A laser level is a tool used at home or various construction sites for speeding up the setting-out or alignment processes. This tool is an important accessory, especially for those enthusiasts and professionals who require accurate leveling and alignments to accomplish their work. Whether electricians, contractors or home makers, this device is very useful as it initiates the work to be done quick and accurate. There are varieties of laser levels available at the market and one can simply get confused on which laser level to buy. We are here to provide you with some basic and common factors that you would like to consider while buying a laser level.
Laser level type
Before considering buying a laser level, the most important thing to be considered is the type of laser level. There are basically three types of laser levels, which include dot, line, and rotary laser level. The dot and the line laser levels are pretty simple as these laser levels emit red dot or line beam on the opposite surface while the rotary laser level uses prism or mirrors along with a built-in rotary motor, and the beam is suspended over 360° that covers the whole room or space. The dot and line are simple and used for simpler alignment tasks, where as the rotary laser levels are used for more complex work. So according to ones requirement, the type of laser level must be chosen.
Normally there are two types of the laser level according to the purpose of handling, manual and auto level. Most of the laser levels, specially the dot and line laser and some less pricey rotary laser have bubble levels and need to be leveled manually. This type of laser level is not less accurate, but the user has to be more careful while setting up this type of tool. Many high-quality rotary lasers come with automatic level feature and this type of device is called automatic or self-leveling laser level. The automatic laser levels automatically provide a true line after 20 seconds or so after the start. The static dot or line laser levels have the same mechanism and level automatically as soon as the laser tool is switched on. The static laser levels come with damped-pendulum which enables the laser level to auto level. So depending on the need of accuracy and time availability, one must decide whether to go for a manual or an automatic laser level.
Area of use and stability
One more factor to be considered while buying a laser level is the worksite where the laser level is to be used. An indoor worksite will mostly require a laser level that can project single or multiple laser beams in the grid pattern. This pattern is very useful in installation of various indoor materials, which require completing a job with the high degree of precision. Outdoor jobs are mostly with larger workspace and require laser beam to cover up wider area, for which a self-leveling rotary laser level is an ideal choice. Though this type of laser levels is more expensive, but it can save a lot of work time as larger worksites will most probably require a laser level that will provide more accuracy over wider range.
Stability of the job site must also be considered. Bumps are basically more at outdoor job sites, and manual leveling laser level is not a good choice for highly unstable working areas as the user will have difficulty in repeatedly leveling the device, so self-leveling laser level is the best option for this situation, in order to maintain accuracy.
All the laser levels come with a fixed accuracy. Accuracy is taken as +Xm at a distance of 30 meters and the top range laser levels have around +-1.5Xm at 30 m. Before buying the laser level, one should compare the accuracy rate. The lesser is the numeric rate, the more is the accuracy of the laser.
Color of the beam
One would also like to consider the color of the beam projected by the laser level. There are three types of beam colors emitted; red, green and yellow. Yellow and red are common and red is used in most of the laser levels, especially the ones used for outdoor job sites. Green laser beams are better visible, but these laser levels are more expensive and less abundant. The laser levels with green beam are used for large indoor construction sites, where the users don’t want to use laser detectors. If used for outdoor, still the user will have to use laser detector.
All the laser levels either emit single beam or multiple beams. Some laser levels project the only horizontal beam, some project vertical beam and many emit both horizontal and vertical beam forming grading pattern. The cheaper models offer only single type, whereas the high-quality level lasers provide both. The buyer should select the kind according to the type of work and requirements. It is not always important to use grading pattern, so the buyer needs to consider the necessity before deciding the type of level projection.
IP rating is the international protection value provided to the laser level tool and it indicates the resistance of the tool against dust and water in normal use. For example, if the laser level has IP56, the number 5 indicates till how much extent the device is resistant to the dust and 6 indicates the same for that of water. So according to the likely to exposure to these elements, the quality of the tool should be decided.
In order to be used, it is necessary to mount the laser level. Varieties of laser levels come with wide range of mounting option and these can be mounted on surfaces, post, metal rail, and many more. Some laser level cannot be mounted on surfaces and require special mounting equipment like the tripod. One should buy a laser level with mounting threads that one can afford. For example, if the laser a level needs to be mounted on a post, but there is no such post at the worksite, it is no use buying that laser level.
A laser level is necessary for high accuracy work. As different job site will have vastly different leveling requirement, no matter whatever your budget is, you should go for a laser level that can fulfill your leveling demands and is durable enough to work for a very long time. One must choose widely according to the need.