To reduce frustration and save time when working on repairs and art installations alike, you should augment your tool kit with a reliable laser level. It helps ensure that your work will be precise and accurate, giving you confidence that whatever you’re installing is properly aligned. Lasers can be extremely expensive, but it’s possible to find one that you can depend on without breaking the bank. We’ve assembled a lineup of products below to help you make a selection. No matter which one you choose, remember the cardinal rule: Never look directly into a laser beam.
1. Tavool Self-Leveling Laser Level
Don’t let its low cost fool you. This is a fantastic laser you can use for many indoor jobs. With the simple push of a button, you can project a horizontal or vertical line, or both at the same time to create a stable cross. The red light is visible up to 50 feet away in optimal lighting conditions. This is also a self-leveling laser that will recalibrate itself up to 4 degrees as you adjust its body, so you can save time when making multiple measurements. Use it alone or with a tripod.
2. Inspiritech Self-Leveling Laser Level
This laser looks like a little robot, with three adjustable legs you can manipulate to precisely position its cylindrical body. Capable of projecting four vertical lines and one horizontal line, it can also spin 360 degrees on its base to give you more flexibility. It’s an especially useful tool for jobs that need multiple micro-adjustments, like setting tiles, leveling wood flooring, or laying bricks. For gallerists, the tilt function allows a right angle to be projected at any orientation, making it as easy to hang paintings askew as it is to hang them parallel to the ground.
3. Black & Decker Line Laser
If you need to hang a lot of objects on the wall, we recommend this smart two-in-one tool. You get a stud finder as well as a leveling laser that produces a clear and vibrant horizontal line with a range of up to 20 feet. Although it takes some practice to master, you can save a lot of time and avoid ruining your walls with this gadget. The stud sensor can be a little wonky, so it’s best to take multiple readings before going in with your drill.
4. Huepar Self-Leveling Green Laser Level
This tool packs a lot of features. Rather than a red light, it shines a bright green beam, which is more visible and can even be seen outdoors on a not-too-sunny day. It projects a horizontal line 360 degrees around the tool, so you don’t have to move it when working on a large-scale project involving more than one wall. You can also project red plumb dots directly skyward and groundward, which is helpful for hanging objects. Equipped with a magnetic base, this laser can be affixed to any metal structure, or you can just as easily use it with a tripod.
5. Klein Tools 93LCLS Laser Level
Klein has been making high-quality tools for nearly two centuries, and the company’s commitment to craft is apparent in this laser level, which shows a horizontal line, a vertical line, and plumb dots. A pendulum self-leveling mechanism, which this model uses to enable highly accurate measurements, can be delicate, since it relies on gravity to correct itself. Luckily, the shell of the laser and its included hard-plastic carrying case offer protection to keep the level in perfect condition. It’s outfitted to be used with nearly any type of mount you might have: It has a magnetic bracket as well as ¼-inch and ⅝-inch threaded holes for tripod mounting, and it can be used on a wall with a traditional fastener. The biggest negative is the price, which is high for a red laser level and the highest among our picks.