Last updated on February 19th, 2022
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Probably one of the best tools you will ever own, laser levels make life so much easier and leave you wondering how you ever got by before
As any construction enthusiast and professional craftsmen know, one vital device for your toolkit is a good line level. However, the problem with traditional line levels is that they are not accurate enough. This can usually cause issues when hanging items on walls, installing cabinets or assembling shelving in the kitchen. The modern solution to this challenge is a laser level, which offers a higher level of precision than a basic level.
Furthermore, a laser level is consistent in that it throws a light beam onto multiple surfaces simultaneously, so you can mark where items need to go without having to measure several times. They also tend to be compact so they can fit nicely into a tool belt, especially when you need to work at height. Most laser levels are even self-levelling meaning no manual setting is required to achieve precision.
To help you buy the best laser level for your needs, we review below the 6 top-rated laser levels available in the UK market. These are the models we arrived at after scouring through countless laser levels on the internet for hours and with a keen eye on customer reviews. Now that’s a lot to do, but we hope to have made your purchasing decision incredibly easy. If you are not well-informed about laser levels, there’s a lot to learn in our buyer’s guide.
Let’s get going with our best pick below:
For enhanced durability, the device has deep laser windows that are highly protected from drops and fracture damage. Additionally, the full extra-large rubber over-mould offers added protection plus the body is IP54 rated to ensure protection against water and dust which we think is essential. It comes with 2 x AA batteries that offer up to 35 continuous operation, especially when switched to pulse mode. Another useful feature is a magnetic bracket that allows the tool to be attached to a tripod, metal or wood objects. This model is pricier than many others, but is a great pick for contractors and professional craftsmen.
The top 6 recommended laser levels that we have included in our review:
- Makita SK104Z Cross Line Laser – BEST PICK
- DeWalt DW088K-XJ Self Levelling Line Laser – RUNNER UP
- DeWalt 3-Way Self Levelling Ultra Bright Multi-Line Laser – PROFESSIONAL PICK
- Bosch Quigo Cross Laser Level – BEST DIY PICK
- Bosch PCL 20 Cross Line Laser Level – ANOTHER GREAT PICK
- Bosch PLL 360 Cross Line Laser
A 2-button operation along with a low battery indicator makes it easy to use, whilst its over-mould casing effectively protects against dust and water damage. It also comes with 3 x AA batteries that deliver up to 40 minutes continuous operation. There have been fantastic reviews about this product and that’s why it is one of the best.
Perfect for everything from kitchen and shopfitting to plumbing jobs, fitting windows and door frames and more. Very bright beam and we love the handy little adjuster on the top for fine alignment makes setting up easier. Gives about 15.24 meters of range but can be extended to 50 meters with a laser detector making it good for outdoor use as well. We like that it makes a 180° ark that can set a line directly underneath it so makes positioning much easier for certain jobs.
BEST DIY PICK
Top 6 Detailed Laser Level Reviews
1. Makita SK104Z Cross Line Laser
Our best pick, the Makita SK104Z Cross Line Laser, is a self-levelling red beam laser with three line modes and radiant output of 0.95mW. This makes it more suitable for indoor applications than outside because the beams are naturally not visible under the sun. The device is easy to operate due to its simplified two-button user interface.
It features a magnetic pendulum stabiliser that allows for quicker levelling and additionally makes the cross line laser a lot easier to use. The massive thing about it is that it only needs 3 seconds to stabilise. Its integrated pendulum lock also makes it easy to level incline planes. Better still, the self-levelling capabilities of this device are correctable up to 4 degrees of slope.
A great attribute of this line laser is its durability, making it perfect for harsh site conditions. The device has a rubber outer plus recessed laser windows to protect it against accidents and breakages. Moreover, the body is IP54 rated meaning dust and water cannot find a way in. The operating temperature ranges from -10 to 40 degrees Celcius and the device is equipped with a bright 635nm class 2 laser for excellent visibility in moderate ambient light surroundings.
The SK104Z runs on 3 x AA batteries (included) and its pulse mode helps conserve and extend battery life for extended operation in low light areas. Expect up to 35 hours of run time from the fully charged batteries. Also included in the box is a target plate, CD with a user manual, a quick reference guide, safety instructions, a magnetic bracket and a carrying pouch. This device can be easily attached to a tripod 1/4-inch thread or to metal and wooden objects.
- Exceptional line accuracy of -/+ 1/8-inch error rate at 30’.
- Integrated pendulum lock that offers increased laser diode protection during transportation and storage.
- Fast-levelling time in just 3 seconds.
- Delivers up to 35 hours of continuous use from one full charge, with pulse mode increasing battery life efficiently.
- Highly protected against dust and water damage; IP54 rated.
- Easy to use due to a simple two-button user interface.
- Includes a magnetic rubber that allows for attachment to a tripod, metal and wooden objects.
- Line coverage could be greater.
Solid construction, ultra-bright laser beam and fast levelling make this Makita SK104Z Cross Line Laser claim the top spot as the best laser level for contractors and builders. It’s suitable for heavy-duty jobs, so it may be overkill for DIYers. With its rubber over-mould exterior and recessed laser emitting windows, it will surely survive occasional hits and drops. Being dustproof and waterproof is an added bonus.
The level emits two bright lines and allows variation between horizontal, vertical and crossing beams, with the lines easily traced up to 50ft distance without blurring. It also establishes the level quickly and accurately, providing stable fully aligned lines in seconds. The 1/8-inch accuracy is valid for both horizontal and vertical beams within 30ft distance. To use it on slopes, simply switch to manual mode with pendulum lock activation. It’s really a superb device though the price may be too much for some.
2. DeWalt DW088K-XJ Self Levelling Line Laser
The Dewalt DW088K-XJ Self-Levelling Line Laser is powered by 3 AA batteries that can deliver over 40 hours of runtime. It may a little heavy on batteries but it makes up for this in usability and features. The batteries are included so that you get to work as soon as you receive the product, which is good because many don’t include batteries. A low battery indicator is also featured to warn you ahead of time so you don’t get caught with a dead tool halfway through a crucial project, essential for professional work where time is everything on the job.
This laser level projects vertical and horizontal bright red beams that are fairly easy to see indoors within a working distance of around 10 meters as I explain below. First off, the beams provide the best precision for various layout and levelling tasks both indoors and outdoors. If you plan to use it outdoors or over 10 meters indoors then you would need to couple it with the DeWalt Laser Detector, if you do this, the laser level can project beams further up to a distance of 50 meters, making it an excellent choice for large outdoor projects as well.
The tool is accurate up to ± 0.3mm/m and is one of the most accurate models we have seen. What we really liked was that it comes with an integrated magnetic pivot base for convenient mounting on any metal base. To make the most out of it, we recommend getting a floor to ceiling pole such as this one by DeWalt because it makes life much easier in a lot of situations indoors.
With a water and debris resistant over-moulded housing with an IP64 rating, this tool can be used outdoors during inclement weather as well as in dust prone areas like woodworking workshops and house renovations. The thick glass on the front protects the built-in laser system against sudden bumps or jolts whilst maintaining its calibration. So what does this mean? Basically, in simple terms, it’s very well built and feels substantial in your hand, a quality piece of kit that is very robust.
The tool’s side control panel features individual buttons for selecting between three different beams and is very easy to use. This is what makes it a good choice for professionals and those getting their first laser level.
Finally, it weighs about 500g so it isn’t too heavy overall and has compact dimensions of 24.5 x 23.5 x 11.2cm. This makes it the right size for residential applications as well as heavy construction-sized jobs, compared to more domestic home use models it may feel bulky but when compared to other professional models it certainly isn’t. Supplied with it is a sturdy storage box for easy transportation that will keep it well protected when not in use, much better than some models that just come in a cardboard box.
Last but not least, this product is backed by a 3-year warranty plus a 1-year free service plan. The thing to note here is that you need to register your product to extend the warranty from 1 year to 3 years, don’t forget to do this because it is often overlooked and only discovered when it’s too late. You shouldn’t have any problems but if you do it’s nice to know it’s backed by a decent warranty.
- Self-levelling with an accuracy of ± 0.3 mm/m.
- Self-levelling within ± 4 degrees surface angle and marks a levelled line within seconds.
- 2 button operation plus low battery indicator for ease of use.
- Integrated pivot bracket for easy mounting on metal surfaces.
- Over-moulded housing with water and dust resistance.
- Thick glass protects laser and maintains calibration.
- Uses 3 AA batteries that deliver more than 40 hours of runtime.
- Comes with wall mount bracket and solid case.
- Register online to get 3 years warranty.
- No problems to report, maybe a little heavy on batteries but this is a small price to pay for such a good tool.
The DeWalt DW088K-XJ Self Levelling Line Laser ticks all the right boxes as far as features and user-friendliness are concerned. The tool has a professional, industrial build and seems to be one of the most popular models for good reasons. Compact and versatile, this self-levelling tool can be used for laying out cabinets, levelling walls, floors, fitting door frames, plumbing jobs, just about every job you can think of where you need to make level points over a distance and much easier to use than a spirit level.
We really like that the integrated magnetic pivots allow simple mounting onto a metal surface, something we think many people will appreciate, especially if you invest in a good sturdy floor to ceiling pole to use with it.
The buttons on the control panel seem good quality and feel well positioned to let you choose between horizontal and vertical beams. These are bright both indoors, however, in bright condition outdoors it may be more difficult to see the laser but there is the option of using a laser detector in low visibility conditions, although if you are outdoors and it’s not too bright, you can see the laser easily enough in most cases. The laser detector is very useful when the beam needs to be used at a longer range because it will cover 50 meters which some people will find very useful.
So not only is this battery-powered laser level jam-packed with features it is also pretty straightforward to use. This is a really good design that makes it ideal for almost anyone.
This model was chosen as our ‘Best Pick’ because it offers everything both the home user, as well as a professional, would need. A quality laser level that is very accurate while still being easy to use.
If you are looking for a slightly cheaper model for home DIY type work then our next pick by Bosch might be a good alternative but it is only really suitable for using indoors because the laser is harder to see in brighter conditions, however for indoors it is a great alternative with some great features.
3. Bosch PCL 20 Cross Line Laser Level
ANOTHER GREAT PICK
A solid product from one of the most trusted manufacturers on the tool market, the Bosch PCL 20 Cross Line Laser Level is designed to simplify the complicated alignment of objects and is perfect for home type DIY jobs and it has really been designed with this in mind. Whether you want to hang a picture gallery along your staircase, install cabinets above a kitchen sink, lay tiles, mark the ceiling for fitting lights, this tool can help you achieve your goals with utmost precision and is surprisingly very easy to use.
So what’s the catch? First off the laser is not as bright as some professional models and it’s not quite as accurate, however, we’re talking a few mm, something that for DIY jobs won’t even be noticeable. For the price it is a great alternative to the more expensive professional models.
So what can it do? The Bosch PCL 20 is incredibly versatile with five different working modes: cross line, horizontal line, vertical line, line in any angle (something most expensive models cannot do) and a plumb function great for putting a light above a table or similar type jobs.
Each mode can be selected by gently pressing a button on an intuitive control panel on the back that is clearly marked for each mode. This top-quality laser level projects ultra-clear visible laser lines up to 10m with an amazing maximum precision of 0.5mm per metre (0.5 mm/m). So as you have probably noticed it’s slightly less accurate than the DeWalt model we have just reviewed by 0.2mm/m. Not enough to matter for home projects but could make all the difference for professional jobs where the accuracy is essential.
This tool levels itself within about 4 seconds, with an initial incline of fewer than four degrees and what this actually means is that if you set it up to level within 4 degrees, the level will then level itself with no other input or settings. It features an LED light that shows ‘green’ when the automatic levelling is complete, so you know the laser level is ready for use, a simple but useful feature. If it shows red, then you’ll have to re-adjust the tool manually, however, the beam will usually switch off in this case to prevent any errors.
The tool is very easy to operate with clear diagrams symbols to switch between. The on/off switch located on the side of the tool is quite ergonomic and easily accessible. Bosch have featured a soft-grip covering on the housing to ensure safe and proper handling so it feels sturdy and well built. The tool weighs just 600g, this is amazingly lightweight and its optical parts are safely covered by a glass plate.
The PCL 20 comes with a wall holder for practical mounting to a wall and it can easily be fixed at a convenient height using adhesive tape, a screw or a nail. In addition, the tool can be adjusted on its wall holder within a range of ± 6cm. Another handy supplied accessory is a protective carry case for storing and transporting the tool.
Whilst the PCL 20 works as a stand-alone tool, adding a tripod into the equation can help you accomplish tasks virtually hands-free. A few extra pounds will see you secure the tool together with a PCL 20 tripod stand, in case you don’t have one already it will work with a normal tripod with a standard ¼ inch thread like those found on camera tripods. A stand also increases stability on any ground and Bosch does also sell a floor to ceiling pole that is fairly good, it’s worth a look here. The tool comes with 4 x AA batteries ready to use which is also handy.
- Features 5 operation modes, cross lines, single horizontal or vertical line, inclined line and plumb function for transferring a point from the floor to the ceiling.
- Automatic self-levelling in seconds without manual alignment.
- Super bright laser diodes for clear visible lines indoors.
- Great working range of up to 10m.
- Easy operation through an ergonomic on/off switch and intuitive control panel.
- Soft-grip casing for safe and better handling.
- Thick glass protects laser and maintains calibration.
- Integrated ¼ inch thread fits all conventional tripods.
- 3 year warranty when you register online.
- The laser is difficult to see outdoors, especially on sunny days and even sometimes a little difficult indoors in bright conditions.
The Bosch PCL 20 Cross Line Laser Level is a fast self-levelling tool with a decent operating range of 10m and although it’s a great tool for home DIY use it’s not perfect. The laser is clear particularly indoors in rooms that are not so bright, but you may struggle to track the lines outdoors on a sunny summer day and even indoors in bright conditions, this is the only real downside. Apart from that, you will like the ease of operating this 5-mode laser level by simply switching it on and selecting a mode on its control panel which is clearly marked. We like that it can also be used at an angle as well and the plumb feature.
The tool feels sturdy and reasonably well made. For smaller projects that don’t require very long alignments, this is certainly the best laser level for the money and a great choice for the home DIY type, using it to hang pictures, paint walls, even the odd tiling job if you wanted. Overall it’s very versatile but we would say that professionals would be better spending a little more to get better laser visibility and maybe a bit more of a robust design. For the home user though, it’s a great tool everyone should have.
4. DeWalt 3-Way Self-Levelling Ultra Bright Multi-Line Laser
The DeWalt 3-Way Self-Levelling Ultra Bright Multi-Line Laser is another decent innovation as far as finding the best laser level goes. It is by far the best laser level we have reviewed and probably has the brightest laser of any model with the added benefit of the 90-degree reference lines. This tool features three laser beams, including a 90-degree angle plumb line, making it handy for applications requiring a 90-degree layout, as already mentioned.
One feature we do really like, and one that makes it much easier to adjust, is the micro-adjust knob that allows you to adjust the beam in small increments without having to remove it from position entirely and reposition it again, this is a very handy feature.
The laser level has a visible range of 15m, but the working range can be extended to 50m with a laser beam detector like the DeWalt Laser Detector. It also has a built-in pivot bracket for easy mounting on metal surfaces, thus allowing the tool to be useful during ceiling installation. This tool is accurate to ± 1/8 inch at 30ft and it self-levelling for up to ±4 degrees. A single button control makes the tool easy and hassle-free to use.
When it comes to the build, it features an over-moulded housing with an IP54 rating for maximum protection against water and dust. It also makes for a durable tool able to withstand extended periods of use at a job site and has been drop tested from around 3ft and will still remain calibrated.
Supplied with the tool is a storage box for safe transportation to and from a job site. The DeWalt 3-Way Laser Level is a class 2 laser with 1mW to light its three laser beams, so it is very bright, certainly brighter than the older models and most other laser levels we have reviewed.
The laser level is battery operated and runs on 4 AA batteries with a runtime of up 30 hours and this should give you around 2 weeks of use if you use it daily for a large portion of the day. The item weighs about 700g and measures 11.3 x 10.6 x 4.8 inches, making it compact yet solid enough for taking to and from the job site. The product is guaranteed tough and reliable by a 3-year limited warranty, 1-year free service and 90 day money back guarantee so you get the DeWalt peace of mind we are all accustomed to.
- 3-beam line laser to assist in 90-degree layout.
- Integrated magnetic pivot bracket mounts easily on metal surfaces.
- The pendulum class cage is encased in a metal case for better durability and avoid the glass from being damaged.
- Can be used at an angle for fitting a stair rail etc.
- 2 x brighter diode increases visibility in bright conditions such as during sunny days.
- Control panel with 1 button operation for ease of use.
- Accurate to up to ± 1/8 at 30ft for level tasks.
- Micro adjust knob for accurate alignment of 90-degree crisscrossing lines over long distances.
- 3 year warranty when you register online and a 90 day money back guarantee.
- No problems to report, a little expensive for home use but worth every penny for anyone looking for a reliable and robust laser level packed with features.
The DeWalt 3-Way Self-Levelling Ultra Bright Multi-Line Laser level is a well-built tool that is durable enough for prolonged use on the job site, whether indoors or outdoors. This has an extremely bright diode light that increases visibility in bright construction areas and this is where it really stands out when you first use it. Thanks to its built-in magnetic pivot bracket, the tool can be easily mounted onto metal surfaces for increased convenience which is a nice feature. A ceiling mount is also part of it and the tool’s one-button operation makes it super easy to use, probably the easiest to use of any of the models, despite its added features.
The featured micro-adjust knob improves the accuracy of 90-degree alignment of intersecting lines and the other very useful and noticeable added features. Small projects such as door and window installations are quick and a breeze, and even bigger ones like wall mapping and floor layouts are made simple by this self-levelling laser. When it comes to drywall applications and installing acoustic ceilings, the plumb line feature holds a huge advantage too.
Lastly, the manufacturer is 100% confident that this product will meet your needs that they offer a generous guarantee of 3 solid years. The 12 months of free service is also an add-on that you don’t get anywhere else. All things considered, this laser level is perfect for professional construction tradesmen or anyone simply looking for the very best in laser level tool. Excellent features and a decent price too all things considered.
5. Bosch Quigo Cross Line Laser Level
BEST DIY PICK
The Bosch Quigo Cross Line Laser Level is a basic model designed to enable DIYers to elevate their creativity to greater heights. The tool is self-levelling and projects a cross line laser onto a wall as soon as you open the box. It also features an incline function that allows you to project diagonal lines and this will definitely come in handy for some people. This enables quick and easy alignment of drilling positions as well as hanging pictures. This tool is additionally perfect for marking areas of tiling and wall decorations.
The laser lines are remarkably visible due to the integrated high-performance laser diodes, however, there’s a big difference between more expensive models, that’s to be expected, but for the price it is pretty good. It’s worth mentioning though that it isn’t suitable for outdoors because the laser is not bright enough for that.
This laser level delivers reliable results within a working range of up to 7 meters which isn’t bad. Weighing a mere 250g it is the lightest model on our list and measuring just 6.5 x 6.5 x 6.5cm is also the most compact. This tool is compact and particularly handy overall. The tool is supplied with an MM2 clamp that can be fixed to any object using its clamping foot and adjustment screw, allowing for hands-free working. The clamping foot can be nicely fastened on any material with a thickness ranging from 1cm to 6cm, such as stool, doors, shelves and stepladders. This makes it very useful for home DIY jobs because it gives you plenty of attachment options.
This laser has a self-levelling range of ±4° along with a levelling accuracy of ±0.8 mm / m which is enough for home use. When it’s not possible for the laser level to conduct self-levelling due to larger irregularities, the laser pops up a red light to alert you. It can also be locked at an angle so you can use the laser displayed at an angle if needed such as on stairs etc. The tool requires 2 x 1.5V AAA batteries, which come included.
- Projects both horizontal and vertical lines at the same time.
- Self-levelling, thus always 100% straight.
- Adjustable cross laser for creating inclined lines
- Supplied with MM2 bracket for easy mounting on most materials includes chairs, tables, doors and can also be fastened to a wall too.
- Fits all conventional tripods due to an integrated ¼ ‘’ thread.
- Soft-grip for a comfortable hold.
- 3 year warranty when you register online.
- The lines are too weak to be used outside so this tool is only suitable indoors.
This compact laser level provides beginner DIYers with the capacity to work accurately, with a right angle laser cross and straight lines. The tool doesn’t need manual levelling but will let you know of irregularities with a red flashing light. Highly accurate, this will let users make confident measurements each and every time without any serious hassles. It is definitely one of the most physically small laser levels on the market and the supplied MM2 mount ensures it can be mounted on a clamp or tripod with ease.
Whether mounting shelves evenly in the kitchen, hanging pictures horizontally or whatever needs to be done in the house, this tool will come in handy. The Bosch Quigo Cross Line Laser Level is fast, precise and very easy to use, making it the perfect tool for the less experienced guys is probably one of the best models in its price range.
6. Bosch PLL 360 Cross Line Laser
Levelling across four walls has never been this simple. Thanks to the unique laser technology of the Bosch PLL 360 Cross Line Laser, you can project a horizontal laser line over 360° at the touch of a button. This makes DIY projects a doddle and eliminates human error in the process. The device has self-levelling capability and it takes just seconds to achieve that, ensuring fast and easy operations. No manual adjustment is required at all.
Because the cross line laser emits a 360-degree horizontal line all-around a room and front-facing 120° cross laser line. Whether you need to hang pictures, put shelves or curtain rails, align kitchen cupboards, hang wallpaper straight and do tiling on the wall, this is the perfect laser for the job. The laser line is visible up to a diameter of 20m. This device also gives a vertical laser line with a 120-degree fan angle, enabling you to conduct applications in the entire room; on the ceiling, walls and floor with exceptional results.
Integral to this function is a lock function that allows you to work with diagonal lines at any angle. Putting pictures in the stairway or setting up a hand railing is now easier than ever. In addition, the PLL 360 is incredibly easy to operate due to the intuitive on/off switch.
Supplied with this cross line laser is a multi-mount feature, which allows you to easily set the tool to the exact working height. The flexible multi-mount can even function as a mini-stand on the floor for aligning floors and arranging furniture, as well as a holder on the wall that is perfect for wallpapering and painting. There’s even a separately sold Bosch TP320 telescopic pole that gives even more flexibility. Added into the mix, it can provide height adjustment up to 3.2m from floor to ceiling.
- Automatic self-levelling within seconds.
- Delivers perfectly levelled horizontal and vertical lines.
- Soft-grip for improved handling and control.
- Intuitive on/off switch.
- Comes with a multi-mount for height adjustment.
- Supplied with a carry case for easy storage and transportation.
- The stand isn’t that good and an upgrade may be needed for professionals.
This Bosch PLL 360 Cross Line Laser is more of a DIY tool than a contractor’s companion. The laser is self-levelling, emits horizontal and vertical lines simultaneously and has a simple ON/OFF switch. It comes with a multi-mount that can be fixed to step ladders, fixed doors and such objects so you can work at the height you want. You can also get the most out of this tool if you invest in the optional Bosch TP320 telescopic pole. The level is accurate across 20 metres and shows a clear line. This device also comes with 4 Li-Ion batteries, so it’s ready to use out of the box.
Getting started – Buyer’s Guide
What type of laser level do you need?
There are three main types of laser levels and these include cross line lasers, rotary lasers and dot lasers. The most popular type by far is the line lasers, also known as cross-line lasers, that project a straight line either vertically, horizontally or both onto a wall or ceiling. Some more advanced models can also project a 360-degree line right around the room.
Most models can be fastened to a tripod (including most camera tripods) and this enables them to be placed just about anywhere. Some models even come with clamp and wall attachments, as well as the ability to stick to steel surfaces because they have a built-in magnet.
As you can see, there are many types available, which is why it’s very easy to get confused when comparing the different models available. In our review, we are going to focus on cross-line lasers and the best rotary laser levels because they are the most versatile models and the ones most people will use.
Below we quickly go over the different types available in more detail.
Cross line laser levels
Cross-line laser levels are generally the most versatile and probably the only laser level most of us will need. The best cross line laser levels will produce a vertical line, a horizontal line or both together at up to 64 to 100 feet and this means you can also check the squareness as well as ensure it’s straight and level.
If you use them together it forms a right angle and this can be useful for jobs like tiling or fitting kitchen cabinets, installing partition walls, dropping the ceiling, installing shelves and other fixtures that you need to fasten to a wall or ceiling. Basically, any job where a virtual chalk straight line (vertical or horizontal) is needed. Some models you can lock the laser and rotate the device to form a straight line at an angle. This can be very useful for using on stairs where you need a straight precise line, but at an angle. This would aid in fitting a stair rail or putting pictures along the wall going up the stairs.
Most models are better suited for indoor use because the laser can be difficult to see in the sun, that being said, some models have much better diodes and can now be used outdoors because the laser is more visible in brighter conditions or can be used with a laser detector, which we talk about briefly a few paragraphs down.
Rotary laser levels
Rotary laser levels project a 360-degree laser right around a room, like cross-line lasers. If you are levelling something in a room it will project the laser on all four walls at the same time. Examples of what you may use one for include, lowering ceilings, fitting a new partitioning wall, installation of electrical and lighting layouts like plugs and switches. As well as projecting a horizontal 360° line they also project a vertical line similar to that of a dotted line or plum line.
Laser pointer (Dot lasers)
Laser pointers produce a solid dot on the surface instead of a laser line. Some models can produce three dots, one upright, one down, and one usually straight across. These are perfect for where you might have previously used a manual plum line.
Do you need a laser detector?
Laser detectors also are known as receivers and are used to find the laser level when you’re unable to physically see it. For example, if you are working outdoors in bright conditions and are unable to see the laser. This is when you can use a laser detector to find the laser level, even if you cannot see it. If you have a laser level with pulse mode, often fitted to cross line lasers, they are usually compatible with a laser detector. However, it’s best to check first before buying a laser level just in case you want to purchase a laser detector at a later date.
Some laser level models can double their projection distance, but after a certain distance the laser is not visible, the laser detector can then be used in these situations to locate the laser level. For example, the Bosch GLL 3-80 Professional Line Laser Kit can be used to project a laser line up to 40 meters, but its range is extended to 80 meters when used with a laser receiver.
How to choose the best laser level
Laser levels come with different features depending on the model you choose, some are simpler and perfect for home DIY jobs and by their very designs are very simple to use. More advanced models have more features you might want to consider. Below is a quick overview of some of the important features and what they will mean to you.
Self-levelling laser levels
This simply means the device will level itself and will save you time having to adjust the laser to get it level. Some models are not self-levelling and this means you need to ensure it’s completely level before using it. This is done using a bubble level to make sure the laser is level centred. The best models, which include all the products listed in our review, are self-levelling models. Even if placed on a slightly uneven level, it will still project a perfectly straight line because they have an internal pendulum.
Self-levelling Compensation (degrees)
When the laser level is placed on a slightly uneven surface, this is how much in degrees, it can be out and still project an accurate level line. It’s usually about 4 degrees for most models. The lower the degrees of compensation, the more accurate the laser level. Most are accurate to ±0.2 – ±0.2. mm/m.
Look for an out of level Indicator feature
If the laser level is out of level, it will usually make a beeping noise or the laser line will constantly flash to alert you. This is obviously important because you don’t want to use the laser line as a guide if it’s not perfectly level.
Projecting laser lines at an angle
In some cases, you may want to project a straight line at an angle. This is ideal for situations where you might not want a level line, for example, you may want to hang pictures on the wall of the stairs or fit a stair rail. Don’t assume that an expensive model will have this feature because quite often they don’t. In fact, most of the cheaper home DIY types models such as Bosch Quigo Cross Laser Level (although some advanced models) have this feature as well.
How far do you need the laser to project?
This is the total distance a laser can be projected and be seen by the naked eye. A good range is around 7 to 10 meters with more advanced models projecting up to 40 meters or more, however, you sometimes need a laser extender to extend the distance and also locate the laser level if you cannot see it.
Number of beams that can be projected and type
This means the laser level can project a vertical line and horizontal line at the same time to form right angles that can be useful for certain jobs, such as tiling, building stud walls and hanging pictures perfectly straight.
This simply means that all the beams can be switched on individually, this can be useful if you only need to use the horizontal or vertical line on their own. This can also save on battery power and prolong battery life.
Low battery indicator
This means the laser level has a warning light when the battery is getting low so you can replace or charge the device before it runs out of power. Most models take normal AA batteries and can use lots of power, not a deal-breaker but worth taking into consideration.
Is it tripod mountable?
This means the device has a screw thread so it can be mounted into a tripod. Most models can be attached to a standard camera tripod which is often much cheaper than tripods designed for laser levels but can do the same job too.
Does it have a magnetic mount?
This means it has a built-in magnet so you can attach it to metal surfaces, you can buy floor to ceiling poles that make using some laser levels easier because you can project directly below them as well.
Look for at least a 2-year warranty and don’t forget to register online to extend the warranty
All models come with some sort of warranty that ranges from 12 months to 3 years, depending on the model. Most trusted brands such as Bosch and DeWalt come with 2-3 years. Both Bosch and DeWalt will extend the warranty for free to 3 years if you register your laser level online. It’s important to remember to do this because the warranty is only for 1 year if you don’t register your product. Don’t get caught out as some people have done by not extending the warranty.
Build quality, will it cope with building site conditions?
Some models are designed for light domestic use at homes, such as putting up pictures or shelves, and the build quality is simply not suitable for more demanding work environments. Professional models are designed to be more heavy-duty, should withstand being knocked off their tripod as well as are dustproof and waterproof for obvious reasons. Professional, often bulky models, are for the most demanding situations such as building sites and other locations where they get consistent use.
By now, you should be in a good position to know which cross line laser level to purchase. A laser level saves so much time, money and effort needed to perform jobs that requires top-notch precision. If you consider yourself a serious construction professional, invest in a durable laser level, especially from brands such as Makita, DeWalt and Bosch.
Even if construction is not part of your day job, having one can, for instance, help you check the alignment of furniture in your home at the push of a button. Finally, we lean towards the Makita SK104Z Cross Line Laser as our top pick, but which model is the best laser level for you?
Last update on 2024-02-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API