One of the most common leveling tools many handyman get acquainted with for home projects is a spirit or bubble level. Spirit levels use a small bubble in a tube to determine whether something is level or plumb. These levels are effective for small projects, but for the ultimate in accuracy, consistency, and convenience, a self-leveling laser level can make all the difference.
The best levels on the market currently- are laser levels. They can do everything a small spirit level can do and much more. How do they work? Laser levels project a beam or multiple beams of light across a room or job site to provide a point of reference to help with alignment and leveling in projects such as installing electrical outlets, hanging pictures, and building a deck.
But be warned: Not all laser levels are created equal. The best laser levels have multiple beams and orientations, can self-level, and offer long battery life and high-powered green laser beams that are more visible during daylight. All of which at a respectable price. Purchasing a well-made and designed model will help you avoid expensive mistakes due to inaccuracy or visibility issues.
Ahead, our guide to navigating the available options, as well as a our favorite pick in the category!
The most important feature of a good level is accuracy, whether it’s a spirit level or it's big brothet a laser level. The best laser levels will have a degree of accuracy with less than 1/16 inch at 30 feet for truly dialed-in results. However, nearly any self-leveling laser will give a more accurate line than can be achieved with a manual spirit level.
The best laser levels on the market make leveling a set up, push a button, and get to work. Most models with self-leveling technology use a smart pendulum system where the laser automatically self-levels, cutting out all the guesswork. Once placed on a relatively level surface, the pendulum takes over and achieves the final degree of level. This makes setting up fast and easy, especially if you already have a reference point that you need to align the line upon.
One of the most important features of any laser level is the beam orientation option. Depending on budget, you may find models with up to three orientations; vertical, horizontal, and 360-degree. While the horizontal and vertical beams’ usefulness is obvious, a 360-degree laser’s practicality cannot be overstated. You can easily hang an entire room’s worth of pictures or accurately level a section of a yard with a 360-degree laser level. Also, for projects like drop ceilings, these levels are paramount for both the accuracy and strength of the finished product.
Red vs. Green
You may not realize it, but the color of the laser can make a big difference in it's performance. Red lasers are less powerful but use far less battery life. Green lasers are more visible from a greater distance and easier to use for outside projects in sunlight. However, more often then not they’re more expensive than a red laser. For these reasons, many pros go with green lasers as they are able to be used for a wider variety of projects.
One of the most useful aspects of laser levels is that they allow you to work essentially hands-free. Once set up, they’re designed to be left alone while you complete the project. The best laser levels use numerous mounting options make setup easy and efficient in any environment, allowing you to step away and work hands-free! Some of the less-expensive models may simply poke two small pins into drywall for support. Other models will come with tripods or mounts that have magnet brackets to attach to walls. When purchasing your laser level, consider your intended use and which mounting accessories you might need to ensure usablility.
The Best Laser Level (in our opinion).
Whether it's tiling, building a deck, lining up picture frames, or more, Intice™ Intelligent Laser Level provides a comprehensive solution to all your leveling needs!
Intice™ Intelligent Laser Level is unlike any ordinary level. This tool delivers portable productivity. With its compact size, ease of use, and self-leveling, it is built to take on the tightest of spaces while still giving you outstanding power, fast operation, and exceptional durability.
This self-leveling model has multiple standard horizontal plane lasers, horizontal 360-degree plane lasers, and vertical 360-degree plane lasers. The bright green lasers are visible at ranges up to 100ft and features rechargeable lithium-Ion batteries that last up to 10 hours.