House & Beyond is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our process here
Whether you are trying to hang pictures or building a deck, or even have some larger construction projects in mind, you have to use a level. This primitive tool, which uses a bubble of air located within some liquid is far from precise, and not all that effective over larger distances. What you really should use is a laser level. These wonderful pieces of technology are self-leveling and highly precise. As long as you get the best of the best laser levels, it can be one of the easiest tools in the world to use, which in turn will make your job that much easier.
But before picking one, you need to take into account a few different characteristics, as well as how often you intend to use the level. Let’s be honest, a homeowner who is looking to hang some picture frames won’t need as advanced a level as a professional contractor. You also need to think about where you intend to use it and what type of display you want your laser to show. Thankfully, we have done all of that hard work for you. We have combed through hundreds of user reviews to find the very best laser levels out there for every purpose.
In our buying guide, we will cover everything that you need to know to find the right level for your needs. If you already have an idea of what you are looking for, then you can jump right into our detailed reviews, where we will go through the top models on the market today, so that you can find the one that will work the best for your next project. And don’t forget to check out the table below for a quick overview!
"A solid product from one of the most trusted companies on the tool market, this multi-level 3-beam line laser can be used for almost any task; it’s easy to use, accurate, bright, features built-in magnetic pivot bracket and has long battery life."
"The green color of this laser level increases visibility and is better for outside tasks; it’s debris and water resistant, features built-in rear mounted magnets and rechargeable 12V battery able to run for 8–14 hours."
"This horizontal rotary laser level is intended for large construction projects, but also can handle small outside and inside tasks; has outstanding range and leveling features and up to 100-hour battery life."
"This 3-point laser level is the most affordable on our list and is great for self-leveling, plumb up and down, horizontal leveling, and alignment tasks; features Bosch-Patented Diamond-Cut Beam Splitter."
This is a great laser that is, plain and simple, the best laser level available on the market today. It is built for professional construction work and is highly accurate. It features a simple to use, one-button operation system and an easy to read control panel. This makes it great for both professionals and beginners alike. It is extremely bright, which makes it simple to see.
The triple line laser makes it easy to layout sections of cabinets, studs, or chair rails quickly and easily, without the need for using any other sort of laser level. The adjustment knob is very precise and doesn’t need a lot of tuning to get your layout just right. The only real downside of this device is that it doesn’t have very strong magnets, though this is easily corrected by attaching a separate magnet. This truly is a wonderful level, which we highly recommend you check out.
This is, relatively speaking, a rather straightforward laser level. While it doesn’t feature a ton of special features, what it does have going for it is the fact that it uses green lasers, rather than the standard red. This makes it visible for a much greater distance, regardless of where you are working. The downside to this added visibility is, as you might have guessed, that the battery will not last you as long as a red laser level does.
Luckily, even though level’s battery doesn’t last too terribly long, it is rechargeable. While this does add another layer of responsibility on your part, as long as you manage to charge it up every night after you use it, the level should be able to run for 8–14 hours, even on full blast.
If you are thinking about getting a rotating laser level, you might be stressed by the sheer number of models on the market. In reviewing these models, we have consider the Topcon RL-H5A and have found it to be one of the best models that you can buy right now.
There are older models of this option, but as this is the latest, it is no surprise that it comes with just so many better features. One major difference between this and the others is that it has a working range of up to 800 meters. That is impressive and better than others in its category.
The product is one of the easiest to setup too. All that you need to do is install the tripod or stand on a level surface and connect the level to it. Once you connect the device to the stand and switch it on, the self-leveling motors will level up the laser for you.
Another good feature here is the accuracy. After setting it up, it will self-level, and the motors responsible for this ensure that the machine is set correctly. You can expect really good accuracy levels from the machine.
Also, this model has a working range reaching 400 meters from the laser.
Durability is something we found pretty dope here too. The Topcon RL-H5A is rated IP66, which means that it will be safe from dust and water. Thus, you don’t have to worry about moisture and dust – two of the most insidious things that affect machines on jobsites.
This is, without a doubt, one of the most portable laser levels on the market today. It is also highly durable and dependable, which makes it ideal for professionals and beginners alike. It is especially resistant to high-levels of dust, though it isn’t completely waterproof, so keep that in mind if this is the level you settle on.
It has an astounding range of 165’ when used with a detector, though this shrinks to 50’ of visibility indoors, which is just right for smaller jobs. However, the best feature for this level is that it is one of the fastest self-leveling lasers on the market. This, when compared against its portability and price point, make it an appealing level that you might want to give a try.
The laser made by Pacific Laser Systems has, by far, the largest range with a detector of any laser level on the market today. It can reach all the way up to an astounding 200’ with a detector, which the company was kind enough to include in this kit. It can also be attached to metal wall brackets with magnets or to the included floor stand. That way, you are completely set to hit the ground running right out of the box.
The biggest downside to this model is that it is pretty expensive, and doesn’t have a very big range without the detector. It only can reach to about 50’ of visibility on its own, which should be ample for smaller jobs, but might not work too well for larger work, especially if you forget the detector.
Bosch has long been known to be one of the best power tool companies around, and, as you would expect, this laser level is no different. Even though it is quite small and relatively cheap, don’t let that scare you away. It is highly accurate, with accuracies up to 100’ indoors. It is also highly portable, and quite dust resistant.
The biggest issue with this device is that the on/off switch did not always stay in the on position. While this is not the biggest deal, it is certainly something that you need to keep in the back of your mind. The last thing you want to do is have everything set up to get a job done only to notice that your level isn’t on like you wanted it to be. However, as long as you make sure that the switch is completely in the on position, you should be good to go.
What are its best features?
Water and dust resistant
What could be improved?
Only one brightness level
On/off switch works hard
Things to Consider
As we mentioned before, there are several different factors that you need to consider before you purchase your level so that you can assure yourself you are indeed getting the best laser level for your needs. In this section, we will go over everything you need to know, so you can make an informed decision when you finally pull the trigger on a purchase.
Just as there are many different types of jobs that require a laser level, there are several different types of levels that you can choose from. These include:
Line laser – This is the most basic form of a laser level. Once it has been placed on the wall or surface of choice, it will send out a single level line on the surface. This makes hanging pictures or other items quick and easy, since there is the line providing an easy to read level.
Dot laser – Dot lasers, as the name would suggest, send out a series of dots in a level plane. These dots can then be used as a reference point to hang whatever it is that you want to keep level.
Rotary laser – Rotary lasers are similar to line lasers in that they project out a line. However, the big difference is that these levels will put a line on every wall within any given room. This makes it simple to make sure that everything in a room on every wall is completely level. These are usually much more expensive, and are also used for general construction works, such as concrete work for foundation, grading, etc.
This is by far one of the greatest features that a laser level has to offer in comparison to an older model. To get a level line with a bubble level, you have to alter the level, which can make it quite difficult to complete any other tasks.
With a laser level, however, that has this amazing capability, you simply set it in the location you need a level line and presto, it automatically will give you a perfectly straight line to follow. Add this to the fact that most laser levels can be attached in some manner when they are in use, and you have a hands free leveling experience.
The more accurate the level, the more accurate your project will be when you are all finished. Usually, the best way to determine the accuracy level of a level is to look at home many different lines, dots, or points of reference it has. The more points of reference the level offers, the more accurate you will be able to be with your work.
The visibility of the laser is a hugely important factor when choosing a laser level. If you are not able to see the laser, you won’t really be able to use the line or dots as a point of reference, which somewhat limits the effectiveness of the level.
Of course, depending on where you wish to use your level will have a direct effect on the visibility. If, for instance, you are going to be working outside in the sunlight, you will need a much brighter laser than if you were working in the garage or basement of your house.
Something else that you should take into account when you are selecting a laser level is the range that it can reach. The range for the lasers on a level varies widely, with the more expensive models having larger ranges than smaller, cheaper models.
The best way to determine the amount of reach that you need in your level is to think about how you intend to use it. From there, the best advice would be to get a level that has a slightly larger range than you think you will need. That way should project come up that requires a larger span, you will be ready and set, rather than wishing for a different model than the one you bought.
Number of beams or spots
Depending on how advanced of a project you are trying to undertake, you might need to get a laser level that is more advanced itself.
This would mean finding one that can give you more beams/dots for quicker points of reference. If, however, you are just looking to complete a simple project, then you won’t need anything above the most basic type of laser level, which will save you a tidy bit of money in the end.
Generally speaking, you can choose one of two colors for your laser level. The two choices that you have to pick from are either green or red lasers. The color of the laser is largely dependent on where you intend to use it. Green lasers are better for outdoor use, as they show up a bit better in bright sunlight, whereas red lasers are better suited to low light situations indoors.
These accessories are a necessity if you intend to use a rotary laser outdoors. Since it might be difficult to see any colored laser outside, especially on really bright days, these tripod mounted detectors let you know when your laser is level. Then you can go forward with your project, confident that it will be level in the end.
Ingres protection rating
This rating scale is used to describe two different factors that would have a negative effect on how well your laser level works. The first digit, which is on a scale of 1-7, describes how tightly the device is sealed against dust. The higher the number, the greater the resistance.
The second digit in the rating scale describes how water resistant the level will be. This is rated on a scale from 1 to 9, with one being the least resistant to moisture and nine being completely watertight. Depending on the type of location that you will be using your level, you will need to make sure that you get a level that will give you the protection you need based on these ratings.
The portability of a laser level will only really come into question if you need to lug it around with you on a worksite. If you intend to use it in your home, then it is ok to get a bigger and bulkier model than you would if you were going to be up and down a ladder all day long.
If you intend to be on the go when you are using your laser level, then you should most definitely aim for a smaller model. That way, you’ll be able to take it with you, no matter where you have to travel. Of course, the more portable a level is, the less powerful the laser will be. The smallest models will also not have as many features as the larger ones do.
Most laser levels can be mounted in many different ways. That helps them to adapt and change to the different situations you will find yourself in when you are on the worksite.
These systems can vary greatly from model to model. Some utilize magnets, while others might use vice-like grips. Regardless of what system you choose, make sure that your level can mount to many different surfaces, such as walls, pipes, bars, struts, and tripods.
All of the levels that we looked into a run on some sort of battery power. This ranges from any number of AA batteries to rechargeable ones. Standard batteries are nice because they are easy to switch out and are relatively cheap. On the other hand, however, they will not last as long as a rechargeable battery, and they can only be used once.
Rechargeable batteries have a higher upfront cost than standard batteries. This is because they can be used over and over again, as long as you make sure that you charge them. Of course, if you forget to charge your level’s battery, you might run into a time where you need to wait for the battery to charge up before you can complete your job.
The life of the battery in the level that you choose will be highly dependent on two factors. The first, of course, is the type of battery. As we stated above, rechargeable batteries will last a bit longer than standard AA and AAA and can be recharged. On the other hand, rechargeable batteries take a while to charge, and if they run out while you are working, they cannot be simply swapped out for new ones as standard batteries can.
The second factor that affects the life of your battery in your level will be how often you utilize it. If you are going to be using your level constantly, every day, then it makes more sense to get a rechargeable battery, since you can charge it on a schedule and save yourself some money. If, however, you only use your level every once in a while, then standard batteries will make more sense.
Laser levels are a huge upgrade over standard ones. They can automatically level themselves and allow you to setup perfectly level and square gridwork patterns, which in turn will make your life a lot easier when on the job. They are perfect for installing cutouts, studs, chair rails, cabinets, and the list goes on. Hopefully, after reading this article, you will be able to find the best laser level for whatever project you have in mind. Good luck!