The Best Laser Levels

Getting the best laser level for your needs is the key to a successful project. With so many different models on the market (and each model is designed to do certain things), it’s easy to get confused. For example, do you know the difference between the rotary, cross line and flooring level lasers? Thus, before purchasing one, you should invest some time to get the basic knowledge of all laser levels.

By taking some time to read through this guide, you will not only learn about all types of lasers but also discover 5 top models that really deliver.

Laser levels recap

Laser levelsNumber of laser lineWorking rangeAccuracyPrice
Qooltek Laser Level18 ft±0.08 in. at 8 ftCheck Price ..external-link-16
Bosch Cross Line Laser230 ft±5/16 in. at 30 ftCheck Price ..external-link-16
DEWALT DW088K Line Laser250 ft±5/32 in.Check Price ..external-link-16
Firecore Laser Level210 m±1 mm/5 mCheck Price ..external-link-16
Johnson Cross Line Laser Kit2100 ft1/4 in. at 35 ftCheck Price ..external-link-16

The top 5 models of Laser levels

Rotary Lasers

Rotary lasers are able to produce a 360° line that reaches longer distances compared to other types of lasers, making them perfect for large projects such as leveling huge work sites. Professionals use rotary lasers because the laser diode spins to create an illusion of a constant line where you need it, so you can point in any direction you want – the laser will always be around you.

Most rotary lasers are designed to create horizontal lines but more expensive models can work vertically as well. And if you use a detector, you can extend the working range even further – no more problems leveling gigantic projects. However, hobbyists usually prefer other types of lasers that are smaller and easier to use.

You can use rotary lasers for:

    • Installation of electrical layouts;
    • Installation of partition walls;
    • Leveling of big work sites;
    • Leveling of building foundations.

Cross Line Lasers

Cross Line Lasers project both horizontal and vertical laser lines that form a cross on the surface. These are perfect tools for projects where you need right angles, for example when tiling onto walls or installing cabinets, shelves and other fixtures. Cross lines are the main feature of these lasers, but some models allow you to turn either horizontal or vertical lines off – giving you a single line.

Some cross line lasers are equipped with a pulse mode which means you can choose a level point when the laser isn’t visible (for example, when you’re working in bright light).

You can use cross lasers for:

    • Installation of fixtures;
    • Fitting of tiles onto walls;
    • Installation of plumbing systems;
    • Installation of drop ceilings.

Dot Lasers

These lasers are quite different from other types. They don’t project a line; instead, they project a dot to give you precise angles between points. Different models produce dots at 2, 3, or 5 points for verticals and some models also produce dots for horizontal. All dots are projected at the same time; so for example, you can have a precise angle between the floor, ceiling and a wall. Professionals also call these lasers “Plumb Bob” because they are mostly used by plumbers who need accuracy when installing piping. They can be used for other applications, as well.

You can use cross lasers for:

    • Laying out for pipes
    • Leveling for the hanging of heating conduit;
    • Installation of lighting systems;
    • Hanging shelves;
    • Installation of door frames.

Plane Lasers

Plane lasers combine the best features of rotary lasers and cross lasers because they can project solid 360° laser lines both vertically and horizontally. However, this comes at a certain price: plane lasers have shorter working range compared to rotary lasers. But they have clear lines and are perfect for outdoor use (unlike rotary lasers that are almost invisible in sunlight). So if you are planning to work over short distances and don’t want to buy a detector for your cross line laser, plane lasers are for you.

You can use cross lasers for:

    • Installation of building frameworks;
    • Laying out electrical systems;
    • Laying out for pipe work;
    • Installation of fixtures;
    • Laying out tiles on floors.

Flooring Lasers

Like the name suggests, flooring lasers are designed to make sure a floor is leveled before the installation begins. These lasers highlight irregularities and other issues, no surprise flooring tradesmen use them a lot. They can’t be used for other projects.

You can use cross lasers for:

    • Installation of flooring;
    • Checking the surface level before installation;
    • Determining whether a surface has any issues.

The Difference Between Spirit Levels And Laser Levels

For many years, people relied on spirit levels to perform tasks precisely. Years later, lasers appeared to fulfill the same function. Both types can be used for leveling and layering, but they are still quite different. Below, you can find information that helps you make an informed decision on which level to get.

  • Spirit Levels

A traditional level has a bubble in liquid and when the tool is precisely level, the bubble is in the center. There are also magnetic spirit levels. They come in handy when you need to level a metallic item, since the item stays in place and you don’t need to hold it.

  • Laser Levels

Laser level uses completely different approach to leveling. The technology behind it is more modern: the tool emits a beam of light and measures the beginning and end point of the beam. Laser level is considered more convenient because you can use it in any direction. Besides, many models indicate not only horizontal, but also vertical leveling.

The best laser level list

Qooltek Multipurpose Laser Level

This is a great multipurpose tool that can be used for a wide range of jobs that require spacing or leveling. It is a combination of a tape measure, a laser level and a 3-position bubble tool. In other words, you get three tools in one and you can use it for laying flooring, hanging picture frames, hanging wallpaper, and installing shelving, to name a few. Moreover, it has all the features a quality multirole laser level should have.

With three tools in one, it brings great convenience to your projects. Forget about trying to hold too much while working on projects, no more looking for a laser level while holding a tape measure. The tape measures for 8 feet long and includes imperial and metric measurements. The laser level has three settings – cross, vertical and horizontal. The bubble level measures at a 45° angle, which can be used for installation of fixtures. The laser output is 0.5mW, and the light has on and off power switch. The measuring tape conveniently locks in place to ensure precise measurement. Together the bubble level, measuring tape and the laser level give you everything you need to accurately measure and create straight lines.

Things We Like

    • Easy to use
    • Lightweight
    • Precise
    • Multipurpose
    • Handle a wide range of jobs with ease
    • Made of sturdy materials
    • Comes with batteries

Things We Don’t Like

The 8 ft. tape isn’t enough for large projects

Bosch Cross Line Laser

This cross line liner projects two lines for a cross projection to ensure a wide range of possible uses. It is more versatile than many other models on the market, which is better for a typical user. Add one-switch operation and precision, and you will get a tool that handles leveling and alignment jobs quickly and accurately.

The laser is equipped with the Smart Pendulum System for self-leveling that shows out-of-level conditions. Thus, it’s easier to ensure the precise layout and then lock lines at any angle. The system automatically locks when switched off for secure transportation. The laser liner also has the Flexible Mounting Device for height adjustment, and you can clamp the tool on literally any surface up to 2.5 inches thick, for lines at convenient height.

There are plenty of projects you can use this tool for. For example, if you have shelves to hand, use it to line up the accurate brackets. It is an easy-to-use tool for many simple home projects, such as hanging cabinets, installing rails or tiling a wall. You can also use it for electrical and plumbing installations.

Things We Like

    • Flexible Mounting Device
    • Securely locks when switched off
    • Can be clamped on any surface

Things We Don’t Like

You only can achieve a manual mode by tilting the tool sideways

DEWALT DW088K Self-Leveling Cross Line Laser

Dewalt has proven to manufacture amazing tools, and this one isn’t an exception. It is a great choice for construction and remodeling projects. Among the main features, there is the self-leveling ability to project vertical and horizontal lines. It comes with 3 AAA batteries, a kit box, and comprehensive instructions. The device can project bright lines for layout and leveling projects.

It has a full-time pulse mode that keeps the line bright and you can extend the laser range up to 165 ft. with a DW0892 detector (it’s sold separately). Without a detector, the model insures visibility range of up to 100ft., and though it’s designed for indoor use, the outdoor range is impressive 50ft. The case is water and debris resistant.

This tool is perfect for professionals who are tackling many jobs of installing and mapping a layout. It can be used for DIY projects and commercial jobs, though it is not perfect for huge projects.

Things We Like

    • Full-Time Pulse Mode
    • Projects clear crossing lines
    • Over-molded housing
    • Water and debris resistance

Things We Don’t Like

It’s harder to see the line in sunlight

Firecore Self-Leveling Cross-Line Laser Level

This is two tools on one, as it features a 5 beam laser that you can use by pushing a button. It has the features of a high-end cross line laser level and a 5 beam alignment laser. The convenience and wide range of projects you can use it for makes the tool a good choice for both professionals and hobbyists who would otherwise have to get two tools for different tasks.

It is water resistant, although we wouldn’t recommend splashing water on it. The edges are over-molded with padding, and the tool can easily withstand a 3ft drop onto concrete floor without any change in laser accuracy. Not to mention that if you accidentally knock the tool, you don’t need to worry. It comes with a 3-year warranty.

Things We Like

    • Pendulums lock system
    • Water resistance
    • Can withstand drop onto floor
    • Bright vertical and horizontal lines
    • Lightweight
    • Comes with a magnetic basket

Things We Don’t Like

It comes without batteries

Johnson Cross Line Laser Kit

This kit comes with a cross-line laser and extendable tripod. The tripod often comes in handy and works great for lines up to 4 ft high. Then you can fold it down to a compact size and conveniently transport to another place. The glasses help see the line, but if you’re in really bright sun, you may still have difficulties with finding the line.

This is a great deal if you want simple level lines, and it is perfect for starters. It helps set cabinets, desks and complete other simple projects. It works for the vast majority of DIYs and light duty jobs.

Things We Like

    • The laser shoots 80ft
    • Comes with a tripod
    • The head can be spun freely
    • The glasses help to see the line in sunlight

Things We Don’t Like

The tripod goes up to 4ft, which is not enough for large projects

And the winner is…

DEWALT DW088K Self-Leveling Cross Line Laser has been highly recognized for its versatility and accuracy. Many users have experienced its features first hand and the tool never disappoints. With many convenient features, it has become the must have for contractors and hobbyists alike. It is reliable and robust, and we’re sure it’s worth your time and money.