Thanks to its undoubted advantages, the laser level confidently takes its place along with the usual bubble models. Professional builders, for whom a good tool is primarily a way to do work efficiently and on time, do not even think about whether to buy such a device at all - they only need to determine which laser level is better to buy. There are enough models on the market, and considering their different operating principles, the question is not as simple as it seems at first glance.
Before you study the rating of laser levels, you should decide on their working principle - for different tasks their devices. If you choose the best laser level, then first of all you need to decide on the principle of their work, or rather, on the method of constructing marks - these devices can be point, linear or rotary.
The basis of all such devices is a system of diodes, which turns an electric current into a highly focused beam of light, mostly red or green. The principle of operation is simple - there is a buffer zone between two semiconductors, in which, when passing through semiconductors of electricity, photons appear. In one of the walls there is a hole through which these photons fly out. Since in order to fly out the photon must move at least with a minimum angle to the plane with a hole, the laser beam will scatter and must be further focused. For this purpose, a system of lenses or prisms is used, the presence of which already differs depending on the type of device in which the laser is used.
Of all the laser levels, the point device has the simplest device - the laser in it is statically fixed and after it there is only a focusing lens directing the photon flux into one point. All settings of the level are carried out manually using the built-in bubble levels, after which you can begin to work.
In essence, this is a conventional laser pointer, which is set to a level and projects a beam along the wall. As a result, a bright dot appears on the next or opposite wall. The laser beam itself is not visible in the air, but if an obstacle appears in its path, it will immediately appear on it. That is, if you set the level on a plane and set it to the level, then you can in different places with a marker put down the marks on which to orient yourself during the work.
The simplest point laser levels can be with one or two lasers pointing in opposite directions - this allows, for example, transfer markings from floor to ceiling or with high accuracy to mark large walls, several tens or hundreds meters long. More advanced devices are made with three or five lasers, which allows them to be used more efficiently.
+ The advantages of point levels:
- Disadvantages of point levels:
As a result, the device is more suitable for irregular household work (in this case, you can purchase a regular budget model) or for measurements in very large rooms (then you should look to professional models).
The most common device that heads the laser level rating by number of sales — its second name “plane builder” —is obtained for its ability to project a beam as a line. If the laser encounters an obstacle anywhere on the plane, then the last one immediately displays a label indicating the necessary marking. This means that if you install the level in the corner, then anywhere in the room you can clearly see where the plane constructed by the laser passes.
The laser here is used the same as in point devices, but at the exit there is an additional prism scattering (spreading) the beam in the plane. Most devices can show several lines at once, for which several lasers are included in their design.
A distinctive feature of the device of linear laser levels is the presence of an auto leveling system, which allows you to compensate for the installation error of 3-6 degrees. Autocentration is very reliable - it uses electronics, or the alignment occurs due to the installation of the laser itself on the pendulum, which always seeks to be located perpendicular to the earth's surface.
+ The advantages of linear levels:
- Disadvantages of linear levels:
Linear levels are suitable for professional finishers or builders who often need to establish a “reference” plane from which to work during the process.
This is a professional tool whose main purpose is to build a horizontal plane in very large rooms or on the street. It is a point laser that rotates at a controlled frequency. Thus, the projected plane covers all 360 ° around the device, and the range greatly exceeds the capabilities of linear levels. If beam catchers are used, then mark up the construction site or measure elevation differences, depending on the device, will turn out in a radius of 150-300 meters.
+ The advantages of rotary levels:
- Disadvantages of rotational levels:
Rotational laser levels are used only for professional purposes, on large construction sites. Their use in other areas or in everyday life is inappropriate - it is a waste of money and irrational use of the device, which will not realize its full potential.
Among these devices, the levels of the German manufacturer Bosch are considered to be the best. The choice of models is quite wide, but in terms of price-quality, attention should be paid to the GPL 5 and PLL 5, which have all the necessary functionality at a democratic cost. Bosch has an extensive network of service centers, which will allow not to spend a lot of time searching for them and the trips themselves, in the event of a device failure.
The universal point level, issuing five rays with a possible deviation of no more than 0.3 mm / m. Two beams are directed up and down, and the rest are forward, left and right at right angles to each other. The case of the device is made according to IP54 protection class, which allows its use in dusty and damp rooms. The measurement range is 30 meters, which is more than enough for the premises.
The device is equipped with a self-leveling mechanism that compensates for installation errors of 5 ° horizontally and 3 ° vertically. The device itself can be installed on the floor, mounted on a wall or use a tripod.
+ Pros Bosch GPL 5
- Cons Bosch GPL 5
Totals . The dot level is a rather specific device used mainly by professionals for marking foundations and similar structures. It will most likely be inconvenient to use it in living conditions.
Compact and lightweight device that allows you to make accurate vertical and horizontal markings up to 5 meters away with an accuracy of +/- 1 mm / m. The weight of the device is only 0.12 kg, which allows you to easily and securely attach it to the wall, after preliminary alignment by means of bubble levels built into the body. Power comes from two AAA batteries (mini-finger batteries). The service life depends on the time of continuous operation of the device.
+ Pros Bosch PLL 5
- Bosch PLL 5
Results . Due to the limited functionality, the device is suitable for replacing the bubble level without any additional "buns", except for the length of the measured surface.
In this category, devices from the German manufacturer Bosch, model GLL 3-80 P, are able to make projections of three full-fledged planes and the Chinese ADA - 6D Servoliner devices and 3D Liner 4V, slightly different from each other in functionality. In a sense, one can speak about the quality identity of all these devices, since the production facilities of the German brand are also located in the Middle Kingdom.
|ADA 6D Servoliner
|Bosch GLL 3-80 P
|ADA 3D Liner 4V
|Self-Leveling Angle, deg.
|Measurement range with / without receiver receiver, m
|Thread for tripod, inch
|1/4 and 5/8
|Number of batteries, pcs.
|Accuracy, mm / m
|Direction of the rays
|horizontal / vertical / vertical / down
|horizontal / vertical / vertical
|horizontal / vertical / vertical / down
|Number of rays
|Operating time on one charge, h
A self-leveling laser level designed for indoor and outdoor use. The best laser level in the line of its manufacturer - it gives 9 rays, 4 of which form a horizontal plane at 360 °, 4 show two planes vertically, showing a zenith at the intersection, and a plumb point - nadir. Self-alignment is implemented not by the pendulum method, but by means of servo drives, which expose the planes with an instrument installation error of 3.5 °. If you need to build inclined planes, the auto leveling feature is disabled.
+ Pros ADA 6D Servoliner
- Cons ADA 6D Servoliner
Results .Due to its reliability and versatility, the device is perfect for those who are professionally engaged in construction or decoration. For periodic works, its functionality and price may be redundant.
A tool that allows you to build 3 fully closed planes. One horizontally and two vertical, at right angles to each other. The range of operation is up to 40 meters without a receiver, and with it it doubles to 80. The device is equipped with an auto-alignment function for planes, compensating for incorrect installation within +/- 4 °. If necessary, this option can be disabled. The arrangement of lasers allows you to build reference planes almost close to the existing ones. Zenith and nadir are shown not by a point, but by a cross between the lines above and below.
+ Pros Bosch GLL 3 -80 P
- Cons Bosch GLL 3-80 P
Results . Cost and functionality uniquely position the device as a device for professional use. If work is planned on open construction sites, then the beam catcher should definitely be bought.
The six-beam plane builder allows you to simultaneously display the projection of two vertical planes, the lines of which intersect at the zenith, one horizontal, exciting opposite and part of the side walls, and also shows the point plumb (nadir).
The self-leveling angle is +/- 3 ° - if the device is not able to calibrate independently, the laser beam starts flashing and a beep sounds. Also, the signal is triggered when the device is idle for a long time - if you forget to turn it off, it saves battery power. The device is equipped with a built-in tripod and bubble level, which make it easy to pre-install it to the surface.
+ Pros ADA 3D Liner 4V
- Cons ADA 3D Liner 4V
Results . Professional device for those who are in the work often faced with the need to build a "reference" laser planes, but does not need a full horizon. However, this problem is also solvable, since the device easily turns on a tripod.
In the category of TOP instruments, the German brand Bosch with the GRL 300 HVG Set and the American DeWalt DW 079 PKH are leading. These are laser levels whose rating is confirmed by their functionality and quality, and they are approximately equal in both instruments. Exceptions are only some of the "buns", the taste of which will determine the choice of the end customer.
Professional level for working in open space and indoors. The range determined by the manufacturer is 50 meters in normal mode and 150 meters with a laser beam receiver, which is included in the package.
The color of the laser beam is green - according to the manufacturer, its visibility is 4 times better than that of red. The number of rays 2 - one forms the plane, and the second shows the zenith point. The auto-leveling function works out when the device skews within 5 °. Disconnection is not provided, but the device can operate in horizontal and vertical planes.
+ Pros Bosch GRL 300 HVG Set
- Cons Bosch GRL 300 HVG Set
Results . The device is in the TOP category of its instrument segment. Cost and characteristics unambiguously define the scope of use as a professional, with increased requirements for measurement results.
Self-leveling level with the highest possible performance for a device of this class. The laser of the device is leveled by automatics with a case installation error of +/- 5 °, and the accuracy of the device declared by the manufacturer is 1 cm per 100 meters.
In work two beams are used - one rotating in the horizontal plane, and the second shows the zenith point to it. The range declared by the manufacturer is 30 meters in normal mode and 300 using a beam receiver.
+ Pros DeWALT DW 079 PKH
- Cons DeWALT DW 079 PKH
Results . Professional devices like DW 079 should be purchased only if their functionality is demanded daily. Otherwise, it's just an expensive toy, which is unlikely to be more helpful in the work than a device of a lower class.