It used to be that when you needed to check the level of a piece of land or any other object that it was a very tedious undertaking. That’s because everything from setting up a level and transit to actually taking readings with this setup was very time-consuming. You also had to be very careful not to touch the level and transit setup while using it or you would throw its accuracy off. This was also a two-person undertaking as someone had to hold the transit stick. Nowadays this is not the case. With the introduction of quality laser levels several years ago, now the leveling process is fairly simple.
What do you have to look for when trying to find the best laser level? That’s what you will find out in this article. You will also read laser level reviews about the top products in the marketplace. All the information here should lead you to make a sound laser level purchase.
Best Laser Levels
Here are some very good laser level buys:
1. DEWALT DW089LG 12V MAX 3 X 360 Line Laser
As with most Dewalt tools, this laser level is a quality made product. This laser level even offers those that use it the convenience of cordless operation. It’s part of Dewalt’s12V lithium-ion rechargeable power tools platform and a charger is included.
This is also an extremely easy laser level to setup. Once you set it up a few times, you will soon be taken leveling measurements just a few minutes after you open its carrying case. It even has a full-time pulse mode so it can be used at distances out to 165 feet with a laser detector. This is a 3-plane style level that is excellent for indoor or outdoor use. The laser beams it emits will nicely cover 360° around the device.
The Dewalt DW089LG laser level is built tough too. It features an over-molded housing that is both water and debris resistant. Dewalt backs this product up with a better than industry standard 3-year limited warranty.
2. Huepar 3D Green Beam Self-Leveling Laser Level
Here is a fairly compact and portable laser level from Huepar. They are known to make a very popular and affordable line of laser level products. This is a 3-beam laser that will work in an entire 360° range. When setting it up it can be leveled automatically or manually too. It operates on one rechargeable 12V lithium-ion battery. This 12V battery has about 6 hours of working life before it has to be recharged.
This laser has a range of 200 feet when working with a Huepar receiver (sold separately). The laser light can be emitted continuously or in pulse mode to reach the maximum working range.
This is one tough built laser level that is both water-resistant and durable. That’s due to its sturdy ABS and Rubber outer housing. Also included with this laser level is a magnetic mounting bracket. Huepar also warranties this laser construction level for a period of 24 months.
3. Bosch Self-Leveling Cross-Line Red-Beam Laser Level GLL 55
The name Bosch has always stood for quality when it comes to power tools. But in this case, it also stands for affordability. Rarely will you find a quality laser level like this one at such an affordable price point. It’s a laser that is best used indoors or by non-professional users because of its 55 feet working range.
This is a self-leveling laser level that even has a warning indicator to tell you when it’s come off level. The laser on this level is very bright and it uses Bosch’s proprietary VisiMax technology to help manage power consumption.
Although this laser level does not come with a tripod, there are small retractable feet built into it. Also included in this laser level package from Bosch is a magnetic mounting bracket, laser target plate, (3) AA batteries and hardened carrying case. Bosch will warrant this product for a period of 2-years from the date of purchase.
4. DEWALT DW088K Self-Leveling Cross Line Laser
We have already reviewed one of Dewalt’s larger laser levels and now we will take a look at a compact model from them. This is a very portable laser level that is accurate to ¼” at up to 100 feet. It can even project bright crossing horizontal or vertical lines. The Dewalt DW088K comes with a full-time pulse mode, which enables use with a laser detector.
There is a lot to like about this Dewalt level for the price you will pay for it. Innovative features include its easy self-leveling mode and its magnetic pivoting base. It two bright red beams will help with both horizontal and vertical leveling tasks.
It is built to last thanks to its durable over-molded housing which makes it water and dust resistant. The level also comes with a hard carrying case. Dewalt backs up this laser level with a better than industry standard three-year limited warranty. They also offer free one-year service to those that purchase it.
5. Topcon RL-H5A Self-Leveling Rotary Grade Laser Level
It is really hard to find anything all wrong with this quality laser level from Topcon. It’s loaded with features and does just about everything but writing down the measurements that you take with it. This is also one of the most versatile laser levels of all of them that we will review. It’s self-leveling and has many different control options that you can set on it too.
It can be used both indoors and outdoors and it’s definitely a professional quality construction level. This laser can shoot readings out to an amazing 2500 plus feet. It also has incredible accuracy. At medium distances, its accuracy is within a small fraction of an inch (0.059”).
Everything you need to get your leveling projects done is included in this kit too. It has the laser level plus laser sensor, sensor holder, batteries and a hardened carrying case. Topcon even backs this product up with a 5-year warranty that is well above industry standards.
6. Meterk Cross Line Laser
If you are a DIY person or a professional that has indoor leveling needs, you will want to take a closer look at this laser level. It is also a great introductory laser level because of its affordable price point. This dustproof, shockproof, and waterproof level is self-leveling and accurate within 1/8” at 30 feet.
This cross line laser level works outwards to approximately 50 feet. It comes with a magnetic bracket that will allow it to be easily mounted to any metal surface. Once mounted this mighty little level will also spin around 360°.
This is also a small but mighty laser. It’s made out of heavy-duty polymer plastic and rubber. That also helps to keep it very lightweight and portable. It weighs in at just a little over 1 pound. This laser level can be used to level everything from paving blocks to wall pictures. Meterk will even warranty this laser level for a full 2-years after someone purchases it.
7. Johnson Level & Tool 99-027K Self-Leveling Rotary Laser System
Do you just want to order your new laser level and have it work almost immediately right out of the box? Then you will definitely want to consider this complete laser level kit from Johnson Level & Tool. They are known as one of the premier level manufacturers for the construction trades. This is a high-quality leveling product for sure.
The best thing about this laser level is it’s a great level for use on all size construction projects. That includes even larger construction sites thanks to its long 200 feet working range. It’s a very accurate level too. In its midrange, it will take leveling measurements that are accurate to 1/8th of an inch.
Included in this laser level kit are 4 size C alkaline batteries, a laser detector with clamp, tripod, a 13’ grade rod, a magnetic target, tinted glasses, complete instruction manual, and a large size hard-shell carrying case. Johnson Level & Tool offers a very good 3-year warranty on this laser level also.
8. Huepar Self-Leveling Green Laser Level 360 Cross Line
Here is a very economical self-leveling laser level from Huepar. We are impressed with how much this laser does when considering its price point. It’s great for doing a variety of leveling tasks such as plumbing, squaring, plumbing and ground leveling. It has five freely selected modes too. These include horizontal mode, vertical mode, dual horizontal and vertical mode, plumb points, and all beams on.
It’s a laser level that can take measurements out to 130 feet and is accurate within 1/9th of an inch in short to medium ranges. This level sets up easy and after using it a few times you will become a pro at selecting modes.
This is a well-built laser level too. It’s an over-molded style laser level that encases its laser window in a metal top. Because of its superior construction, this Huepar laser tends to be highly water and dust resistant. So it can even be used on somewhat harsh job sites. It comes with a fairly ordinary 2-year warranty.
9. DEWALT DW089K Self-Leveling 3-Beam Line Laser
This is a lithium-ion powered laser leveling workhorse from Dewalt. That means you can use it nonstop just about all day long to take care of your leveling needs. It can be used on many different types of indoor and outdoor leveling projects. This construction-grade level is self-leveling and very easy to set up and use. It is also controlled by simple 1-button operation.
This level has a working range of approximately 165 feet. It has a very good 1/8th-inch accuracy in the shorter ranges too. With its 3-beam style, you can do all sorts of vertical and horizontal leveling projects with it. It also has a built-in magnetic pivot bracket that helps make mounting it much easier.
The kit this comes in includes the laser level itself, 3 AA batteries, the soft-sided kit box, and an adjustable base. It also comes backed up by a very acceptable 3-year parts warranty and 1-year free service warranty.
10. Bosch Professional Tile and Square Layout Laser GTL3
Here is a very well-designed specialty laser from Dewalt. It’s specially made to do tile and other square type layout jobs. Every part on this self-leveling laser level is quality made and durable too. It’s able to project precise 90-degree lines to help simplify any squaring tasks. The beam also emits from the front of it for easy centering.
There is also an exclusive switchable 45-degree line which is highly essential for doing any type of tile leveling jobs. It is also highly accurate at less than 1/16th of an inch when the beam projects less than 20 feet. The beams it emits are also slightly raised to ensure this laser level’s accuracy even when used over rougher type surfaces.
Included in its kit are GTL3 Tile and Square Layout Laser, a laser target, convenient belt pouch, a steel positioning plate for versatility, and the 4 AA batteries it takes to power it. It also comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee and a full 1-year warranty from Bosch.
What Is Laser Level?
Have you ever had a fight with your significant other because you believe a picture is level and she doesn’t agree? Well, if you had a laser level handy you could settle this dispute in a matter of seconds. There is no faster and more accurate way to determine if something is plumbed properly or level. This is why laser levels are such a popular tool for do it yourselfers and construction specialists.
Laser levels, also known as construction laser levels, have only one main function. They provide reliable and accurate data for doing all types of construction layouts.
Laser Level Buying Guide
Here are some important things to consider when you have decided buying a new laser level is right for you:
Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Start Shopping for Laser Levels
What will I use my new laser level for?
Laser levels are definitely very useful and powerful tools. Because of that, there is a wide variety of them available in the tool marketplace. That’s why it’s so very important to know which type of laser levels are appropriate to do which types of leveling jobs. There really is no such thing as a do it all laser level. So the very first thing you need to focus on when shopping for a laser level is what are the main leveling tasks you will use it for. Once you know this it will help you narrow down your laser level shopping choices.
How precise do the types of leveling jobs I am doing need to be?
There are some leveling jobs that need to be very precise and others not so much. Each laser level that you come across when shopping for one will tell you its range and accuracy. If you are pouring a house foundation or framing a new house, you will need to be very accurate in order for that project to turn out right. Other tasks such as leveling a backyard do not require a high degree of accuracy when leveling.
Will I be using the new laser at several job sites a day?
Laser levels come in all different sizes and weights. Some are also easier to set up and takedown than others, So of you will be using your laser level at many different job sites during a week, then make sure it’s lightweight, portable, and easy to setup.
What Are The Different Types Of Laser Levels?
Here are the 4 main types of laser levels that you can buy.
Dot Lasers (Plumb Lasers)
These are laser levels that are only used indoors. They are used to do such things as making interior walls go up straight and laying acoustic ceiling tile. Dot lasers are used when you only need a quick plumb reference instead of a leveling line. They are not good for using at long distances.
Line Laser Levels (Line Generators)
These are among the most versatile laser that you can buy and they come in many different shapes and sizes. Think of them as projecting a visual chalk line. They are suitable for both indoor and light outdoor use (less than 200’). These lasers can help get a foundation level or plot elevation changes in a home landscape. They work by projecting a green or red vertical or horizontal line to use during layout work. At distances over 2000 feet they are hard to see and inaccurate.
Rotary Laser Levels
These are laser levels that project their beams over unusually long distances (over 200’). They tend to be bigger and more expensive units. Examples of people that would use these types of laser levels are surveying teams when laying out boundaries and planning road construction. These get their name because they spin 360 degrees as they are used. These types of laser levels cannot be used indoors.
You would be hard-pressed to find anyone that lays tile that does not have a specially designed laser level to do that work with. That’s because tiling jobs go much faster and turn out better when they are laser level assisted. Unfortunately, tile laser levels are not good for doing any other laser level tasks.
Characteristics to Consider When Looking For a Laser Level
Here are some traits of laser levels that you will definitely have to take a look at when you are shopping for them.
When you start shopping for construction levels you have to know two main things. What you want to use your laser level for and if any laser level you are thinking about buying is made to do that job. This will eliminate a lot of level shopping choices in a hurry. This will also make your search for a new laser level go much faster and easier. After all, even if you may like a tile laser level that will not matter much if you are surveying your lot to put a new swimming pool in.
All laser levels have a certain distance that they are rated at when using them. This usually closely relates to whether they are indoor, outdoor or dual-purpose lasers. That distance rating will tell you two things; the distance laser level is accurate too and how far away its emitted beam can be seen clearly.
Indoor laser levels usually have by far the shortest working distances. Dual-use lasers have intermediate working ranges and strictly outdoor lasers are accurate and can be seen over very long distances in most cases.
Accuracy is the confidence that the measurements that your laser level takes are reliable. Every laser level manufacturer will list this on the packaging or on their corresponding laser level website page. It is usually displayed in terms of accuracy at a specified distance.
For instance; if you are trying to grade the ground in your yard to build a swimming pool you will only need accuracy within an inch. On the other hand, if you are doing construction and need to surfaces to meet perfectly you will need to be accurate to a small fraction of an inch.
Number of beams
Here is another important laser level characteristic to know and that’s the number of beams that a laser level can emit. Laser construction levels most commonly have one or two beams. A single beam laser can emit a plumb point or a straight line. Dual-beam lasers emit both a plumb pint and a straight line at the same time. There are even some 3-beam laser levels that emit a plumb point and vertical and horizontal straight lines.
The beams that a laser level emits come in more than one color. That is red or green. Some of what you will choose your new level’s beam color on is based on personal preference. The other things you will base your beam color choice on will be discussed in more detail following this buying guide.
As of this writing, there are two main ways that laser levels are powered. That is by regular battery or they can be cordless devices that use lithium-ion batteries. As a general rule the bigger and more powerful a laser level is, the more juice someone will need to run that level. For heavy laser level use it’s best to go with a lithium-ion battery. They offer the most power for the longest period of time but they also cause a laser to weigh more. Regular battery-powered laser levels are preferred for smaller leveling jobs and when a more portable laser level is preferred.
Laser levels not only come in all different sizes, they also come in a variety of different weights. Weight in a laser level is determined by what materials its components and hard exterior shell are made out of. Those who take their laser levels to multiple job sites or move them around several times a day as they work will usually prefer lighter and more portable laser level models.
As was just mentioned, battery type also plays a key role in construction laser level weight. Laser with more metals as opposed to plastics and rubber materials in their exterior shells also tend to weigh more. So consider laser level weight more seriously if you will be constantly moving your new laser level around or taking it to many job sites.
If you will be using your laser level in some harsh construction environments, then you better make sure it can handle the elements involved with those working conditions. That’s why more and more laser levels have sturdy ABS plastic construction as opposed to more metal components in their exterior shell. The best-built laser levels also have cushioning rubber pads placed in strategic areas of their housing where they are more frequently prone to getting bumped or banged. These little differences between laser levels may seem small but they definitely will make your new laser level more durable.
Ease of setup/Size
Some laser levels will fit in the palm of your hand and weigh less than a pound. Others are big bulky apparatus that need heavy and more powerful components because they spin 360 degrees as they work. Keep in mind that it’s also very hard to buy a laser level based on size. That’s because it may not help you take the correct type of leveling measurements that you need. So laser level size is directly related to the functions that a particular construction level performs.
Obviously, size plays a key role in how easy it is to set up any laser level. Laser construction levels that attach to magnetic bases tend to be the easiest ones to set up. That’s because they can easily be attached to a tripod or any other metal object in just a few seconds. They will also offer you the most variety as far as the number of ways they can be set up.
It’s always nice when you get some freebies with your new laser construction level. If they include such things as tripods and mounting brackets it just makes them able to go to work for you much faster than if you had to buy these laser components separately. Other nice bonuses that come with a new laser level include hard carrying cases, laser detectors and the types of batteries they need to power them.
Some of the most sophisticated laser levels run well over $1000. Even the least expensive construction level models that are quality made will run a $100 or more. So you definitely want your new construction laser level to come with a warranty. Look for warranties that will cover as many of the components on your new laser level as possible and offer that coverage for a long time period too.
Red vs. Green Laser Beams
For the longest time red has been the popular choice in laser beam colors but that is starting to change. More and more laser levels with green colored beams are being seen in the marketplace.
Why are green beam lasers becoming more popular? Most people that use them on their levels seem to think they are easier to see than red generated laser beams. This is especially true over longer distances. Green beams are also supposed to be easier to see under bright conditions. The biggest drawbacks with laser levels that emit green beams are they use up power much faster than red beam laser levels and they tend to be more expensive too.
Red beam laser levels are perfect for most indoor projects. They will also help keep the price of the laser level lower and they will work longer before their batteries need to be recharged or replaced.
Manual vs. Self-Leveling Lasers
It used to be that the only way to set up a laser level was to use a series of leveling bubbles on its body to make sure that it was set up and would work properly. This could be a time-consuming experience, especially if you were manually setting up your laser level on rough terrain. But now more and more new style construction level models are becoming what is known as self-leveling. This means that even if you bump them while using them they will automatically adjust themselves to go back to being perfectly level.
Horizontal vs. Dual-Beam Lasers
There are two main types of construction lasers that contractors and other building professionals use. These are dual-beam and horizontal beam lasers. Horizontal beam lasers just emit a single line or plumb point. Dual-beam lasers emit either horizontal and vertical straight lines or a horizontal straight line and a plumb point.
How Do Laser Levels Work?
There really is nothing that sophisticated as to how a laser level works. The key is in the setup and getting them perfectly level. Once that’s done, they project their laser beam across a large or small distance. This beam then hits an object, wall, measuring stick or laser sensor. Where the laser mark hits will tell you whether you need to raise or lower an object or ground in order to put it at the exact level that you need it to be. Using a laser level greatly speeds up any leveling process because of this.
What Are Laser Levels Used For?
Here are some samples of the types of indoor and outdoor leveling jobs that a quality laser level can help you with.
Indoor Laser level Uses
- acoustical ceiling tile installation
- interior building framing
- laying floor tiles
- plumbing installation
- Electrical wiring layout
- HVAC ductwork layout
- Straightening artwork, wall hangings, and photos
- Leveling curtain rods
Here are some of the more common outdoor uses for laser levels:
- Site grading
- Pouring concrete
- Land surveying
- Installing fences
- Leveling building foundations
- Determining property boundaries
- Laying drainage
- Underground utility work.
- Leveling concrete slabs
Laser Level FAQ’s
Here are some of the questions we get all of the time about laser levels.
- Question: What is the usual working range for a laser level?
Answer: This is a hard question to answer because different types of laser levels need to have different ranges to do their job. With that being said, your typical laser level for doing general leveling will work out to about 250’. Lasers that professional surveyors use will work even further out than that.
- Question: Are self-leveling laser levels fully automatic?
Answer: Some of the most expensive ones are but most are not fully automatic. How most self-leveling lasers work is you rough level them using their attached bubbles first. Then the leveling device will fine-tune itself from there within a set range of leveling accuracy.
- Question: Does a duel beam laser always project a vertical and horizontal straight line?
Answer: The answer here is no. It can mean that but not always. It depends on what each individual laser level is built to do. Some are built to do just what you said. Other dual-beam lasers project a straight horizontal line and just a plumb point. So you will have to investigate further when you are thinking about buying any dual-beam laser to see what type of beams it projects.
Don’t forget to check out our roundup of the best wire strippers and digital caliper reviews.
Without a doubt, all types of laser levels are very useful tools. Professionals and DIY individuals use them for everything from laying tile to adding a gentle slope to plumbing lines. They take all of the guesswork out of doing any type of leveling project and go much faster. Laser levels also come in a wide range of qualities and price ranges. That means anyone should be able to own one of these very useful construction tools.
When it’s time for you to go shopping for a new construction laser level make sure you review our advice and information here. It will definitely help you find the best laser level for your needs. Any of the models that we did laser level reviews on will also make for an excellent purchase. So get yourself a nice laser level to help your next leveling job go faster and turn out more precise.