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Decent laser level?

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Forum topic by tvrgeek posted 01-26-2021 01:15 PM 682 views 0 times favorited 35 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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tvrgeek

1419 posts in 2658 days


01-26-2021 01:15 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I had a cheap $12 torpedo laser level that I could see the dot for over 100 feet. One day, I put the batteries in backwards and that was that. Using the built in level, it was within an inch in 100 feet, verified with a water level.

I see reviews of all the new ones, cheap and expensive. All seem to be junk in that either auto-level +/- 3 degrees (huge, and I would not even use that for hanging a picture) or just plain junk. I would like another torpedo dot, and one of those cross line jobs look handy, but error is way too great.

Any advice?


35 replies so far

View ChefHDAN's profile

ChefHDAN

1802 posts in 3858 days


#1 posted 01-26-2021 01:22 PM

I don’t have a laser level, but recently had to model a kitchen for renovation and finally got one of the Bosch laser measuring tools. After measuring and finishing the digital model, I had to tape off the floor for all of the kitchen equipment. I worked off of one wall and then placed tape to how I drew the plan. I expected to be off a few inches by the time I got to the far wall and I was very surprised to have the last piece of tape fall within 1/4” of where it was supposed to be. If I wanted a laser torpedo level I would not pause to spend the $50 for the Bosch combination point & line laser level

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

View hotbyte's profile

hotbyte

1045 posts in 3984 days


#2 posted 01-26-2021 01:39 PM

I have a Bosch cross line and find it accurate. I used it to mark about a 12’ level line line on wall and checked with 8’ bubble level. It was dead on.

If you want really high-end and expensive, check out Stabila.

View Blindhog's profile

Blindhog

184 posts in 2057 days


#3 posted 01-26-2021 02:30 PM

Depending on your application, I found this level to be a good tool. We recently suffered a fire in our home and the interior was reduced to studs and concrete. I used this to layout and install new kitchen cabinetry and assorted trim Worked very well and the price was reasonable.
BTW, moved back in after 10 months to our virtually new home. Completely upgraded and stylish (according to my wife); and the insurance paid for 90% of it. Life is good.

-- Don't let perfection get in the way of plenty good enough

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northwoodsman

510 posts in 4755 days


#4 posted 01-26-2021 02:41 PM

I have a Bosch self leveling cross line laser level. I bought a cheap $20.00 tri-pod to mount it on. It also comes with a magnetic clip. It works relatively well indoors (sunlight washes out the light). It’s accurate up to 1/8” at 33’.

-- NorthWoodsMan

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tvrgeek

1419 posts in 2658 days


#5 posted 01-26-2021 02:48 PM

Those specs look much better. Bosch specs are pretty poor. Think Ill give it a try.

10 months, you did very well!

Stabilia look nice, but expensive. I have found for plain old spirit levels, short of megabuck machinist levels, the best ones are the cheapest molded plastic jobs. When setting up my TS recently, I found my expensive Stanley to be off, and it is not adjustable. An old Sears 6 inch was still perfect. So happened to be in HD and looked at a new 6inch. Most accurate ( same left and right) a $7 blue plastic job. I do wish they still had graduations for 1/8 and 1/4 per foot, but that would require too much accuracy in the bubble size. My 6 foot is a Horrible Freight. As accurate as the Johnson for 5 times the price.

It used to be, levels had their vials held in by 4 screws, you could loosen them up, and tweak them for level. Seems no more. I guess that would require a manufacturing manual adjustment which ois no longer cost effective

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tvrgeek

1419 posts in 2658 days


#6 posted 01-26-2021 05:18 PM

The Huepar seems to have received very positive reviews, so I ordered one.

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

6397 posts in 3317 days


#7 posted 01-26-2021 05:24 PM

Oxymoron “Cheap and Good”

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View Phil32's profile

Phil32

1315 posts in 912 days


#8 posted 01-26-2021 05:29 PM

Are you sure the Bosch specs don’t have a decimal point in front of the 3 degrees?

-- Phil Allin - There are woodworkers and people who collect woodworking tools. The woodworkers have a chair to sit on that they made.

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AlaskaGuy

6397 posts in 3317 days


#9 posted 01-26-2021 05:46 PM



Are you sure the Bosch specs don t have a decimal point in front of the 3 degrees?

- Phil32

You are correct I believe. My Bosch GL-380 says +/- 0.3 mm/m

https://www.bosch-professional.com/sa/en/products/gll-3-80-0601063S00

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

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tvrgeek

1419 posts in 2658 days


#10 posted 01-26-2021 06:05 PM

Their smaller ( affordable) ones. I looked at several at HD. Big difference from $60 to $400. If a pro, no question.

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Madmark2

2300 posts in 1596 days


#11 posted 01-26-2021 06:57 PM

The spec is not in degrees. Its run/rise of .3mm over 1000mm or ~.02° (0.017°+)

At 10 m (over 33’) the error will be under 1/8” (3 mm).

The run/rise (actually rise/run) is directly useful for estimating error whereas angular divergence requires math to turn it into a numerical error estimate.

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

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tvrgeek

1419 posts in 2658 days


#12 posted 01-26-2021 08:09 PM

Look at the “affordable” ones. Spec is way worse. Yes, the $250 and up are like 1/8 in 33’.

Their $80 unit ( GGL-30) “is with ±5/16 in. accuracy up to 30 ft.” Too much in my book even for framing.
I guess you could get a lousy one, then go measure it to truth ( water level) and then know the error and make adjustments for it. In this respect, truth is not very hard to find: A plumb bob and a garden hose with a bit if clear tubing.

Red or green glasses will help outside in the daylight. So does a nice white target.

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splintergroup

4669 posts in 2231 days


#13 posted 01-26-2021 08:31 PM

Don’t forget that there is a bit more than 1/8” of curvature in the earth for every 100 feet. This means a dead accurate/level/straight laser level will be off 1/8” (0.15 inches actually) according to a water level.

Everything one attaches to a wall will need to be bent this much to be truly level with the ground 8^)

View Madmark2's profile

Madmark2

2300 posts in 1596 days


#14 posted 01-26-2021 09:55 PM

A drop of food color helps see the water level – you also need a helper to hold the far end.

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

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tvrgeek

1419 posts in 2658 days


#15 posted 01-26-2021 10:04 PM



A drop of food color helps see the water level – you also need a helper to hold the far end.

And it is a mess if you are crawling around under a house and tilt one end.
Actually I made a clamp system so I could clamp one end as a reference, holding the far end next to it to find my target and them was able to work my way around.

Yes the world is not flat, but things I build on it are. I know big buildings are built curved. Roads, bridges, etc. Light does not always go in a strait line, empirically.

- Madmark2


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