When looking for a laser level it can be difficult to know where to start, especially if you’re quite new to using them. Before even looking for a laser level, your priority should be gaining a good understanding of what they are and what they are used for, then considering which type of laser level you need.
What Are Laser Levels?
Laser levels are extremely useful tools which project a beam of light across a vertical or horizontal axis (or both). The laser level can be placed on the ground, fixed to a tripod and, with some models, attached to wall brackets, floor-to-ceiling posts or other mounting points.
Why Do I Need A Laser Level?
Laser levels are useful for all kinds of jobs, from domestic tasks like hanging pictures at home and laying floor tiles, to more extensive jobs like tiling, levelling out land for construction, or renovating properties. Whatever your need for an accurately level surface, a good quality laser level will make your job a lot easier and save you lots of time. Rather than using a level, ruler or measuring tape, a high quality laser level enables you to get a straight line which is extremely accurate.
What Is The Best Laser Level For Me?
This really does depend on what you need it for. As a general rule you should always decide what its use is going to be before investing in one.
There are so many different laser levels available to buy and prices range massively from around £100 to over £300 pounds. Some of the most professional pieces of kit can cost many thousands of pounds. The more complex your requirements the bigger the budget you’ll need. Or, if you need a laser with a working diameter of up to 1000m,you will be looking at the most expensive models. However, if you are looking for a good quality, affordable laser level, then you’ll want to look for the following features:
- Sufficient range. This obviously depends entirely upon the application in hand and you must carefully consider you and the intended use. It’s important that you consider any future applications rather than simply the current job.
- Self levelling – you will want a self-levelling mechanism that you can lock in – this is more accurate and saves time.
- An out of level indicator – you will want the laser level to tell you if it is out of level. Most models with this feature let you know using a noise or blinking light.
Generally the two most commonly purchased laser levels are rotary, fixed line and 360 degree types. A fixed laser line projects a continuous beam of light on a horizontal or vertical axis (or both) and, depending upon the model, can be used either indoors our outdoors. They will vary in accuracy but should tell you the accuracy to expect, e.g. plus or minus ‘x’ millimetres.
A rotary laser level is used to level a whole room. You place it in the middle of a room and it sends out laser lines in a 360 degree circle, projecting level lines on the floors and walls. You can use these levels with or without a tripod. If you need a tripod you could look for a rotary laser level which comes with one included, or remember to budget for the tripod when looking at buying it separately.
When considering which laser level to buy, consider the following:
- Its application
- Your budget
- Your need for additional features like a wireless remote control (useful in large projects)
- The convenience you want (out of level sensors etc)
- Where you are using it – outdoor and indoor lasers feature varying levels of protection from the elements
- The accuracy you require
- The durability you need – are you working in a particularly wet or harsh environment? Is your level likely to be knocked over or used by others?
- The adjustability you need
- Battery life and type (alkaline or rechargeable options are available)
Buying An Affordable Laser Level Online
Follow these tips to find an affordable laser level online;
Safety comes first and laser levels come in different classifications. Some can cause damage to the eyes and should be avoided at all costs. If the product you are looking at buying does not clearly have safety information and classification on it, do not purchase. You should never compromise on safety, even if it does save you a few pounds.
Your warranty will be of particular importance if you are investing a large amount of money on a laser level. Look in detail at the warranty… how long you are covered for?Does it limit cover to a certain type of job or environment?What repairs or replacements are you entitled to? It can be more difficult to discuss a warranty when buying a laser level online, but it’s worth putting the extra time in.
New or Second Hand?
For those who are used to laser levels and how they work a second hand version might not be such a bad idea. However, if you’re new to them, it is worth spending the extra cash and going for new. That way you get warranty cover, comprehensive instructions and packaging and the peace of mind to know you have a brand, new reliable instrument. What’s more you can always reach out to the retailer or manufacturer for further guidance if you need to.
When buying second hand, however, it’s always worth considering the following…
- Can you absolutely guarantee that the laser is in the condition stated?
- How can you be sure that it has been treated, repaired and serviced as you would expect?
- Does it have the balance of any warranty support left on it? If not, what guarantees or support will the seller provide if it goes wrong?
- Are parts still available for this model? Bear in mind that most manufacturers will only make parts available for a limited number of years after production has ceased. It’s well worth checking whether your laser is still part of the current model range before buying.
Never buy the item from one site without having looked at another to compare prices. Find the product you need then look at prices on different sites so you know you are getting the best possible deal.
Online Shopping Safety
When buying online, make sure you follow all the safety guidelines for buying online in order to protect your money and your personal information. Which has a useful ‘Shop Safely Online’ guide with lots of useful information.
Take Your Time To Get It Right
Remember, unless you have a sudden need for a laser level, you can afford to take the time to understand how they work, understand which type you need and to shop around. Be safe, consider your options and, most importantly, enjoy yourself!
Many thanks to The Tape Store for this article, leading suppliers of measuring instruments, including tape measures, laser measures and damp meters.