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Many contractors are still stuck with the old water bubble level, but with many inaccuracies now proven to be a result of the water bubble level and human error, it might just be an ideal time for you to upgrade.
The best rotary laser levels are much more accurate at longer distances, making them much more effective for getting an accurate read and even working more accurately while doing things like construction and even terracing.
They may be expensive, but they make a great investment which will save you a lot of time and will last a lifetime if looked after properly.
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In a Rush?
Here's 3 products we picked out that thought you would be interested in depending on your budget...
Best Rotary Laser Level with Reviews
Here's a list of the best rotary laser levels on the market today:
1. Topcon RL-H5A Self Leveling Rotary Laser Level
Not so Good
The Topcon RL-H5 rotary laser kit is one of the more advanced models on the market.
We consider this to be our favorite for commercial use and the user will be guaranteed much more accuracy in their work.
This laser level kit will be perfect for landscaping and work at larger distances. The laser has the capability of reaching up to 2,600 feet in distance, with a matching slope feature that will allow you to work much more accurately considering the slopes. To improve the accuracy even further, it has been calibrated to an accuracy of 1/32 of an inch accuracy at 65 feet, which will also be great for improving your work at closer distances.
The casing has also been designed to be weather resistant as well as corrosion resistant and the 5 year Topcon guarantee will fit in perfectly with anyone looking to get great value for their money. Unfortunately, the laser only has one rotation speed and many review critics would have loved if the rotation speed was adjustable like many of the other laser levels on our list.
The Topcon RL-H5 is, however, quite pricey and will cost you a great deal of money initially, but this can be considered to be an investment and contractors will be using this every day, which would justify the price. We do recommend this laser level to top contractors working in bigger construction or excavation sites and you can be sure to have everything you need in this top of the range laser level.
2. DEWALT DW074KDT Rotary Laser
Not so Good
The DeWalt DW074KDT Rotary laser is one of the top self-leveling laser kits at a really affordable price. The laser will be great for shorter distance accuracy and for interior use but might let you down as you go further. This has been known to be hard to see when at a distance and it is a must that the provided sensor is used. This is certainly our favorite pick when it comes to giving you value for your money.
The tripod can be adjusted for various heights and since the entire system is weatherproof, you will be capable of continuing your work if a slight rain should come up. The laser level is really easy to set up and it comes with a carry bag for all the items to fit inside, thus making it portable and easy to carry around as well.
The DW074KDT also features various rotation speeds ranging from 0 to 600 RPM, Which makes the laser much more effective at scaffolding work to ensure that the work is very accurate. The laser is not all that expensive and should definitely be one of the most important pieces of equipment in the bags of professional contractors.
The DeWalt DW074KDT is one of the most affordable on the market and with most of the same features that have been included in many of the more expensive levels, this laser level definitely provides the best value for your money.
3. Johnson 99-006K Rotary Laser System
Not so Good
The Johnson level tool 99-006K self-leveling rotary laser system has been designed for indoor working and shorter ranges. The level system is quite small and can be easily carried along or moved from place to place around the house. Since it can be adjusted up and down on the durable tripod, the rotary laser level will be great for scaffolding and even work on the ceiling. The laser I quite affordable to the average DIYer, making it perfect for a quick budget buy.
The rotation speeds are great and the slower rotation speed of 200 RPM will be great for making minor landscaping improvements around the house. You will also be notified by audible and visual alarms once you exceed the leveling range and once you are done, the laser needs to be locked up securely with the switch or it will just keep sounding the alarm to alert you.
The locking mechanism works in tandem with the added rubber protection and will allow you to easily transport the level safely from location to location. There are, however, a few problems which have been found with this model and the shorter battery life is one of them. The battery will give you 20 hours of usage if you are lucky and the carry case is unfortunately not big enough to carry all of the pieces that come with the laser.
Because of its portability and shorter range, the Johnson 99-006K will be really great value for DIYers or just to have sitting around in your working station. The laser will not be as effective with the larger construction jobs, but it does come fully ready to use with all of the components for a really low price. Budget buyers need not look any further.
4. Bosch GRL400HCK Rotary Laser
Not so Good
The Bosch GRL400HCK Exterior Self-Leveling Rotary laser kit is perfect for DIYers to use at home. The leveling kit features a laser that will lock when the machine is turned off and this will help improve the durability of the fragile laser. You will also have rotation speeds of 350, 600 and 1200 RPM, which will help people significantly improve accuracy indoors.
The leveling system features a patented dual- laser system, which will make horizontal and vertical leveling much easier. The horizontal and vertical beam can also be used simultaneously for better accuracy and everything can be controlled by the added remote. The remote will be able to work from about 500 feet and this is also the prime distance where this laser leveling system really does excel.
With a battery life of 40 hours, you will be able to use the GRL400HCK for an impressive two days of working hours before needing to recharge it. This will also help increase the productivity of contractors working under you. Unfortunately, this laser level does have some issues that users have experienced in terms of accuracy at longer distances.
Another fatal flaw is the fact that there no feature for sloping, which means that this laser might not be the best choice when it comes to landscaping. We do, however, highly recommend this laser for use indoors or when adding possible rooms to your home.
As for the price, the laser is reasonably priced, but will not be perfect for construction work. This Bosch laser level will definitely improve your indoor accuracy significantly and if you are willing to splash out over $500, this will be a great option for you.
5. CST Berger RL25HCK Laser Level
Not so Good
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.
6. Spectra Precision Rotary Laser Level LL300
Not so Good
Rotary laser level buying guide
Since all of these essentially do the same job, it can be quite daunting to buy one for yourself, but you need not worry as our buying guide will ensure that you are able to find the best laser rotary level for your needs. As with all tools you should be aware and educate yourself on the risks especially if you are going to be using it outside. We also have another guide on how to learn to use a rotary laser level.
One key thing to remember is that even though they do the same job, many of their features vary from one another and this will have an impact on the usage that you have for the leveling tool.
First of all, it is worth noting that the laser level picks up where the old water level stops and since most water levels are either 2 or 4 feet long, the chances of being off level are greatly increased with every inch beyond the level length. The rotary laser level has many purposes and it can simply be set up and it will point a beam more than 100 feet with an accuracy of 1/8 of an inch, the level will also notify the contractors the moment they are off level or out of leveling range.
So now that you know what the best rotary levels look like, it is time for us to show you what to look out for:
The beam might seem standard and you could easily be fooled into thinking that all of the beams are the same, but there are a few differences in the beams that we are going to look at.
- Beam color: The beam color directly relates to the visibility and this is especially important when working outdoors. There are multiple different colors to choose from, but red is bright and it contrasts nature perfectly to allow you to keep it in sight.
- Beam distance: Working with longer distances are important for contractors and especially landscapers, therefore, having a beam that can be clearly seen and does have a longer reaching distance will provide the contracting crew with great value and improved accuracy
- Beam angle: The rotary laser level is 360 degrees and this is fundamentally important when you need to work inside rooms. The beam will spin around and ensure that the work is accurate.
The battery life will be important to some, but not to all. It is recommended that you look for the longest possible battery life if you tend to work in more remote areas. The batteries should also be capable of being rechargeable as buying a new battery can easily set you back north of $100.
You might have seen us mention the various rotation speeds, but if you do not yet understand all of the fundamentals, you might not fully understand the reason for the various rotations speeds.
The rotation speeds relate directly to the light that is available and the size of the area that you will be working in. Larger outdoor areas with good lighting will be perfect for using a speed of 600 RPM and smaller areas like the home or indoors, will require a slower speed and this is where 200 RPM should excel in providing you with the best accuracy possible.
When looking at the entire kit, there are two types of protection that are offered. These two types are the external casing in which the laser system is packed and the method at which the laser itself is protected. Different brands do offer different ways and methods that have been incorporated for protection, but let’s look at these two important ones.
- Exterior case protection: Most of the companies will give you an exterior case to make it more portable and easier to carry everything together. This is considered to be your first line of protection and will generally be durable and made from quality materials like aluminum. Having an additional rubber cover will only enhance the protection and you will have an impact resistant case as well
- Laser cover protection: The cover protection might vary from brand to brand, but it is generally accepted that a molded glass cover is included in some of the more expensive lasers and the laser will lockdown when the level has been turned off. Having added protection will also increase the durability of the entire level as lasers are very sensitive.
A laser level at the job site or for simple DIY work at home can save you a lot of time and especially frustration. The old water level might be good for two or four feet, but after that, it can be tricky and time-consuming. If you are not the type of person who loves redoing things, then this tool is a must have.
In an industry where time does equal money, the rotary laser level can certainly spare you a few minutes and you will be much more productive. The construction will also be happy to find that they can save time and work much more diligently and accurately. We recommend the laser level to any construction team or DIYer that loves to build and landscape at home.