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A BUYER'S GUIDE TO LASER LEVELS
We have seen a substantial increase in laser measurement tools in recent years, with options being available for both the professional and DIY markets. The large number of potential uses for a laser level can be overwhelming to even the most experienced user. You can pick anywhere from a cross-hair and line to a rotary laser level, and you can even find ones that are self-leveling. Before you can choose from the variety of tools you have available, you need to be familiar with the main types of laser levels.
Because there are so many laser levels on the market, there are some things you should consider before deciding which one is right for you. Some of them include but may not be limited to:
- Accuracy— A laser level is more accurate than many other tools (such as a spirit level) that do the same job.
- Manual vs. Auto— Also known as “self-leveling lasers,” auto laser levels will do most of leveling process for you. Once it’s turned on, it will automatically level itself. So, you’ll always have a true level line. It will also turn off if it has been disturbed, which will eliminate the chance of getting inaccurate measurements. Manual laser measurement tools aren’t less accurate, but they need to be set up properly. They will also keep running if they have been disturbed, which is why they’re more suitable for smaller projects.
- Green Beam vs. Red Beam— Green beam laser levels are easier to see, because they’re much brighter. They’re primarily used on more large-scale, indoor projects where the line needs to be seen without a laser detector.
- Indoor or Outdoor Usage— There are some types of laser levels that may be better suited for indoor applications, while others are better for outdoor use. No matter which one you choose, this is an important consideration because you want pick one that’s better suited for your intended application.
Be sure to look at the variety of tools we have available at Benchmark Supply, so you can find a laser level that’s right for you!
Main Types of Laser Levels
Here are the main types of laser levels and how they can be used on a job site:
- Line Laser— This is the most common type of laser level. It projects an accurate horizontal or vertical reference line onto the surface at which the device is pointed. You can use a line laser while you’re installing cabinetry, tile, drop ceilings, or even for basic leveling projects. It can even be used for installing a deck or any outdoor framing work.
- Spot Laser— This tool is different from a line laser, because it projects a small circle onto the surface in which the tool is focused. This tool is great for making sure a joist or wall is plumb (or vertically aligned) or to make sure that pipes are traveling from one floor to another are also plumb. A spot laser is commonly used for plumbing installations, electrical and HVAC work, as well for a variety of framing applications.
- Combination Laser— This type of laser level can project both lines and spots, which can be done both simultaneously and independently. It’s a great tool for professionals who work on a broad range of projects because they can switch between lines, spots, or both (depending on the job they need to perform). Electricians and plumbers will find a combination laser to be helpful in a number of applications (such as installing lighting, outlets, running wires, and piping).
- Rotary Laser— This is one of the laser measurement tools used to start every professional construction project. The application range of a rotary laser level can include anything from grade work (which is used for digging foundations) to layout and masonry work. Both dual-slope and single-slope rotary lasers are used to keep a consistent pitch across a large area, which might be level for finding grade or when using a reference line. A dual-slope rotary laser level will move along both the X and Y axes, with X mode allowing you to “walk the line” along a vertical plane and Y mode allowing you to “angle the line” along a horizontal plane.
For a broad selection of laser leveling tools from many top-rated manufacturers, be sure to look at what we have at Benchmark Supply.
Types of Laser Level Accessories
You can find a number of accessories that can be used with laser measurement tools, which can include the following:
- Tripod— Can provide a more level reference, which will give you more accurate results.
- Laser Line Detector — Sends out an acoustic or optical signal that will make it easier to find a laser beam, which can come in handy if it can’t be seen with the naked eye.
- Batteries— Having strong batteries that can be recharged are helpful while you’re on a job site. Some will allow you up to two days of continuous operation.
- Chargers— laser level batteries can be recharged, so you need to have chargers you can use at a job site.
- Remote Control— Allows you to adjust certain settings (such as rotational speed, as well as auto and manual leveling) remotely.
- Leveling Staff— Can help you with any leveling project and can range from E-Type and bar-coded to both standard and industrial invar.
Whether you’re looking for a rotary laser level or some other laser leveling tool, be sure to look at what we have at Benchmark Supply.