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Complete Guide for Using a Laser Level (Indoors / Outdoors)

The modern era of rapid adoption of technology has foundered many changes into our everyday lives. So it is no surprise that the world of construction has changed too over the years. The dependency on physical prowess to operate tools is being swiftly replaced by technology. This made the work faster and more practical and improved the aesthetic capability of the final output. So here we go in length to throw light on how to use a laser level, one such tool beckoning a new era for this field.

What is a Laser Level?

A laser level is a tool that has been prominently used in the surveying and construction industry. The main purpose is to ensure symmetry is being maintained in the construction components. Most levels are used to check how straight a horizontal surface or a plane is. In the case of a laser level, the device is equipped with a control tool that consists of a rotating laser beam. This can also be mounted on a tripod for ease of use. It levels a plane using a red or green line along the axes.

Types of Laser Levels

  • Line laser: A-line laser is the most basic of these. The line laser projects a perfectly straight vertical or horizontal line onto a surface. Line laser can be further categorized into forwarding and 360◦ projection. These are typically used for a variety of indoor applications.
  • Spot laser: Unlike line lasers, they depict a small spot of light onto the surface projected on. Their main purpose is to transfer marked points from one character to the other seamlessly. Spot lasers are most commonly used to check and fix plumbing-related issues.
  • Combination laser: Just as the name suggests, it uses components from the lasers mentioned above. These generally are available in either red or green color. They can be used for various tasks; however, they are used the most for fixing overhead lighting fixtures. They can be mounted on metal surfaces as well.
  • Rotary lasers: They have many applications, starting from grade work to layout and masonry. These can be further classified into single and dual slope rotary lasers. These are extremely accurate when it comes to leveling. They make for a great way to identify surface faults as well.

Types of Leveling Possibly in Lasers

  • Manual levels are typical to the name that they have. These are used traditionally. The user has to align the laser level by themselves. They need to adjust the small bubble inside the vial, either by moving it or using the knobs provided in the tool for the same purpose.
  • Self-leveling levels are just as their name predicts. These offer a greater level of accuracy when measuring out components. These need to be kept at a reference level close to the user’s interest in working on. You have the option of using the in-built leveling option to adjust the level before the machine automatically starts its own work. The laser component swings like a pendulum inside the leveling machine.
  • Some of the latest leveling machines come equipped with electronically equipped sensors to undertake the job. These are great for tasks requiring very high accuracy and reliability levels. If you are planning on working outdoors where external factors make it challenging to carry out leveling precisely, these make a great option. They can also be used for indoor jobs that require a lot of moving around.

How to Use a Laser Level for Floors, Framing & Others?

Below are the detailed steps to use a laser level to level ground or for framing or some other leveling jobs.

  1. The first step would be to mount the laser onto a tripod. These tripods are portable and can be placed anywhere. Apart from this, they are also adjustable so that you can align the height of the level following your workpiece.
  2. Ensure that your level sits flush with the tripod and is appropriately aligned. Also, make sure that there are no chances for it to topple over the tripod.
  3. Next, turn on the laser. The first thing after turning it on would be to check the alignment. This is done by looking through the glass vial and ensuring that the bubble seems to be in the right spot. If your laser is self-leveling, just give it some time to do it automatically.
  4. You can now see the laser beam emitted by the level onto your workpiece.
  5. Then identify a point on the ground which will serve as a reference to level your laser to the required height. This is done keeping in mind the dimensions of the project piece. You can either get a dot, a line, or a combination of both, depending on the type of laser that you are using.
  6. In case you are using a laser detector, then fasten it onto a leveling rod using a clamp to ensure it does not slide off while in use. Move it around the rod until you can hear a beeping noise. The beeping sound indicates that the detector has successfully identified the beam.
  7. You can now fasten the detector in place and continue with the measurements. You can repeat the process multiple times for project pieces with varying heights.

How to Operate a Rotary Laser Level?

Calibration

  1. Place a level on a flat spot in the room and aim it towards the work surface. You can either set it up on a stable surface or opt for a tripod.
  2. Make sure the distances are at least 1 inch and 20 inches from the work surface.
  3. Adjust the bubble inside the vial to the desired position. Ensure that you can see the work surface through the vial.
  4. Upon closer inspection, you can find two screws located at the extreme ends of the vial. Turn these to make sure everything lays level.
  5. The last step is to make sure the bubble lies between two black lines marked near the vial.
  6. You can proceed to switch on the laser now.
  7. You can utilize the tripod laser level to adjust the height in this case.
  8. Adjust the laser so that the beam follows the guidelines marked along with the vial.

Usage

  1. Select a spot in your workspace that looks viable and place your laser onto that surface.
  2. If you need to level it manually, you can follow the same steps during calibration, i.e., ensuring the bubble aligns in the vial.
  3. If the leveling is automatic, you need to wait for the machine to do that by itself.
  4. The laser, upon getting connected, will give out a consistent beeping noise.
  5. Now aim the laser at the surface you would be working on.
  6. You can use any medium to mark the lines and areas as desired for future reference.
  7. All you need to do now is repeat this process repeatedly for new dimensions. The tripod and the leveling beam can be adjusted for the same.

Tips and Hacks to Keep in Mind While Using a Laser Level

  • If you are looking for something that is extremely handy and easy to carry around, opt for a torpedo laser level. It makes for a highly economical purchase as well.
  • A self-leveling laser will be the best bet if you want to save time and go for maximum reliability.
  • A laser level square would come in handy for working with tiles and square layout placements.
  • A three-point or five-point laser works the best for jobs that encompass carrying dimensions from floor to ceilings.
  • An auto-leveling rotary laser level gets the job done for large outdoor projects. It comes in a kit and includes all the requisites.
  • Working under bright lights or in an outdoor setting with the sun, it becomes difficult to spot lasers. Opt for special glasses that can assist you with the same.
  • Working with a point laser makes it easier to lay the points on the floor and then transfer them to other work areas.
  • It is always recommended that use a tripod when working with a laser level. It makes it easier to adjust and gives accurate measurements.
  • Also, its easier if the leveling is done using a reference line.

Conclusion

The laser level is a must-have if you have been thinking about having a crack at redecorating or taking up some remodeling gigs. Levels come in a wide array of options. With each specialized task, you are bound to find one that suits the purpose. Apart from that, laser levels come in a variety of price ranges, making it quite budget-friendly.

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