Best Laser Levels: Straight Lines For Indoor and Outdoor Projects
These top laser levels will make DIY projects easier to complete.
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Gone are the days when you had to struggle with a manual leveling device to hang pictures, paintings, shelving, wainscotting, and more. Thanks to advances in technology, today’s modern laser levels make this once arduous task quick, easy, and amazingly accurate. To help you select a reliable, precise, and durable laser level, we’ve come up with our top product recommendations and an informative buying guide.
DEWALT Line Laser
This laser level features a red beam, and its full-time pulse mode allows use with a detector and plus/minus 1/4-inch accuracy at 100 feet.
- Easy to use
- Will project a single horizontal beam, vertical beam, or both
- Self-leveling and has LED lights to indicate when it's level
- While it works fine indoors, it's difficult to see the laser in daylight
- If it gets knocked around or goes out of level/plumb, it cannot be fixed
BLACK+DECKER Line Laser
It's an auto-leveling line laser with a stud sensor, so it not only gives accurate measurements, but also detects wood, metal, and live wires.
- BullsEye auto-leveling technology allows 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
- Although very accurate for hanging pictures and handling other small tasks around the house, the tool might be slightly off in large areas
- Included case is quite thin and of questionable durability
Bosch Self-Leveling Laser Level
This tool delivers maximum line laser visibility up to 50 feet in standard working conditions. It's IP54 rated to withstand tough jobsite conditions such as rain or dust
- Great for the DIYer
- Comes in a nice, hard case
- Simple to operate
- Mounts to standard camera tripods
- Red laser is highly visible from a solid distance.
- Horizontal laser may not project a very visible line
- Using it in manual mode can be challenging
- Difficult to see the laser beam outdoors
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
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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, Raymond 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. The DeWalt 12V MAX Line Laser is one of the company’s top-selling 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 2021
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.
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly option that’s perfect for occasional use, the Black+Decker BDL190S Line Laser is 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.
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.
The Johnson Level Self-Leveling 360 Degree Line Laser does everything you could possibly want a laser level to do. It can simultaneously or individually project a 360-degree horizontal and vertical line for pinpoint accuracy. A special “Tilt Mode,” or manual level mode, lets the laser be projected at any angle, which is ideal for stairs or railings. For best results, try using a tripod for this task.
The magnetically dampened compensator system ensures quick stabilization of the pendulum and makes sure it stays level, even with jobsite variation. The status light at the top of the unit lets you know when the tool is outside of its leveling range, while the locking mechanism protects the pendulum for safe transportation.
One drawback to this otherwise well-designed laser level is that it doesn’t work nearly as well outdoors in bright light as it does indoors in more muted light conditions. This seems to be an unfortunate and common problem with most laser levels, though.
The Hart 10-Foot Laser Level gets a nod for being a super affordable, lightweight, and easy-to-use laser level. One of its best features is that it comes backed by a limited lifetime warranty, which is rare among tool manufacturers nowadays. With a 10-foot reach, it’s ideal for smaller home projects. This model also features two bubble vials for precise vertical and horizontal placement.
Another thing we like about this level is that it also offers multiple mounting features. You can use it the standard handheld way, or mount it with the included push pin or adhesive strips to give you the ability to have both hands free.
While this laser level is great for hanging pictures and small shelves, it’s not really the best option for bigger construction projects or more commercial purposes. The laser itself is also not as bright on this model as it will be with some other options on our list, but for the ultra-low price point, it’s still an incredible deal.
For bigger jobs, the Stoneway 16 Lines 4D Laser Level should be a top consideration. It’s equipped with all the bells and whistles that you need to get the most accurate and precise leveling for foundational projects. This level is equipped with 4D 16-line laser wire positioning and a bright LED display.
This level has a thick metal base that prevents it from accidentally tipping. It’s also IP54-rated to be waterproof and rugged, making it a good choice for outdoor and construction work. Use it to install walls, flooring, stairs, handrails, decorations, and more. It also comes with a handy remote control and a long-life rechargeable battery.
As with other laser levels, this one features multiple ways to mount and center the level for hands-free usage. There are complaints that the metal base is not stable enough in many scenarios and should be revamped to offer a more secure platform.
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 jobsite.
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, as the tool doesn't have an automatic shutoff.
We like the super bright beam that the Cigman Green Laser Level offers. Over four times greater than the brightness of the typical red laser beam levels, this level is easier to see in daylight than a lot of others on the market. It offers a working distance of up to 100 feet, making it a great choice for larger projects, like walls and flooring.
This model features one 360-degree horizontal line and two 360-degree vertical lines that are capable of covering a full room. Lines can be turned on or off individually as needed. Leveling jobs are made even quicker and more efficient by using the included remote control. With this level, you can also unlock the pendulum to quickly switch to manual mode.
The USB-C port makes recharging this laser level a cinch. We also like the 36-month warranty that comes with this level.
One thing that we would like to see improved upon is the strength of the magnetic bracket. It seems a little weak. A touchier up/down adjustment would be a nice added feature as well.
- 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 laser level projects 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?
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?
Nothing but the color. 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.
When it comes to our top pick for the best overall laser level, in terms of functionality, precision, and price, we like the DeWalt Line Laser. It features a strong red beam, and its full-time pulse mode allows use with a detector and plus/minus 1/4-inch accuracy at 100 feet.
If you’re looking to get a more budget-friendly option that doesn’t sacrifice quality for cost, the BLACK+DECKER BDL190S Line Laser won’t disappoint.
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