If you are looking to line up objects with sheer precision, you will require a laser level to ensure you have a perfect straight line. A line laser can be used vertically or horizontally and on any surface at a variety of angles.
The best laser level is the DEWALT DW089LG MAX, which uses three 360 degree line lasers to aid in full room layout and is accurate to +/-0.125.
For homeowners that want to hang up pictures to builders on construction sites, a laser level can be used for a range of situations. If you are after the highest level of accuracy, you will need to look at the premium devices.
Table of Contents
Best Laser Line Level
|Laser Level||Type||30 Ft Accuracy|
|DEWALT DW089LG||360 Green Line||1/8 Inch|
|Bosch GLL3-330CG||360 Green Line||3/32 Inch|
|Bosch GLL 2-20||Cross line||3/16 Inch|
|DEWALT DW088K||Cross line||1/8 Inch|
|PLS-60521N||Cross line||1/8 Inch|
As you can imagine, there is a whole range of laser levels available to suit the needs of certain tradesmen. These include cross line, single line, dot, rotary, flooring and various others that are for professional use.
The usage of laser levels can be both indoor and outdoor for a range of applications. For example, indoor laser levels can be used to ensure walls are perpendicular and straight, level floors and more. Whereas an outdoor laser level can be used for ground surveying, alignment of masonry and so forth.
Using an old school spirit level are great but they are very limit and are only accurate up to certain lengths. Below is a list of the best laser levels that offer excellent accuracy and a variety of additional features.
DEWALT DW089LG Line Laser
The Dewalt DW089LG is a premium laser level suited for professionals seeking excellent accuracy. It is accurate to 1/8 of an inch, which is very impressive and it also features three 360 degree line lasers, which can be used to for a full room layout.
It uses green beam laser technology, which Dewalt claim is four times bright and more visible than both red and yellow. An excellent feature with this laser level is the magnetic bracket, which allows for flush attachment against metal or steel, which not many other alternatives will have. Compared against the various other Dewalt models, the DW089LG model offers the most accuracy and range.
As this is more likely to be used by a professional than a homeowner, it has additional protection thanks to an over molded housing. It is IP65 water and debris resistant rated, which is great for tough conditions.
Overall, it is the best laser level you can buy and is very popular worldwide for its durability and accuracy. It is on the expensive side but it is a high performer and backed by a three year warranty for peace of mind.Check it Out
Bosch GLL3-330CG Three Plane Levelling
The main competitor to the Dewalt DW089LG is this premium laser level by Bosch, which is the GL3-330CG model. It transmits three green beams in 360 degree laser planes with one horizontal and two vertical beams.
It has a working range of up to 200 feet and with the pulse mode, it further increases to 330 feet when using the LR8 receiver, which of course is an additional extra. A unique selling point of the GL3-330CG is that it has Bluetooth technology, which you can use to sync up to Bosch’s very own smartphone application.
Although it is a very good laser level with an excellent range and smartphone compatibility, it is just too much on the pricey side compared against the DW089LG. It also does not have the accuracy and it just shows how much of a top rated laser level the Dewalt alternative is.Check it Out
Bosch 360-Degree Cross-Line Laser
For those looking for a self levelling laser level, Bosch offer their take on things with this GLL-2-20 Model. It uses Bosch’s “Vitamax” technology, which provides up to 65 feet of laser visibility. It is also a 360 degree laser level just like the Dewalt above for complete coverage of an entire room too.
Self levelling is a feature that many professional find desirable and this model includes a smart pendulum system that does exactly that. If it is out of level, the laser level will indicate this and assist with an accurate reading.
Included with this laser level is the BM3 positioning device, which makes mounting to objects much easier. This is thanks to strong magnets, retractable feet and a clamp for connecting to a ceiling grid. Once you have mounted the laser level, it has a range of 65 feet and accuracy of 3/16 inch.
Bosch produce a range of laser levels but the GLL-2-20 is one of their better models. Compared against the Dewalt DWO89LG, it is much cheaper and includes the desirable self levelling feature but it does lack the accuracy and durability.Check it Out
DEWALT DW088K Self-Leveling Cross Line Laser
If the DW089LG is too pricey but you want to stay with the Dewalt brand, the DW088K is ideal. It is a self levelling cross line laser, which is suitable for professionals in a range of situations.
In terms of its performance, it has an accuracy of 1/8 of an inch whilst transmitting a beam at 30 feet and it has a working range of 165 feet.
The DW088K uses a similar over molded housing to the DW089LG and has an IP54 water and debris resistance. It also has the same magnetic pivoting base for straight forward mounting on metal surfaces.
Compared with the Bosch alternative above, it does lack the 360 degree coverage but it is slightly more accurate. If you are looking for a cross line laser but cannot stretch to the GLL-22-02 price, this Dewalt laser level would be the perfect alternative.Check it Out
PLS180 Red Cross Line Laser Level
The PLS180 is a high performing self levelling laser level that can project beams vertical, horizontal and cross beam with 180 degree coverage. The range is 100 feet indoor and 200 feet outdoors when used with a laser detector.
The peak accuracy at 30 feet is 1/8 inch and you are able to achieve up to 25 hours of continuous use from one charge.
If you have broken your previous laser level due to impact damage and fear that you will do the same, the PLS180 has you covered. It has been tested and survived drops from up to one meter, which is thanks to its rugged design.
Overall, it is the best laser level for the money as it combines performance, durability and accuracy all into one package. The low cost is simply because it is not a big brand such as the likes of Dewalt and Bosch.Check it Out
Laser Level Buying Guide
Whether you are a contractor, handyman, or just a homeowner that enjoys tackling projects around the house, you will likely find yourself in need of a laser level. There is a wide variety of styles out there that are designed for a variety of purposes, but the one thing they all have in common is the ability to make your life easier. This guide is designed to go over the uses of a laser level, the types on the market, things to look for, and some of the accessories you can purchase to use with it.
What is a Laser Level?
Simply put, a laser level is a tool designed to help you quickly lay out a project. There are many applications for using one both indoors or outdoors. Unlike a simple spirit level, also known as a bubble level, a laser level can work over great spans. It also serves additional purposes, such as measuring distances.
When used indoors, a laser level is great for a variety of decorative and building purposes. It can help you hang shelves, pictures, and mirrors. If you are constructing a building, they are great for checking the height and spacing for doors and windows. Additionally, you can align your shelves, trims, and cabinetry.
As for outdoor uses, they are great for determining how level a plot of land is. You can also use one to help you lay out a site and plan on where to lay plumbing pipes quickly and accurately.
Due to the wide variety of uses, a laser level is a must-have tool for both the home and construction sites. It is a great time and space saver to add to your toolbox. Below are the different types of laser levels available on the market today.
Cross Line Lasers
These work by projecting both a vertical and horizontal line. They are most commonly used indoors. The range of use depends greatly on the quality of the level. Here are some of the situations a line laser would be useful when inside:
- When fitting tiles onto walls, such as for a kitchen back-splash
- To install a drop ceiling
- When installing a partition wall
- When installing new plumbing or electrical system
- For framing a new room
- Installing cabinets and countertops
Although more often thought of as a level for indoor use, a cross line laser level can be used outdoors in these scenarios:
- Alignment of concrete forms before building on them
- Building a deck in your yard
- Making sure any digging you have done is level
When using a laser line level outdoors, you will likely need a Line Laser Detector. Due to the bright conditions caused by the sun, it can be difficult to see the laser outdoors. The detector, which will be discussed in more detail in the accessories section, can help get around that.
Single Line Lasers
These are the absolute simplest laser levels on the market and are almost always the cheapest. They are used manually. Once you have set them perfectly level, you simply switch them on and they then project a straight line. Generally, it only will project a few feet.
If only needed for occasional, simple jobs, this may be the best laser level for home use. You can use one to tape off paint lines or hang mirrors and artwork.
These are another popular type of levels, but the uses are more limited. Although they are similar to a line laser, they project a dot, or multiple dots, rather than a full line. They are immensely useful for determining angles. Plumbers find them particularly handy for installing piping. Here are some things you might find one practical for:
- Installing level electrical sockets
- Hanging up heating conduits
- Laying out any pipe or duct-work
- Installing ceiling lights, particularly if doing so in rows
- Hanging shelves or cupboards in the corner of a room
Even though this product has a somewhat limited use, it is an incredibly important one. Before laying down a floor, you need to ensure that there are no irregularities. You will almost always use one of these levels indoors.
On top of being useful before laying a new floor, these can be handy for seeing if an uneven floor is causing other problems in your home. It can also be used to install a heating system under the floor.
This handy tool is designed to check the level of an entire room at one time. They are generally heavier, larger, and much more expensive than line lasers. We have talked in great detail about the recommended rotary laser levels.
Factors to Consider
When deciding what laser level is the correct one for you, you need to ask yourself the following questions:
1.) Are you going to be using your level primarily indoors or outdoors? Although there are some exceptions, line lasers are generally considered the best for indoor use and rotary lasers are considered the best for outdoor use.
2.) Do you want a manual or automatic one? With a manual laser, you set them up yourself. If you do it correctly, it can be completely accurate. An automatic laser will be quicker to use and does all of the work for you. They are generally more expensive. One of the best things about an automatic level is it will stop projecting if it is bumped, preventing inaccuracies in your work. A manual level will not have this ability and will need to be monitored to make sure it has not been moved.
3.) Would you prefer a green beam or a red one? The differences here are quite simple. A green laser is much easier to see but much more expensive to produce. Generally, the will only be used on a large indoor project. With an outdoor project requiring a long range, using a laser level detector is much more practical.
4.) How do you want your laser level to be powered? This may not seem like a huge deal, but it is worth considering, especially if you are shopping for a laser level for builders. Most laser levels on the market today use standards alkaline batteries. Usually, they are AA but you will occasionally find ones needing D batteries. Hauling around extra D batteries may not be something you want to do, so be sure to look into the expected battery life. There are some on the market that use a rechargeable OEM battery pack. You can even find some that have 120V AC Power, but that is rare.
On top of the above considerations, one of the most important factors in your laser level buying is determining the range you will need to use it in. If you are using a laser level for framing or other construction, ask yourself how big your typical job site is.
It is also worthwhile to consider what the biggest job site you will ever need to use your laser level on is. A single line laser typically has a range of 10-25 feet. A cross line laser typically has a range of 25-100 feet. Both of these products can be boosted with a sensor.
The exact range will vary from product to product. If you are unsure how long of a range you need, it is always better to overestimate rather than underestimate.
Obviously, no one wants an inaccurate level. There are some jobs where 100% accuracy is more important than others. If you are being paid to create custom cabinetry or cupboards, you will need to be precise.
On the other hand, if you are constructing a dog or tree house in your own backyard, being off a quarter of an inch or so won’t really matter.
A laser may require some maintenance to stay accurate. Some come with a built-in calibration feature that you need to run occasionally. Others actually require being taken into a shop to be calibrated. Depending on how much accuracy you need, selecting a level with a calibration option may be important.
Ultimately, the level of accuracy you get with your level depends on how much you are willing to spend on it. A cheap single line laser can be off a half inch when you get out 10 feet. A cross line laser is going to be more accurate, as well as more expensive.
Some people like high-tech gadgets with all of the bells and whistles. Some people need straightforward tools that won’t have them looking for the user’s manual. If you don’t like using your level, you most likely won’t be satisfied with your purchase.
There are several fancy features you can look for, such as self-leveling, battery level indicator, out-of-level indicator, and the ability to customize slopes and angles. As with everything, the more complicated it is, the more expensive it will likely be.
Construction sites, whether you are working outside or in your own home, can be rough. Due to the sensitivity of the job it does, a laser level can be rather fragile. Many will claim to be able to withstand a drop of 3 feet, but it is better to not test that theory.
The warranty that comes with your level should be a major consideration. They can range anywhere from 2 to 20 years. Depending on how tough you are on your tools, you may need something with a more comprehensive warranty.
If you will be exposing your level to harsh conditions, such as rain, dust, mud, or other junk, you may need to get one with an IP-rated enclosure. IP stands for “ingress protection.” It is a universal scale to tell the consumer how well an enclosure will keep out both solid and liquid particles. For solid particles, the scale ranges from 0 (no protection) to 6 (entirely protected.) For liquids, the scale is slightly more complicated. It ranges from 0 (no protection) to 9k (2 minutes 80° C at 8-10 MPa). If your enclosure says IP24, the 2 refers to solid particles and the 4 refers to liquids.
There are several additional items you can buy to make your laser level even more useful. Here is a quick summary:
• Laser Line Detector: If your level has a pulse mode, this device can help extend your range and visibility when in bright conditions. Some lasers can have their ranges tripled by these detectors. Not all lasers can use a detector, so be sure to check the specifications of the one you are considering. They can even use acoustic or optical alerts to help you find your line.
• Tripod: A great tool for using in conjunction with your laser, this allows you to place it in a sturdy and level place. It keeps your level from moving side to side or up and down. There are two different types – a fixed leg tripod and an adjustable leg tripod. An adjustable one is more useful when you are outside and may need to place it on uneven ground.
• Remote Control: If you need to adjust your auto or manual leveling from a distance, a remote will allow you to keep doing what you need to do.
When buying anything new, it is important to consider any potential safety hazards. This is especially true if you will be working around children. Basically, there are three things that can go wrong with a laser level:
1.) Eye Contact: It’s pretty simple – never let a laser make direct contact with your eye. Be sure to watch out not only for yourself but for anyone else around as well. Class 1, 2, and 3 levels are considered to be relatively safe. If your eyes came into contact with these, your blink reflex should kick in before any damage is done. Keep in mind that even these lower level lasers can do severe damage after just 0.25 seconds. Another thing to keep in mind is you should never look at the laser through a magnifying glass or pair of binoculars.
2.) Skin Contact: Although this is not a major issue when laser levels are properly used, bear in mind that lasers work using radiation – either infrared or ultraviolet light. For most commercially available lasers, the danger is minimal. Some of the higher level 3 lasers can cause skin burns after prolonged exposure.
3.) Fire Danger: This is another thing that only becomes a serious consideration with high-end level 3 lasers. If allowed to point at a combustible or flammable object for a prolonged period of time, it can ignite it.
Having the right laser level is essential to do a high-quality job. Without an accurate one, measuring can become monotonous and may end up being inaccurate. Considering how many applications a laser level can have, it is no wonder the market has so many different options.
Hopefully, this guide has helped you to determine the best laser level for your needs, whether you are a seasoned pro or starting out in the DIY world. Ideally, you will find the tool that does everything you need it to without spending money on the things you don’t.