LAST UPDATED: October 9, 2019
Best Laser Levels: Top Tools For Indoor and Outdoor Projects
These top laser levels will make DIY projects easier to complete
The Review Team
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PUBLISHED ON October 9, 2019
If you want to ensure that an item, such as a garage shelf, is aligned properly on the wall, you will need a laser level. The tool projects lines onto the surface area, so you can make sure it's even and pleasing to the eye. These devices are extremely accurate and often have self-leveling properties. Our guide will help you choose the best laser level for your next project.
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Benefits of Laser Levels
- Versatility. Laser levels are suitable for a wide range of applications, from DIY projects to construction jobs. You can use them to align walls and cabinets, install drop ceilings, check heights of doors and roofs, and much more.
- Accuracy. While one can use a traditional bubble level for small applications, a laser level proves to be much more accurate. Laser levels eliminate all the guesswork and allow for more precise levels and alignments. They also work on larger areas, ensuring you get the right measurements even farther than the eye can see.
- Ease of Use. Bubble levels work in limited areas and need to be held by hand. On the other hand, laser levels produce a beam that is projected across large surfaces, eliminating the need for frequent movements. The line stays fixed on the surface, allowing you to follow it and get the job done in a breeze.
Types of Laser Levels
This is the most common type of laser level and is mostly used for DIY purposes. The line laser projects a horizontal or vertical line onto the surface at which it is pointed. There's a forward projection and a 360 degrees projection. The first one provides a single line on the surface in front of it, while the other one projects the line that surrounds the laser on 360 degrees. This type of tool is ideal for installing cabinets, tiles, or basic leveling purposes, such as hanging pictures.
This type of laser level projects multiple dots on one to four surfaces. A small circle of light appears on the surface the laser is pointed to, giving you a reference point for a variety of applications. A dot laser is mostly used for plumbing installation, electrical work, HVAC, and framing jobs.
These are ideal for professional and construction purposes. They project a line just like line lasers, but this one goes on every wall within a room. This way, one can make sure that everything is leveled in a large area.
Because of a wide range of applications, high accuracy, and extra coverage, rotary lasers usually come quite pricey. They are mostly suitable for more demanding jobs such as digging foundations, grading, and more.
There's also a type of laser level that combines the features of line and dot lasers. This model projects lines and dots simultaneously or independently, depending on the application. It allows you to switch between the features and tackle different jobs in a breeze. Combination lasers are mostly suitable for professionals such as electricians and plumbers who need to install lighting, outlets, wires, and more.
Dewalt is one of the leading companies in the production of hand and power tools. It was founded in 1924 and is located in Towson, Md. Back in the day, Reymond DeWalt invented the cutting machine that is known as a radial arm saw. The company grew quickly, and now, it's known for producing everything from nails and staples to lawnmowers. DEWALT 12V MAX Line Laser is our top pick when it comes to laser levels.
Bosch is a German company founded in 1886 by Robert Bosch. It's located near Stuttgart and widely known for providing consumer goods and industrial technology products. You can find anything from home appliances and power tools to auto parts and accessories on the company's shelves. We find that the Bosch Self-Leveling Cross-Line Red-Beam Laser Level is one of the most popular products on the market within the category.
Black+Decker was founded in 1910 and is located in Towson, Md. What started as a small Baltimore machine shop quickly became a large company focused on power tools, home appliances, accessories, and much more. Now, Black+Decker is highly praised among customers for its high-quality products and exceptional value it provides. The BLACK+DECKER BDL220S Laser Level is one of those incredibly popular tools coming from this reliable company.
Laser Levels Pricing
- Under $100: Laser levels at this price point are mostly suitable for home and light construction purposes. They are highly efficient, accurate, and reliable but might lack power and extra features for heavy-duty applications.
- $100 and up: For some extra cash, you can get high-end laser levels with more lines, dots, and overall, more power. Pricier tools often have green beams, work flawlessly outdoors, and offer weather protection. They also come with tripods and quality mounting accessories.
One of the first things to consider when buying a laser level is the overall accuracy of the tool. Whether you're just hanging a picture on the wall or installing tiles and cabinets, you need the right measures to the job correctly. Luckily, most laser levels have an accuracy degree listed on the package.
When checking out the precision of the tool, look for the accuracy level measured in a fraction of an inch and the overall distance of the laser from the surface. Models that offer the rating smaller than 1/4-inch at 100 feet prove to be the most reliable. Usually, tools that have smaller fractions at greater distances are more accurate.
It's essential to consider the laser level range before purchasing. That will ensure the tool can reach the surface and be visible enough in the working area. Most regular line laser levels can reach 10 to 25 feet, while cross-line models can go up to 100 feet. Professional-grade tools can have a range of more than 100 feet, but they are much more expensive. Therefore, consider the size of the area you'll be working on and pick a range accordingly.
Depending on the overall conditions you'll be working in, you'll need a tool that is more or less protected from various threats. Some laser levels come with high IP ratings, which means they are protected from water, dirt, dust, and debris. They tend to be more pricey but are ideal for outdoor and construction purposes. However, if you're planning to use a laser level for home and indoor applications, you won't need that much protection.
- Beam color. Laser levels produce beams of two colors: green or red. The main thing to consider when choosing the color of the beam is the application. Red ones are less powerful but last longer and are suitable for most indoor tasks. Green beams consume more power but are very powerful and ideal for outdoor and heavy-duty jobs.
- Mounting options. One of the main benefits of laser levels is that they allow for hands-free operation. You get to install and leave them be until you complete the project. Still, laser levels can be mounted in different ways. Some of them use pins to mount on the wall, while others come with tripods or heavy mounting brackets for more stability. Consider your application and mounting options before the purchase so you can use the tool in the best way possible.
Best Laser Levels Reviews & Recommendations 2020
Dewalt offers a self-leveling tool to help you with both DIY and professional applications. It's a laser level that features green beam technology and a 12V lithium-ion rechargeable battery. Thanks to the extra bright light, you can use it indoors as well as outdoors.
The tool provides stable operation, producing self-leveling cross lines and rotating in the bracket for more convenience during use. The things that also make this tool special are a sturdy construction and an IP65 rated housing.
The laser level proves to be resistant to debris and water, allowing you to tackle outside jobs in any weather. There's even a locking pendulum to prevent internal damage. Additionally, the magnets at the back of the unit allow for easy attachment to metal and steel surfaces, so you don't have to struggle with the installation.
The tool is quite expensive, though. Those who are looking for a home laser level to help them with light tasks might want to check out other options. Also, the green beam is very powerful but sometimes hard to see outdoors. It seems that the line is less visible from a distance of 5-8 feet.
Dewalt offers another quality tool suitable for a wide range of applications. It's a handy line laser with a self-leveling feature and bright red cross lines. With it, you can tackle most regular jobs and get the right measurements in a breeze.
Along with the overall design and efficiency, buyers also love the range of this tool. It has an accuracy within 1/8 of an inch at 30 feet, which means it's suitable for most daily applications. Furthermore, the housing is IP54 rated for resistance to water and debris. The magnetic pivoting base doesn't only allow for more mounting options but is easy to use, too. All in all, the tool is super efficient, well-built, and quite durable.
One of the things that might bother you with the unit is its performance under the sunlight. The beam is difficult to see in daylight, which means the laser level might be unsuitable for outdoor use. Also, the tool is not resistant to bumps and impacts, so make sure to handle and store it carefully.
The Bosch laser level is a self-leveling tool that offers accuracy within 1/8 of an inch at 33 feet. With it, you'll get two extremely visible beams as well as excellent range. The tool extends the lines up to 50 feet in standard working conditions, allowing you to operate with more efficiency.
Users also love the overall design of the tool. The Bosch laser level comes with a sturdy case and IP54 rating for resistance to rain and dust. It proves to be very handy, easy to use, and durable. The red beam is also quite powerful and visible from a solid distance, so you can take the tool outside as well.
However, one of the lines might not be as visible as the other one. It seems that the horizontal laser is more challenging to see. Outdoor conditions might even make things worse and completely erase the line, so keep that in mind if you need a tool for outdoor projects. Another drawback is in regards to the manual mode—some users noticed that it takes time to get used to the mode.
If you're looking for an inexpensive laser level for hands-free use, this Black+Decker option might be an excellent choice for you. We are talking about a compact line laser you get to move around at your convenience and use to hang pictures, install curtain rods, and much more. Overall, it's a handy little tool for home purposes.
The Black+Decker laser level rotates for 360 degrees to help you tackle different projects. It also has two large, backlit bubble vials for more accuracy and visibility. All in all, the red beam is powerful enough to ensure excellent visibility indoors. Along with batteries, you'll also get a two-year warranty.
The tool does have one design flaw. It comes with a nail at the back of the housing, which is intended to hold it on the wall. However, the nail pokes an unnecessary hole in the wall, so you'll have to remove it and add a strap or some adhesive tape instead. Also, don't forget that this is an inexpensive unit that might not work for more demanding applications.
This is a versatile laser level with a 360-degree horizontal line and two plumb dots. The tool features two ultra-bright green beams and proves to be ideal for electrical, plumbing, and many other projects.
With the accuracy within 1/9 of an inch at 33 feet for both lines and dots, the laser level proves to be quite efficient. Along with the bright green beam, it also features a power-saving pulse mode that extends the overall range up to 180 feet. You can choose between a self-leveling or manual mode according to your projects. The tool is very accurate and reliable in both modes.
It's important to mention the sturdy construction, too. The tool is rated IP54, which means it's resistant to water and dust. It also offers mounting threads for easy installation on tripods and comes with a carrying case for more safety.
The only thing to keep in mind with this laser level is the fact it's not bright enough for outdoor use. Other possible issues mostly regard the design of the included accessories. The magnetic holder is not very sturdy and might not be able to hold the level.
Here’s another product from Black+Decker worthy of your attention. It's an auto-leveling line laser with a stud sensor, so it can not only give accurate measurements but detect wood, metal, and live wires. You'll find it quite useful for working on home and light projects.
The tool features BullsEye auto-leveling technology, allowing for easier hanging and mounting projects. Users also love that the laser level has an LCD display to read results and an overall intuitive design. There's also a mounting accessory included in the package as well as a two-year warranty.
Still, if you need a tool for large projects, this might not be a perfect option for you. Although very accurate for hanging pictures and handling other small tasks around the house, the tool might be slightly off in large areas. Another issue might be with the included case that's quite thin and of questionable durability.
Klein Tools is another reliable company that has a quality laser level to offer to both professionals and DIYers. The tool is self-leveling and provides two lines and a plumb spot for pinpointing the overhead location. It also offers excellent accuracy, high visibility, and several extra features for more convenience on the working site.
One of the most beneficial extra features is the integrated magnetic mounting bracket that turns for 360 degrees. There are also mounting threads you can use to put the laser level on the tripod. When it comes to the overall construction, the tool is well-built and quite durable. It features water and dust resistant housing (IP54 ), and it comes with a plastic carrying case for more safety.
The thing that might bother you the most with this tool is the installation. The magnets prove to be a little weak; they are not always able to keep the level up. Also, make sure to monitor the battery life and turn off the laser level once you finish the project. The tool doesn't have an automatic shutoff.
Bosch GPL 3 is a tool that features red plumb and level point projection. It's a self-leveling laser level that offers accuracy within 1/4 inches at 100 feet. Therefore, it's not only quite precise but also suitable for a wide range of home applications.
The thing that users love the most about this tool is the overall accuracy. With the impressive range and extra bright light, the laser level allows for hands-free construction and HVAC project handling. Furthermore, the tool features a rugged and durable housing that can withstand quite some abuse. It's water- and dust-resistant, so using it at construction sites won't be an issue at all. As if that wasn't enough, the tool is quite compact and easy to carry around.
One of the things to keep in mind with this product is the fact that the included batteries are not very durable. They might even pop out from the battery compartment, which can be rather inconvenient when working on a project. Another thing that might bother you is the on/off switch. It's fragile and might malfunction occasionally.
- Do not point the laser from the tool at someone's eyes. While it's unlikely to cause permanent damage, it can be harmful to your retina in some cases.
- The type of laser level you need will depend on the type of work you're doing and whether it's indoors or outdoors. You will not need a pricey industrial laser level for small projects and DIY jobs.
- Over time, your laser level may need to be recalibrated. You should check the accuracy of your laser level from time to time to make sure it is operating at its fullest capacity.
Q: How does a laser level work?
A: They project a beam of light, or laser beam, through a diode that indicates whether a flat surface is level or not. Some laser levels emit a beeping sound to alert you when a level is reached. They are operated manually or are self-leveling.
Q: What is the most common use for a laser level?
A: Many people use laser levels to hang pictures. They can also be used to hang shelves, mount TVs on the wall, or align the wheel on a motorcycle. They make it easier for you to center frames and other objects.
Q: What is the difference between a laser level’s red and green beam?
A: Green laser beams are brighter, more visible, and more useful when you're working under the sun or bright lights. Red beams work just fine under most other conditions.
Our pick for the best laser level is the DEWALT 12V MAX Line Laser, Cross Line, Green. It's from a reputable brand, is self-leveling, and uses green laser beam technology for the toughest jobs.
For a more budget-friendly option, consider the DEWALT Line Laser, Self-Leveling, Cross Line.