The 7 Best Laser Levels of 2021

When precision is essential, here's how to get the straightest line possible

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Best Laser Levels

The Spruce / Chloe Jeong

While there are times that merely eyeballing a straight line is sufficient, when precision counts, you need the help of a level to assure accuracy. And while a simple bubble level is good enough for hanging a picture, you’ll appreciate the benefits of a laser level for larger projects around your home and yard.

Many laser levels can emit two or three beams simultaneously, allowing you to see both horizontal and vertical guidelines, as well as a cross-point for those lines. This means you can accurately and easily tackle projects that require the utmost in precision, such as laying tile, installing cabinets, or framing a home addition. Most laser levels emit red light, which is fine for indoor work, but if you expect to be using the tool outside, you might prefer a model that emits green light, which shows up better in bright daylight.

There are several types of laser levels, so we did the research for you, and then narrowed the choices down to the ones best suited to both average and more advanced DIYers.

Here, the best laser levels for your home DIY projects.

Our Top Picks
Easy to use, versatile, and highly accurate, this is the laser level that suits the tool boxes of DIYers from new to experienced.
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The Johnson Level & Tool 40-0921 is a professional-grade laser level that still fits in DIY and weekend projects.
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Inexpensive, and yet still accurate, this level is light enough for easy handling when manually measuring or leveling.
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What sets this one apart from the competition is the high quality laser level you get at a budget price point.
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The DEWALT DW089LG is one of the top-of-the-line choices for a commercial grade level.
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To maximize the versatility of this level, the GLL 1P can be mounted on a variety of surfaces and stands.
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Circle the entire room with bright red laser light for the ultimate in precision leveling with the Skil 360-Degree Laser Level.
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Best Overall: Tavool Self-Leveling Laser Level T02

Self-Leveling Laser Level T02

Laser Color: Red | Beam Orientation: Vertical, horizontal, cross | Self-Leveling: Yes

What We Like
  • Vertical, horizontal, or cross lines

  • Self-leveling

  • 50-foot projection

What We Don't Like
  • Not great for outdoor use

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 Tavool Self-Leveling Laser Level 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 50 feet away, meaning it can handle most 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 lock mode will let you position the laser any way you need.

Best for DIYers: Johnson Level & Tool Self-Leveling Cross Line Laser Level Kit

Self-Leveling Cross Line Laser Level Kit

Laser Color: Red | Beam Orientation: Vertical, horizontal, cross | Self-Leveling: Yes

What We Like
  • Includes tripod, case, and laser-enhancing glasses

  • Cross lines

  • Self-leveling

  • Projects up to 100 feet

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

  • Not great for outdoor use

For something with more power, the Johnson Level & 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.

Best Multipurpose: Micmi Multipurpose Laser Tape Measure

Multipurpose Laser Tape Measure

Laser Color: Red | Beam Orientation: Vertical, horizontal, cross | Self-Leveling: No

What We Like
  • Cross lines

  • Includes tape measure and bubble level

  • Inexpensive

What We Don't Like
  • Not self-leveling

  • Not great for outdoor use

  • Some complaints about dead batteries

If you are looking for a good budget option to use around the house every once in a while—maybe you're finally going to hang that decorative mirror or artwork—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.

Best Budget: TBTeek Multipurpose Laser Level Tool

Multipurpose Laser Level Tool

Laser Color: Red | Beam Orientation: Vertical, horizontal, cross, point line | Self-Leveling: No

What We Like
  • LED light bubble level

  • Tape measure

  • Inexpensive

What We Don't Like
  • Some complaints about accuracy

  • Not great for outdoor use

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.

Best Commercial: DEWALT 12V MAX Line Laser

12V MAX Line Laser

Laser Color: Green | Beam Orientation: Vertical, horizontal, cross, 360-degree | Self-Leveling: Yes

What We Like
  • Professional-level accuracy

  • Green light

  • 360-degree lines

  • Good for outdoor use

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

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 laser light is green, which can be up to four times brighter than the typical red lights midrange and budget options produce.

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.

Best Point Line: Bosch Combination Point and Line Laser Level

BOSCH

Laser Color: Red | Beam Orientation: Point line | Self-Leveling: No

What We Like
  • Mounts to wall, tripod, or flat surface

  • Good for pinpointing specific spots

What We Don't Like
  • Not self-leveling

  • Not easy to mount to wall

  • Not great for outdoor use

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, such as a kitchen remodel, 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.

Best 360-Degree: Skil Self-Leveling 360-Degree Cross-Line Laser

Self-Leveling 360-Degree Laser Level

Laser Color: Red | Beam Orientation: Vertical, horizontal, cross, 360-degree | Self-Leveling: Yes

What We Like
  • Includes tripod and case

  • 360-degree horizontal line

  • Self-leveling

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

  • Not great for outdoor use

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 Skil Self-Leveling 360-Degree level will give you a single circle around the horizontal axis. This level actually features two separate lasers: a bright red continuous line that runs all the way around a room up to 65 feet in laser distance, and a plumb cross line. This makes normally tricky installations of things like cabinets, railings, and shelves a breeze.

The self-leveling laser also includes an adjustable tripod that raises to a maximum of 3.5 feet, a USB charging port for the lithium-ion battery, and a soft-sided storage bag.

Final Verdict

The Tavool Self-Leveling Laser Level (view at Amazon) is our top choice thanks to its ease of use in creating precise laser lines on both horizontal and vertical planes. But if you need a laser line that circles all four walls of a room, the Skil Self-Leveling 360-Degree Level (view at Amazon) is your best option, although it’s quite a bit pricier.

What to Look for in a Laser Level

Accuracy

The most important feature of a laser level is its accuracy. After all, if it can’t produce a straight line, what’s the point? Most laser levels specify their accuracy right on the packaging. If it’s more than ¼-inch deviation at 100 feet, keep on shopping.

Beam Orientation

The beam orientation is the direction of the line produced by the laser level. There are three possibilities: horizontal, vertical, and 360-degree, which is a horizontal line that encircles all four walls of the room. Many higher-end laser levels have all three options. Less expensive models typically just have vertical and horizontal beams.

Self-Leveling

A self-leveling laser level automatically adjusts to compensate for slightly uneven surfaces, typically far more accurately than you could manage with your own eyeballs alone. This is a must-have feature if you expect to use the tool frequently, or in less-than-ideal settings.

Color

Most laser levels produce a red beam of light. Red light uses less battery power but is more difficult to see outdoors. Green lasers are more expensive, use more battery power, and are potentially more dangerous to your eyes, but they are also easier to see outdoors and over lengthy distances.

FAQ
  • How does a laser level work?

    The word “laser” is an acronym for Light Amplification by the Stimulated Emission of Radiation. While the science is a bit complicated, basically, that means that lasers emit radiation in the form of visible light. In the case of a laser level, that radiation light is emitted by a LED (light-emitting diode) semiconductor, and then tightly focused by use of an internal mirror or prism into an intense beam of light.

  • How do you use a laser level to hang pictures?

    If you are just hanging a single lightweight picture on the wall, you don’t really need a laser level. But if you are hanging several pictures in a row, are hanging a single heavy mirror or picture that requires multiple nails to secure it in place, or are hanging pictures along an incline, such as over a staircase, then you’ll find a laser level makes the job far easier than eyeballing it or relying on a measuring tape and pencil. 

    1. First, determine where you want to hang your pictures and the desired layout. 
    2. Next, use your laser level to cast a beam of light onto the wall where the pictures are to be hung. 
    3. If you want the tops or bottoms of the pictures to be aligned, you'll need to measure the distance from the hanging hook or wire on the back of the artwork to the top or bottom edge. Now measure that distance above or below the beam of light to indicate where you'll need to place nails.
    4. If you're aligning your artwork by the midpoint of each picture, you'll need to measure the height of the artwork and divide by two to come up with its midpoint. Now, measure the length from that midpoint to the hanging wire or bracket on the back of the picture. Finally, use your ruler to find that measurement above the laser beam.
    5. Make small pencil markings to mark each spot where you'll hammer in a nail. 
    6. Hammer in the nails, and hang your artwork.


  • How do you use a laser level without a tripod?

    While a tripod makes it easy to keep your laser level steady, it’s not impossible to use without one. You can set the laser level on a chair, table, cabinet, or any other flat surface that’s across the room from the wall where you want to beam the light. You might need to use books or other items to raise the laser level up to the appropriate height.

Why Trust The Spruce?

This article is edited and updated by Michelle Ullman, the tool expert for The Spruce. She has extensive experience not only in writing about all things related to the home, but also in carrying out various DIY projects, including landscaping, painting, flooring, wallpapering, furniture makeovers, and simple repairs. For this roundup, she considered dozens of laser levels, evaluating each for basic features, extras, and customer feedback.

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