These days, using a bubble leveling tool is old school. Most professionals have gravitated to using rotary laser levels for accurate measuring. These devices are easy to set up and use, and they can self-level saving you time while you work. Here are a few tips on what to look for in the best rotary laser level and a few reviews to help you start shopping.
Best Rotary Laser Level Reviews
Perfect for use indoors and out, the Bosch Rotary Laser has a system with dual lasers that are horizontal and can be used individually or together. This rotary laser can work up to 1,300 feet and accurately up to 100 feet at 3/32. Using the Smart Pendulum System, it self-levels while providing a condition that is out-of-level guaranteeing accuracy, plus the manual mode will lock in a laser line for any angle.
With a robust design, the IP56 certified Bosch Rotary Laser features a cage that is enclosed in glass for improved protection so you will get many years of reliable operations. The Bosch-patented plumb alignment lets you adjust the beam either left or right and not have to move the device. This versatile rotary laser also includes up to three rotation speeds that have been customized as well as six lengths for better lighting and applications.
Easy to set up and use, especially for beginners
Works just as well as the expensive devices
Really good quality for the money
Doesn’t work as well with large distances
Perfect for professionals and homeowners, the Johnson’s Manual Leveling Rotary Laser System is easy to use and features intuitive thumb screws that let you level the laser in both the X or Y axis. This is a versatile tool that features variable rotational speeds from 150 to 300 RPM with the slower rotational speeds increasing beam visibility. For the most versatility, you can adjust this rotary laser either vertically or horizontally without taking off the tripod base.
Made of a durable and high-impact composite housing, the Johnson’s Manual Leveling Rotary Laser System comes with a grade rod and mounting bracket. Other features include a carrying case, aluminum tripod, and tinted laser beam enhancement glasses.
Does the job well
Works on grade and concrete work
Very easy to self-level
With a three-year warranty, the Iglobalbuy Self-Leveling Rotary Level can self-level with a range of up to five feet. Featuring high-impact, durable housing, this unit is protected from dust and water, plus it comes with a rechargeable battery and charger. Controlled by sensors that are temperature-stable for auto-alignment, you can use the remote control for all functions and uses electronic positioning motors and vials.
With four rotational speeds including 60,120, 300, and 600 rpm, the IGlobalbuy can meet some of the most demanding expectations you throw at it. This is a great tool to use for outdoor and indoor projects including setting foundation, leveling, pouring concrete, and checking cut and fill. Other features include a sturdy carrying case and a pair of laser goggles.
Works well with grade rod and receiver
Affordable, nice quality
Very accurate, just as good as the more expensive units
Numbers start to rub off after a while
Featuring accuracy and great distance, the Topcon Rotary Laser features long-range operation with a ±5 Degrees self-leveling range. This simple device has an intuitive manual slope capability and a ±20 Arc second horizontal accuracy. It has a tough IP66 weatherproof rating making it a great tool to take to the job site since it can withstand a sudden rain shower.
This is a multi-purpose laser that you can use in excavating, grading, and general construction projects. With long range accuracy, you can shoot elevations up to 400 meters. Other features include a carrying case, batteries, and sensor holder.
Great accuracy for the money
Self-levels easily automatically, even when bumped
Works well on laser level tripods
Perfect for use on your own, the Spectra Precision Laser LL300 has a rugged laser design and can take on a wide range of general construction and concrete projects. Works well in extreme weather conditions providing accurate, reliable, and consistent performance. It can also survive a five-foot drop and still keeps working.
Its durability and strength mean less downtime and more productivity and accuracy for your projects. The Spectra Precision Laser is easy to use and set up and has an optional remote control that allows you to control the rod position when you are doing slope matching. It also features single-axis slope mode providing self-leveling in the cross axis giving you a more precise grade measurement.
Very useful product for lots of projects
Great tool for the money
Awesome accuracy within 3/8 inch
Doesn’t come with a stand
With both a 360 degree horizontal and vertical line, the Tacklife Laser Level gives you all-around leveling coverage that is accurate to within ±1/8 of an inch at 33 feet and can work up to 98 feet. This range allows you to work in a different area for a large room at the same time giving you more versatility. It also has one button operation that makes it easy to project lines either independently or together.
The Tacklife also includes to full-time pulse modes that you can switch with a default mode that is perfect for use in indoors and a second mode that produces a laser beam that is darker and perfect for use outside. This IP54 waterproof device is durable and robust so you can use it in harsh working conditions without worrying. It has TPR soft rubber protection on all sides making it impact, wear, and shock resistant.
Easy to use and setup
Long lasting battery use
Great for projects around the house
Very small size, some users preferred something more substantial
If you are looking for a one-person leveling system, the Spectra Precision Laser Level was created for long-range measurements over the entire site. With a 1600 foot working diameter, you get increased productivity by lessening the number of setups you need to do over a large worksite. Reliable and stable, this device is accuracy and precise using temperature compensation even in harsh weather conditions.
You can use the Spectra Laser Level either in hand-held position or rod-mounted, plus it has a readout display on both sides. This is a completely waterproof device that can take a ten-foot drop on concrete. Other features include two power options, a visible beam, and a heavy-duty case for protection and portability.
Very precise over large areas
Great design that is durable and strong
Can use it on your own
The Pacific Laser Systems HVR505G Rotary Laser is a versatile tool that can handle a complex layout task. It features a highly-visible green beam that is three times brighter than its competitors. This is the perfect tool for mid-range interior layout projects like home remodeling, curtain walls, acoustic, and drywall.
This device can self-level to within 5 degrees and is great for light commercial applications with its manual slop adjustment and vertically up and down points. Other features include a carrying case, batteries and charger, ceiling brackets, remote control, and an HLD1000 laser line detector.
Easy to use and 3x brighter
Great for long and mid-range layouts
Will self-leveling fully to within 5 degrees
The remote control cannot turn it off
Needs a brighter green laser
For an economical option, the Johnson Level Laser System is perfect for an advanced DIY user. Great at leveling for a retaining wall, plant bed, and grading, this device can also be used for commercial construction. Use it vertically for laying floors and walls or installing metal track for drywall. Horizontal use includes leveling cabinets, drop ceilings, and installing wainscoting.
This is also a great device to have if you live on a farm to check the alignment of fence posts, leveling outbuildings, or checking drainage slopes. Residential users will find that this system gives you everything you need for a residential job. Other features include a wall mount, batteries, grade rod, tripod, and a carrying case.
Clear calibration descriptions
Sturdy tripod with secure clamp locks
Well-padded and well-built carrying case
The device is pretty loud
There are no barcodes to access videos in instructions
With both a vertical and horizontal dual beam, you get a professional experience for an inexpensive price. Perfect for general construction of interior and exteriors, this rotary laser can take on grading, site prep, drop ceilings, and electrical installation. With the vertical beam features, you have a precise and easy layout of corners and plumbing project.
The CST/Berger also gives you a full choice of beam visibility enhancements with variable speeds that include 150, 300, and 600 rpm and variable scan angles that include 10, 25, and 50 degrees. The top house is enclosed in glass for the most environmental and weather protection, plus it features a runtime of up to 85 hours. Other features include a carrying case, leveling rod, tripod, magnetic tape, laser glasses, and an adjustable wall mount.
Works well in rainy conditions
You can use it by yourself
Nice solid tripod
On the expensive side
Not contractor grade, some plastic parts
Rotary Laser Level Buying Guide
What is a laser level?
Laser levels are used when you want to make sure you have level ground for drainage, burying utilities, foundation, and making sure water will flow into pipes. Having a laser level is important for certain professions like masons and carpenters as well as many other applications.
Laser levels are often used to find a level for drainage, but these days rotary laser levels have made the job faster and more precise. You can this tool inside fixed in one place which is usually a central point in the room or on a wall. There is a continuous laser beam that forms a solid red line at a level point on vertical and horizontal areas.
The laser level itself does not need to be on a level surface, but it does need to be somewhat within the level. Any project where you need to find a line more than three or feet is ideal for laser level use. They can also show long lines that are perfect for when you are getting ready to tile a floor.
What is a rotary laser level?
Unlike a laser level, a rotary laser level sits in the middle of a room, usually on a tripod, and casts its laser beam in a total 360-degree circle. It then shows a laser line on of the walls to give you total accuracy, or it can make a vertical strip and hit the ceiling, floor, and walls all at the same time.
Rotary Laser Level Applications
Rotary laser level projects are used on almost all larger scale construction sites all over the world. Because of their precision, they are used in to confidently build skyscrapers higher and higher. Here are a few other common uses of the rotary laser:
- Guaranteeing a level foundation for home construction
- Creating a level frame for construction projects
- Creating level doorways, windows, and sills
- Kitchen and bath installation
- Inground swimming pool installation
- Ensuring backyard desks are level
- Floor installation
- Hanging décor around your home or office
Choosing the Best Rotary Laser Level
Even though a device can look great, it might not be able to handle the particular application you have in mind. Don’t purchase something you can’t use or don’t need. Keep in mind the features of what you are working on and what you need from a rotary laser level to help you accomplish it.
You won’t have a need for a rotary laser level with an over 2,000-foot range if you usually build decks, additions on homes, or home construction. On the other hand, if you plan to do a large-scale project like highway construction a level with only a 500-foot range may not be enough.
Self-leveling is one of the best features of the rotary laser level. Typical low-end laser levels will use a bubble level to guarantee that it is level, while a rotary laser level is mounted on a series of small motors and uses an electronic gyroscope that self-corrects the level within a 4-5° deviation. One of the best parts of this design is that it will self-correct immediately if it is slightly bumped.
The accuracy of a rotary laser level is measured by how close to exactly level the device is at a distance from the transmitter, which is normally between 30 to 100 feet away. Typically, you will see an accuracy level of 1/8-inch at 100 feet with higher-level devices found to be accurate to within 1/16-inch at 100 feet.
Another important consideration, the operating range is usually between 1,000 and 2,000 feet and is especially important when you work on jobs where the points that need to be leveled are far from the device. Devices get more expensive as with an increase in operating range since the importance of accuracy increases the farther you are away from the level.
Normally, red lasers are seen in leveling tools, but recently green lasers have been used more often. Easier for the eye to see, especially when used outside, green lasers are more expensive and use more battery life then red lasers. Plus, unlike red lasers, green lasers won’t work if you are below freezing.
Ingres Protection (IP) Rating
The IP Rating is a standard indication of what the water and dust resistance of a rotary laser level is. The first number tells you what the rating is on dust protection with a 6 indicating it is fully protected and a 0 meaning there is no protection. Water ratings go up to 8 meaning it is fully immersible. It will also have a dust rating between 4 and 6 if it is intended for outdoor use and between 4 and 7 for water.
You will usually receive a tripod when you purchase a rotary laser level so you can easily mount the level for use pretty much anywhere. Sometimes there will be additional mounting features like a magnetic attachment or clamp set that can be handy when out in the field.
If your device will be subjected to a lot of environmental abuse, make sure you get a rotary laser level that can withstand being dropped or harsh weather. Many devices come with a durable casing and sometimes a rubber cover to help protect it.
For many professions, a rotary laser is an irreplaceable part of their job. The best rotary laser will not only save you time out in the field but also ensure that you are getting the most accurate data.