Automatic laser levels, also known as auto levels are important tools especially in the construction. The instrument can also be used in your household for various do-it-yourself projects.
Although the instrument is usually used by civil engineers, builders and surveyors, you can also use it in your household for various purposes. Consequently, you want a laser level that works effectively, meets your requirements, and has value for your money.
How Automatic Laser Levels work
Automatic laser levels are utilized in a variety of jobs that require an accurate layout and where a level reference is needed. Normally, the level projects vertical and horizontal laser lines onto a surface upon which they are placed.
The automatic laser levels are easy to use and come in various designs, each suitable for particular application. Despite differences that might feature in appearance, all laser levels have two common components namely:
• The Laser
• A leveling base that can be mounted on a wall, attached to a tripod or sit on the floor.
The base assists you to project or cast the light at the required elevation or height. The leveling base can utilize a pendulum or bubble vial with magnets and electronic sensors. Finally, the case or enclosure enhances durability of the laser levels for sturdy performance even under tough conditions.
The enclosure, or case, is usually made of a durable plastic or metal that’s tough enough for sturdy performance on a job site.
Currently, there is a wide selection of automatic laser levels that you can choose to purchase. However, it is essential that you understand the models best suited for your particular needs, on the basis of their features, performance, pros, and cons.
The following is a review of some of the best automatic laser levels in the market:
Bosch 342x automatic optical site level provides a perfect combination of robustness and precision. The laser level is designed for both the novice and experienced user due to its ease of usage. Additionally, the system has a quality build topped by compact metal design which makes it tough for use in outdoor and indoor conditions.
• Has a site proof casing that surrounds the high quality 32x magnification optics, which provide rich images for the leveling staff over both short and long distances
• The housing is solid with a plate that easily rotates 360 degrees and calibrated with clear and precise position marks
• Has a large focusing knob that allows for easy alignment coupled with fast aperture for outstanding staff reading
• Utilizes an endless angle setting that applies knobs on both sides designed for friction-braked rotation
• Has a compensator lock that prevents damage to the pendulum during transportation
• The bubble level is fixed in clear fluid on a snowy white target. The design makes it difficult to see the bubble and could have been made much easier if the fluid was blue or yellow.
Another outstanding automatic optical level from Bosch, the GOL 26 differs from the GOL 32 with regard to accuracy, rotation speed, and accuracy. However, the GOL 26 has solid build and versatility suitable for all purposes, especially if you intend to use it for your minor projects at home or in the farm.
• Model features a metal housing coupled with IP54 protection for durability and resistance to weather elements
• Has magnetic dampening system that settles the system effectively and diminishes effects of vibration common in a jobsite
• Features vertical and horizontal levels and stadia lines that facilitate measurement of level, alignment, and estimation of distance
• The level stays accurate for the duration of use and it is very easy to calibrate
• The level of magnification is relatively limited in comparison to similar models in the same line
The David White AL8-32 power automatic optical level is designed to ease all leveling jobs with outstanding accuracy. The technology built into the level is impressive, making the model one of the best in its functionality.
• Features a compensator which is wire-hung and magnetically-damped to hold the line of sight more effectively within 15 arc seconds of level and enhances the accuracy of readings
• Has large apertures that allow adequate light to filter through, thus producing a sharper image
• Features a rugged carrying case which seals tightly and keeps out rain, dust, dirt, and other elements
• Has an infinite tangent screw and a horizontal circle that you can easily recognize and read the white on black graduations
• Easy to set up
• Product might arrive out of calibration making it practically useless
One of the most versatile automatic laser levels that you will find in the market today. The model features components and design suited to handling big and tough projects. The kit is designed to provide you with the benefits of easy set-ups, fast, and accurate leveling readings.
• Has a 28x magnification that allows you effective access to a range of 350 feet
• The compensator is magnetically dampened and wire-hung to provide optimum range and accuracy
• Features a sunshade that allows to use the level even during difficult weather conditions
• Has a large and effective aperture that allows you a minimum focus of one foot
• The optical peep sight is mounted at the top to allow you quick reference to the readings
• Has a compensator lock that protects the level while on transit
• Features fine motion knobs on the right and left sides tuned with friction-baked rotation and endless horizontal drive allowing you to calibrate the level with much ease
• The level requires regular calibration, otherwise, it is ineffective
• Easily damaged if they fall
The Spectra precision automatic level is so far the most durable design in the market. The level is built to withstand all kinds of difficulties without losing its accuracy or effectiveness. The instrument comes with both vertical and horizontal applications, slope capability and an optional remote feature.
• Features a rough design with a hard cover rotor protection that protects it from severe drop of up to 1 meter on concrete and up to 1.5 meters when dropped from its tripod. The casing also enhances durability under harsh weather conditions
• The durable design reduces downtimes associated tripod trip overs and drops
• The level minimizes powers and increase reliability due to the alkaline or rechargeable batteries
• Features operating range of up to 1650 ft. or 500m diameter coupled with the self-leveling range of plus or minus 5 degrees
• Increases your productivity through fast setups, automatic self-leveling and few mechanical parts
• The level comes with a standard digital readout receiver that makes it easy to configure
• The level kit encompasses a system case, which contains the tripod, laser, grade rod, and receiver
Nikon is traditionally known for its cameras. Subsequently, it’s not a surprise that the company has garnered high reputation due to their quality laser levels. The Nikon HGA41210 is built with a multitude of features that make it suitable for use in various construction, engineering, and small level applications.
• Features magnetically dampened automatic compensators that enable you to realize precise leveling
• Powerful precision 20x telescope fitted with 30mm objective lens that produce clear, bright, and erect images irrespective of orientation
• Has a lightweight and exceptionally durable construction, which makes the level withstand harsh weather conditions, including rain and dust
• Features a uniquely designed base plate that allow you to mount it on dome-head or flat tripods
• Superior-quality optics that allow you to view brighter and clearer images with minimum focusing even in confined spaces
• Horizontal knobs accept unlimited range and can be effectively operated using either hand
• Requires batteries to run
• Limited capability since it is specifically designed for small construction tasks
Spectra Precision Laser LL300-2 Automatic Self-leveling Laser Level, 10-Foot Grade Rod and Tripod Kit
The Spectra Precision Laser LL300N-2 is suitable for your medium-range, but high-accuracy leveling needs. The device is ideal for rudimentary slope work, including leveling or checking elevations, ramps and driveways, foundations and footings for medium and small sized jobs, and excavations among others. The level kit comes with a 10-foot grade rod and tripod stand.
• You can set up the level easily since it has few mechanical parts and self-leveling capacity thus increasing productivity
• It has a durable design that protects from damage and reduces downtime resulting from drops
• The kit comes with rechargeable alkaline batteries with battery life of up to 70 hours. This reduces the costs of power
• The laser is lightweight and features seven on-grade sensitivities for its receiver with the LED displays
• Versatile and durable build resistant to dust, water and other harsh weather elements
• Has an optional RC601 remote control you to manipulate the laser to manual mode in order to match slope applications
• Does not come with the vertical clamp
The Topcon 24x automatic level AT-B4 60909 is a versatile gadget designed to ensure that you achieve precise leveling when working on busy highways and roads or near heavy equipment. The level also focuses within a range of 7.9 inches making it suitable for smaller jobs in your homestead like landscaping, pipe laying, or fence building among others.
• Features rugged construction that protects against water, dust and other extreme weather conditions without altering efficiency
• Boosts powerful 24x magnification using a superior telescope design that produces clear and bright images
• The complete case includes a carrying casing, a hex wrench, plumb bob, vinyl cover, cleaning cloth, and adjusting pins.
• Features self-leveling for more precise measurements
• Has a single-speed focusing knob
• Rotates 360-degree/400 gons on a horizontal circle
• Normally comes with a 5-year warranty attesting to its durability
• The level is relatively heavy weighing about 18.8 pounds
• It relatively more expensive in relation to levels in the same class
• Product might require calibration, which can be tedious, expensive, and inconvenient
The Leica Geosystems 840383 is a model in its own class. Despite your needs, the level is designed to meet challenging leveling needs in the building and construction industry. The level has a unique build which is very adaptable for handling in rough conditions especially when working outdoors.
• Features powerful 32x magnification which provides high precision and accuracy
• The automatic optical level has a rugged build which enables it to withstand harshest conditions during use
• It is easy to set up and operate
• Features a well-designed mirror that allows you to make adjustments of the horizontal with ease and excellent results
• Leica Geosystems, the manufacturing company has service centers distributed across the world, making it easy to acquire support services anywhere and at any time
• A little high-priced
Benefits of Automatic Laser Levels
Leveling is an essential aspect of any construction, whether small or large scale. Historically, people have used levels of all kinds to ensure that they level the ground upon which they intend to construct something.
The automatic laser levels are more advanced forms of levels made possible due to technological developments. The laser levels have advanced features that make them invaluable, especially when working with inclines.
Some of the advantages of the automatic laser levels include:
- High levels of accuracy since they can be adjusted accurately up to a fraction of a millimeter
- They are convenient and easy to use; in most instances, all you need to do is press a button and you will be able to establish a guideline, ascertain alignment, and confirm squareness of a surface without struggle
- They make working with inclines much easier; laser levels require that you mount them on a support or tripod stand and you are set to work. Additionally, once you establish required settings for an incline, all you will need to do is move the laser level from one location to another without the need to make any changes unless they are necessary
- Self-leveling lasers even level themselves automatically up to 5 degrees, whether the surface is fully vertical or horizontal, and as long as the surface inclination is within the range of 5-degrees.
Overall, there are numerous types of laser levels available in the market today. Individual models have unique features such as variable rotation speeds, grade capability, AC chargers, rechargeable battery packs, and beam scanning among others. Some of the levels will require that you mount them on tripods, attach them on a platform, or even fix them on ordinary surfaces during use.
It is important that you take your time to review and consider the suitability of individual laser levers for your particular needs. For instance, if you are working at a busy construction site, you can opt for laser level with a rugged build and capacity to withstand drops and harsh weather elements notwithstanding their accuracy. You should also consider the capabilities of the laser level, warranty, and availability of support services in case this becomes necessary.
All in all, working with a laser level will increase your efficiency and save you both time and labor. In fact, some laser levels enable you to work alone using a detector fitted on the leveling rod.