When you’re on the job site, you probably have certain ways that things are always done. Certain materials get stacked in a certain order, some tasks get completed before others, and sometimes measurements and levels are handled a certain way; the “old way.” There is definitely something to be said for the old school way of measuring, leveling, and planning on the job site. However, by not taking advantage of what laser measuring and leveling tools can do, you might be missing a chance to get the job done more quickly and accurately.
The Advantage of Lasers
When you’re on the job site, work needs to be smooth and efficient, and results need to be repeatable. By using laser measurement and level systems, you can rest assured that your measurements will be just that! Without lasers, we’re stuck with plumbs, chalk lines, and a standard level, and while these work, they are definitely not as efficient and subject to much more human error than a laser tool would be.
Bringing in a supremely accurate tool like a laser level to a job site saves you time, stress, and in the long run, will save you money. Fewer mistakes mean less time and materials spent fixing them, which means your time and materials go further.
Types of Lasers On The Jobsite
Lasers have several different applications on the jobsite which all come back to 2 basic principals: Measuring angles and measuring distance. the method by which they do this, and the application of each of these principals changes based on the design of the laser, but the effect is almost always the same! So let’s take a look at the differences between each laser you can get, and how they can uniquely help you measure for angles or distance.
Dot lasers are the simplest kind of laser you can imagine. It projects a dot onto a surface, and that’s it. It’s good for marking a reference position on the fly while you work.
Line laser levels project a level line on a single surface. They are typically for indoor use and are mounted to the wall itself or on a flat surface. They are more compact than other levels and work well inside.
Several options also exist for measurement lasers in this fashion. Place the leaser on a surface or mount it, press a button, and presto! You get a measurement to the nearest surface in whatever units of measurement that laser provides.
Rotary Laser Levels
This is where things start getting heavy duty. A Rotary Laser Level is designed to create a level 360 line around an entire room. Given that these are meant to level an entire room, they are bigger than the others by a fair margin and often come with their own mounting tripods. They’re mainly for indoor use, although you can use a laser recieve to move these outdoors as well.
Every good tool needs some accessories! For lasers, there aren’t many, but the ones that exist are super helpful, and they include:
- Level rods & Staffs
- Laser Detectors
- Mounting Hardware
What to Look for
Not every level is made the same! Make sure that the levels you want have the features you need.
Manual-Leveling vs. Self-Leveling/Automatic Leveling Lasers
You know those bubble levels that you seem to have a thousand of but can never find it when you need it? This is a manual leveling technique that is also seen in lasers. Certain models of lasers will have bubble levels and certain mounted options will have adjustable bases or foot screws to get the angle just right.
Self-leveling lasers are often mechanical in nature, using a plumb to keep them at the perfect angle. Gravity is your best friend here!
Automatic level lasers will need batteries and uses a combination of mechanical techniques, accelerometers, and internal motors to keep everything in check. Don’t forget to turn them off or you will kill the batteries!
Single-Beam vs. Dual-Beam Lasers
A single-beam laser will project a single laser onto a surface (typically horizontally, although you can point it at the ceiling)
A dual beam will project both horizontally and vertically at the same time. The idea is to create a reference point on one surface whilst creating a level plane on another.
Laser Detectors (Receivers)
For use with rotary lasers, while working outdoors, these make it possible to use lasers outside without any chance for the laser being obscured by sunlight. Most receivers have both a visual and audio cue letting you know when you’re level (from a beeping sound to a solid tone when approaching true level).
Some of the hardest working lasers we have are the from the Stabila line. Don’t buy another laser until you’ve given these ones a shot on your worksite. Trust us, you will love it!
Stabila LAX300g Laser from Koopman Lumber on Vimeo.
Lasers are incredibly useful tools on the jobsite. If you have any questions or are looking to upgrade your laser arsenal, reach out to us today! Thaks for reading!