It's easy to take a handy level for granted if you have a lot of work that relies on perfectly level surfaces. From framing, counters, to pictures, the level will keep your work true. Unfortunately, it can also be tricky to get a perfectly balanced surface after the fact. That is where modern day laser levels have the advantage. Instead of having to constantly check and re-check your balance as you build or hang something, laser levels project a perfectly straight vertical or horizontal line. Using this guide, you can line up your work easy without having to switch between different tools.
To find the right laser level, it's important to know what kind of features you will need as you work. Many lasers can project different guides onto walls, such as vertical, horizontal and crossed lines. A couple options will even produce an entire 360-degree circle around a room. You should also consider the type of base you will need for the laser. Some come with a standard tripod, while others will require an additional mount to use. Finally, think about the range and power output you may need. Larger spaces will typically require more powerful levels to clearly see the projected lines.
01 of 07
Best Overall: Hammerhead Compact Self-Leveling Cross Line Laser
A good laser level should give you options when trying to keep a surface straight. Different projections and features can make the job easier when you have a high degree of flexibility to use. The Hammerhead Compact Self-Leveling Cross Line Laser takes the top spot because of the flexibility it offers when your project requires straight lines on flat surfaces. This level can produce a bright horizontal, vertical or cross line on any surface up to 30 feet away, meaning it can handle normal rooms around the home.
The self-leveling feature takes a lot of the guess work out of setting the laser up. Once you have the laser positioned within four degrees of true level, the laser will take over to fine tune the final position. If you need to project something that is skewed, the manual mode and versatile mounting clamp will let you position the laser any way you need.
02 of 07
Runner Up, Best Overall: Johnson Level and Tool 40-0921
For something with more power at a slightly higher price, the Johnson Level and Tool 40-0921 is a professional grade laser level that still fits in DIY and weekend projects. The laser expands the usable range of the level to up to 100 feet indoors. This one is also a good option if your projects run long. One set of batteries will provide nearly 12 hours of continuous use.
The stable tripod base makes it easy to move the vertical or horizontal laser around as you work. When positioned near corner walls or surfaces, the horizontal laser will reach across both sides, providing a continuous line to work from around the corner. For multiple projects, this level makes transportation easy with a lightweight, 1.2-pound body and sturdy carrying case that will fit everything you need.
03 of 07
Best Budget: MICMI A80
If you are looking for a good budget option to use around the house every once in a while, the MICMI A80 is hard to beat. Better still, you get a lot for a little with this tool. Beyond the highly accurate laser level, this one also comes with a three-axis bubble level and eight-foot-long measuring tape.
The body is light enough to easily be handled when manually measuring or leveling. The tape measure comes with both metric and imperial markings. The triple positioned bubble level is a great addition if you want to double check your leveling work after you have finished.
04 of 07
Runner Up, Best Budget: TBTeek Multipurpose Line Laser
The TBTeek Multipurpose Line Laser offers a similar multifunction design as other budget options available on the market, including a three-axis bubble level and led light for nighttime use. The thing that sets this one apart from the competition is the high quality laser level you get at a budget price point. The level comes with the standard three projection options such as vertical, horizontal and cross lined. In addition to these, you can also project a single dot or hairline when you need extra accuracy reflected on the surface you are working with.
The level is light enough to be handled manually when using the bubble levels or tape measure. The laser also features a manual angle adjustment, so you can rotate the line as needed or finely tune the level on a flat surface.Continue to 5 of 7 below.
05 of 07
Best Commercial: DeWalt DW089LG
Sometimes, it pays off to spend extra on a laser level. If you frequently work on professional projects, you can save a lot of headache with a commercial grade tool. Even though professional laser levels have a higher price tag, they typically come with better features, more accurate lasers and other additions that can make your work better and easier. The DeWalt DW089LG is one of the top-of-the-line choices for a commercial grade level. For the price, you will get three separate 360-degree line lasers that are capable of filling an entire room with three line guides. The lasers come out as green, which can be up to four times brighter than the typical red lights midrange and budget options use.
To survive the abuse of a professional worksite, this level is built to take punishment. The over molded housing is water- and debris-resistant. The level also uses DeWalt's interchangeable 12-volt battery platform, meaning you can reuse the same battery for most types of power tools of the same brand.
06 of 07
Best Point Line: Bosch GLL 1P
While vertical and horizontal line guides are extremely useful in most applications, sometimes they still aren’t precise enough for pinpoint accuracy. Under these special circumstances, a point line laser like the Bosch GLL 1P is hard to beat. The point laser marks a single specific point on any flat surface. For mounting projects that require the precise placement of nails or screws, the single point offers an exact reference.
To maximize the versatility of this level, the GLL 1P can be mounted on a variety of surfaces and stands. An adhesive mounting strip is included for mounting it to walls or other objects. The built-in mount can also be screwed to any 1/4 inch tripod stand for larger spaces or projects where you may need to move the laser around.
07 of 07
Best 360-Degree: Hammerhead Self-Leveling 360-Degree
Most professional laser levels come with a 360-degree projection option that can provide a reference line around an entire room. For the same capability with a smaller price tag, the Hammerhead Self-Leveling 360-Degree level will give you a single circle around the horizontal axis. This level actually features two separate lasers. For standard wall projections, the primary laser is accurate up to 1/8-inch at 30 feet near the flat surface and will project the typical vertical or horizontal lines.
The 360-degree laser on top is good for over 60 feet. The laser level comes with Hammerhead’s self-leveling capability that kicks in within four degrees of true level. With various mounting options, this is the perfect choice for whole room leveling projects such as wall studding, tiling or framing/mounting windows and doors.