Getting any kind of construction or DIY project right first time requires precision. There is, of course, only so much you can do with a tape measure, a steady hand and a keen eye. Traditionally, spirit levels can be used to help you identify whether or not something was completely straight.
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Going ahead with projects without these checks may end up making or breaking your hard work. Therefore, the humble spirit level has evolved over the past few decades to become even more precise.
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Laser Levels: A Buying Guide For 2020
Laser levels are nothing new. In fact, they have been around for over 40 years! However, there are different types of laser level available on the market, and there are pros and cons to using them for your projects.
In this buyer’s guide, we will take a look at how a laser level could help to tighten up your DIY, and what you should be looking for when shopping around.
Why Should You Buy a Laser Level?
If you’re serious about precision when it comes to DIY and bigger projects, a laser level offers you a lot of control over the materials you are working with. At the touch of a button, a laser level will shoot out a coloured beam of light which stays fixed. This can be used to draw attention to the horizontal and vertical axes.
Therefore, instead of having to constantly reach for a physical spirit level, you can set up a laser to point out exactly where you need to be working. Therefore, you’ll have little room for mistakes or accidents, if at all.
If you’re tired of having to fiddle around with spirit levels, or need a little extra support when it comes to obtaining accuracy, it may be time to invest in a laser unit. But which will be the best choice for your project?
Different Types of Laser Level
There are a few main types of laser level you should look for when buying. Each of these carries their own benefits; however, you may find one to be more applicable for your needs over the others. There is no right or wrong answer as to which you should pick. Let’s take a closer look at some of them.
Line Laser Levels
These levels are very common and are very versatile. Essentially, these models will shoot out visible lines which you can fix to define the axes you wish to work with. You’ll always get access to perfect angles, which will be useful if you want to make sure that certain fixtures and fittings are hanging straight.
Cross Line Laser Levels
These levels are a little more complex, in that they can define both the Y and X axes at once. These are great for when you need extra precision from all angles.
Spot Laser Levels
Spot levels, instead of generating lines of laser, generate spots, or dots. These are commonly used in plumbing and are perfect for understanding tricky angles, especially where complex pipework may be concerned.
Rotary Laser Levels
These levels are fairly advanced and are great for bigger projects. This is because they offer you a complete lay of the land, with a 360-degree overview of an area you are looking at. These are likely best to be set up via tripod to cover a wider region.
What to Look For in Your Laser Level
Now we’ve considered the different types of laser level available, let’s look at the factors and features you should be comparing before buying your ideal model.
Ease of Use
This is obviously going to be one of the first things you should consider. Is your laser level likely to run out of battery power during longer projects? Can it be mounted to a tripod? Does it shoot two beams at once, in different colours? The more features a laser level has, the more convenient it will be to use.
You should definitely think about buying a laser level which is likely to withstand a variety of different environments. That means you’ll need to think about waterproofing, shockproofing and more besides.
No pun intended – but what level of experience is required to use your laser? Is it something which beginners can pick up and put to use right away? This generally falls under ease of use, but it’s worth pointing out on its own.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you’re new to the concept of laser levels, you will likely have plenty of questions you’d like to ask. Here are a few of the more common queries covered for you for ease of information.
How Much Do Laser Levels Cost?
There is a lot of variance in price depending on the types of laser you look for. The most simple of laser levels should retail at anywhere between £10 and £20. However, the more advanced systems will expect you to pay anything over £100 if the technology is impressive enough.
Which Type of Level Should I Buy?
This all depends on the work you are likely to need help with. For smaller DIY projects, we suggest basic laser levels, such as line generators. For big projects, rotary systems and tripod mounts are going to be worth you investing in. Take a look at what other people are saying and follow their lead!
Do I Need to Get a Warranty?
If a laser level is something you are going to rely on for work, and for lots of it, then do make sure you are covered by a limited warranty. It is always worth checking for cover when you start shopping around. Even if you are only paying a relatively small amount, coverage can always help.
Laser levels have been around for a long time, though they are getting more advanced in the tasks that they can handle and support. Therefore, do take your time to look for level systems which can support your precision needs, and make sure you find the right type for the scale of your project.