Buying a Rotating Laser

So you know you need a rotating laser, but which one to go for?  Check out the table at end of post.

There are two main criteria to consider here; Firstly what features do you require and secondly how much are you going to use it.

Rotating Laser Features

All rotating lasers have a laser dot that is rotated on the horizontal plane.  Most of the time a rotating laser is used for outdoor site levelling which requires the use of a laser receiver to “see” the laser for you.  Sometimes rotating lasers are used internally visibly, for this you will ideally want to have a Scan Line Feature to make the laser more visible.  Also for indoor visible operation you will be better off with a brighter Class 3r Output on the laser and possibly with Green Beam.

Green Beam Rotating Laser

Some rotating lasers in addition to rotating on the horizontal plain can also operate on their side for vertical rotation.  Vertical Rotation is handy for vertical alignment both outside with a receiver or indoors visibly.  Vertical rotation often in addition provides a laser dot at 90 degrees to the rotating beam which enable squaring and layout.

The final major feature is Grade.  Grade allows you to set the horizontal plain a a specific gradient or slope used mainly outdoors for drainage, earthworks and plumbing.  Their are two main types of grade laser; Manual Grade and Digital Dial a Grade.  I won’t go into details here, but, manual grade you work out the fall you want on a particular axis, measure out a distance from the laser to the receiver along this axis.  Then raise or drop the receiver from the level point the required amount to get the grade you wish.  Finally you use the Remote Control to move the laser plain to meet this new height.  Digital Grade is where the laser allows you to enter a percentage value for grade for a particular axis.  The laser then automatically slopes the beam off to that grade.  Some models also include Automatic Grade Match, this is where you set the receiver at the height you need for a particular slope compared to the height of the laser.  The laser then tracks to find and lock onto the receiver.  The laser then displays the grade achieved as a percentage.

DGL1010GM Grade Match

There are some other features you may want to consider which I’ll list below.

  • Rechargeable Batteries
  • VWS – Vibration and Wind Setting – Allows the laser to continuously self level without stopping to rotate in high winds or around heavy machinery.
  • TILT – Similar to a pinball table tilt – Someone knocks the laser tripod and the laser stops rotating and warns you that the heights may have changed.
  • Millimeter Receiver – Some models of laser can be purchased with an optional millimeter receiver which displays the distance from level in millimeters.

How Much are you going to use it?

When comparing rotating lasers with similar features you find a big range of pricing and build quality of rotating laser brands and models as there are with many tools.  As a rule of thumb the more you pay the better the build quality,  the longer its going reliably operate and the better the back up service.

Summary

If you are buying a laser for home DIY and its only going to get used a couple of times a year then a relatively inexpensive manual levelling or pendulum auto levelling rotating laser is going to do the job.

If you are a professional builder using a laser day in day out get something more substantial with electronic self levelling.

Then select the features you need.  If you need grade and you set grades day in, day out, then its probably worth investing in a Digital Grade laser.  If you only set grades very occasionally then a manual grade be fine.

Check out table below to see which models may fit with your needs.

Usage Leveling Operation Grade VWS & TILT POWER MODEL
DIY Kit for around the home - outdoors with receiver - limited indoor visibility Manual Horizontal & Vertical NO NO 4x "AA" Alkaline

M50322

from

$269.00 inc GST
DIY Kit for around the home & occasional trade use - outdoors with receiver - limited indoor visibility Auto Leveling Pendulum Manual on Vertical Horizontal & Vertical NO NO 6x "AA" Alkaline

A60422

from

$429.00 inc GST
Package for owner builder and low level trade use - outdoors with receiver - limited indoor visibility Auto Leveling Pendulum Manual on Vertical Horizontal & Vertical NO NO 6x "AA" Alkaline

AUTO1P

from

$569.00 inc GST
Package for owner builder and trade use - outdoors with receiver - bright indoor visibility Auto Leveling Pendulum Horizontal NO NO Li-ion Rechargeable

1L360R+P

from

$699.00 inc GST
Professional Build Quality for Concreters, General Site Levelling - outdoors with receiver Auto Leveling Electronic Horizontal NO YES Ni-mh Rechargeable

EL614

from

$899.00 inc GST
Professional Build Quality for Concreters, General Site Levelling, Some Grade Setting - outdoors with receiver Auto Leveling Electronic Horizontal Manual Grade Single Axis YES Ni-mh Rechargeable

EL614S

from

$999.00 inc GST
Professional Build Quality for Concreters, General Site Levelling, General Builders, Fit Out & Grade Setting - outdoors with receiver - Indoor Scan Lines Auto Leveling Electronic Horizontal & Vertical Manual Grade Dual Axis YES Ni-mh Rechargeable

EGL624

from

$1,249.00 inc GST
Professional Build Quality for Concreters, General Site Levelling, General Builders, Fit Out & Grade Setting - outdoors with receiver - Indoor Bright Green Beam & Scan Lines Auto Leveling Electronic Horizontal & Vertical Manual Grade Dual Axis YES Ni-mh Rechargeable

EGL624G

from

$1,399.00 inc GST
Professional Build Quality for Earthmovers, Plumbers, Civil Engineering - outdoors with receiver - Indoor Scan Lines Auto Leveling Electronic Horizontal & Vertical Digital Grade Dual Axis 10%, 10% Smart Remote YES Li-ion Rechargeable

DGL1010VS

from

$2,199.00 inc GST
Professional Build Quality for Earthmovers, Plumbers, Civil Engineering - outdoors with receiver - Indoor Scan Lines Auto Leveling Electronic Horizontal & Vertical Digital Grade Dual Axis 10%, 10% Automatic Grade Match Smart Remote Millimeter Tracking Receiver YES Li-ion Rechargeable

DGL1010GM

from

$2,599.00 inc GST