As an alternative to the traditional spirit level, laser levels They offer a series of advantages that translate into greater economy, better precision and optimal performance.
From the large family of laser levels designed to cover a wide spectrum of needs, the line laser level It is the indispensable ally for those who frequently perform horizontal, vertical and inclined alignment indoors. That is to say, installers of drywall, hanging furniture and cabinets, trim, doors, windows and flashing, ventilation and air conditioning systems, electricians, bricklayers, carpenters, plumbers and even the DIY enthusiast will greatly benefit from the use of these small devices.
Manufacturers generally offer a wide range of line laser levels which could make our choice difficult. The guide detailed below provides guidance to help us make an appropriate decision according to our requirements.
Consequently, what we owe to consider when purchasing a line laser level is the next:
Performance: the line laser levels they are much more than just lasers. Therefore, the precision must be excellent and the laser beam must be projected with an optimal visibility Y sharpness along the entire route declared by the manufacturer in the minimum reach Of the device. In conditions without direct sunlight and free of dust and sudden variations in temperature, the best laser levels have a minimum range of 15 meters and one ± 0.3mm / m accuracy.
Automatic leveling: As stated in the introduction to the line laser level article, many manufacturers offer laser levels capable of self-leveling within a certain range, which is generally ± 4º. This feature is important because it saves considerable time and enables more accurate measurements. Therefore, if we are going to make frequent use of the device, it will be advantageous to look for those provided with automatic leveling, taking into account the following additional characteristics:
Leveling time: For reasons of practicality, it is desirable to choose a device that is capable of self-leveling quickly. A typical leveling time is 4 seconds or less.
Projection of sloping lines and pendulum lock: As we also pointed out in the previous article, the self-leveling function is carried out by means of an oscillating pendulum, connected to the light-emitting diodes, which when stopped, returns two level and plumb rays. If we need to use the device to align a earringWhether, for example, to place the railing of a staircase (see image below) or a cladding at an angle, the self-leveling function, which is only active for levels and plumb lines, does not work for us and the device would emit a signal of Warning when leaning beyond the self-leveling range. To prevent this from happening, the level must have a button pendulum lock that prevents the activation of the warning signal (acoustic, light, turning off the device, etc., which is harmless, but can be annoying for the user) and at the same time, avoid the pendulum movement when the device is transported from a place to another.
Cross line projection: laser levels that project cross lines can create a pattern on surfaces that is useful for installing cabinets, siding of all kinds, or performing jobs where a high degree of precision is required. This means that if we are installers in general, it will be very convenient to look for a level capable of projecting cross lines, as shown in the figure below.
Convenient and easy handling: In addition to considering ergonomic features, such as a rubber grip that provides a comfortable and secure grip, automatic shutdown after a certain time of inactivity, protection against dust and a good autonomy of use (between 12 and 15 hours), the user always You will find it gratifying to be able to select the various operating modes of the appliance with the least amount of movement possible. To this end, in many models a single button switches between operating modes, which can be:
- Horizontal operation (with automatic leveling): generates a horizontal laser line.
- Vertical operation (with automatic leveling): generates a vertical laser line.
- Cross-line operation with automatic leveling: generates a horizontal and a vertical laser line (on some models).
- Cross Line Operation without Auto Leveling – Generates one horizontal and one vertical laser line (on some models).
Accessories: the accuracy of the measurements also depends on how firmly the laser level is mounted. For this, many manufacturers not only offer their products provided with magnets on the opposite side to the emission of the laser beam to enable mounting on metal surfaces, but also include them in briefcases containing other various fixing accessories, most of which are the same as those offered for the rotary laser level, for example:
Tripod: It is a stable and height-adjustable leveling base, ideal for large spaces.
Reflective plate: Allows you to transfer the laser beam position against the floor or the laser height level on a wall. It is provided with a reflective coating that makes the laser beam more noticeable at a great distance or in bright sunlight.
Laser glasses: They filter light from the environment, allowing you to appreciate laser light with greater intensity, especially red light.
Multifunctional support: This accessory supplied by some manufacturers (see figure below) consists of a powerful magnetic base and a clamp. It serves multiple applications, as it can be magnetically attached to metal surfaces, supported on the floor by means of retractable legs, mounted on drywall or wood with screws, or on metal structures for false ceilings by means of a spring-loaded fork. In the figure below we see the functional support marketed by the Bosch firm, adaptable to many measuring devices of the same brand, with its main parts.