The Feature-Rich Bosch GLL3-330GC Laser Level Comes With a Hefty Price Tag. Is It Worth It?
Bosch is a longtime leader in the laser level game, but is this high-end, feature-rich model worth the investment?
During almost any renovation, repair, or building project, a laser level can be one of the most important tools a DIYer or pro can have on hand. These devices can project a near perfectly level line onto a work surface, providing a reference for hanging pictures or shelves, attaching ledger boards, checking the grade of a yard, or simply lining up electrical outlets. And while they used to be rather hit-or-miss tools, today’s laser levels—even less expensive models—are incredibly accurate.
So, if less expensive models are accurate, why would someone need to spend significantly more on a high-end laser level like the GLL3-330CG from Bosch? Well, accuracy isn’t the only factor to consider when choosing a laser level, and this feature-rich tool brings more to the table than a simple laser beam on the wall. But for all its features and abilities, is it worth the nearly $500 price?
That’s a big ask, so I performed hands-on testing with the GLL3-330CG to help determine whether it’s worth the investment. In fact, don’t buy any laser level until you check out this hands-on review.
Bosch GLL3-330CG Laser Level: At a Glance
- Offers three planes of 360-degree lasers
- Constant calibration monitoring
- Bluetooth integration to check device’s health
- Very expensive
- Base might be a bit bulky for certain applications
Get the Bosch GLL3-330CG at:
What Is the Bosch GLL3-330CG Laser Level?
The Bosch GLL3-330CG is a laser level with features and abilities to spare, and it can be difficult to decide where to start. This laser level offers a self-leveling design, Bluetooth connectivity, flexible battery sources, and serious accuracy. It comes with a heavy-duty adjustable stand, magnets for steel framing, a clamp for drop ceilings, and a guide that attaches to a post to check the slope and grade on landscaping projects.
The best feature of this laser level is its 360-degree beam projection, meaning that a user can set it up in the middle of a room and project a level laser beam on all four walls at one time. Believe it or not, this isn’t a big deal in modern laser levels. It’s the fact that the GLL3-330CG can do it on three different planes at one time that makes it so special. It projects horizontally and then vertically in two directions. This not only provides a level line of reference on every surface but also plumb locations where the beams meet on the floor and ceiling.
Also, the beam that the GLL3-330CG projects is green, and that might seem arbitrary, but it’s not. Green lasers are more expensive to produce than red lasers, and they’re easier to see in sunlight. The GLL3-330CG’s green laser makes it far more useful outside than comparable red laser levels.
The GLL3-330CG also constantly monitors itself to maintain its 3/32-inch accuracy at 30 feet. If the laser level falls or the user stores it in inclement conditions (below 14 degrees Fahrenheit or above 104 degrees), the GLL3-330CG will trigger a calibration alert. Users can then connect their phone to the laser level using the Bosch Leveling Remote app to determine what happened, check the level, and then clear the alert.
How Easy Is the Bosch GLL3-330CG to Set Up?
There isn’t a whole lot to setting up the GLL3-330CG, but there are a few options for how it’s done. First, it features flexible battery sources. It comes with both a 12V lithium-ion battery pack and an empty cartridge capable of holding 4 AA batteries. Also, there is a small battery tray hidden inside the battery compartment, and it’s preloaded with a CR2032 battery (which it uses to monitor the device’s calibration if the main battery dies). Other than removing the small sticker on the CR2032, the GLL3-330CG is ready to go.
While the GLL3-330CG doesn’t need to sit on the base to project a level line, attaching it to the base provides stability and adjustability. And it’s easy to do; simply align the screw stud on the base with the corresponding threaded hole in the bottom of the laser level and twist the oversize wheel to tighten it. The base has two extendable feet for stability while also providing several inches of height adjustment. The base also doubles as a clamp for attaching to an angle iron or a drop ceiling wall track, as well.
While the GLL3-330CG didn’t come with a tripod, it can attach to one using the same threaded hole in the bottom that attaches to the base.
How Easy Is the Bosch GLL3-330CG Laser Level to Use?
Features mean nothing if the device is too complicated to use. Luckily, that’s not the case with the GLL3-330CG.
Using the Bosch GLL3-330CG to strike a level or plumb line on a wall is very simple. This laser level features a swinging pendulum inside that all three lasers attach to, and it’s this pendulum that self-levels. Simply sliding the switch from the off position to the “unlocked” position releases the pendulum, allowing it to swing freely until it finds the ideal degree of level (which is accurate to within 3/32 of an inch at 30 feet). Once in the unlocked position, the user just has to press the “Laser” button on top to toggle through the different beams.
It’s also possible to lock the pendulum into position, allowing the user to position the beam across two unlevel points if desired (though that will require a tripod, which this particular kit did not come with).
If the device falls or is stored at extreme temperatures, the calibration warning will activate. I purposely dropped the GLL3-330CG three times from the height of a standard sawhorse to test its shock resistance. The next time I turned the device on, the calibration indicator lit up. I had to download the Bosch Remote Laser app, connect to the GLL3-330CG using Bluetooth, and acknowledge the issue. The app showed that there were three shocks and recommended I check the laser for level. I did so (it was still level), and I was able to clear the issue using the app almost immediately.
Is the Bosch GLL3-330CG Laser Level Well Designed?
First, let’s acknowledge that the GLL3-330CG is an incredibly accurate laser level. But a human checking a laser level’s accuracy with a bubble level is laughable. Almost any self-leveling laser level will be far more accurate than a spirit level, so the question of design has nothing to do with accuracy.
If I consider the level of adjustability, the design is top-notch. The base is steady and allows for small, smooth tweaks in height. The base also splits into two pieces, with a strong magnet on the back for attaching to steel studs. The only design complaint I can register with the base is that it might be a bit too bulky and heavy for drop ceiling wall angle brackets.
When it comes to user-friendliness, the GLL3-330CG is better than any other laser level I’ve tested. Projecting lasers is very simple, and even the advanced technology that allows for Bluetooth connectivity and calibration was simple to use. The biggest challenge that I had using the GLL3-330CG was locating and removing the sticker on the CR2032 battery, and it’s mostly because I covered it up with a fresh rechargeable battery in my excitement to use the laser level.
How Did the Bosch GLL3-330CG Laser Level Perform?
Obviously, I’m a fan of the Bosch GLL3-330CG laser level, but for its price tag, I have to mention its performance. I’ll be as honest and straightforward as possible.
As far as accuracy goes, the GLL3-330CG didn’t stand out from the pack. As I mentioned, almost all modern laser levels are more accurate than a human can be with a bubble level, which means I couldn’t determine any differences in accuracy. There were other models that took longer to level and some that seemed to shake with just the slightest vibration, but they were all generally accurate. Bosch states that this level is accurate to within 3/32 of an inch at 30 feet, which is better than the ⅛-inch accuracy that most laser levels offer.
The Bosch GLL3-330CG laser level found its level quickly and stayed relatively steady throughout the test (though some other less expensive models did, too). Where the GLL3-330CG stood out, however, was in the sheer number of 360-degree planes. No other model offered as many. In fact, no other model had more than one.
It’s also worth noting that the GLL3-330CG’s calibration monitoring was unique in the test, as no other device had anything like it. It ensured that a drop or environmental conditions would not lead to a falsely level line, which could have horrible compounding effects by the time a project wraps up.
Is the Bosch GLL3-330CG Laser Level Worth It?
Any time I review a premium product, I dread answering the question of whether it’s worth the investment. After all, Bosch makes a relatively accurate laser level that costs one-tenth the price of the GLL3-330CG, and most DIYers could make do with that. So are the extra features and increased accuracy worth it? I think so, and here’s why.
First, a laser level is only helpful if you can position it exactly where it needs to be. Between the GLL3-330CG’s easily adjustable base and ability to quickly steady itself, adjusting it to the correct height is far easier than with most laser levels. Also, the three planes ensure that it can use any point in the room as a reference to align it, whether it be aligning doorknobs, accurately locating an interior wall’s build location, or installing plumbing or heating pipe. The user can be as creative as necessary with this laser level.
Second, on the topic of accuracy, 3/32 of an inch might not sound like a great improvement over ⅛ of an inch, but there’s more to consider here. While all laser levels do a decent job of finding level, the Bosch does it on three planes, and all three of those planes are 360 degrees. The amount of engineering that goes into developing a pendulum and laser system this accurate inflates the price, but it will be indispensable during projects like kitchen renovations, pool installations, and large building projects.
Also, I can’t discount the importance of knowing that a laser level is as accurate as it’s supposed to be, even after a drop. The time spent using an inaccurate laser level (caused by a drop or similar scenario) can add up to thousands of dollars in waste. If the Bosch GLL3-330CG thinks there’s even a chance of this happening, it will let you know.
Should You Buy the Bosch GLL3-330CG Laser Level?
Just because something is worth the money doesn’t mean it’s right for everyone. The Bosch GLL3-330CG is certainly a high-quality laser level with a wide range of capabilities and features, but not everyone needs it.
If the majority of your DIY-type projects involve hanging a picture or two a few times a year, the GLL3-330CG is likely overkill. It will do an excellent job, but it’s far more laser level than is required for the job. For something a bit more suitable, check out the Bosch GLL30. It’s more affordable and will do the trick, though it has far fewer features and sacrifices a bit of accuracy for its compact size.
For those who still need a very capable laser level but perform most of their work indoors, there is a slightly more affordable option than the GLL3-330CG. The Bosch GLL3-330 offers the same three planes of 360-degree projection yet features a red laser to help keep the price down (it also lacks Bluetooth or rechargeable batteries).
However, if you’re a serious DIYer or pro who wants an extremely accurate laser level that you can take anywhere, it’s hard to beat the features of the Bosch GLL3-330CG. Between the calibration monitors, green laser, and Bluetooth connectivity, users can rest assured that their project will start with a level, accurate foundation.
Where to Buy the Bosch GLL3-330CG Laser Level