What’s the Best Laser Level? We put together this practical buying guide to give you our recommendations while providing helpful insight into the advantages and disadvantages of each model. We discuss and review a wide range of laser levels for your home DIY projects or for use on the jobsite. Our goal is to help you choose the right type for your specific needs and budget.
You’ll notice that our primary recommendations are Bosch and Dewalt laser levels. Which brand is better? Well, actually, both brands make excellent products, the question is : What features are you looking for in a laser level?
Intro | Best Laser Level Buying Guide
If you’re an old dog, like me, you will remember a time before the laser level. As small and simple as these tools seem today, they have probably made one of the biggest differences in how we work. There was a time when the only way to match a level point across a room was to use a long transparent tube filled with water as an improvised “flexible” level. Instead of spending so much of your time joining the dots with a chalk a line, a laser level will give you an instant line projected onto any surface from which you can work accurately and easily.
Today, the best laser levels incorporate a lot of practical functions and design features that allow us to do so much more with one small device. Though there are so many different options available, ranging from really cheap to quite expensive. So it’s not that easy to determine which is going to be the best laser level for your needs.
DEWALT DW089LG | 12V MAX 3X360 Line Laser
This article should hopefully shed some light on the topic. We’re going to be reviewing a great variety of laser levels and each can be seen as the best in some way or another. Just about everyone uses a laser level these days. They are just as handy for builders as they are for metal workers and definitely simplify DIY tasks around the home.
You can get many multipurpose laser tools with all sorts of functions. But for the best laser level for accurately lining up planes in a multi-directional array, you need something a bit more specialized. The tools we’ll be reviewing here are designed for incredible accuracy and most will work on 2 or three dimensions simultaneously. They are among the best in their class and offer excellent usability. They can be used for perfect site elevation calculations, just as well as they can be for interior squaring and matching of levels across multiple planes. Best of all, you get instant results with basically no set up time.
What is a Laser Level?
These tools are also called Line Lasers because unlike the common dot laser, they project lines along a horizontal and usually vertical plane simultaneously. They will have a built-in spirit level so that the user can adjust the laser level to any surface upon which it is placed. Some laser levels can adjust automatically and level themselves without the user having to do a thing.
With a laser level, you’re able to quickly achieve a horizontal or vertical line for cabinets, windows, doors, shelves, or even hanging pictures and installing drop ceilings. You set the laser level opposite the surface that you wish to work on, ensure that it’s level, and it will project a line along walls, floor and ceilings by means of powerful laser beam. Some laser levels are able project a 360° array of lines, making it possible to project a level line around an entire room, including the floor and ceiling, at the same time.
Best Laser Levels │ Full Reviews
There’s no doubt that the more sophisticated laser levels are a must-have item for any building contractor. Homeowners who want a handy DIY aid might prefer a more basic, cheaper option. In this review of the best laser levels, we’ll be covering all the bases. So you can choose between really advanced laser levels, some of which are self-leveling, or just go for the basics.
360° Three-Plane Leveling and Alignment-Line Laser. One of the best professional lasers by Bosch — a leader when it comes to power tools.
- Complete level and alignment laser – quickly arranges and squares room layout with three chalk lines in 360° laser planes, one horizontal and two vertical
- Built-in VisiMax technology – monitors power consumption to maximize line visibility and extend battery life
- Upgraded diode with a brighter beam – delivers a visible range of up to 200 Ft. diameter
- Pulse mode – extends the working range up to 300 Ft. diameter and/or in bright lighting, using an optional LR8 or LR 6 receiver
- BM1 positioning device – clips to multiple surfaces, stands on floor with retractable feet and mounts to drywall or wood with screws for quick and easy setup
- Smart Pendulum System – self levels and indicates out-of-level condition up to ±4°
- Manual mode – locks lines for use at any angle
- Robust over-molded construction – IP54 ensures splash water/dust protection for years of dependable operation
Most people might think of a laser level as a cheap item. After all, it’s basically a laser light in a box with a few extra bits added to it. That’s a rather simplistic way of looking at things. So before you gasp at the price tag of the Bosch GLL3-300, you should first check out what you’re getting. This is a real time saver and will make any contractor’s life much more pleasurable. In the end, it adds to your profitability.
In the construction industry, the phrase “time is money” is probably more applicable than in any other. So the time saved with a laser level of this caliber is going to make a big difference. I would think that for the DIY enthusiast, this could be a very nice item to have. But for what it costs, I don’t know if many homeowners would feel the need to pay so much when there are very competent, cheaper options available. Be that as it may, there are many laser levels that cost more than this one. Sure, the really advanced DeWalt laser levels may be considered, by many to be the best. But they cost even more. You won’t really find a better option in this price range.
What places the Bosch GLL3-300 up alongside the very best laser levels is the 360°, 3-plane leveling. So it provides one horizontal and two vertical lines, allowing you to map out the entire space that you’re working in with one laser in a single position. There’s no need for two laser levels and this will obviously halve your setup time.
Then there’s the Smart Pendulum system. This enables the Bosch to be self-leveling within 4°, which is another big time saver. It has retractable feet for standing the laser level on the floor, it can also clip to virtually any surface or be wall-mounted with screws.
The class II 630 – 650 NM laser diode is one of the brightest. Though anyone who’s used a laser level will know that they are not always the best in bright lighting – especially outdoors. Bosch has made this model more versatile with regards to adapting to lighting conditions. In its normal mode, you can project a beam of up to 200’ in diameter. Of course this will depend on the lighting conditions. However, it can be switched to pulse mode which will extend the beam up to 300’ in the same lighting conditions and this will obviously make it better in bright light. Though, in bright outdoor lighting, it won’t be that visible over the full maximum 300’ range. The further the laser is from its target, the dimmer it will be.
The sophisticated VisiMax technology works to ensure maximum visibility whilst still prolonging battery life. It’s clear that Bosch has packed every conceivable bit of technology available into this little tool, making it one of the most user friendly laser levels that you can get. All this comes in a compact, lightweight and very durable device. It weighs only 1.8 LBs, is 5.9” in length, 5.6” tall, and 3.3” wide. You get a tough little carrying case into which you can safely store the Bosch laser level and a handy pouch if you want to keep it with you while you work. The unit can withstand the harsh environment that it’s designed to work in. The IP54 molded plastic construction is both water and dust resistant, and it will work accurately in temperatures ranging from 14°F up to 104°F.
Bosch seem to make tools that fall into any category. Their cheaper tools rival the cheapest in price, yet knock the socks off any of the cheapest tools in terms of durable quality. Their more expensive tools can compete with any of top brands and can often exceed what you’ll get from guys like Makita and DeWalt. The Bosch GLL3-300 falls into the latter category, it’s an expensive laser level. But I’m sure many will agree that it can easily be considered one of the best for a reasonably priced and very high-spec laser level. Tough durable construction combined with every time-saving feature that the busy contractor could possibly want, make the Bosch worth every cent for the professional builder or ambitious DIY enthusiast.
Best 3-Beam line laser if you’re looking for a well-made kit for an affordable price.
Ideal for professionals or for people who value quality for applications such as : Installing cabinets, drop ceilings, chair rails or doors and windows. Can also be used when installing floor and wall tile or mapping wall layout.
- 3-beam line laser to aid in 90-degree layout. Features a second plumb line that forms a 90-degree intersecting line on the floor and ceiling. This third vertical beam allows contractors to use the tool for layout applications without the need for a second laser.
- 2 times brighter diode to increase visibility in bright job-site conditions.
- Built-in magnetic pivot bracket mounts easily on metal surfaces
- Accurate to +/- 1/8″ @ 30′ for level applications1-button operation and control panel for ease of use
- Micro adjust knob for precise alignment of 90-degree intersecting lines over greater distances
- 165-Foot Range with Detector : Full-time pulse mode allows for use with the DW0892G line laser detector, sold separately, extending the range of all DEWALT line and combination lasers to 165 feet.
Includes : 4 AA batteries for 30 hours of run-time, Ceiling Mount, Kit Box
I’m always the first to sing praises for DeWalt tools. Though in this case, I have to say that the DeWalt DW089K plays second fiddle to the Bosch GLL3-300. At the same time, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this laser level to professionals and DIY enthusiasts alike. It’s not far behind the Bosch and quite a lot cheaper. In the end, it probably provides better value for money if you don’t really need something as sophisticated as the Bosch laser level. It’s a DeWalt tool and that counts a lot when you want a reliable, very robust item from a brand with an excellent track record for customer service.
At almost half the price of the Bosch, you will be doing without the convenience of self leveling and it’s not quite as bright, so you don’t get the same working range. If this is not an issue for you, the lower price of the DeWalt could make this an obvious choice.
This is also a 3-beam laser level with a 90° layout. So you get a vertical line that intersects the horizontal along the floor, walls, and ceiling. Not quite as good as a full 360° laser level, but still very versatile for most applications. It has a 165’ working range which, while not being the best, is better than most and it produces a bright visible line from a class II laser. Visibility is about 50’ and it’s accurate to within ⅛” at a distance of 30’. While the red laser beam is great for indoor use, most people don’t find it to be bright enough for outdoors. You might want to consider a more expensive laser level if you want a brighter line that will be visible in sunlight.
Naturally, it has a spirit level for aligning the laser level. Even though it is not self-leveling, they’ve made it simple to align with the use of a micro-adjustment knob for the 90° intersecting lines. The pivoting bracket is magnetic, so you can attach it to a metal surface. It also has a ceiling mount attachment and this is included in your purchase of the set.
This is a tough little item with an IP54 rating, so it can handle wet and dusty working conditions. The unit weighs 4.23 LBS, although this is almost four times the weight of the more comprehensive Bosch that we’ve just reviewed, I can’t see this weight being a real issue. It’s also bulkier than the Bosch, measuring 11.3” X 10.6” X 4.8”. Again, the size shouldn’t really be an inconvenience and it comes with a tough carrying case for the laser level and accessories.
For a very reasonable price, you’re getting a dependable laser level that can withstand tough working conditions. It is about as accurate as any of the best laser levels and, while it doesn’t have the brightest laser, this does extend the battery life considerably. A good reason to consider DeWalt is their reputation for service and a great 3-year warranty, 1-year free service plan, and a 90-day money back guarantee.
Specs (DEWALT DW089K):
- Accuracy : 1/8″@ 30 Ft
- Battery Type : Alkaline
- Laser Beam Color : Red
- Range : 50 ft
- Range with Detector 165 ft
- Visible Range : 50 ft
- Working Range : 165 ft
The DEWALT DW089K comes in a wonderful package, it’s very well-made and overall, deserves your consideration for one of the best laser levels on the market.
A great inexpensive pro-quality laser level. If you’re on a budget then this might be the best laser level for you.
- VisiMax technology – delivers maximum line visibility in standard working conditions
- Easy-to-use laser setup modes – projects vertical, horizontal and cross lines
- Versatile job layout – lines can be projected separately or together for a variety of level and alignment applications
- Smart Pendulum System – allows tool to self-level, and it indicates out-of-level condition
- Secure laser transport – after switching off, pendulum is locked
- Simple keypad operation – easily select among the layout modes
- Magnetic L mount – strong magnets to attach to steel
- Robust over-molded construction – built to IP54 dust- and water-protection standards
Includes : (1) Magnetic Mounting Bracket, (1) Laser Target Plate, (3) AA Batteries, (1) Hard Carry Case.
The Bosch GLL 55 laser level could easily be the bargain of the century. While it doesn’t have the impressive 360° beam radius of the much more expensive Bosch GLL3-300, it shares many of its other great traits. Because this model is a good deal cheaper than DeWalt that I’ve just reviewed, I can see a lot of people preferring the nifty little Bosch. The Bosch and DeWalt are not identical, each have their own pros and cons, but the Bosch certainly stands out as being exceptionally good value for the money.
Bosch GLL 55 | Highly Versatile Laser Level | Great Value!
Like its more expensive counterpart, the Bosch GLL 55 has the same Smart Pendulum self-leveling system, accurate to within 4°. Where it doesn’t fare as well is in the single dimension plane, it will give you a horizontal and vertical line opposite the laser level. So it doesn’t cover multiple walls. It will do this with an accuracy of within ⅛” from a distance of 33’. So in that sense, it’s as good as the best laser levels.
The class II 630 – 650 NM laser is one of the best, making it excellent even in bright light with a range of up to 50’. Despite being incredibly cheap, there’s no compromise when it comes to robust build quality. The IP54 molded plastic composite housing is as durable as they come, withstanding water and dust. It will also work well in harsh temperatures, 14°F – 122°F.
The technology used is comparable to the finest and this includes the VisiMax system that ensures the brightest light quality and optimal battery usage. It also has a magnetic L-mount that will secure it to any metal surface. You can just as easily stand the little Bosch anywhere utilizing the retractable feet.
The very compact size makes it really easy to keep with you at all times – Height: 4.2”; Length: 4.4” and Width: 2.2”. It weighs just over a pound. So it’s almost as easy to fit into your pocket as a smartphone.
So the Bosch GLL 55 is slightly limited in that it doesn’t have the 360° beam of the GLL3-300, it doesn’t even match the DeWalt DW089K which has a 2-dimensional beam. However, for its price you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better laser level. It has the convenience of self-level and a bright laser that can’t easily be beaten. To my mind, this one of the best value for money laser levels you can get and, it terms durability, it’s every bit as good as the best of them.
Specs (Bosch GLL 55):
- Accuracy : ±1/8 in @ 33 ft
- Battery Voltage : 1.5
- Height : 4.2″
- Laser Diode Class II 630 – 650 nm
- Length : 4.4″
- Leveling Type : Self-Leveling, Up to 4°
- Material : Plastic Composite
- Mount Threading : 1/4-20, 5/8-11
- Operating Temperature : 14° F / -10° C ~1 22° F / 50° C
- Range : Up to 50-ft.
- Weight : 1.08lb
- Width : 2.2″
Bosch certainly knows how to make great tools and the Bosch GLL 55 is no exception — compact, solid-construction, accurate and made with high-quality components. You won’t be disappointed.
12V MAX* 3 x 360 Green Line Laser. Best overall professional line laser.
- 12V MAX* lithium-ion rechargeable power tool battery platform
- Green beam laser technology
- Integrated magnetic bracket with 1/4″ and 5/8″ thread
- Full-time pulse mode allows use with detector, maintains full brightness for visibility, and extends range
- over-molded housing and IP65 debris/water resistance
- Locking pendulum helps prevent damage to internal components
Includes : Blow Mold Case, Extended Ceiling Bracket, 12v Battery, Charger, 12v MAX* Green 3 x 360 Line Laser, Target Card, Laser enhancement Glasses
✓ View or download the MANUAL for the DeWalt DW089LG.
As impressed as I am with the Bosch GL3 300, it’s not the ultimate laser level. That title has to be reserved for the incredible DeWalt DW089LG. Though this is also the most expensive in the review which might cause many to prefer the Bosch as the better value for money option. However, there are many compelling reasons to choose the top DeWalt model over any other. In my opinion it is, without a doubt, the best laser level and serious contractors will see a lot of value in this item. This is particularly true if you’re looking for a supremely bright laser for long distance and perfect visibility. This is not the only reason why would choose this laser level over the others, there are plenty more. As you read through this review, I’m sure you’ll see what I mean.
VIDEO | Learn about Dewalt 12V Lasers like the DeWalt DW089LG
So the 360° 3-beam laser and self-leveling system is what most impressed me about the top Bosch model. Well, the DeWalt DW089LG has this too and that’s just the start of it. So far all the other laser levels that we’ve reviewed, make use of 4 AAA batteries (though the Bosch GL3 300 also has a 12V option). The DeWalt DW089LG uses their popular 20V Max lithium-ion battery. This battery is used in well over a hundred DeWalt tools and is compatible with their more advanced FlexVolt battery system. Many contractors use DeWalt cordless tools as their number choice, so this makes the DW089LG laser level an obvious choice for those already using these batteries. You have a very long working time and you’ll probably always have one or more standby batteries on charge at given time.
This extra powerful battery has another advantage in that it supplies one of the most powerful green lasers, which is far superior to the common low-power red alternative. This Gives the DeWalt DW089LG an incredible 100’ indoor visibility range and a working range of 165’. Visibility and battery time is maximized to the full with its full-time pulse mode. Accuracy is, like most of the best laser levels, within ⅛”.
When it comes to legendary DeWalt durability, the DW089LG exceeds the expectations of even the harshest of critics. With an IP65 rating, this laser level is as tough as it gets, holding up to just about any debris and water. With all this power, industrial-quality, and the large 20V battery, the DeWalt DW089LG is obviously going to be larger and heavier that most others. It weighs a whopping 8.33 lbs., standing 12.5” tall, with a width of 17.75” and a length of 6.125”.
To make it easier to transport the hefty device, it comes with a well-designed blow molded case. The case also contains a bunch of great accessories, which include an extended ceiling bracket and even laser enhancing glasses which makes it even easier to see the already great green, high-intensity beam. The unit also has a magnetic base for easy attachment to a metal surface.
For most of us, the DeWalt DW089LG may seem like over-kill and a bit pricey. Though you have to marvel at the supreme technology of this item and the ultra-heavy-duty nature of its design. For contractors who need the very best, long-range, high-visibility laser level, you can’t beat this one. With over 90% of customers, giving the best DeWalt laser level a 4-5 star rating, it’s clear that the majority agree that this is a magnificent product. Of course, the 3-year warranty, 1-year free service plan and 90-day money back guarantee just affirms that you have the backing of a brand that takes customer satisfaction very seriously.
2-Point Self-Leveling Laser Level.
- Plumb point projection – accurately transfers point from floor to ceiling
- Over-the-track application design – accurately transfer and align points by magnetically mounting to any surface
- Smart pendulum system – self-levels and indicates out-of-level condition; locks when switched off
- Multi-purpose attachment – position and mount with magnets, strap or threaded mount
Includes : 1) — Multipurpose Attachment, (1) — Recalibration Wrench, (3) — AA 1.5V Batteries, (1) — Mounting Strap, (1) – Belt Pouch
So far, the laser levels that we’ve reviewed have been fairly advanced and even the relatively cheap Bosch GLL 55 might be more expensive than some would want. So what if you want a basic laser level that does the job of replacing a regular plumb line, simplifying general leveling tasks? If this is all you’re looking for, the nifty little Bosch GPL 2 could be just the answer. It’s cheap enough to excite the budget-minded buyer. Though it is a Bosch tool and this means that you’re getting a decent level of quality. With that said, it does fall into the cheaper category of Bosch tools and won’t be of the same heavy-duty standard as any of the others mentioned this far. Basically, it’s a wonderfully affordable laser level that allows a two-person plumb line job to be accomplished by just one person with a good degree of accuracy.
VIDEO | Learn more about the Bosch GPL 2
Unlike the others that give you at least two level lines, this model provides two laser dots along a vertical axis. It gives you the basics to work with for simple daily tasks. In terms of accuracy, it’s quite adequate for a laser level of this caliber, but falls short when compared to the best. It will remain accurate within ⅛” up to 30’. Though if you’re going to use it up to its maximum 100’ range, your accuracy won’t be as good with a variation of up to ¼”.
You have the aid of the pendulum level system in a simplified form. It has blinking points that indicate when the unit is not correctly leveled and this remains accurate to within 5°. So it’s not quite as good as the best self-leveling Bosch laser levels, but adequate for general purpose work. The class II laser diode is great – 635 – 670 NM. It also has a reasonable temperature range of 32°F to 104°F.
With a magnetic base and multi-purpose attachment, it is simple to set up and align. It’s also very compact, measuring 10.5” (H); 10.5” (L) and 5.5” (W), with a very low weight of only 0.9 LBS. The molded plastic seems to be quite tough, but the absence of any IP rating seems to indicate that it’s not designed to the same industrial-quality specifications as the others.
So the Bosch GPL 2 is not the most sophisticated laser level. It’s a basic, no-nonsense little device at a fantastic price. It’s a wonderfully compact and lightweight tool. Because of its price and ease of use, I can see the trusty little Bosch finding its way into countless tool boxes and serve a very useful function.
- Accuracy : Up to ±1/4-in @ 100-ft
- Battery Voltage : 1.5
- Dimensions : 4.1″ x 3.1″ x 1.6″
- Laser Diode : Class II, 635-670 nm
- Leveling Type : Self-Leveling, Up to 5°
- Material : Plastic
- Mount Threading : 1/4-20
- Operating Temperature : 32° F / 0° C ~ 104° F / 40* C
- Range : Up to 100-ft.
- Weight : 0.9lb
Best rotary laser level kit. Comes with everything you need, including a laser detector which extends its range to 600 feet.
Perfect for working with concrete, installing a ceiling grip, or building outdoor decks and raised patios.
- Horizontal self-leveling line for quick and easy setup
- Accuracy to plus or minus 1/4-inch per 100 feet
- IP54 rating with protected rotary head and weatherproof design
- Vertical mode for quick and easy vertical layout
- Enclosed leveling vial and protected head to help prevent damage to internal components
- Constructed to withstand rugged jobsite conditions
- Durable rotary cage that helps protect the head if dropped
- Sharp and bright, the beam can be seen up to 100 feet indoors, and can be recognized at up to a 1200-foot diameter outdoors with the included detector.
- Weather-resistant housing
Includes : (2) D Batteries, (1) DW0742 Detector and Clamp, (1) DW0740 Wall Mount, (1) Target Card, (1) Contractor’s Bag, (1) 9-volt Battery
✓ View or download the MANUAL for the DEWALT DW074KD.
The DeWalt DW074KD is designed specifically to be the best outdoor laser level and this is its biggest advantage. It’s not cheap, costing a little less than the rather expensive DW089LG. Though with its powerful laser and rotary head, it is the only tool for the job if you need to cover a large distance outdoors.
The most remarkable aspect to the DeWalt rotary laser level is it’s extended visible and working range, both in and outdoors. When used indoors, the red laser beam is visible up 100’ with up to 1,200’ visible radius when used outdoors. The class IIIA 635 NM laser is one of the best and is accurate to within ¼” at 100’. It has a 150’ working range which can be increased to 600’ if you use the detector. This is the ideal laser level for outdoor site elevations and other comparable uses.
It is self-leveling for the horizontal line (±5°) and the vertical line can be easily adjusted by means of press-button arrows. The rotating head is suspended by narrow struts which ensure a rigid and robust design whilst eliminating blind spots. The laser head will can rotate at 0, 60, or 600 RPM.
The robust IP54 construction makes it durable and can withstand a fair amount of outdoor conditions. It’s quite a large unit, measuring 17.2” X 10.5” X 10” and weighs 7.9LBs. The laser level, detector and clamp, and target card all come with your purchase, along with a really cool contractors carrying bag.
This is a specialized laser level and cannot be compared to the others. It’s designed specifically for outdoor site work but will fulfill the same indoor functions as with any other laser level. As with all DeWalt products, the same 3-year warranty, 1-year free service plane and 90-day money back guarantee applies to this model.