A laser level is a curious device as it usually belongs in the tool shed with all the rest of the tools, bolts, and whatnots, but a silent revolution is shining a fresh light on this uniquely modern machine. This also means that knowing how to use a laser level will become a needed skill in more than just the construction business, albeit at a much lower scale.
What Is a Laser Level?
A laser level makes full use of laser technology by projecting a line or several lines of lasers across either the horizontal or vertical plane, sometimes on both planes at the same time. These projected lines help you determine if the vertical or horizontal alignment of what you are working on is as parallel to the reference lines as possible.
This ensures that your window and door frames line up vertically, as well as horizontally which makes it easier to fit and install premade windows and doors. Laser levels are considered to be the evolutionary descendant of spirit and surveyor levels from the years gone by.
Its early iterations were bulky and consumed too much power for minimal and often inaccurate results. Nowadays, laser levels have become more versatile and more portable, making it an automatic inclusion to any handyman’s roster of tools and gadgets.
What Are the Uses of a Laser Level?
Laser levels have a lot of uses, and their lasers are now powerful enough to be used outdoors, unlike earlier versions that had low-quality diodes that produced weaker laser beams. But what are its practical applications?
- Laying tiles
- Hanging curtains, pictures, and paintings
- Installing cabinets and shelves
- Aligning walls, fences, doors, and windows
- Painting geometric shapes
- Identifying property lines
- Leveling floors
- Projecting guidelines for large-scale drawing
- Setting up mall displays
- Putting up billboards and street signs
What Are the Different Types of Laser Level?
Laser levels are relatively easy to use, much easier than spirit levels and surveyor levels definitely. It also comes in different designs and uses different systems that can fit the application that you want to use this machine in.
Manual Laser Level
Manual laser levels use spirit levels as a guide to finding the right angle or position for the laser lines. The spirit level would contain an alcohol-based liquid, hence spirit level, that would form a bubble within the vial that should line up with the perpendicular markings on the vial.
Self-leveling laser levels are more accurate and are best used while on top of a table or desk that has been deemed as being close to being at level with the natural horizontal plane. The internal leveling mechanism that is composed of a pendulum and magnets work in finding the right position before projecting the laser beams out onto the work surface.
Electronic Laser Level
Electronic laser levels are the most convenient kind. Simple programs are used to determine the level of the work area, and it calibrates and corrects itself to give the most accurate and reliable level. These kinds of laser levels are often used in busy construction sites and are often bulkier than the two previous kinds of laser levels.
How to Use a Laser Level?
Knowing how to use a laser level is indeed a skill one needs to learn if he is to venture into construction. However, knowing how to use it can be tricky if you don’t know how to use each type of laser level there is.
As mentioned above, laser levels can come in several forms, each with a particular use and produces a different set of laser light. While turning them on is pretty, using them efficiently is another matter entirely.
Dot or Point Level
You can affix this laser level across the opposite wall or on top of a level table. Use the guides to ensure that it level itself before turning it on. The dot that it projects towards the opposite wall is the one you want to keep track of.
Cross Line and Multiline Levels
These levels project both a horizontal and a vertical axis towards the work surface, like a red, equidistant cross. You would need to mount it on a tripod or a level table before use. It can be as far away from the opposite work surface as you want, but place it close if you want better accuracy.
This laser level is suited for outdoor use and utilizes mirrors and laser beams to throw the projection in a 360-degree angle. Place it on a level surface or a tripod before turning it on.
This is a specialized laser level as its main function is for laying out tiles. It can be placed in the middle of the room, and the lasers would project to create a crisscross pattern that would serve as your guide.
How to Maintain a Laser Level?
It’s enough to know how laser levels should be used, but maintaining it is a different matter. Any equipment, regardless of the size or technology, should be taken care of properly to prevent damage from repeated use. Laser levels are no exception. So, here are some tips on how to maintain and use it:
- Use dark tinted glasses when using it on a bright, shiny day.
- Never point towards a living being, especially towards the eye as it could lead to injuries and lawsuits.
- Calibrate your laser level regularly.
- Never shake or drop your laser level as it can damage the internal systems. Store it in a shockproof box with heavy-duty cushions.
- The tripod must be stable and spread wide before you place the device on it.
- Do not store laser levels in hot or humid areas, and keep it away from direct sunlight if possible. The same goes for cold areas.
- Always switch laser levels off when not in use.
- The batteries should regularly be checked and replaced when needed.
- Clean laser levels with a damp cloth, but never wet the electronic components nor should it be submerged in water.
- Store in a dry place with proper ventilation.
Laser levels can be considered electronic equipment that uses lasers in its operations, and special care should be taken while operating it. Always wear glasses and ensure that whoever is handling it has experience using levels and has common sense enough not to play with it while working.