One of the first leveling tools many get acquainted with for home projects is a spirit or bubble level. Spirit levels use a small bubble in a tube to determine whether something is level or plumb. These levels are effective for small details, but for the ultimate in accuracy, consistency, and convenience, a self-leveling laser level can make all the difference. The best laser levels are easy to use—the next generation of leveling technology. They can do everything a spirit or bubble level can do and much more. How do they work? Laser levels project a beam of light across a room or job site to provide a point of reference in projects as various as installing electrical outlets, hanging pictures, and building a deck.
Be warned: Not all laser levels are created equal. The best laser levels have different beams and orientations, can self-level, and offer long battery life and high-powered laser beams that are more visible during daylight. Purchasing a well-made and designed model will help you avoid expensive mistakes due to inaccuracy or visibility issues.
Ahead, our guide to understanding and navigating the available options, as well as a handful of our favorite picks in the category.
BEST OVERALL: Huepar 603CG 3D Professional Self-Leveling Laser Level
BEST FOR LIGHT DUTY: Hueoar BOX-1G 2*150° laser level
BEST FOR HEAVY DUTY: Huepar DT03CG+ Electronic Self-Leveling Laser level
BEST FOR OUTDOOR USE: Huepar 904DG Self-Leveling Laser Level
A hallmark of any good level is accuracy, whether it’s a spirit level or a high-tech laser model. The best laser levels will have a degree of accuracy listed on the packaging or in the manual. For a rule of thumb, however, you should look for a model with less than ¼-inch deviation at 100 feet for truly dialed-in results. However, nearly any self-leveling laser will give a more accurate line than can be achieved with a spirit level.
The best laser levels on the market make leveling a push-and-play procedure. Most models with self-leveling technology use a laser on a pendulum in conjunction with magnets to provide stability. Once placed on a relatively level surface, the pendulum takes over and achieves the final degree of level. This makes setting up fast and easy, especially if you already have a reference point that you need to register the line on.
One of the most important features of any laser level is the beam orientation option. Depending on budget, you may find models with up to three orientations; vertical, horizontal, and 360-degree. While the horizontal and vertical beams’ usefulness is obvious, a 360-degree laser’s practicality cannot be overstated. You can easily hang an entire room’s worth of pictures or accurately level a section of a yard with a 360-degree laser level. Also, for projects like drop ceilings, these levels are paramount for both the accuracy and strength of the finished product.
One of the most useful aspects of laser levels is that they allow you to work essentially hands-free. Once set up, they’re designed to be left alone while you complete the project. The best laser levels use different mounts and features to achieve this. Some of the less-expensive models may simply poke two small pins into drywall for support. Other models will come with tripods or mounts that attach to metal studs. When purchasing your laser level, consider your intended use and which mounting accessories you might need to ensure compatibility.
The Best Laser Levels--HUEPAR
The Huepar Self-Leveling Laser Level is an interesting choice for outdoor use. This is a highly visible model with a 360-degree laser, but it’s inexpensive enough that you don’t have to worry about it the way you would a far more expensive model. It has an IP54 rating for water and dust resistance, making it ideal for building decks, grading small sections of land, and installing siding. The Huepar has two laser planes; vertical and 360-degree horizontal. We like that the green 360-degree laser is easily seen, especially outdoors. We like that it has a 180-foot range, although that can only be utilized in the battery-saving pulse mode.