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Keep Your Projects In Line With the Best Laser Level
It is said that a master craftsman can create wonderful things without any fancy tools at their disposal. However, even the top craftsmen in the world need proper tools to work at their best. Similarly, having the appropriate leveling tools are crucial for many large-scale woodworking, construction, and renovation projects. You can try to make do with a handheld spirit level, and it might even work. But, if you value precision and efficiency, there is no better leveling tool than a laser level.
These modern devices are simple in their concept yet elegant in their function. Using a quality laser level the right way can drastically improve your workflow. The keyword to focus on here is quality, as a bad laser level is no worse than trying to just eyeball the level. So, how can you find quality laser levels from the sea of hundreds of options?
Well, lucky for you, we already did the research. After putting a whole bunch of laser levels from Amazon through a review process, we ended up with a list of the top laser levels of 2023. Take a look below!
The first recommendation on our list is a basic laser level from Rockseed. The thing that stood out to us about their particular level is their to-the-point approach to design. There is nothing about this laser level that will suggest that its price is just $30. Yes, you read that correctly; it costs just under $30 and what you get in return is a quality laser level that is designed to be used by everyone in every situation. Its water and dustproof construction further reinforce this idea, and the rugged shockproof design pretty much proves it.
But, a laser level needs to be, well, level to function properly. Ruggedness alone isn’t enough to make a laser level great, and luckily, it doesn’t disappoint in that sense either. Its red cross line beam is decently bright for the price, and the self-leveling is adequate for most home use. The only people that might not want this particular laser level are professionals, as it offers very little in terms of features.
The RockSeed laser level is great for what it is, but it lacks the features and performance that professionals need. For these professionals, this cross-line laser level from Klein Tools is the best option. It is a robust tool that is built from the ground up to provide exceptional performance while taking near to no damage during normal use. It does cost five times as much as the RockSeed laser level at just under $150, but this increased cost is worth it for the folks who need a reliable cross line laser level with exceptional accuracy.
The pro status of this level is further cemented by the inclusion of a plumb marker. Many people buy expensive three plain laser levels just so they can use them for marking plumb points, and this level provides the same features in a cross line laser level. Additionally, the included magnetic bracket means that you can mount it to almost any wall. Combine this with state-of-the-art self-leveling, and you’ve got a swift and accurate laser level.
Two-dimensional cross-line laser levels are perfect for many tasks involving walls. However, they start becoming tough to use as soon as the floor and the ceiling get involved. If you want to work efficiently in those scenarios, you need a three-plane laser level, and what better option to pick than one from Huepar? This 360-degree level provides a bright green laser that wraps around the entire room. Three distinct loops of laser beams go in all directions and cross each other with perfect right angles.
The best part about this particular laser level, however, is that this three-plain one costs the same as the cross-line option from Klein Tools. So, you get a completely new axis of leveling in a similarly performant package for no extra cost. This isn’t an ordinary 3D laser level either, with its crazy high accuracy. Huepar even rates its accuracy at give-or-take 1/9″ from 33 feet.
Next on our list of recommendations is hands downs, one of the top 3D laser levels out there. Sure, you can find laser levels that are more sophisticated and have better accuracy, but they also cost significantly more than this one. This is not to say that this laser level is sub-par in any way. In fact, most of its attributes are near perfect. For example, the laser maintains full brightness visibility for over 190 feet, and this is under 20000 lux brightness.
Even if you don’t care about the performance of the lasers or the precise accuracy and just need something strong, this is the ideal choice. The 40-hour battery alone is enough to make this laser level worth the money for any professional, and we haven’t even mentioned the blistering fast self-leveling times. Lastly, despite its status as the ultimate laser level, it is surprisingly easy to use. Almost anyone can learn how to improve their workflow with this laser level in a short amount of time.
There are many differences between the cross-line and three-plain laser levels, but they are fairly similar at their core. This Qooltek multipurpose tool, on the other hand, is nothing like them. Instead, this is a many-in-one tool with useful stuff like spirit levels of horizontal and vertical variety and even a 45-degree one, a tape measure, a ruler, and a laser level. These tools aren’t gimmicks either with the eight-foot tape measure and the spirit levels of alignment.
Then there is the star of the show, the laser, which is underwhelming at best. It isn’t very bright or far-reaching, and it isn’t even self-leveling. Instead of being a laser level with spirit levels, it can be considered a spirit level with a laser. Despite these shortcomings, though, this level is still the most popular option we’ve looked at, with a wide margin. The reason behind this popularity, however, is that it is perfect for every homeowner and their kids.
Includes a very accurate tape measure
Perfect for small stuff like hanging the photos
Has three different modes for the laser
A bit of a hassle to store when not in use
How To Find a High-Quality Laser Level: A Buyer's Guide
Laser levels are fantastic tools that can empower a beginner to make fewer mistakes and give a professional a way to increase the efficiency of their workflow. However, this is only true about quality laser levels. But, what does quality mean, and how can you determine the quality level of a particular laser level?
There are so many different options to choose from that the only realistic way to calculate the quality of a particular laser level is to tear it apart (metaphorically) and look at each element of the level on its own. You can then combine your findings into one definitive quality rating for laser levels that is completely custom to you. Here’s what to look for.
The exterior construction quality is way more important than you might initially think. There are a lot of middle-end levels with amazing internals but terrible exteriors. Now, this might not be a big issue for a DIY hobbyist whose laser level never leaves their garage. But, the durability of the outermost shell starts becoming a quality-defining character as soon as professionals are involved.
Professionals have to take their equipment, including the laser levels, to all sorts of locations. This transport isn’t always the smoothest ride either. So, any laser level that will break with a few bumps is a no-go since the last thing a professional wants is their equipment to fail in the middle of a job.
The ideal laser level is constructed out of tough, durable plastics that can withstand a drop or two just fine. Additionally, the IP54 water and dust resistance are pretty much a must-have.
The second factor you have to consider in pursuit of quality is the laser itself, as that is the point of contact between the level and you. So, here are a few key attributes to look for.
The accuracy of the laser refers to the distance it will be off by every time you set it up in the same exact location. The industry standard for good laser levels is an accuracy of 1 millimeter from a distance of 30 feet. Anything above that is not considered good enough by many professionals.
The laser should not be more than a few millimeters thick. The max acceptable width is 3 millimeters (⅛”), and even that is pushing the limit. Thicker lasers make precise marking impossible, so the thinner, the better.
The laser should not vibrate on its own. Yes, it is going to oscillate when the self-leveling pendulum is at work, but that should do its thing in only a few seconds, and then the laser should stay still until the level is disturbed.
The last attribute of the laser to consider is its brightness. As a general rule of thumb, green lasers are about twice as vibrant and noticeable as red ones, especially during the day. So, go with green lasers if you have the choice and pick the level with the highest brightness.
Quality laser levels are not cheap. They can cost upwards of $250 and even more depending on the features you want. Even if they are cheap, no professional wants to replace their equipment after just a few months or a year of use. So, the longevity of the laser level matters a lot.
However, this is not something that you can quantify by looking at the spec sheet of the level or the materials used in its construction. The only real indicator on a product page is the name of the manufacturer, but even that is not a guarantee. Luckily, there is a way to figure out the average lifespan of the laser level you’re looking to buy.
Customer reviews are a fantastic way of getting the information that you cannot get from the product page itself. The reviews you’re looking for are the ones from folks that have used or have been using that particular laser level for some time. Reading both positive reviews about how the laser level works after years of use and negative reviews about how it stopped working randomly after a few months are helpful to you.
Once you’re done exploring the customer reviews, combine everything you’ve learned and would have an estimate on how long that laser level will last on average.
People Also Asked
Q: Can I use my laser level under the sun?
A: Yes, you can. Most laser levels are not affected by the high temperature. However, make sure the laser of your level is bright enough to be visible in outdoor lighting before you set it up properly.
Q: Will my laser level break if I accidentally leave it in the rain?
A: It will most likely survive as most high-quality laser levels are IP54 these days. However, it is still not a good idea to leave your level in the rain.
Q: What safety precautions are needed when using a laser level?
A: The only thing you have to worry about is your eyes. So, wear eye protection and never stare into the laser.
The Old House Journal Review Team’s product reviews and in-depth guides are here to help you restore, repair, update, and decorate your home. The content is created by The Old House Journal Review Team. The Old House Journal editorial staff is not involved. Old House Journal is reader-supported: When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. All questions regarding articles or product testing can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org