The best line laser
If you think a line laser is really only useful for a professional contractor, think again. Sure, the line laser has use cases for construction. But it also works for simple home projects, such as hanging a picture on the wall and ensuring it's straight.
Multiple designs of line lasers are available, meaning you can find one to meet your budget and needs. Some of these units have a single-laser light, which is perfect for simple home use. Others can create a 3-D frame of laser lights for complex work.
This guide can help you find the line laser that's right for your needs. Our favorite is the DEWALT 12V MAX Line Laser, which has a self-leveling feature.
Considerations when choosing line lasers
Here are the primary types of line lasers from which you can choose:
Single line: A single-line laser is a simple design, providing a single beam of light. It will have a limited range, but it's useful for quick jobs at home. This type of line laser is inexpensive.
Cross line: For construction projects, a cross-line laser is a popular selection. It can emit two or three laser beams at the same time, creating both vertical and horizontal lines. Large drywalling and tiling projects are common uses for this type of unit.
Rotary line: When you need a laser line that runs over a long distance, the rotary-line laser is the best choice. It doesn't use a fixed beam. Instead, the unit spins, creating the line 360 degrees around the unit. It's an expensive design, so it's best used for big projects.
As you step up in price with various line lasers, you'll receive the option to activate extra features. Here are some of the most important features in line lasers:
Accuracy: An average performance in a sub-$100 line laser will give you accuracy to within 1/4 inches over a 30-foot beam line. Pricier line lasers will have accuracy approaching 1/8 or 1/16 inches over a 50-foot to 100-foot beam line.
Dust and water protection: Some line lasers are built with sturdy cases that protect them from moisture or dust. This is designated as a two-digit IP rating. The larger the digits in the rating, the greater the level of protection provided.
Range: Powerful line lasers are able to send the laser beam over a longer distance than less-expensive models. The cheapest line lasers only provide a distance of 25 to 30 feet. Mid-range units have a distance of 60 to 100 feet. The most expensive rotary-line lasers can transmit a line of several hundred feet.
Self-leveling: The self-leveling feature on certain line lasers is especially handy. If the device is within a few degrees of level when you set it down, a self-leveling unit can adjust itself to become perfectly level. You also can override this feature when you need the laser line to be at an angle.
Tripod attachment: With a tripod attachment, you can set up the line laser in the center of a room at any height desired. This is an extremely convenient feature for all sizes of jobs.
Simple line lasers that create one horizontal line can cost $20 to $50. For $50 to $300, you can find two- and three-beam line lasers. High-end rotary-line lasers can cost as much as several thousand dollars.
Q. Are line lasers dangerous for my eyes?
A. The power level of the laser used in these tools is not strong enough to damage eyes, unless you stare into the source of the laser for an extended period.
Q. Can I use my line laser outdoors?
A. The laser light the tool generates rarely is bright enough for outdoor use. However, because it runs from batteries and is portable, you could use it outdoors, possibly in a shady area.
Line lasers we recommend
Best of the best: DEWALT's 12V MAX Line Laser
Our take: Versatile line laser from a trusted brand name that is highly popular among contractors and homeowners.
What we like: Gives you a coverage distance of up to 165 feet. Has the ability to self-level as needed.
What we dislike: You'll pay extra for it, but you're receiving above-average performance and features.
Best bang for your buck: AdirPro's Cube Line Laser
Our take: One of the easiest line lasers to use, it's a popular choice for projects around the home.
What we like: Ships with a tripod, which enhances its value. Good starting price considering the features you'll receive.
What we dislike: Limited to 65 feet of range. Has a constant beeping sound as it works.
Choice 3: Klein Tools' Cross Line Laser Level
Our take: Versatile unit that will stand up to tough conditions on the job site.
What we like: Able to self-level. Includes a mounting bracket and clamp for use on the ceiling.
What we dislike: Higher-than-average price. Battery life is poor.
Kyle Schurman is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.