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Laser levels offer accuracy, consistency and convenience. The best self-leveling laser levels can make all the difference and are easy to use. By projecting a laser beam throughout a room or job site to provide a reference point for a project, laser levels can do everything a spirit level or bubble level can do and more. They can even handle bigger jobs, such as hanging ledger boards for deck projects.
With hands-on testing of several of the best laser levels on the market, the following picks provide reliable results that can help you when purchasing your tool.
Best Overall: DeWalt DW089K 3-Beam Line Laser Level
Great Value: Black+Decker BDL190S Line Laser With Stud Finder
Upgrade Option: Bosch GLL3-330CG 360° Green Beam Tri-Planar Laser
Best for Light: Skil LL932201 360° Self-Leveling Red Cross Line Laser
Best for Heavy Duty: Klein Tools 93LCLS Red Crosshair Laser Level
Best for Outdoor Use: Huepar 621CG 3D Crosshair Laser Level
Most Compact: Bosch GLL 30 Self-Leveling Crosshair Laser Level
I have tested all of the models below to make the shopping experience easier. All of the laser levels listed passed my tests, even when the roads were particularly bumpy.
Note: All of the laser levels listed below proved to be very accurate, well beyond what I could test with a standard bubble level (although I checked each one several times during the test). In addition, every model except the Black+Decker model has tripod compatibility, and all pendulums lock into place except the DeWalt model.
Whether for DIY use or professional workplaces, DeWalt's line laser level has you covered. The laser features three self-leveling red beams (one horizontal line and two vertical dual-beam lasers) to level and aligns virtually any project. It features precision to within ⅛ inch at 30 feet and has a fine adjustment knob on top that allows the user to dial in the beam for perfect alignment.
During testing, the DeWalt laser level proved to be one of the easiest levels to set up and use. It has a magnetic backing plate and a beam clamp for attaching an angle iron, although most of my testing involved placing it on a flat surface. The red laser is very bright and easy to see. The factor that pushes the DeWalt level to the top is its rugged design. It's not the largest laser level, but it is one of the heaviest and most rugged, and drop tests left it essentially unscathed. The only thing it can't do is project a 360-degree beam.
For those who don't need all the features of the top-of-the-line models, the Black+Decker BDL190S is a good choice at an affordable price. It's not the type of laser level that can do major projects or renovations, but for tapping level lines while hanging pictures or shelves, it gets the job done.
This best-value laser level has some nice features, including a stud finder and wire detection. the BDL190S comes with a hook to attach to the wall with a large pin, and once hung, the laser will level itself.
During testing, the Black+Decker served its purpose. It projected a perfect self-leveling line to the left and right and quickly stabilized. In one part of the wall, the beam seemed to brighten and become a little harder to see, but this was due to a bow in the wall, which is typical of wall-mounted laser levels. In addition, the beam detector feels good to the touch and seems to work well.
The downside to the Black+Decker is that it requires the user to poke a small hole in the wall to mount it, which can break the deal on concrete or brick surfaces. In addition, it projects only one horizontal line.
Shoppers who are looking for a model that can do it all and don't mind spending a little more on one of the best brands may want to consider the Bosch GLL3-330CG. This self-leveling model has a 360-degree horizontal plane laser and two 360-degree vertical plane lasers that provide a horizontal reference line for any job. The green laser is visible within a maximum diameter of 330 feet.
The advanced features of the GLL3-330CG may be overlooked. The leveler monitors its battery life and adjusts the beam for optimal visibility and usage time. It also has internal sensors that detect collisions and drops and alert to calibration problems.
The Bosch laser level proved to be an important piece of machinery during testing. I have no way to measure its accuracy relative to other laser levels, but I have no reason to doubt that it is more accurate than other laser levels (3/32 inches at 30 feet, not ⅛ inch). The three 360-degree planes are easy to view and use.
After I dropped the GLL3-330CG 3 times, it logged a calibration error that required logging into the app to clear. This was more beneficial than the problem because it was easy to clear and did warn of the shock. Also, I like that this level offers a flexible source of batteries (rechargeable or replaceable). The only problem? While it is the best 360-degree laser level on this list, the unit is a bit pricey.
Every DIY hobbyist has different needs, and high-end, expensive, heavy-duty laser levels aren't always a priority. For those who prefer something lighter and more affordable, the Skil 360° Self-Leveling Red Cross Laser Level is worth a look. the Skil has all the necessary features, including horizontal and vertical lasers and 360-degree coverage, but looks a little less impressive. The result is a powerful but minimalist laser level at a much lower price, and it even comes with a tripod to set it at any height.
The Skil was the surprise of the hands-on test. It is a powerful, lightweight model. For its price and intended use, it is well-built and durable, while being very easy to set up and use. It also stabilizes quickly. While the tripod is not of the highest quality, it was one of the only units tested that allowed the laser to be positioned at an angle.
For professional-grade lasers, the Klein Tools 93LCLS laser level meets most requirements but has some features not found in other models. the Klein Tools 93LCLS has both vertical and horizontal beams, but it also has a plumb point finder that projects above and below the horizontal plane, which can be a real asset when installing conduit, ducting or suspended ceilings. It also has multiple mounting options, including a magnetic mount with 360-degree rotation and a dedicated mount for ceiling tracks.
What the 93LCLS lacks in constant 360-degree laser, the ability to rotate it on the mount while maintaining level helps compensate for this shortcoming. Multiple mounting options make it versatile.
Testing of the 93LCLS laser level has shown that the Klein is an oversized, rugged, and reliable laser level. The laser is easy to see, and the lead hammer point is a feature I wish I had on a few recent projects, as it is much faster to use than an actual lead hammer or level. It is also very easy to set up. The one downside to this particular level is that for the price, it should probably offer a 360-degree beam.
The Huepar 3D crosshair laser level is an interesting choice for outdoor use. It's a highly visible model with a 360-degree laser, but it's cheap enough that users don't have to worry about it as much as they would if they were buying a much more expensive model. It is IP54 water and dust resistant and is great for building decks, leveling small lots and installing siding.
The Huepar Outdoor Laser Level has two laser planes: a vertical plane and a 360-degree horizontal plane. The green 360-degree laser is easy to see, especially outdoors. It also has a range of 180 feet, but users can only use it in power-saving pulse mode.
During testing, the Huepar proved to be a high-quality laser level with a bright green beam and easy-to-use pulse mode. the 360-degree horizontal plane was also very good, especially when leveling large outdoor areas.
However, the areas where Huepar performed the worst were stable. During testing, the laser vibrated far more than other models, which could indeed reduce line accuracy, although it stabilized when all movement stopped. In addition, it has plumb point indicators above and below it, which is a nice and rare feature.
Having a crosshair laser level within easy reach at all times may seem like a luxury, but with Bosch's compact and affordable GLL 30, it can be a reality. This compact laser level features both vertical and horizontal red laser beams and provides 5/16-inch accuracy at 30 feet. With its small footprint, it fits easily into a tool kit or toolbox, ensuring it's always available.
The Bosch crosshair laser level is not large enough to accommodate much high-end hardware, so its compact form factor sacrifices a bit of accuracy. However, I found no problems with its accuracy during my testing, and it was very easy to set up. It also comes with a multi-position mount with clips for attaching various objects and the ability to position the laser at any angle or plane (something almost no other level can do).
Options for the best laser level can vary greatly in accuracy, functionality and ease of use for each product. Before selecting a laser level for your needs, consider the intended use of the level and the type of beam required.
It may not be obvious, but the color on a laser level makes a big difference. There are two options - red and green - and they each have advantages and disadvantages.
Red lasers are less powerful but have a much shorter battery life. These lasers are also less expensive to purchase, which is why many of the best models on the market continue to rely on the red laser beam.
Green lasers are more visible from greater distances and are more likely to be used for sunlit outdoor projects. However, they are also more expensive than red lasers and can be more damaging to the user's eyes.
For these reasons, many professionals have both red and green lasers and use them for projects that play to their strengths.
The hallmark of any good level is accuracy, whether it's a level or a high-tech laser model. The best laser levels will list a certain level of accuracy on the package or in the manual. However, as a rule of thumb, look for models that are off by less than ⅛ inch at 30 feet to get true dial-in results.
However, keep in mind that the best self-leveling laser will provide the most accurate laser level, which is higher than what the DIYer can achieve using the spirit option. Keeping a level perfectly and perfectly level is very difficult, although the result is often adequate. Laser levels work on a similar principle with improved accuracy.
One of the most important features of any high-quality laser level is the beam direction option. Depending on budget, some models have up to three directional planes: two vertical dual-beam lasers and one horizontal direction, where one or more planes maybe 360 degrees.
While the use of horizontal and vertical beams is obvious, the utility of the best 360-degree laser level cannot be overstated. 360-degree beams can help hang pictures of an entire room quickly and accurately, or they can help users tap into the perfectly horizontal part of the yard. In addition, for projects like suspended ceilings, having the most accurate laser level on hand is critical to the strength of the finished product.
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