Laser levels are an invaluable tool used in the construction industry for achieving perfectly straight and aligned lines for a project. They work by emitting a beam of red or green light onto the surface of a vertical or horizontal plane, and by following the projected lines or dots, you can flawlessly align your work on a straight line.
While the more common hydraulic levels are suitable for small projects, laser levels serve a wide range of applications from trivial tasks like hanging a picture to complex construction projects and are much more accurate than the hydraulic levels. Additionally, the lines and dots it projects on the surface serve as virtual chalk that can be easily referenced and followed for an inch-perfect placing.
Furthermore, unlike bubble levels, laser levels do not usually require a second person to help you hold them in place while you mark out lines or reference dots. Its ability to stand by itself and (as in the case of some models) self-level ensures that your hands are free to work, thus allowing for only a minimal possibility of human error. All you need to do is to follow the lines it projects.
This being said, getting a good laser level can often be the difference between an aesthetic straight surface and a curved (or worse, crooked) one. Before you get one, the factors to consider include your requirements and needs, personal preferences, budget, the kind of work to be done, and the size of the area where the work is to be done.
This guide is written to acquaint you with our Top 4 Best Laser Level For Framing. The lasers are easy to use and deliver high accuracy and precise projections, whether a wall, ceiling, or floor application. In addition, you will be equipped with the proper knowledge to make an informed decision should you ever want to purchase your laser level.
- 1. Savage 9 in. Lightning Lighted Magnetic Torpedo Level
- 2. Johnson Level and Tool 40-6080 12″ Magnetic Digital Laser Level
- 3. Stabila 35610 Extendable Plate to Plate Level
- 4. DEWALT DW088K Self-Leveling Cross Line Laser
- Related FAQs
- Factors to Consider Before Buying a Laser Level
1. Savage 9 in. Lightning Lighted Magnetic Torpedo Level
The Savage 9 in. Lighted Magnetic Torpedo Level (TLL049M) is Swanson’s most popular Torpedo Level. Like all other levels of the Torpedo family, it is made of highly durable and wear-resistant anodized billet aluminum. Still, it also has an added feature: lighted vial windows to make operation easy in low-light environments. The light is equipped with auto-off technology that turns the lights off after 15 minutes of no use to save battery life.
This Savage 9 in. level is fitted with three vials at 0°, 45°, and 90°. The vials are illuminated by an integrated battery-powered LED lighting system that uses Swanson’s Brightview™ technology. This technology captures and reflects light into each vial for maximum visibility even when the lights are turned off. The design of the vials guarantees that they will never lose their accuracy.
In addition, the TLL049M also comes with four neodymium magnets which are by far stronger than regular magnets, to ensure that your tool holds fast to metal surfaces when you’re on the job.
In terms of accuracy, this torpedo level is one of the most accurate in the market, boasting a 3x higher level of accuracy in comparison with other levels. It is accurate to 0.029, and its laser-engraved US metrics mean it is both easy to read and offers lifetime durability.
- Lighted vials make it readable in low light
- Highly durable and wear-resistant
- Precise and accurate
- Strong magnets help it stick to ferrous metal surfaces
- Requires two hands for operation
- It does not have a digital system
2. Johnson Level and Tool 40-6080 12″ Magnetic Digital Laser Level
The Johnson 40-6080 Level is a handy and versatile tool well suited for framing applications. Its five units of measurement, including degrees, mm/m, percent, in/ft in decimals, and in/ft in fraction, allows a wide range of collecting data. Moreover, it has a rotatable LED light screen that easily reads this data under any conditions.
This level also has an alert system that will notify the user of a perfect level. It is also equipped with a laser beam to quickly mark and transfer reference points.
In addition to its high and precise accuracy, this level also serves as an angle locator. It can measure angles between the ranges of 0° and 182.5°.
It is also fitted with patented Powerful GripTight v-groove rare earth magnets to facilitate a strong hold when working with ferrous metal surfaces.
In addition to the rotatable screen, the digital level also features automatic digit inversion for accurately reading overhead measurements. It comes with a soft-sided pouch to help keep your equipment clean and dry when not in use.
- Features strong magnets
- Backlight enables use in low-light environments
- Automatic digit inversion allows for reading overhead measurements
- It has a wide variety of measurement units
- Equipped with laser for transferring reference points
- The soft-sided pouch may not offer as much protection as a hard-sided case
3. Stabila 35610 Extendable Plate to Plate Level
Made in Germany, the Stabila 35610 is highly durable with a reinforced solid frame. It was designed to precisely position top and bottom wall plates quickly. This level is also perfect for installing frames, tall doors, sliding glass windows, and kitchen cabinets because of its ability to extend.
The vial accuracy is guaranteed for life: it will not leak, fog, or lose its accuracy over time. The manufacturer guarantees that if they do, you will be given a new level — bent frames; however, it will void the warranty.
The level is designed with two hand holes for easy gripping and handling, and it features a steel hang hole for storage when not in use.
It should be noted that while the measuring surfaces are not machined, it is equipped with two plumb vials and one level vial — the plumb vials are always at eye level.
The removable stand-offs with the level also deliver accurate plate-to-plate measurements around bends and braces. Optional accessories include replacement endcaps, and carrying cases are available as optional accessories.
This level is undoubtedly invaluable for construction projects. Without it, you might get the job done, but when you use it, it will not only be a time saver but will also exponentially increase your accuracy.
- Very accurate
- Easy to use
- Suitable for installing tall doors because of its extendable length
- Very durable
- It might be overwhelming for small projects
4. DEWALT DW088K Self-Leveling Cross Line Laser
The DeWalt DW088K was designed with maximum durability in mind. The protective shell was built to withstand wear and tear that is expected in a typical construction site. It can also weather falls of up to one meter, passing the drop test practically unscathed. Furthermore, in the place of a soft-sided case, the DeWalt comes with a hard-sided case that makes storing it easier and safer when not in use. Its IP54 rating also protects it from water splashes and debris — an invaluable feature for workplace and storage safety.
In addition to its durability, the DeWalt is a very professional and versatile tool capable of pulling off various projects. It features three self-leveling red beams — one horizontal and two vertical dual-beam lasers — that help level and align any application.
It is accurate to within ⅛-inch at 30 ft and can achieve up to 165 ft when used with a laser detector (sold separately). It is fitted with a patented integrated magnetic bracket that helps it grip metal surfaces. It also features a micro-adjust knob that allows the user to adjust the beam’s alignment.
The 90-day money-back guarantee offered by the manufacturer also means that you can return the product and receive a full refund if you have any issues with it within the first ninety days of purchase.
- Easy to use
- Lasts up to 20+ hours with 3xAA batteries
- Maintains calibration under difficult conditions outside
- LED light lets you know when the application is level
- Generates cross
- Robust and durable build
- Cannot project a 360-degree beam
While considering buying or using a laser level, there are bound to be questions on your mind — especially if you’re just getting to know about this. Below are some of the questions we get asked most frequently and their answers:
Q: Which color of laser level is better: red or green?
Neither. However, the two different colors are suited to other circumstances. Green laser color is generally brighter and more visible than the red ones and, therefore, better suited for outdoor use. But it can also damage your eyes by overexposure. Red laser color, on the other hand, saves battery life and is less likely to cause damage to the eye.
Q: Do lasers measure distance?
No. The lasers projected from your laser levels do not measure distance. Think of them like a drawing on the wall that will guide you “trace” out your works and designs.
Q: How do laser levels work?
Laser levels work by emitting a focused beam of light from their diode. A laser level can produce one or more of these beams, depending on the model.
Q: Do they work outside?
Q: Are laser levels worth buying?
Laser levels are not only more versatile, but they’re also more accurate than conventional spirit levels. Most of them are also easy to use and install. So yes, laser levels are worth it.
Q: How often should I calibrate my laser level?
If you use it frequently, recalibration should be done every six months.
Q: How can I check my laser for accuracy?
You can recalibrate your laser if you suspect it is inaccurate. Many models have internal buttons and buttons for easy recalibration.
Q: Are Bosch laser levels good?
Yes! Bosch makes excellent quality lasers and is among the leading producers of some of the best laser levels in the market. Their newer and higher-end models are more precise and accurate than the lower-end ones.
Q: Can I use my laser level without a tripod?
Yes. While a tripod stand is essential for balancing your laser level, you can still use your equipment without it. Some manufacturers include a stand or base in the package that your laser level comes in. You can use that in the place of a tripod.
Factors to Consider Before Buying a Laser Level
If your work area is situated outdoors, you should seriously consider the visibility and range of a laser level before purchasing it. Generally, green lasers are more visible outside than red ones. But this is usually not enough.
If you want to increase the visibility of your laser level, then you would need a laser sensor/receiver. Some laser levels come with receivers while others do not — you’d need to buy them separately.
Sensors enhance the working range of visibility of your laser levels which varies depending on the make and model of the laser level. If you want a laser level well suited to outdoor work, then carefully determine the range of the laser.
Generally, single-line laser levels have an average working range of 9 to 16 feet without possibly being increased with a sensor. Crossed-line laser levels have an average range of 22 to 98 feet, increasing to between 130 and 230 using a sensor. A rotary laser level has an average range of between 230 to 490 feet and can be increased up to 980 to 2300 feet with the aid of a sensor.
You can’t spend more than your budget; thankfully, there are laser levels for all budgets. However, it would be best if you remembered that higher-end laser levels cost more than low-end ones. Therefore, you cannot expect the same quality and features present in a high-end laser level in a low-end one.
3. Power Supply
Most laser levels use three triple A batteries, and a few others are powered from the mains. This is no big deal for some users, but for others, this is among the most critical factors. Therefore, consider carefully how you want your laser levels to be powered before purchasing.
4. Ease of use
While many laser levels are easy to use and can be easily operated by pushing one or two buttons, some can be difficult to understand because of their number of features. Therefore, consider this factor carefully before you pick one.
Laser levels are generally safe and typically pose no threat to health. However, it would help if you considered that lasers (especially the green ones) could hurt your eyes (or other people’s), and constant exposure can lead to eye problems.
Additionally, lasers are concentrated light and, as such, carry some heat. You must avoid inadvertently shooting the lasers into flammable liquids like petrol.
Laser levels are fragile tools and must be handled with care. While some manufacturers claim that their laser levels can endure falls from dozens of feet, it is better not to expose your equipment to such risk.
Nevertheless, since this tool will be used in a harsh environment with debris and water splashes (and the occasional falls), it is important to choose a laser level made of highly durable and rugged materials.
Accuracy requirements differ from project to project. While high precision is needed for some tasks, like installing tiles or making a cabinet, other jobs may not require as much accuracy. A general rule of thumb is that the more expensive the laser level, the more accurate it is.
But remember that for a laser level to retain its accuracy, it must be well maintained. You can always recalibrate your laser level if it loses some accuracy due to use over time.
From small DIY tasks to substantial construction projects, you cannot go wrong when equipped with the right laser level for the job. These invaluable tools make the difference between great-looking jobs and crooked constructions.
Therefore, if the objective is to achieve elegance in your buildings, look no further than either of the levels discussed in this brief guide.
All you need to do is understand the nature of the project at hand and, carefully studying the pros and cons and the features of the level, pick the one most suited for the task. For instance, if you want to fix tall doors or ceiling-to-floor sliding windows, then the Stabila Extendable Level might be what you’re looking for. Still, if you want to hang picture frames, or carry out any small DIY, then you can use DeWalt — which is very versatile, as discussed.
So, now that you know your levels pick one and start building.