A laser level is convenient, accurate, easy to use and can be applied to a broad variety of construction and surveying situations. There are different types of laser levels, as well as a wide range of models in the market.
Shopping for one can, therefore, be a difficult undertaking unless you have a well-thought-out checklist that you’d use to compare each model for its suitability to your needs. Ergo, here are the key elements you should pay greatest attention to (see more info on the best laser levels).
- Types of Laser Levels
There are three main types of laser levels. The line laser level is the simplest. To use it, you’d place it on a wall or other surface then confirm from the line reading whether the surface is indeed level. The dot laser level as the name implies works exactly the same way as a line laser except that it projects a series of dots instead of a line.
The rotary laser level is the most sophisticated and, naturally, the most expensive. As opposed to projecting a line on a single wall, a rotary laser does so on every wall of a room. That way, you can check that every object within the room is at the same level if required.
- Laser Level Power Class
In 2013, the US Navy announced that it had successfully tested a laser cannon that could be fired at and destroy drones. While the power of the beam on a laser level is far from being of the same magnitude, it’s a demonstration that a laser can be harmful.
Safety standards and categorization have been established to allow laser level users to know the power of the beam in use. A laser level’s power class refers to the degree of damage it could inflict if it came into contact with a person’s eyes or skin. Most levels are rated as power class 2 or 3 which is quite harmless.
Nevertheless, as a precaution, wear eye protection glasses whenever you are using the level.
Laser levels are more accurate than traditional levels. Still, all laser levels aren’t created equal. Precision differs from model to model. The more refined the result is required to be the more accurate the laser you should go for. Precision is determined by the number of reference points the level has.
- Beam Visibility
A laser level is of no use if the beam isn’t visible. Every laser level is easy to use in an indoor environment or places with limited lighting since the beam is easy to see. The point of departure between levels comes with working outdoors. The brightness of the sun can make it much harder to follow the path of a laser beam.
So if you expect much of your level use to take place in the open, choose the laser level with a bright beam. Also, level laser beams come in either green or red color. For outdoor work, green laser beams have proven to be more visible.
Are you buying the laser level for home use or for professional work? If it’s for personal use, it’s unlikely that it will leave the confines of your residence. In that case, a large laser level can work just fine. However, if you’ll be moving from place to place with the level then you want one that’s compact, easy to handle and a little rugged.
Remember though, going for a small level may come at the price of missing out on more sophisticated features.
- Power Source and Longevity
Some laser levels use standard AA batteries while others rely on rechargeable batteries. Standard batteries are cheaper but require much more frequent replacement. Rechargeable batteries last longer but you’ll have to dig deeper into your pocket to buy them.
Irrespective of the battery type, different laser levels will take different times to exhaust the same set of batteries. If you expect to be using the laser level fairly frequently, then you should go for a level that is efficient in battery use.
With this checklist, you’ll be adequately equipped to choose the appropriate laser level for your circumstances.