10 Best Laser Levels Reviews & Price Comparison
Not many people know the importance of aligning particular horizontal or vertical elements of a construction project correctly. Many people buy ready-made houses and buildings and find that the shelves, artwork, fences, and many more installations are in seamless synchronization. They have never seen something contrary, and hence they never stop to question how it is done. On the other hand, since DIYers often learn through trial and error, they have probably tried putting up some things on their wall only to find that individual lines are crooked. As a result, the outcome of their handiwork is quite disappointing.
Just picture having endeavored to put tiles in your bathroom only to realize you got it all wrong and will, therefore, have to start over. A laser level should help you avoid such a scenario. It should indicate where to place certain things resulting in perfect alignment. There are however very many options to choose from with different capabilities. Professionals with experience will find it easier to select as they know what to look for and how particular levels apply to the work they do. Amateurs won’t have such an easy time.
Our Top 3 Picks
- Dewalt DW089LG
- Bosch GLL3-80
- Dewalt DW088LG
Consequently, we have compiled a list of the top ten laser levels, their pros, and cons along with their features. We have also provided a guide as to what to look for in a laser level. These guides should make the process a lot easier on first timers and could even help professionals break a tie between two options. If however, you feel we missed something you could point it out in the comments section below.
10 Best Laser Levels
1. DEWALT DW089LG
Additionally, the fact that it has three 360 degree lasers will result in a whole room no matter how big the size being mapped and leveled accurately from a single standpoint. It eliminates the need to have an extra pair of hands while leveling installations as well as the need to carry a secondary laser level. Nonetheless, some features stood out from the rest such as:
12V battery - This rechargeable battery solves the issue of always having to replace old cells with new ones. As if that’s not enough the battery life under normal circumstances is pretty long. It is, therefore, an ideal option for projects that are extraordinarily long.
A Locking pendulum – The over-molded housing does quite an excellent job of protecting the exterior of the 89LG. The inner parts could, however, get damaged if the unit was to take a tumble. The locking pendulum feature has this covered. It preserves the integrity of the interior components all the while it also has some practical work applications such as locking the laser.
The laser range is quite impressive indoors while outdoors it performs on par with most of Dewalt’s line-up. A maximum of 165 feet with the aid of an optional laser detector. Its power output stands at 1.5mW meaning that it is a class 2 laser. In fact, most of the lasers in this list have an output of more than 1.0mW and are therefore in the same class as 89LG.
Three 360 degree lasers, all green in color
Magnetic bracketing to allow attachment to metal surfaces
An IP65 rating
12V power rechargeable battery
Over-molded body housing
Locking mechanism for the pendulum
Who is it for?
Due to its relatively high cost and the fact that it has some pretty high-end features we are of the opinion that this is a unit for professionals who want a single tool for all their leveling needs. The green color of the laser for enhanced visibility should also tell you that it would work well with individuals who work a lot in bright conditions.
- Enhanced visibility
- Long life rechargeable battery
- The package comes with extra gear
- Magnetic base to attach to metal surfaces is quite strong
- Three-year warranty cover
- This unit falls on the pricier side of the cost spectrum.
2. Bosch GLL3-80
Three 360 degree laser lines – Using this feature a user can map up a whole room inclusive of the ceiling, walls, and floor by pushing a button. The applications for this are numerous whether they involve installations such as tiles, cabinets and even ceiling installations.
Added range – This particular laser coupled with a line laser receiver that can be bought independently could work some pretty long distances. 265 feet to be exact even in bright conditions. Huge projects could benefit from such a device.
This unit also uses one button for all its controls and hence would require minimal training to master its functions. The Bosch GLL3-80 is currently IP54 rated and is thus dust and water resistant. It also features a rubber housing on some of its parts. Consequently, the unit presents itself as quite hard to damage meaning users should be able to get the most out of it for a long duration of time.
Also included are indicators to show various modes. The GLL3-80 uses the AA battery system which might come off as a disadvantage to some. The tool ships with four AA batteries so that users can get started the moment they receive the unit. There is also the option of switching off self-leveling when working in areas such as slopes and the like.
Three 360 degree laser lines
65 feet range expandable to 265 feet with a receiver
Line accuracy is within ¼ of an inch at 100 feet
An 18-hour battery life
A self-leveling system with a smart locking pendulum
Limited three-year warranty
Wall mount included
Who is it for?
The Bosch GLL3-80 3 plane leveling alignment laser is a unit for people with deeper pockets than most and who are looking to have all top of the line features in one kit. It is quite versatile and hence would be useful for any number of professionals.
- This tool offers a vast range of coverage with its beam
- Alerts the user visually and audibly when out of level
- The user can turn off self-leveling if the situation dictates it
- The micro-adjustable mount helps in adjusting lines when need be
- The laser line produced is quite broad as compared to other models
- The unit is a bit pricey
3. DEWALT DW088LG
Green laser – This particular feature makes it so that the laser is about four times as bright as the red one. Translated it means that it is four times as visible as red lasers to the naked eye. This also increases the range of the laser which tops out at 100 feet indoors.
12V lithium battery – This is a rechargeable unit thereby it helps save money on battery purchase. It is also relatively reliable once fully charged. This perk nevertheless has a fatal flaw. When the battery is low, the laser will be practically unusable because it flickers continuously.
It’s a pretty solid piece of leveling equipment that is guaranteed to give value for money. Additionally, it comes with a set of accessories needed to maximize its usage. Among them are laser glasses and a target card right along with the battery and charger.
Two green lines. Horizontal and vertical
100 feet indoor visibility
12V rechargeable battery
Over-molded casing for the tool
IP65 water and debris resistance rating
Magnetic pivot bracket for attaching to metal surfaces
Pulse mode for use with a detector
Who is it for?
The price sits moderately on the scale between cheap and expensive. This is, however, an outstanding quality laser that can be used for all types of projects within a moderate range whether outside or in a building. Overall it is a product that could prove useful to both DIYers and professionals alike.
- Bright lines
- Sturdy magnetic bracket easily attaches to surfaces
- Pendulum lock
- Very durable unit
- Rechargeable battery saves on cost
- The laser line gets more significant at the corners of the plumb lines
4. DEWALT DW089K
The third vertical beam – This should allow users to carry this one unit to their construction projects for layout applications. This process would generally need more equipment or the help of an assistant to work. Overall this makes it easier for an individual to carry lighter gear as they go about their work.
The universal wall mount – Sometimes in construction one of the hardest parts is figuring out how to attach a level to the ceiling for leveling jobs that may require that. The 89K comes with its mount that should be able to connect on walls and ceilings.
Anyone new to using a laser level should have no issues with this unit. After all, it only has one button that one can use for all its controls. As a user, you have to press the button multiple times until your desired settings come on, and you’re good to go. The micro adjust knob might also come in quite handy as it allows users to modify any of the layout lines in small increments. When looking for a specific mark, this could be quite useful. Additionally, this DEWALT also has quite a long range when used with a detector. Up to 165 feet.
3-beam line laser
1 button control and operation
30 hours runtime with 4 AA batteries
Accurate to the tune of 1/8 inch at a distance of 30 feet
2X brighter red laser than previous models
Metal roll cage to prevent damage and increase durability
A magnetic pivot bracket allows the unit to stick to metal surfaces
Who is it for?
DEWALT DWO89K is a tool best suited to professionals looking to carry only one level as they go about with their various projects. The price point is moderate and hence is for people who don’t have money to splurge but want something quality for their budget.
- Quite affordable as compared to other brands with similar features
- Dewalt DW089K comes with a carrying case
- Long battery life
- Easy to use
- It doesn’t have a pendulum lock which is a feature that you can in some of DEWALT’s other models
- The unit is quite heavy and hence may slide down a metal stud when fastened magnetically
- Lack of a rechargeable battery may lead to more expenses in buying batteries
5. PLS180 Red Cross Line
The 6-degree self-leveling range – Whenever this particular unit is placed within 6 degrees of level it will be able to correct that by bringing the laser to where it should be. Therefore so long as the user sets it within a reasonable range, then he can comfortably go about marking lines for installations on his project.
Magnetic dampening technology – The laser might present itself as shaky while trying to find a level since this system is self-leveling as stated above. To counter this problem, PLS has put in a magnetic part alongside the pendulum to help stabilize the laser. Job sites are more often than not prone to lots of activity resulting in vibrations that may interfere with the level. This system also accounts for that and guarantees to stay level despite a shaky environment.
This unit ships with a carrying case to protect it in transport, the first set of batteries as well as a soft pouch. Outdoors it could work up to a range of about 200 feet which is quite impressive with the pulse mode alongside an SLD detector.
Three-year limited warranty
Two crossing 180-degree red lines
6 degrees of self-leveling range
1/8 of an inch accuracy at about 30 feet
Long battery life
The unit comes with a wall bracket
Who is it for?
Given the relatively small size, the PLS180 is something that is easy to carry. Users looking for a remarkably portable unit should consider this option. The price point is reasonably decent and won’t need the user to go too much out of pocket to pay for it.
- Laser line settles quickly
- Lines are visible and crisp
- Bracket magnets are sturdy and useful
- Easily damaged
- Might require more than one unit when working on ceiling, wall, and floor at the same time
6. Bosch Self-Leveling
The BM3 positioning device – It is mostly an accessory that comes with this particular tool. It allows the user to make micro adjustments to the placing of the laser and hence make micro-corrections to the level and plumb lines when that specific need arises.
The accuracy – This particular tool will produce accurate lines even at 100 feet. The only difference would be a maximum of a ¼ inch.
Users at 65 feet while indoors will be able to see the laser clear as day. Outside they might need the assistance of a receiver, but that should also increase the working range to 165 feet. It even has a strong magnetic base to allow it attach to metallic surfaces at a moment’s notice.
65 feet indoor range
BM3 positioning attachment
Smart pendulum system
Who is it for?
Given that the price is reasonably moderate and that the features quite good this unit could be of use to any individual taking up a leveling assignment. It is worth every penny spent on it.
- Lines projected are entirely
- Easy to use
- The BM3 device allows the unit to connect to various surfaces
- The lines fade in bright lighting conditions
7. Bosch Laser GLL 55
Long and accurate indoor range – While indoors the laser will be visible from a distance of up to 50 feet. The accuracy at such a distance is also pretty high end. It guarantees a maximum deviation of about 1/8 of an inch at 33 feet.
Locking pendulum mechanism – During transport the interior components of a laser level can get damaged making it impossible to perform as expected. With this in mind, Bosch included a lock mechanism that should help protect critical components whether stationary or in motion.
The kit also comes with a hard carrying case to protect the unit when not in use. Bosch also used their Visimax technology in the making of the GLL 55 to enhance the brightness of the beam in regular use conditions.
A locking pendulum for interior protection
The IP54 rating and certification against dirt and water damage
1/8 inch accuracy at 33 feet
Who is it for?
The Bosch GLL 55 cannot be classified as a professional grade laser. It is quite adequate if all the user does is work on small indoor projects. It is probably not worthwhile if you are looking for a laser to use on a lot of outdoors projects. It is also pocket-friendly in comparison with a few of the options stated on this list.
- Easy to use
- Extremely affordable
- Lines are barely visible outdoors
8. DEWALT DW088K
Accuracy at 30 feet – This unit allows a margin of error of about 1/8 of an inch from the point where the laser level is positioned to about 30 feet away. Using the 88K professionals and DIYers alike can rest easy knowing that whether it is doors, windows, cabinets and even tiles they are all going to be perfectly level.
IP54 certification – It doesn’t matter how many times this unit encounters dust and water. It will remain in tip-top working condition and perform as expected. This is quite useful as most construction projects happen to be marred by dusty conditions.
The 88K boasts of two crossing red laser lines. While this isn’t on the same level as a three laser device, it gets the job done quite well. If a person is working on a project that needs attention on the floor as well as the walls and ceiling, then they might need to carry an additional unit to work or pay for an extra pair of hands. All in all, it’s a sturdy piece with some pretty decent capabilities. The price point also doesn’t hurt much.
Crossing horizontal and vertical lines
Extended laser range of about 165 feet
Magnetic base for attaching to metal surfaces
Three years of warranty coverage
Who is it for?
This is one of the more affordable options in the market. People who don’t have a lot of money to spend in purchasing a laser level should rest easy knowing that they can get something quality within their budget in this unit.
- Extremely durable
- Quite affordable
- Magnetic base attaches easily to surfaces
- Entirely accurate even at a distance of 50 feet
- No locking mechanism
- Lines are a bit on the dimmer side
9. Compact Self-Leveling Cross Line
Self-leveling – At the price point that this tool is currently at it’s hard to believe that it could have a self-leveling feature and yet it does. It works anywhere within 4 degrees of level, and if out of that range it will indicate this by use of a red LED indicator. It, however, turns green when brought close enough to self-level.
Includes clamp – The clamp that comes with this particular unit makes it quite easy to attach the tool to various surfaces. One does not need to purchase a tripod to use it effectively.
Manual mode on this unit will also allow the user to project lines that are not precisely level or plumb in situations or projects that require something of the sort.
Self-leveling within 4 degrees of level
LED indicator to show when the tool is not within 4 degrees of level
Clamp to attach to surfaces
Vertical and plumb cross lines
¼ inch accuracy at 30 feet
Who is it for?
The unit is quite cheap as mentioned earlier and is most suited for relatively small rooms. Resident DIYers would benefit most from this tool if they often work on indoor projects.
- Very affordable
- The tool includes features found in more expensive models
- The self-leveling feature is quite useful
- The line is not very visible in bright lighting conditions
10. Johnson Level and Tool 40-0921
Long range – the range on the 40 – 0921 unit will reach a maximum of about 100 feet from the position of the tool which is more than enough for most indoor applications.
Impressive self-leveling – Even better than some of the higher end more expensive units highlighted above this Johnson tool will self-level when placed within 6 degrees of level.
This tool projects two cross-line lasers. One vertical and one horizontal. Given the long-range indoors when placed on one side of the room it should allow level installations all around.
12-hour battery life
100 feet range
360 degree graduated base
Inner locking mechanism for protection of pendulum in transit
Who is it for?
This Johnson & level tool is a relatively cheap unit that should be purchased by people using a cross line laser for the first time. If you have a very tight budget, then you should consider this option.
- The tool ships with a tripod
- Long range beams
- This Johnson also comes with a hard carry case
- Red glasses are a bonus
- Accompanying tripod is very light
- The unit is susceptible to vibrations in the environment
- Tripod is also very short
What to consider when purchasing a laser level
Different laser levels come in a host of varying price levels. Like almost everything else the higher the price point, the more likely it will have some extra features. However, people buying a level should strive to remain within their budget limitations. Usually, they can find one to get the job done at a price point that they find comfortable.
The fact that laser levels are used mostly in construction dictates that you get something sturdy. Most construction materials are quite heavy, and there is a high likelihood of accidents happening. Something that won’t damage easily could significantly enhance your peace of mind as you go about your project. Waterproof and water resistance features are a bonus.
Laser range and accuracy
Depending on your project and your professional level you will need something that suits your needs. Professionals will need laser levels with a more extended range as they may use it in commercial projects as well as in residential properties. Your resident DIYer may only need it to work on a few projects around the house. He probably won’t be requiring a laser with a 100 feet range. Also, the longer the spectrum, the less accurate the laser is going to be. Nonetheless, some high tech lasers can guarantee accuracy at some pretty long distances.
Some come with batteries while some don’t. Then again more important than that is the battery life. Some projects may take entire days. If that particular laser’s battery life doesn’t measure up, then it could come off as extremely inconvenient for the user. Having to quit midway to recharge or change batteries is not everyone’s cup of tea.
Manual leveling may prove difficult for a person who doesn’t know what they are doing. Even if they do there is still a considerable margin for error. In spite of this, they do come in handy when one wants to project straight lines that are not exactly level. Self-leveling mechanisms are more comfortable to use and are pinpoint accurate when it comes to horizontal and vertical lines. The best thing to do would be to find one with both options.
Laser levels generally emit one of two colors. Cheaper more traditional models emit a red laser while the more pricey ones emit a green laser. The green one is considered to be about 400% brighter than the red one. As such green lasers improve visibility making them a lot easier to use. Still, in some settings, the difference is negligible.
Presence or absence of mounting clamps
Laser levels with this feature can easily attach on various surfaces. This makes it possible to operate hands-free and keeps them stable while in use. Whether or not they have a tripod mount is also another critical question to ask. Tripods would help in stabilizing the level.
Various companies make laser levels targeting specific consumer groups. Some are specific to outdoor usage and extra-long distances. These are more suited to big construction projects. There are also those that work better indoors and are quite handy in a home setting.
Is it possible to use laser levels outside during the day?
It is possible to use one outdoors during the day. It won’t be evident to the naked eye, and hence a laser detector will have to be used.
Does it hurt the user’s eyes?
It is possible for this to happen whereby in extreme cases a laser can cause flash blindness as well as permanent blindness. All in all these lasers are classified at various levels according to their output. Most of the options in the above list are classified as level 2 and should also come with warning labels pointing out the dangers involved in using such a device. Staring into the laser could prove especially disastrous.
What does the laser level’s IP certification mean?
The casing and mold of a particular unit may be put in place to keep certain elements out. The IP stands for Ingress protection which is a standard used all over the world to show just how good a particular gadget is at keeping various elements out. The weakest IP rating is denoted as 1 while the strongest as 8. A grade of 8 means a tool can even withstand full water submersion.
Should I choose the red or green beam?
It all depends on your requirements first and your budget second. While green beams are more visible, there are some scenarios where the red laser will be just as good. A green beam which happens to be more expensive most of the time may turn out to be redundant.
Do all options have the self-leveling feature?
Some of the cheaper and older models don’t have self-leveling capabilities. The user has to find level himself while all the tool does is project a straight line. These models are nevertheless being phased out as the self-leveling ones are much more convenient and easy to use.
How often should a laser get calibrated?
Lasers may lose their accuracy over time and extended use or due to damage. Users can manually check whether calibration is up to par and in fact, should do this quite often. This way they know that each project they work on has been done with the best tools available.
Lasers come in all shapes, sizes, and forms. There is a laser level for every budget as well as for every need. Professionals such as carpenters, electricians, plumbers and even the good old handyman can benefit from using these tools. In addition, doing some small time repairs could be made a little bit easier around the house with the purchase of a laser level. There are so many applications to such a tool that most people should at least have access to one.
It isn’t just enough to get one, but people should at least also try to have something quality regardless of budget constraints hence the above list. Do tell us what you think down below.