I don’t know about you but I can’t draw a straight line to save my life. Even if I use a ruler it still ends up wonky and skewed.
This isn’t a big deal when you’re cutting paper or doing rough sketches. However, when you’re trying to level off wood or brickwork for a construction project, straight lines are much more important.
Whether you’re a professional or a DIYer, having a quality laser level is essential. It will make all the difference whether you are building a house or hanging a frame.
There are a lot of laser levels on the market. Some are designed for outdoor industrial use others are small handheld devices. Which kind you need will depend on the project at hand.
We’ve put together a buyer’s guide at the end of this article to help you make the best choice. It discusses the different types of laser levels and their uses. We also have a FAQ section which should answer any burning questions you may have.
But for now, let’s get straight into it. Here are 5 of the best laser levels on the market.
Got an urgent job that needs straightening out? Here’s our top pick:
- 50M range.
- Laser line compatible.
- Vertical and horizontal lasers.
- Rotational mount.
- Universal tripod threads.
Top 5 Best Laser Levels
OUR TOP PICK
Dewalt is one of the most trusted names in tools, but is especially strong on the laser game.
This is a sort of in between laser that has some of the power and features of industrial, rotary lasers and home use, handheld line lasers.
Two green lasers project a horizontal and vertical laser line. You can select between the two or use them at the same time for a crosshair effect.
It is accurate to +/- 3mm per 10m when utilising the self-levelling feature. It has a magnetic mount with a universal thread for easily attaching to a tripod.
With an IP rating of 54, it is dust and rainproof. There is a solid protective sheet of glass protecting the lasers from the elements and the thick over-moulded plastic casing protects against drops and knocks.
The DeWalt DW088CG-XJ laser level is superb in terms of quality and usability. The lasers project up to 50m and are easy to see even in natural light.
Customers are very pleased with the visibility of this laser, commenting on how much of an improvement the green is opposed to the red.
It includes 3xAA batteries though these won’t last much longer than 16 hours. A few days use at best. This is the major drawback of green lasers.
Overall, this is an incredible bit of kit that can be used on projects big and small. It is compatible with laser line detectors so you can use the full length of the range.
- Green laser.
- Vertical and horizontal lasers.
- 50m range.
- Compatible with laser line detectors.
- Eats through batteries.
This is a bridge between line lasers and rotary lasers. Instead of having one rotating laser, it has three 360° lasers that project around the room. It is an innovative way to bring the functionality of the rotary laser down a few price points.
It’s not an elegant looking machine by any stretch of the imagination but it does the job and does it well.
With three green lasers, two vertical and one horizontal, you can use it for pretty much any job. You can select the lasers individually or use all three. It depends on the job.
Changing the laser settings can be done remotely via the Huepar app if you choose the Bluetooth enabled version.
The unit requires 4xAA batteries and it eats through them pretty quickly as you can imagine. However, it works with direct mains input as well. This will save you lots on batteries though it will require extension leads on construction sites.
The lasers have excellent visibility inside and outside. They have a pulse mode which makes them compatible with laser line detectors for even more accurate levelling.
In terms of accuracy, this laser level is accurate up to 3mm per 10m. It is self-levelling and indicates when it is off level. The tool has an IP 54 rating making it suitable for outdoor use.
It is supplied with a magnetic mount but also has a universal tripod thread. The magnetic mount is pretty weak for the price point but the rest of the laser performs exceptionally well.
- 3 x 360° green lasers.
- Excellent visibility.
- Highly accurate.
- Supplied with mount and universal tripod thread.
- Can be mains powered.
- Compatible with laser line detectors.
- Weak magnetic mount.
This is a professional bit of kit that is ideal for construction sites. It’s heavy-duty with an IP 56 rating, making it more durable and hardy than any other laser on this list.
The rotating green laser has a range of 20m when using your eyes but extends to 400m when using the laser line detector which is supplied.
It is self-levelling up to around 8° which is significantly more powerful than the other lasers. Mind you, it is nearly double the price of its closest competitor in this list.
As well as the laser line detector, it is also shipped with the required 9v batteries, carry case and battery charger.
Speaking of batteries, the battery life is pretty good for a green laser this big. You’ll find yourself switching out the batteries between jobs but it’s as good as you are going to get at this level.
The laser has a constant RPM of 600 which is designed to work with the laser line detector. You can’t adjust the speed for other uses which is a bit frustrating considering the price point.
The laser is clear and strong for the full 20m distance. You might want to consider buying glasses if you are working with it for an extended period.
You will also need a tripod for this unless you have a level surface at the right height. It is a bit of a tank and needs a decent tripod for security.
- Rotational green laser.
- Range of 20m extended to 400m with laser line detector.
- 9V batteries, charger, spare batteries, carry case and laser line detector supplied.
- IP 56.
- Highly accurate.
- Only needed for professional jobs.
For a cheap and cheerful laser level, you can use around the house, this is a good choice.
It has two lasers, one projecting a horizontal level and the other a vertical level. You can have both displayed at the same time if needed.
The level has a self-levelling feature which will self-level in situations less than or equal to 4°. You can turn it off and manually level the laser if you want. The self-levelling takes less than 6 seconds which is pretty quick for a handheld laser.
With over 20 hours of continuous use battery life, you can cover the whole house with tiles or cabinets if you want!
At only 235g, it is a lightweight model that can be mounted to the supplied magnetic mount. Once mounted you can rotate the laser 360° for easy use in the house.
- Vertical and horizontal lasers
- 20 hours of battery life.
- Magnet mount for 360° use.
- Self-levelling feature.
- Quite dim in bright light. Definitely not good for outdoor use.
Another handheld cross-beam laser, this one comes in several different laser options. You can get it in a level 1 red laser, a level 2 red laser or a level 1 green laser.
The self-levelling function works up to 110° which is significantly more than the other handheld laser level in this list. It has a working range of 10m on the horizontal laser and 5m on the vertical laser.
It has an IP rating of 54 which means it is dust and rainproof. The TPR rubber coating also makes it shockproof. This tool can take some serious use and abuse. It is suitable for use on building sites with this IP rating.
The green laser is just bright enough to use outside on a cloudy day. The red one is definitely not bright enough for outdoor use.
Like most laser levels, this has a universal tripod mount. You can attach it to anything with the same size threading whether it’s a magnetic mount or a tripod.
Customers are very pleased with the clean lines this laser projects. It is crisp and accurate if a little on the thick side.
- Choice of laser before purchasing.
- Self-levelling mode.
- IP 54.
- Crisp clean lines.
- Red lasers are fairly weak outside.
Best Laser Levels Buying Guide
Laser levels are highly accurate when used correctly. Like any other tool, you need to make sure you have the right one for the job.
Our buyer’s guide covers the basic types and features of laser levels so you can make the right choice.
Line Laser Level
This is perhaps the simplest type of laser level. They do what they say they do and project a laser in a vertical or horizontal line.
This kind of laser level can be used for many different jobs. If you need to use a straight line, you can use a line laser level.
There are industrial line laser levels that are meant for use on construction sites and smaller home versions.
Line laser levels also come in both self-levelling and spirit bubble varieties. You can read more about what this means later.
These are generally used for larger projects and on construction sites. The laser in this machine can rotate up to 360° allowing you to find a level in all directions.
The rotation speed and angle can be adjusted to suit your needs. With higher RPMs, it is harder to see the laser. To compensate for this most rotary laser levels use green lasers instead of red ones.
These are generally used by surveyors and builders to measure the height of buildings and sites.
They are highly accurate instruments which allow you to work out the height using crosshairs viewed through the telescopic viewfinder.
There are self-levelling and manual levelling varieties. The self-levelling option being the quickest and easiest to use.
Manual Laser Levels
Manual laser levels are the older type of laser level. They are still used in cheaper and smaller laser levels.
To use these kinds of lasers, the operator needs to position the laser using traditional spirit levels. These are usually built into the device, though some cheaper models do not have them.
It is important to level the laser level before using the laser otherwise you won’t get a true straight line.
It can be fiddly and time consuming to get the laser levelled but it is essential.
The best manual laser levels will have spirit levels for different axes. This way you can make sure your tool is level horizontally and vertically.
Self-levelling Laser Levels
Newer and more expensive lasers will have a self- levelling feature. These take into account small dips and bumps in the surface and automatically adjust the laser accordingly.
Most of the time, laser levels are placed onto tripods so that they have a safe and secure base. Now self-levelling laser levels are cool bits of kit, but they aren’t robotic geniuses.
If your tripod is ridiculously uneven, the self-levelling mechanism will only be able to do so much.
It is more designed for fine-tuned accuracy. The idea is that it can account for small inconsistencies that we can’t see with the naked eye.
Red or Green Lasers
It’s not quite the Matrix, but it is still an important choice.
Green lasers are easier to see because green light is right in the middle of the visible light spectrum for humans. Our eyes are much more sensitive to green light which is why night vision goggles and computer screens project images in green light.
Green lasers also tend to have a longer range on them. This is again because we can pick them up at further distances.
The problem with green lasers is that they tend to be more expensive. They are harder to make and they eat through batteries like nobody’s business.
Red lasers are far easier and cheaper to produce which is why they are more commonly used. They don’t take as much energy to work so you can also save some battery power.
Red lasers are more difficult for humans to see which is why they have a shorter range. Also, red lasers cause more damage to the eyes than green ones. Although, it’s never a good idea to stare at a laser too long.
For big construction jobs, green lasers are the best choice. You’ll get cleaner lines and better visibility with them.
Green lasers are also better for repeated use. They are easier on the eyes so if you have a long job, go for a green laser.
Red lasers are adequate for smaller, quicker jobs. If you’re buying a handheld laser level, you’ll probably get a red one.
Laser Level Accessories
Depending on the laser, it may come with a couple of accessories. Some of these will be crucial to operation, others will be added extras. The common accessories are listed below.
Tripod - crucial for providing a level surface for your laser, these are often supplied with industrial laser levels. Most laser levels have a universal mount which allows you to attach them to any tripod you have.
Laser line detectors - These are used for picking up the laser signal when you can’t see it any more. The detector uses sound or light to tell you when it finds the laser line. You can then mark where the line is.
Batteries - Lithium batteries will give you the most usage time. Try to get good quality rechargeable batteries where possible.
Remote control - This allows you to adjust certain features like RPM and self-levelling remotely.
Frequently Asked Questions
How accurate is a laser level?
This depends on the laser level you use.
Good quality laser levels are accurate to within 1/16th of an inch. This is 10 times more accurate than just using a spirit level which has a discrepancy of ½ inch.
Self-levelling lasers are naturally more accurate than manual levelling lasers which rely on spirit levels and the human eye to get them level.
Cheaper laser levels will likely be less accurate though this isn’t a hard and fast rule.
Most manufacturers list the accuracy in the product description, so do check before you buy.
How far do laser levels reach?
The average rotary laser level used on construction sites can reach around 300m. The very best can do about 600m.
At the furthest end of their ranges, you’ll need a laser line detector to pick up the signal. This is especially true if you're working outside.
Smaller, line laser levels tend to have a range of between 10-15m while cheap handheld laser levels have a range of about 5m.
The colour of the laser and the conditions you use it in will affect how far you will be able to see the laser.
You should also be aware that, the further the laser travels, the fuzzier the laser will be. This means that if you are making marks from the end of the range, they might not be as accurate as those closer to the laser.
Can you use a laser level outside?
Yes, you can but there are some things you should be aware of.
Firstly, it is generally much harder to see a laser outside thanks to the sun.
To compensate for this, most large industrial lasers are shipped with coloured glasses that make spotting the laser much easier.
Secondly, you need to be aware of the IP rating of your laser level to protect it from the elements when using it outside.
IP ratings are two numbers that tell you how dustproof and how waterproof the laser is. For example, a laser level with an IP rating of 54 will be a 5 on the dust scale and a 4 on the water scale.
5 on the dust scale indicates that the performance won’t be impacted by dust, while 6 tells you that the laser is fully dustproof.
The water scale tends to start at 4. That is, if the IP is not specified or it is lower than 4, the laser is not waterproof.
4 means that splashed water from any direction will not affect the laser. It is rainproof. 5 means that you can hose it down, 6 means you can jet wash it, and 7 means it can be submerged.