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What is the best laser level for construction? A self-leveling laser level could be considered the #1 top tool for builders, as with many trades-people. A good quality laser is arguably one of the most time-efficient tools a builder can utilize to making building faster and more accurate.
The best laser level for builders is either a 5 point or a 3X360 green laser level. Lecia and Dewalt make 5 point laser levels, while Dewalt makes the best full 3X360 tool following with Bosch.
For DIY and homeowners, the best laser level for the money is the SKIL LL932401 it is built better than the others in its class, and will let you do internal leveling jobs quickly.
Best laser level (5-point)
#3 Best value laser line
Leica lino L2P5 (old model)
#4 Best Johnson laser
Johnson level & tool 40-6685
#5 Best Makita 5 point laser level
#6 Best Bosch laser level
Best rotary laser level 3x360
#1 Best Dewalt 3x 360 rotary laser level
Top 360 deg and cross-line laser
#2 Bosch line laser with 360 level line
Bosch GLL 2-20
#3 Skill 360 laser
Best cross-line, laser level (3 beam)
#2 Best 3 beam Bosch laser
Bosch GLL 3-50
Best cross-line laser level
#1 Best cross-line laser level
Leica lino L2
#2 Best cross-line laser level for DIY
#4 Best Dewalt cross line laser level
Dewalt DW088LR 12V Cross Line Laser, Red
#6 Best Klein cross line laser
Klein tools 93LCL
#8 Hammerhead laser level
A laser line level, is a tool relied on by builders to accurately level, plumb, and square internal building set-out work. It’s pretty amazing really, that a tool like this can quickly give clear visible lines inside a room indicating the perfect level and plumb points.
With so many types of self-leveling tools out there it can be hard to decide on the best type of laser to buy, before even deciding on the best brand. In this laser level review, I have separated the best into the following categories.
- 5 point
- 3 line
- 360 rotary laser level
- 360 cross-line
- Cross-line laser
If you want some tips on how to use a laser level, have a look at my guide for more information.
Types of self-leveling lasers
3 Point vs. 5 pointers
Photo of an old Ramset 3 pointer
3 pointers are fine for plumbing door, and wall corners but that is pretty much al they can do. They lack needed setting out functionality for builders that a 5 point tool can do.
With a 5 pointer, 3,4,5 a measuring technique, used to check buildings for square is not required anymore, instead, the 5 dot laser is faster and not prone to human calculation errors.
Really trying to make this point clear that 5 point lasers are much more functional than the basic 3 point models. Sure they are a bit cheaper but in the long run, you would have wished you got the extra few dots, as the extra 2 dots of a 5 pointer allow you to use the tool as a giant square plan view.
Best builders laser level
If you want the most accurate piece of internal leveling equipment the Lecia Lino L2P5 is what you should aim for with a visible green line, and the best accuracy the Lecia Lino also has a rechargeable battery. This 5 point laser level is my top choice for builders.
A 3X 360 rotary laser level like the Dewalt DW089LG is even better for wall set-outs but is less portable for tricky jobs compared to a 5 pointer. A good trick if you have two of these 3X 360 line tools on site, is to put them both at opposite corners to each other and you can fully create the outline of a square room.
Laser level features
For an important tool like a self-leveling laser level, you should stick to the top few brands, as with any precise measuring equipment. You want a brand you can rely and trust on to build perfectly square and level within design tolerances.
Most measuring tools on the construction site need constant professional re-calibration and checking before expensive construction set out. As a tool not working correctly can cost 1000’s in rework. But a good laser with a locking pendulum can be used for many years without the need to think about recalibration.
Brands such as Leica Lino, Dewalt, Makita, Klein Tools, Bosch, and Skil. Are all brands known in the construction industry for a good tool. Don’t get a cheap knock off for measuring equipment.
Red vs. Green Laser
Most people prefer a green laser level as it is brighter and more visible to the human eye compared to the red version.
However green models tend to cost a bit more, and is it worth it? that’s up to you, there is nothing wrong with a red laser, a red line is still easy to see in most cases.
Most lasers run on 4 AA batteries, they are easy to replace and recharge. However, Dewalt and Leica Lino offer a lithium rechargeable battery, with longer working time.
This makes Dewalt and Lecia Lino stand out, as replacing AA laser batteries frequently can get annoying with regular use.
Outdoor laser level use
Laser levels work best indoors, as the sun can make it hard to identify the beam. Although most do come with a reflector that can help with daytime laser use. It might be better to get an additional: Electric sensor, that will make daytime use possible regardless of how bright the sun is.
Like I said above, a reflector does make outdoor laser level use possible but not perfect, if you don’t want to get an electric sensor, you could make a point to measure your heights early morning, or late afternoon.
It is important that you can easily mount your tool in a good position quickly. And to do this there are a few different mounting styles to chose from, to mount your laser at the right height.
Here are some things to look out for when it comes to mounting options your tool should have.
- Strong magnets in the base for quick attachment to steel or metal surfaces
- Thread for a standard construction tripod
- Thread for a standard camera tripod
- Hole in the base to hang the tool on a nail or screw, this is useful on timber walls.
Convenient mounting options make using a laser a breeze, some can be hard to position in the right spot if the mounting options above are not compatible.
Additionally, a base that is too close to the ground makes it difficult to use. You instead want a decent amount of room under the tool. This space gives you room to fit your pencil underneath. This is to see and mark the ground after plumbing a point down from the ceiling.
Good base clearance also lets you align your tool, to a mark on the ground’s surface, without getting an overly chunky base in your way.
Who else uses laser levels
Best laser level for homeowner or artist
Artists can hang paintings on the wall with a cheaper model. For simple picture hanging jobs and DIY jobs, a cross line laser is good for the money, and if you get a green laser it has better visibility.
The Skil cross-line laser is a surprising cheap to buy and can really help with some DIY leveling jobs compared to a hand-held level and it can be charged using only a USB plug.
Electricians utilize self-leveling equipment for perfectly aligning light fittings on ceilings. Electricians also use these tools for other jobs like straightening cable trays and making sure their wires are above the ceiling line.
A DIY enthusiast can get the building accuracy of a professional with a quality laser level.
Even though these tools are for inside leveling jobs, you can still use them to perfectly level things outside in low-light conditions such as in the evening, in the shade.
Click here for more information on how to level a yard with a laser.
You can also use the laser dot to transfer a mark from your floor to the ceiling, this means if you hang a tv ceiling mount you know the exact position it will stand.
These are just a few ideas on how a laser tool can help with your DIY projects.
A DIY’er might not constantly use the tool every day the battery life inst much of a factor for you. The older Lecia lino L2P5 could be the best choice for a serious DIY’er.
What is the most accurate laser level?
|Dot Accuracy At 15m||Dot Accuracy 16.4042 Yards|
|Leica Lino L2P5:||4.5mm||0.177165|
|Dewealt DW0825LG:||5.2 mm||0.204724|
As you can see Leica Lino performs with the best accuracy. Makita and Dewalt are not far behind. Really the accuracy from all models is good however the Leica Lino, dot, and line are cleaner and thinner than most models. The Makita also has decent laser line quality to bad the battery doesn’t last long.
How a self-leveling laser level works
A self-leveling laser level works in a similar way as a plumb bob except lasers are attached shooting, up, down, and at other 90 degree angles perfectly. Essentially a plumb bob with attached, light-emitting diodes inside a protective glass box.
The self-leveling works by what’s known as a pendulum (a weight). This pendulum works in the same way as a plumb bob would it self levels with its weight and gravity.
These light-emitting diodes are known as LED’S, both green, and, red are the most common colors however the green beams are noticeably more visible to the human eye vs the red beam.
Tips for using a laser level
An important self-leveling function is for the laser to flash when the tool isn’t level enough to self-level. This will immediately notify you of the user that the measuring tool has been knocked or moved and is not giving you a level line.
Good lasers have a pendulum lock on the side this stops the insides bumping around and getting damaged when the tool is being moved or bumped inside your rolling tool bag.
If you forget to lock the pendulum, it doesn’t mean your laser will get damaged. I see the pendulum locking feature as more of a long-term feature to stop the need for re-calibration.
The beam can be obscured if interfered with by any reflective objects like glass or a mirror. Sometimes heavy dust can interfere with the laser lines also, so watch out for that.
When using a laser level make sure to measure from the center of the dot or the line, as the laser points will become thicker with the greater the distance you are measuring.
The center of the dot, or line, is the most accurate point to work from. This is because the center of the line or dot remains the same and it is only the outside of the line or dot that grows wider with the greater the distance you are measuring.
Accuracy and speed is the reason to get a laser level, and what makes the best laser level. If you are a professional tradesman a high-quality green laser level will set you apart. If you are a DIY enthusiast a laser level can give you the accuracy of a professional.
For me I have used the red Leica lino L2p5 for 6+ years and it still works great. However, now the newer green model with better battery life and would be a better choice to buy new.
Otherwise, the Dewalt DW0825LG is for its better durability and has many more great features and battery life.
Leica also do some of the best laser distance measureing equipment that you can get to match.