We Tested the 7 Best Laser Levels for DIYers and Pros

Laser levels are indispensable for ensuring measurement accuracy. We tested the best-selling models—see how they fared.

Best Overall

The DeWalt DW089K 3-Beam Line Laser Level on a white background.

DeWalt DW089K 3-Beam Line Laser Level

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Best Bang for the Buck

The Black+Decker BDL190S Line Laser With Stud Finder on a white background.

Black+Decker BDL190S Line Laser With Stud Finder

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Upgrade Pick

The Bosch GLL3-330CG 360° Green-Beam Three-Plane Laser with a series of green laser lines around it.

Bosch GLL3-330CG 360° Green-Beam Three-Plane Laser

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Laser levels offer precision, reliability, and a measure of safety. Unlike traditional bubble levels, laser levels project a beam of light that serves as a reference point for various construction and DIY tasks. Whether you’re hanging pictures or tackling larger projects like deck construction, these devices streamline the process and help ensure a level plane.

With technology improving constantly, we wanted to see if today’s most popular laser levels would deliver the accuracy that DIYers and professionals demand. To do that, we tested the top models in our homes and on jobsites.

We also reached out to Ben Illig, a general contractor and owner of Illig Properties based in Edensburg, Pennsylvania, who uses laser levels on a regular basis. We wanted to get his insights on what our readers will want to consider when shopping for one.

With all of this in mind, we selected the DeWalt DW089K 3-Beam Line Laser Level as the best overall pick. It comes with easily visible horizontal and vertical red beams, a self-leveling feature, micro-adjust knob, and an accuracy within ⅛ inch at 30 feet.

Ahead, learn what he told us to look for and find out how the following models earned a spot in this lineup of the best laser levels via our hands-on testing. 

  1. BEST OVERALL: DeWalt DW089K 3-Beam Line Laser Level
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Black+Decker BDL190S Line Laser With Stud Finder
  3. UPGRADE PICK: Bosch GLL3-330CG 360° Green-Beam Three-Plane Laser
  4. BEST FOR LIGHT-DUTY: Skil LL932201 360° Self-Leveling Red Cross-Line Laser
  5. BEST FOR HEAVY-DUTY: Klein Tools 93LCLS Red Cross-Line Laser Level
  6. BEST FOR OUTDOOR USE: Huepar 621CG 3D Cross-Line Laser Level 
  7. BEST COMPACT: Bosch GLL 30 Self-Leveling Cross-Line Laser Level
A person using a traditional level to check the accuracy of several of the best laser levels during testing.
Photo: Tom Scalisi for Bob Vila

How We Tested the Best Laser Levels

The key features Illig looks for in a laser level for his construction projects are “accuracy, self-leveling, strength of the laser (both brightness and projected distance), ease of use, height adjustment accessories, and number of planes (180 to 360 degree, right angle, vertical, horizontal, etc.).” We took this expert advice into consideration when choosing our top picks for testing. 

Because laser levels project a line onto a surface for the user’s reference, it would stand to reason that the tests should revolve around each laser level’s accuracy. But they didn’t. Testing modern laser tools for accuracy is pretty much futile, as even the most affordable model is more accurate than the human eye can discern (particularly with a bubble level). 

Instead, we analyzed other critical factors, such as how visible the laser lines appeared, how straightforward the levels were to set up, and how easy it was to adjust their different features. We also focused heavily on durability in our testing. We set up each level to compare its accuracy, beam intensity, and additional features. Then, because accidental drops are entirely possible during a project, we dropped the levels on the ground to test their durability. We dropped each one from the height of a sawhorse three times.

During our tests, we awarded points based on a rubric. The better the level performed on a specific test, the more points it won. After testing, we averaged the points for each model and used the results to determine the best categories and use cases for each laser level. 

Our Top Picks

While the following laser levels vary in beam intensity, features, and use cases, each one passed our tests, even when the road got a little bumpy.

Note: All of the following laser levels proved to be highly accurate, far beyond what we could check with a standard bubble level (though we did use a bubble level for extra verification several times during our tests). Also, each model except the Black+Decker model is tripod-compatible, and all of the pendulums locked in place except for the DeWalt model.

Best Overall

DeWalt DW089K 3-Beam Line Laser Level

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Product Specs 

  • Beam color: Red
  • Beam orientation: 1 horizontal and 2 vertical
  • Accuracy: ⅛ inch at 30 feet

Pros

  • Self-leveling laser feature aids in user-friendliness; suitable for quick, fast-paced measurements 
  • Robust build quality can withstand heavy-duty use; suitable for DIYers and professionals 
  • Easy installation and operation; does not take long to set up and suitable for first timers 
  • Micro-adjust knob allows owners to make quick adjustments during use

Cons

  • Not capable of emitting 360-degree beams like other comparable models 

Whether it’s for DIY use or a professional jobsite, this line laser level from DeWalt has what it takes to get the job done. This laser features three self-leveling red beams (one horizontal line and two vertical dual-beam lasers) for leveling and lining up almost any project. It’s accurate to within ⅛ inch at 30 feet, and it also has a micro-adjust knob on the top that allows the user to dial in the beam’s perfect alignment.

Of all the models we tested, the DeWalt laser level proved to be one of the easiest to set up and use. It features a magnetic back as well as a beam clamp for attaching to angle irons, though most of our tests involved setting it on a flat surface. The red laser was very bright and easy to see. The factor that pushed the DeWalt laser level to the top of the heap was its robust design. It’s not the largest laser level, but it is one of the heaviest and sturdiest, and the drop test left it largely unscathed. The only thing it really can’t do is project a 360-degree beam.

Get the DeWalt laser level at Amazon or The Home Depot.

Best Bang for the Buck

Black+Decker BDL190S Line Laser With Stud Finder

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Product Specs 

  • Beam color: Red
  • Beam orientation: Horizontal line only
  • Accuracy: ⅛ inch at 10 feet

Pros

  • Multipurpose tool; built-in stud finder as well as laser level for all-in-one use
  • Simple design is easy for any user; recommended for professionals or DIYers 
  • Steadies quickly to take accurate measurements; suitable for first-time users 

Cons

  • Requires poking a hole in the wall before use; may not be suitable for some users 
  • Only projects horizontally; may take some time to measure a whole room 

For those who don’t need all the features available on top-of-the-line models, the Black+Decker BDL190S is a nice option at an affordable price. This isn’t the ideal laser level for a major project or renovation, but it will get the job done when striking level lines to hang pictures or shelves.

This budget-friendly laser level offers some features we really liked, including a stud finder and electrical wire detection. It also comes with a hanger that attaches to the wall with a tacklike pin. Once hung, the laser will self-level. 

During our tests, the BDL190S served its purpose. It projected a perfectly self-leveled line to the left and right and steadied quickly. There was a section of the wall where the beam appeared to lighten, making it more challenging to see, but this is because there was a bow in the wall, and this effect is typical of wall-mounted laser levels. 

The beam finder was a nice touch and appeared to work well. The downside of the Black+Decker level is that it requires the user to poke a small hole in the wall to mount it, which could be a deal-breaker for concrete or brick surfaces. Also, it only projects a horizontal line.

Get the Black+Decker laser level at Amazon, Lowe’s, The Home Depot, Walmart, Office Depot, or Black+Decker.

Upgrade Pick

Bosch GLL3-330CG 360° Green-Beam Three-Plane Laser

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Product Specs 

  • Beam color: Green
  • Beam orientation: 1 horizontal and 2 vertical, all in a 360-degree direction
  • Accuracy: 3/32 inch at 30 feet

Pros

  • Multidirectional green lasers take very accurate measurements of a whole room easily
  • Bluetooth connectivity for monitoring calibration allows for ample measurements to be taken and stored 
  • Can be powered by various battery sources; batteries can be recharged or replaced 

Cons

  • Expensive compared to similar laser levels; more suitable for professionals than amateurs

Shoppers who are looking for a level that can do it all and don’t mind spending quite a bit more on one of the best brands may want to consider the Bosch GLL3-330CG. This self-leveling model has a 360-degree horizontal plane laser and two 360-degree vertical plane lasers, providing a level line of reference for any job. The green laser has a working range of up to a 200-foot diameter, though this can be extended to 330 feet with the separate purchase of an LR8 receiver.

Some of the GLL3-330CG’s premium features are so subtle that they can actually go unnoticed. For example, this laser level monitors its battery life and adjusts the beam for optimal visibility. Its CAL Guard feature utilizes internal sensors to detect drops, high heat, and other faults that could mess with the unit’s calibration.

The Bosch laser level proved to be a serious piece of machinery during testing. It is highly accurate, with a maximum deviation of just 3/32 of an inch at 30 feet. The three 360-degree planes were easy for us to see and use. 

After we dropped the GLL3-330CG three times, it registered a calibration fault that required logging into the app to clear. This was more of a benefit than an issue as it was easy to clear and did warn of the shocks. Another thing we liked about this level is that it can be powered by different types of battery sources. You can power it with the rechargeable lithium-ion battery that comes included or with four AA alkaline batteries. The only drawback? While it is the best 360-degree laser level on this list, it’s a bit pricey.

Get the Bosch three-plane laser level at Amazon, Lowe’s, or The Home Depot.

Best for Light-Duty

Skil LL932201 360° Self-Leveling Red Cross-Line Laser

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Product Specs 

  • Beam color: Red (though green is also offered by some retailers)
  • Beam orientation: 360-degree cross-line laser level (horizontal and vertical)
  • Accuracy: 3/16 inch at 30 feet

Pros

  • Self-leveling laser level prevents inaccurate measurements from being taken 
  • Easy to set up compared to similar laser levels; perfect for first timers or DIYers 
  • Decent build quality can withstand some heavy-duty use; suitable for home use and jobsites
  • Steadies quickly for accuracy and precision; will not take inaccurate measurements 

Cons

  • Laser level tripod is low quality and may not be suitable for use in more demanding conditions

Every DIYer has different needs, and a high-end, expensive, heavy-duty laser level isn’t always a priority. For those who’d prefer something a bit more modest and affordable, this 360-degree self-leveling cross-line laser level from Skil is worth a look. It has all the features necessary, including horizontal and vertical lasers, as well as 360-degree coverage, but with a little less fit-and-finish look. The result is a capable yet minimalist laser level at a lower price, and it even comes with a tripod for setting it at any height.

The Skil surprised us in our hands-on testing. We found it to be a highly capable light-duty model. For its price and intended use, it’s well-built and durable while being very simple to set up and use. It also steadied very quickly. While the tripod wasn’t of the highest quality, it was one of the only setups in the test that allowed for positioning the laser at an angle.

Get the Skil laser level at Amazon or Walmart.

Best for Heavy-Duty

Klein Tools 93LCLS Red Cross-Line Laser Level

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Product Specs 

  • Beam color: Red
  • Beam orientation: Horizontal and vertical with plumb spots
  • Accuracy: 3/32 inch at 33 feet

Pros

  • Plumb-spot finder is quick to take measurements of overhead locations
  • Durable and powerful enough for long-term and heavy-duty use; suitable for frequent use on jobsites
  • Fast, simple setup lets users get to work quickly and without fuss

Cons

  • Doesn’t feature a 360-degree plane; may take some time to measure a whole room 

For a professional-grade laser, the Klein Tools 93LCLS ticks most of the boxes and has some features that the other models don’t. It has both vertical and horizontal beams, but it also features a plumb-spot finder that projects a vertical beam, which we felt could be a real asset when installing conduit, piping, or drop ceilings. It also boasts several mounting options, including a magnetic mount with a 360-degree swivel and a specialized mount for drop-ceiling tracks.

Unfortunately, the 93LCLS doesn’t provide a constant 360-degree plane, but the ability to swivel it on the mount while maintaining level helps to offset that shortcoming. The variety of mounting options makes it incredibly versatile.

Testing the 93LCLS laser level revealed the Klein to be a powerful, sturdy, and reliable laser level. We found it very easy to see, and the plumb spot was faster to use than an actual plumb bob or level. The setup was also very simple. The one con with this particular level is that considering its price, it should offer a 360-degree beam.

Get the Klein Tools laser level at Amazon or The Home Depot.

Best for Outdoor Use

Huepar 621CG 3D Cross-Line Laser Level

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Product Specs 

  • Beam color: Green
  • Beam orientation: 360-degree horizontal line and 140-degree vertical line
  • Accuracy: 1/9 inch at 33 feet 

Pros

  • Highly visible green beam makes taking measurements easy; perfect for those who need to mark measurements on the wall
  • Self-leveling laser level is very user-friendly; also offers fast measuring speed 
  • Easy to switch to pulse mode to improve battery life and range
  • Ideal laser level for grading, installing siding, and building structures 
  • Plumb-spot indicator is built-in

Cons

  • Shakes more than other laser levels; may need to be held while in use 

This laser level from Huepar is an excellent choice for outdoor use. This is a highly visible model with a 360-degree laser, but it’s relatively inexpensive. 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 outdoor laser level has two laser planes: a 140-degree vertical and a 360-degree horizontal. The green 360-degree laser is easy to see, even outdoors. It also has a 180-foot range, although we could only utilize that in the battery-saving pulse mode.

During our tests, the Huepar proved to be a high-quality laser level, with a bright green beam and a helpful pulse mode. The 360-degree horizontal plane was also nice, particularly when we leveled a large outdoor area. 

However, the area where the Huepar didn’t fare as well was in steadiness. During our tests, the laser wobbled more than the other models, which could potentially make the line less accurate, though it steadied when all movement ceased. It does feature plumb-spot indicators above and below, which is a nice and rare feature.

Get the Huepar laser level at Amazon, Walmart, or Newegg.

Best Compact

Bosch GLL 30 Self-Leveling Cross-Line Laser Level

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Product Specs 

  • Beam color: Red
  • Beam orientation: Vertical and horizontal
  • Accuracy: 5/16 inch at 30 feet

Pros

  • Incredibly simple setup; suitable for first timers as well as professionals 
  • Multipositional clamp attaches to a variety of surfaces 
  • Fits in a tool box or a bag with room to spare

Cons

  • It trades some accuracy for its compact size; may not be as accurate as comparable models

Having a cross-line laser level available within arm’s length at any time might seem like a luxury, but with the compact and affordable GLL 30 from Bosch, it can become a reality. This small laser level features vertical and horizontal red laser beams that are accurate to within 5/16 of an inch at a 30-foot distance. With its tiny footprint, it’ll easily fit in a tool bag or a tool box, ensuring it’s always easy to grab.

Realistically, the Bosch cross-line laser level simply isn’t big enough to contain high-end internal hardware components, so it trades a bit of accuracy for its compact profile. However, we found no issues with its accuracy during testing, and it was very easy to set up. We liked that it came with a multipositional mount with a clamp for attaching to a variety of objects. Also, the laser has the ability to be positioned at any angle, something almost none of the other levels could do.

Get the Bosch self-leveling laser level at Amazon, Lowe’s, Ace Hardware, or The Home Depot

Jump to Our Top Picks

What to Consider When Choosing a Laser Level

Laser levels vary greatly in terms of features, ease of use, convenience, and accuracy. Before selecting a laser level, consider your needs and intended use to determine what type of beams you require. 

Red vs. Green Laser

It might not be obvious, but the colors a laser level emits make a big difference. There are two options—red and green—each with pros and cons. 

  • Red lasers are less powerful but use far less battery life. These lasers are also less expensive, which is why many of the most popular models on the market continue to rely on red laser beams.
  • Green lasers are more visible from a greater distance and can be easier to see in high-brightness conditions, such as outdoors in sunlight. However, they’re also more expensive and potentially more damaging to users’ eyes than a red laser. 

For these reasons, many professionals own both red and green lasers and use them for projects that play to their respective strengths.

Illig also has some specific advice on using laser levels outdoors: “It’s challenging to see lasers outside, so if you’re looking for an outdoor model, you might want to consider one that has a sensor (known as a laser line receiver) that alerts you when the laser hits the receiver.”

Accuracy

Whether it’s a spirit level or a high-tech laser model, the hallmark of any good level is accuracy. A laser level’s accuracy rating should be listed on the packaging or in the manual. As a rule of thumb, look for a model with less than ⅛-inch deviation at 30 feet for truly dialed-in results. 

A self-leveling laser will typically give highly accurate results, much more precise than DIYers can achieve with a bubble level. The act of holding a bubble level perfectly and completely level is challenging, and determining whether the bubble is perfectly aligned in the capsule requires good eyesight.

Beam Orientation

One of the most important features of any laser level is its beam orientation. There are models with up to three orientation planes: two vertical dual-beam lasers and one horizontal. One or more of those planes might be 360 degrees. Often, the more planes, the more expensive the level.

While the usefulness of the horizontal and vertical beams is obvious, a 360-degree laser level’s practicality cannot be overstated. A 360-degree beam can help hang an entire room’s worth of pictures quickly and accurately, or it can help the user dig perfectly level sections of the yard. Also, for projects like drop ceilings, having the most accurate laser level on hand is critical to ensuring the strength of the finished product.

Self-Leveling

The best laser levels on the market make leveling into a simple task. Most models with self-leveling technology use a laser on a pendulum in conjunction with magnets to provide stability. Once placed on a relatively flat surface, the pendulum takes over and achieves the final degree of level. This makes setting up fast and easy, especially if a reference point exists to register against.

Many laser levels with a self-leveling feature also lock the pendulum in place when not in use. This helps reduce the risk of calibration issues while transporting it, and it can help get the most out of a level.

Mounting

One of the most useful things about laser levels is they allow the user to work hands-free. Once set up, they’re designed to be left alone while the project continues, with the user referring to the laser line as a reference throughout.

The best laser levels use different mounts and features to achieve this set-and-forget function. Some of the less expensive models might simply poke small pins into drywall for support. Other models will come with tripods or mounts that attach to metal studs or drop-ceiling tracks. When purchasing a laser level, consider its intended use and which mounting accessories might be necessary.

FAQs

If picking the right laser level feels overwhelming, you’re not alone. Let’s bring things back to level by answering some of the most frequently asked questions about laser levels.

Q. How do laser levels work?

Laser levels project a fixed red or green beam of light from a diode to establish a level horizontal or vertical line. This line serves as a reference point for aligning and measuring with precision, making it an indispensable tool for all kinds of construction and DIY projects.

Q. Is it worth getting a laser level?

Whether it’s for DIY jobs or for professional use, laser levels are worth getting. For most purposes, they’re more than accurate enough, and the setup time and consistency can make short work of an otherwise long project. 

Q. What are laser levels good for?

When doing construction or measuring in a large space, a laser level can help provide accurate lines to ensure even, level measurements. Laser levels are especially useful for aligning cabinets and plumbing, leveling floors, installing doors and windows, and measuring drop ceilings. 

Q. Are Bosch laser levels good?

Bosch makes some of the best laser levels on the market, and the brand’s higher-end models are more accurate than most models.

Q. How do you check the accuracy of a laser level?

If you have doubts about your laser level’s readings, you can double-check it by recalibrating the pendulum, the mechanism that allows a laser level to self-level. Many models will have internal buttons or controls for easy recalibration.

Q. How often should you calibrate a laser level?

If you use your laser level regularly, it’s recommended to recalibrate it every 6 months. 

Meet the Tester

Tom Scalisi is a full-time DIY and construction writer for many of the largest websites in the industry, including BobVila.com, This Old House, Family Handyman, and Forbes as well as his own pest control blog. He spent years working in the trades and industrial building maintenance. 

Additional research provided by Glenda Taylor. 

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Tom Scalisi

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Tom Scalisi is a freelance writer, author, and blogger with a passion for building. Whether it’s a DIY project or an entire website, Tom loves creating something from the ground up, stepping back, and admiring a job well done.

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