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The Best Rotary Laser Levels for 2024

Rotary laser levels are an important piece of a surveyor’s toolset especially when completing any kind of construction project that needs to be made according to exact specifications. Therefore, picking the right one for the job is essential as it is the only way for you to get the exact measurements that you need.

Laser levels are used in various engineering and construction applications. You will mostly see them applied on concrete asphalt. Besides surveyors, farmers also use them to determine the square alignments on openings.

The way that a laser level works is by sending an amplified and highly focused beam of light emitted from a diode. The beam acts as a visual chalk line whenever one needs a straight reference point. The size of the beam depends on the size of the diode, and the smaller the beam the better, as that way it is more precise.

Originally, the first laser levels were only used indoors. But through their development and advancement and making the beam brighter, they became a powerful tool that can easily be used outdoors. Many of them now come with a detector that helps you read the beam.

Laser Levels Reviews

To help you out when making your picks and learning what is the best rotating laser, here are a few of the best laser levels that we selected as some of the most reliable, budget-friendly, and adaptable for any kind of surveying job.

Rotary Lasers

Specifications

Topcon RL-H5B Horizontal Self-Leveling Rotary Laser Kit

  • Range up to 1,312 ft. with LS-80X receiver
  • Accuracy of ±1/8 in. at 100 ft.
  • Self-leveling within ±5°
  • Out-of-level notification
  • 600 rotations-per-minute
  • Class 2 visible red laser
  • Uses 4 x D-cell alkaline batteries with up to 100 hours of use
  • IP66 dustproof and water-resistant construction

Topcon RL-H5A Self-Leveling Construction Laser Kit

  • Long-range operation: up to 800m
  • Smart long-range receiver included
  • Rotation speed: 600 rpm
  • Plus/minus 10 arc second horizontal accuracy
  • Plus/minus 5° self-leveling range
  • Operating temperature: -20°C to 50°C
  • Up to 100-hours battery life
  • IP66 rating: withstands dust and rainfall
  • 5-year manufacturer's warranty
  • Carry case included

Bosch GRL800-20HVK Self-Leveling Rotary Laser Kit

  • Horizontal/vertical self-leveling rotary laser
  • Visible line range of 800 ft. with ±3/16 in. accuracy at 100 ft.
  • Includes laser receiver, tripod, grade rod, wall mount, laser glasses, target card, and carrying case
  • Vertical-beam functionality for layout, squaring, and plumb applications
  • Electronic self-leveling with disturbance monitor
  • Long-range capability up to 800 ft.
  • Variable-speed and scan-angle selection for maximum visibility
  • Robust design with easy-to-grip handles for convenience and drop protection

DEWALT 20-Volt MAX Green Beam Rotary Tough Laser

  • +/- 0.125 in. accuracy at 100 ft.
  • IP67 rated for debris/water resistance
  • 2m drop tested for durability
  • Highly visible green beam for optimal visibility
  • Dual-axis slope mode for versatile applications
  • Scan mode with 15°/45°/90° angles
  • Runs off the 20-Volt max DEWALT battery platform
  • FlexVolt compatible
  • Bonus Construction Tripod included (DW0737)
  • DW0737 tripod features quick-release legs, 60 in. height (opened), 38 in. height (closed)
  • DW0737 tripod is lightweight, durable, and has pointed steel feet for stability on any terrain

What to Look for When Choosing the Right Laser Level

Being that there are so many types of laser levels online available for you to find, you need to know what to look for to get the best one for the job you are planning to do. Some have better accuracy while others are packed with additional features. Either way, the choice that you need to make can be based on some of the following factors.

Leveling

Rotating lasers need to be leveled to be even with the ground. When using a level, this is a very important step because it ensures everything is accurate. A leveling device can level itself if it's within 5° of being level, but it'll still needs to be adjusted manually by the user.

  • Manual leveling: A manual level laser is controlled by buttons or knobs. The system comes with a spirit level to make sure the device is flat. There are a lot of devices with this setting for vertical alignment, as well as self-leveling systems for horizontal alignment. Although manually setting up levels takes a few minutes, there's less chance of mechanical error and more control since it's all done by hand. Compared to other methods of leveling, these systems are a lot cheaper. 
  • Self-leveling: Rotary levels often have self-leveling features. This type of tool features a smart pendulum system and magnets to level itself, so it's more accurate and faster to set up than a manual tool. 
  • Electronic self-leveling: In terms of accuracy, electronic (or automatic) self-leveling is the best. Instead of pendulums, the system uses motors to level itself. There are a lot of levels that have more advanced capabilities and let you do more

Range

For large construction projects, rotary laser levels are a very helpful tool because they have a very wide range. Unfortunately, due to the length, you can't see the laser beam in daylight. Because of that, most rotary lasers have receivers that can detect them. 

If a sensor is included, we can measure the operating range as the maximum distance that the sensor can detect the laser from. Operating ranges are usually measured in feet or meters and are a representation of the total diameter of the laser-projected circle (from level to the end of the laser, in one direction). 

Lasers typically reach 1,000 to 2,600 feet with a receiver. It's helpful to have a rotary laser with a range of 2,000–2,600 feet if the buyer wants to use it for a large-scale project, but if it's for indoor projects, the distance isn't so relevant.

Accuracy

The accuracy of a leveling is measured by the uncertainty or deviation from it. This is represented by a plus or minus sign (±), followed by a fraction of an inch. There is usually a measurement of uncertainty per 100 feet. 

In other words, the laser line will be level within a certain range and may vary more or less than that number for every 100 feet. When it comes to accurate leveling, accuracy is determined by how much uncertainty there is. Numbers typically range from 1/4 inch to 1/16 inch per 100 feet.

Color

Laser levels are colored for performance and visibility, not aesthetics. For most applications, laser beams still require a sensor since they can't be seen in daylight. On the market, you can get two types of laser beams - Red lasers and Green lasers. 

Red lasers are the most common; although they don't have as much visibility as green lasers. But, they're cheaper. Green lasers, on the other hand, are much more visible and can be seen indoors or at night. However, green lasers also come at a higher price.

Battery Life

Battery life can vary depending on how much energy the level needs from its power source. It's also helpful to know what type of battery you're using. Rotary lasers usually run on alkaline batteries, but some models use rechargeable batteries. Rechargeable batteries are a better cost-effective choice, mainly because they don't need to be replaced all the time. 

The battery life of a battery depends on various factors, but the most we've seen it can last is about 60 hours. Longer battery life means more efficient work since users don't have to change dead batteries or charge rechargeable batteries. It's also helpful to know how much power is left with something like a battery level gauge.

Types of Laser Levels

There are in fact quite a few types of laser levels. Each of them has its own specific qualities and characteristics that can come in handy depending on the needs. For instance, rotary lasers have a more widespread use compared to others because they are more advanced and at the same time versatile.

Nevertheless, the choice will always be made based on the type of work a surveyor is doing. Here are the most common laser types that you will come across.

Rotary Lasers

A rotary level functions by sending out a 360-degree spinning laser beam allowing it to create a very accurate chalk line from which to work. This can come in handy when doing such jobs as leveling floors, tiling, aligning kitchen units, and, of course, any basic type of survey work like making a site layout, grade calculations, etc.

Rotary lasers are very versatile as they come with advanced functions. You can get a self-leveling one, for instance, which will save you the time of aligning everything manually. At the same time, you get better and more accurate results that way. Also, they are very useful for both indoor and outdoor work.

Grade Lasers

Grade lasers are very accurate rotating lasers that are most useful when one needs a very accurate and precise grade. Actually, there are both single and dual-grade lasers available. With them, you can lay out a construction site, collect height and angle data, complete site preparations, and align concrete forms, and earthworks.

Piper Lasers

The usage of its lasers lies in its very name. Also known as utility construction lasers, these are used for work in pipes. This includes both the usage above ground as well as underneath, particularly in manholes or pipes themselves.

Line Lasers

Line lasers work by allowing a user to set up either a horizontal or a vertical beam around 180 degrees horizontally or vertically. However, there are some that can set a beam at 360 degrees. Also referred to as dot lasers, these are much more useful for interior work. But they basically work in any kind of work where you need both vertical or horizontal leveling.

Laser Level Accessories

As you probably guessed, laser levels are not the only pieces of equipment that you will need when surveying or doing any kind of similar job. You will be needing other pieces of equipment that go along with it. These accessories either fit and work with laser levels themselves, or allow you to operate them easily and finish the job faster.

  • Tripods: You absolutely cannot venture in the field without a tripod. Laser levels are mounted on a tripod as they help in achieving level flooring, eventually giving you more accurate results.
  • Laser Line Detectors: These tools are meant to be used alongside laser levels and are there to provide optical or acoustic signals that allow surveyors to find laser lines more easily.
  • Batteries: When going on a site, batteries are essential. You don’t want them going out on you while you are out on a job. So be sure to carry spares with you and have them charged and ready if you are using rechargeable ones.
  • Chargers: Since it is far more cheaper to have rechargeable batteries, you are going to need chargers. Especially when you are doing outdoor kind of work.
  • Remote Controls: Helping you do your work faster, remote controls can help you adjust the rotational speed, manual leveling, auto leveling, all of it completely remotely.
  • Leveling Staff: There are actually a few different types of leveling staff to choose from. Some of them include  E-type, barcoded, standard invar, and industrial invar ones. Be sure to get a sturdy and quality one as it is ideal for work close to power lines.

Laser Level Application

The main aim of laser levels is to speed up the setting up process in the field. They are easy to set and are far more reliable than spirit levels. They also provide better accuracy over long distances. However, spirit levels are still a better choice when it comes to sorting distance measuring.

Laser levels are functional multipurpose tools that will save you money and will provide you with the convince that you need for any type of task. As we already mentioned, these can be used both indoors and outdoors, and their application is quite versatile.

Indoor application: 

  • Leveling floors.
  • Measuring distances between objects
  • Checking the height of doors and windows.
  • Align shelves, cabinets, or trim.

Outdoor application:

  • Basic surveying.
  • Plumbing.
  • Checking the elevation of the land.
  • Site layout.

FAQs

For additional insight about rotary lasers, here are some added answers.

What is a rotary laser used for?

Rotary laser levels are used within various construction work applications. They can be used indoors, shooting a 360-degree horizontal or vertical beam around a room, or outdoors, alongside a laser detector and grade rod for both digging down or building up.

What is the difference between line laser and rotary laser?

Rotary lasers are more suitable for outdoor work when long-range, high accuracy is needed. Line lasers, on the other hand, are best used indoors when one has to set a horizontal or a vertical line.

Can I use a laser level in sunlight?

Unfortunately, a laser level that can remain completely visible in direct sunlight does not exist. For that reason, most laser levels have a receiver that helps to find the beam within certain distances.

How does a laser level work?

A laser level sends out a highly focused beam of light emitted from a solid-state device called a diode. Also called LEDs, these can be found within a number of devices as they help to establish a visual chalk line with the aim of getting a straight reference point.

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