 in. at 33 ft.︱# of Planes: 3︱Indoor Visibility: 65 ft.︱Power: 7.2V, 2000mAH Li-ion Battery
For those that want a reliable 360° line around the room, but not the large price tag of a rotary laser, this Wokeline laser level fits the bill. Not as expensive as some of the other units on our list, it does offer a nice set of options.
The most obvious feature is the 3 green 360° beams, two vertical and one horizontal. That means you can have a bright line on all 4 walls, ceiling, and floor, at the same time. Wokeline markets this as “12 lines” as each beam creates a line on four surfaces in a rectangular room.
This kit comes with:
The most obvious absence is a tripod, which you will need to buy separately.
To set it up, you need to get it within 4° of level (which most can do by eye). Once you do, turn it one and it self levels.
Another nice touch, if the unit comes out of level while in use, an alarm sounds. So, if it shifts or gets bumped while in use, you know it is now out of level.
Build quality is sound. The housing is even dust and water-resistant and has an IP54 rating.
Also, you get two rechargeable batteries. You can work with one battery while the other is charging. No waiting for someone to run to the store to buy more batteries.
The other interesting detail about the charging, the Wokeline 3D Green Line Laser uses USB ports. You can charge and run this laser level on USB power. It also has a USB port for charging your phone or other devices.
It does not include a detector/receiver. But for a longer range (up to 165 feet), you can use one. A receiver is better than the target card included in the kit, but it is an extra expense.
Accuracy: ± ⅛ at 33 ft.︱# of Lines: 2︱Indoor Visibility: 50 ft.︱Power: AA Batteries
Regular power tool users know Bosch and they will not be surprised to see they offer a self-leveling laser level. This red cross-line unit is a good choice for those who need a tool to help simplify and speed the occasional task where level, plumb, or straight are important.
The GLL 55 projects both a horizontal and vertical line. The lines can be used independently, or together as crossed lines. The lines can even be locked to allow the tilting of the unit to achieve a line at any angle.
When working, tools do get bumped and then there are those times when they just seem to shift on their own. But the self-leveling feature of the GLL 55 indicates when it is out of level. This provides added assurance that your layout and measurements will be accurate.
Bosch’s kit contains:
This unit will be a bit basic for those who use laser levels often, as demonstrated by the lack of a tripod. The missing indicator/receiver will also frustrate those who rely heavily on the laser level to do their job.
The mount is basic but it is versatile. It can be attached to a tripod. But the mount also has integrated magnets to attach it flush on steel studs. This mounting bracket also has extendable legs so the unit can be placed on flat surfaces.
With a nice blend of features at a budget-friendly price, this unit is a good entry-level laser level for those who like simplicity and do not use this tool every day.
Accuracy: ± 1/9 at 33 ft.︱# of Planes: 2︱Indoor Visibility: 130 ft.︱Power: AA batteries
The Huepar 902CG provides two green, 360 planes. That means the line goes all the way around the room, not just along the surfaces in front of the unit. Plus, the blue-green beam is two times brighter than red lasers.
The Levelsure 902CG laser level kit includes:
The self-leveling mechanism works within a 4° tolerance, like most units on our list. It also lets you know when it is out of level for accurate use. In addition, the pendulum locks for protection when the unit is turned off.
The range is good, but it is even better with a receiver/indicator. However, the indicator is not included. You must buy that and a tripod separately.
The included mount is versatile and can hang on a nail, stick to steel with the integrated magnets, or just set it on the floor. (The tripod mount is for only ¼” – 20, there is no ⅝” thread.) You can also pivot the laser on the mount to accurately project your lines where you need them.
For those concerned about a name you may not know, Huepar offers a standard 12-month warranty. But you can expand that to 24 months if you register your product with them. This is longer than most laser level warranties.
Accuracy: ± ⅛ at 30 ft.︱Number of Lines: 2︱Indoor Visibility: 50 ft.︱Power: AA batteries
The Makita SK104Z laser level offers the features needed to be considered for a “best of” list. It has a self-leveling mechanism, ¼” and ⅝” tripod mounts, two selectable lines, manual mode for lines at any angle, and an auto locking pendulum when the unit is turned off.
The kit includes:
But what makes this unit interesting is the attention to the laser windows. First, they are well protected and recessed deep within the unit. The designers understood the rough nature of the construction site and found a way to protect the lenses.
Second, the horizontal line goes a full 180° around the unit. The horizontal window is actually shaped and looks like a prism to facilitate more coverage with the line. The vertical line gives you 120° of coverage.
You can also choose to use just the vertical or horizontal line alone. This increases your usable time. Speaking of battery time, this unit boasts an impressive 35 hours of continuous use. More than most competing units.
The internal mechanism, the pendulum, is magnetically stabilized. That means the self-leveling function takes just a few seconds. Faster leveling means less waiting for you. Plus, if the unit comes out of level, it lets you know.
Overall this is a solid laser level. But like some, it does not include the tripod or receiver for those who use this tool often. You have to purchase these separately.
Accuracy: ± ¼ at 30 ft.︱# of Lines: 2︱Indoor Visibility: 65 ft.︱Power: AA batteries
The serious home handymen will appreciate the Hammerhead HLCLG01 green laser level. It is a compact, basic, self-leveling cross-line unit that gets the job done. Contractors who need a basic unit occasionally might like this small workhorse, too.
This kit comes with:
You can mount this unit to a tripod using the ¼” – 20 threads. But you must supply the tripod, it does not come with this kit.
It does come with a smart clamp. This is unique and allows you to clamp the unit to a variety of different surfaces or items. You could use your step ladder, for example, as an impromptu tripod by using this clamp.
The unit also includes a manual mode. So, you lock the leveling mechanism and use the projected lines at any angle.
The HLCLG01 uses 2 AA batteries. But they only give you 6 hours of run time. That is shorter than competing units. If you need long run times, and hate buying lots of batteries, this is not your unit.
Accuracy: ± ⅛” at 30 ft.︱# of Lines: 2︱Indoor Visibility: 42 ft.︱Power: AA batteries
For those that need a basic unit just once in a while, the Firecore F112R is easy on the wallet. But it still brings self-leveling laser technology to your projects. Align those pictures, install tile, build shelves, or level a new countertop – the red beams are perfect for indoor use.
The kit includes:
If you own a tripod, there are ¼” or ⅝” threads to mount this unit. You can also use the magnetic mount to hang it flush on steel studs or other magnetic surfaces. Or, simply hang it on a nail. As a bonus, you can swivel the laser level on the mount to help put the lines where you want.
An IP 55 rated housing on a unit at this price level is surprising. But you will appreciate the resistance to debris and water. Dust and moisture are realities in construction, so quality housing is a nice feature to have.
Manual mode is also included. Project your lines at any angle for projects like hanging stair rails. Again, for the price, this is a welcome feature.
The self-leveling mechanism is not watered down, either. It has a locking feature when not in use to protect the pendulum. Plus, it will flash when it loses level to let you know, preventing mistakes
This is a solid unit with lots of the self-leveling laser benefits packed into the compact unit. The price is affordable to most and will be attractive to those who need a laser level once in a while.
There is quite a bit of technology tucked inside the modern laser level. However, manufacturers use different marketing terms and try to differentiate their products. So, how do you cut through all the noise?
Well, the information below presents a summary of the features and benefits you should look for, and why.
There are laser levels that project lines out in front of the unit while others project a plane, which encompasses the full 360° around the unit.
Depending on your project(s), a plane may be critical. For others, it might be overkill. So, it is a question of whether you need a line all the way around the level or just a line in front of the unit. Your particular tasks will dictate what you need.
Also, to create the 360° plane, some units rotate the laser. Other products use lenses with a stationary laser. The rotary lasers are more accurate, but they are also more expensive.
If you are aligning lights on a ceiling, you may only need one line. If you are aligning tiles, you may need two. You get the idea, your intended tasks dictate if you need vertical, horizontal, or both lines.
Then there are some units that can project three lines all the way around the room. This is useful for “full” room coverage where you need horizontal and vertical lines on all four walls, the floor, and ceiling all at the same time.
Choose the unit that will project the number of lines you need.
Obviously, you will use the laser lines to align whatever you are working on. But that means you need to see the line.
The indoor visible range is reported for most units and you should pay attention to this number. It will let you know if the unit will be bright enough to work for your jobs.
Also, green is brighter than red. So, if you work in large spaces, or outside, you may want a green laser.
Always check the power supply. The type of batteries will impact the run time before a change is needed.
Plus, do not assume all units come with rechargeable packs. Some simply use AA batteries, so be sure the power supply meets your requirements.
The accuracy is reported as a plus or minus deviation at a certain number of feet. Of course, you want as little deviation as possible. But you will pay more for better accuracy.
The self-leveling unit usually needs to be within 4° of a level to work. On better units, when the self-leveling unit is past 4° and needs attention, it will blink, flash, or otherwise indicate it has lost level.
The pendulum is a critical part of the self-leveling laser. But it also “floats” inside the unit to work. That makes it prone to damage when being transported. Better units have a pendulum lock to prevent damage while you move your laser level around.
Not every line you shoot will be level or plumb. But self-leveling lasers want to be level and plumb, right?
Yes, that is true. But not all self-leveling lasers are limited to plumb and level. Some have a manual mode that allows you to lock the pendulum while in use. That allows you to tilt the unit to project lines at any angle needed. This is useful when doing projects like stairs.