When it comes to finding the perfect rotary laser level, it doesn’t matter if you are an experienced builder or just someone who is looking to improve their homes, a rotary laser level will eliminate a lot of time and effort for different projects. The best part is that these do not cost that much money.
Equipped with a long range for accurate measurements in various worksites, this tool is a must-have for every construction worker, contractor, or DIY user. That being said, with the extensive range of options available in the market, making a suitable purchase may be time-consuming and tricky.
Furthermore, with so many factors contributing to the selection process, including design, accuracy, and range, choosing from a wide range of options is not easy.
To make the process go smoother, we have created this comprehensive article about the five best rotary laser levels on the market today. In this article, we look at individual rotary laser level reviews, compare specs, and discuss how to choose the best option for you.
Benefits of a Laser Level
A laser level is mostly used by construction workers who project its green or red beam onto a flat surface to measure its levelness. While small laser levels can be used in homes for DIY projects, their bigger counterparts prove useful at outdoor and construction sites.
Furthermore, if you are building a home, having a laser level would let you check whether the roof and/or ceiling is flat or not. Similarly, if you’re moving around furniture, you can make sure it is placed on a flat surface using a laser level.
In addition to those mentioned above, here are some of the indoor and outdoor applications of laser levels:
- Align walls, cabinets, chair rails and shelves
- Install wainscoting, drop ceilings and chair rails
- Check heights of the door, ceiling, and roof
- Setting of a grade for proper irrigation and/or drainage
- Carry out any type of basic surveys
For your convenience, we’ve categorized the best laser levels into three types: line, dot, and rotary.
How To Choose The Right Rotary Laser Level For You
As we have already mentioned, there are a lot of rotary laser levels on the market. Between the various accessories and wide price range, it can be next to impossible to find the right rotary laser level for your needs. To make this process easier, there are several factors you should consider:
Laser levels come with several accessories. Many rotary laser level kits come with a mounting tripod, case, and receiver. These accessories are absolutely necessary for your level to perform correctly and be transported safely.
Additionally, you can look for other kits with other features that are less necessary. If you go with one of these options, expect to pay more money. Since rotary laser levels are already expensive, many people avoid kits with excessive accessories.
Another factor to consider when choosing a rotary laser level is durability. Since these sorts of levels are almost always in a scenario where they are exposed to rocks, tools, or other potentially dangerous situations, you need a rotary laser level that is highly durable.
If you are looking for the most durable models on the market, look for construction-grade levels. These types of levelers will be sealed to protect against dust, moisture, and shock. You can learn about a model’s construction-grade based on its IP rating. Models with an IP67 rating, for instance, are highly durable.
When picking out a rotary laser level, you also need to consider the beam quality. The beam quality is how well you will be able to view the light in different settings, such as indoor settings or outdoor settings. Since most rotary laser levels will be used outdoors, it is imperative to have lasers with optimal beam quality.
Overall, green lasers stand out more than red. So, you should look for lasers with green light functions. Many options, however, come with both green light and red light functions, making them suitable for both indoor and outdoor experiences.
Finding a rotary laser level with good beam quality is going to cost you quite a bit of money. In fact, the beam quality is one of the highest predictors of a laser level’s cost. Unfortunately, this is just a price you’re going to have to pay because you don’t want to sacrifice the quality of the beam. So, be prepared for higher costs.
You should also consider the range when buying a rotary laser level. Overall, the optimal range will depend on your purposes and needs. For instance, if you’re working indoors, you will need a smaller range than you would if you are working primarily outside or on large construction projects.
With that being said, it is always best to go for a model that has a higher range. The reason for this is that you can always go shorter on a long-range model, but you cannot go longer on a short-range model.
Indoor vs. Outdoor Abilities
Another factor to consider when buying a rotary laser level is whether or not you should use it indoors or outdoors. Your intended usage will determine your needed level of durability as well as the needed range. So, it is best to consider this from the beginning.
To be safe, you might want to opt for an outdoor model. The reason for this is that the outdoors will need a more durable model then the indoors, but you can still use it indoors.
Finally, the last factor you should consider when picking out a rotary laser level is the self-leveling abilities. Today, almost all decent laser levels have a self-leveling feature. This self-leveling feature will save you time from having to calibrate the tool after it is set up.
Our Top Picks
The table below summarizes our pick of the five best rotary laser levels available today. Continue on for detailed reviews of each level, complete with technical specifications and the pros and cons of each model. Our buying guide offers more information about the features you need to consider when choosing the rotary laser level that is best for you and your projects. Finally, we announce our overall favorite rotary laser level for your next project.
1. Topcon RL-H5A Horizontal Self-Leveling Rotary Laser
With the Topcon RL-H5A multi-purpose rotary laser, you no longer remain restricted to a specific task. Its diverse features and simple controls make this tool ideal for grading, excavation, and larger construction projects.
The versatility and accuracy of this self-leveling rotary laser make it our topmost recommendation. With its multi-purpose design and IP66 rating, this tool can be used for various projects during any time of the year.
Coming to its accuracy and precision, the auto-leveling system sends a self-leveled 360-degree laser reference to your entire work area. You can also manually match existing slopes with the manual single-axis leveling.
Teamed with simple controls and a laser receiver for a long operational range, the product ensures high-level accuracy at all times. Furthermore, simple controls and lightweight design offer intuitive and responsive use. You can get the job done within minutes, making it ideal for bigger projects.
2. Leica Rugby 680 Rotating Laser
One of the most powerful laser levels for construction, this Leica rotating laser level is known for its built and reliability.
Coming from the house of Leica is the Rugby 680 that has a range of over 2,000 feet even in broad daylight. It’s a fine model even if you compare it with the 601 series above.
The IP67-rated protection from dust and water is another highlight, making it easily portable (about 10 pounds) and usable in difficult work environments. But more than what we love about this laser level is the grading function that allows you to operate it beyond the fundamental usage of leveling.
The only downside is that it uses 4 D alkaline batteries (included with the model). They power for about 60 hours of continuous usage, but we would have preferred rechargeable ones to avoid overhead costs. It is the best laser level for grading.
3. LL500 Exterior Self-Leveling Laser Level
The LL500 offers a great operating diameter and a high level of accuracy, reducing the chance of mistakes or slip-ups at even the most extreme distances. It is designed to turn two-person jobs into one-person jobs by acting as a guideline for digging, excavation, foundation-building and other projects that involve changing the level of the ground.
Unlike a lot of professional tools, this rotary laser level uses temperature compensation to keep its measurements accurate even after sudden, extreme temperature changes. Not only that, but it can be switched between regular or rechargeable batteries to reduce the chance of sudden downtime, and provides a clear readout of the current measurements on both sides of its receiver.
The separate receiver and high accuracy of this rotary laser level make it incredibly easy to use, even if you are on your own – this is ideal for solo contractors who need to make every job accessible to one person.
4. Dewalt DW089LG 12V Best Rotary Laser Level
The Dewalt DW089LG 12V Rotary Laser Level tops our list on the best budget rotary laser level, the reason behind this is because of the very significant difference that it has compared to other rotary laser levels. The Dewalt Rotary laser level provides you with a green laser beam rather than the red beam (as incorporated by all other manufacturers).
The green laser beams have been researched and proved to give greater visibility that is up to 100 feet! Whereas the red laser beam can go approximately up to only 50 feet. It’s cool and soothing to the eyes, as the human eye tends towards detecting green light much better than other colours.
Thus, if you have a visibility problem, then the Dewalt Rotary laser level with a green beam will be the perfect outdoor construction gadget for you. Other than the light, this Rotary laser level can provide 360-degree laser lines that can detect and aid in creating the full room layout for indoor purposes. It is also a very cheap rotary laser level that you can ever find with a plethora of good features.
5. CST BERGER RL25HCK LASER LEVEL
The CST Berger RL25HCK Horizontal Exterior Self-leveling rotary laser kit has definitely been constructed and designed for outdoor use. The laser features a staggering maximum distance of 2000 feet and the accuracy alone is worth the price it commands. The laser level features an accuracy of 3/32 of an inch accuracy at 100 feet and this also means that it does retain much of the accuracy as you go farther in distance.
Protection has been highly emphasized in this model and the durable glass housing does not only protect the laser beam from the weather and the environment, but it has also been tested to resist impact at 3 feet. This is not a lot, but when you take into perspective that you will be using this on the ground, it does make sense.
This model does lack in terms of adjustment and you will be limited since it cannot be adjusted smoothly. Another problem is the lack of a sloping feature and this will make landscaping a little harder to do accurately at longer distances. But, you will have an alert that will notify you once the tool falls out of leveling range.
With three speed adjustments, the CST Berger is quite advanced and will help improve the overall accuracy of your work. The RL25HCK is also reasonably priced and offers great features for DIYers to indulge in and to get the job done. The product also comes with a 2-year warranty, but the durability will ensure that the warranty will not be needed.
Safety Tips While Using A Rotary Laser Level
These are some critical tips to follow while using your rotary laser level to avoid accidents:
- Always switch off or pause the laser level when not in use, especially during outdoor usage
- If your laser level does not have pendulum lock-in, take extra care during transportation. If the pendulum breaks, the self-leveling functionality will be lost
- Always carry an extra set of batteries
- If your laser level is not being used for a long period, remove the batteries and keep them separately to avoid leakage
- Always keep the laser level in the hard/soft casing it came with
Can Laser Levels Cause Damage to the Eyes?
Yes, laser levels can damage the eyes. This is why you need to ensure that you do not overexpose yourself to the laser lights. Basically, any exposure that lasts more than a quarter of a second can cause eye injuries.
Do I always have to put the rotary laser level on a plain surface for levelling?
No, you do not have to put the rotary laser on a plain surface every time for levelling. But make sure that it’s at a reasonable level for the device to be working correctly.