Choose the Best Dewalt Laser Level – 5 Easy Steps
When you’re on the market for a Dewalt laser level, the range of options can be a bit intimidating if you’re not exactly sure which features and options you need. Dewalt has an extensive line of lasers, with multiple options in each category. This is great news for anyone who’s looking for specific bells and whistles for a particular type of project, but it can also complicate the buying decision for the average consumer who just wants a Dewalt laser level for general use.
Follow the steps in the guide below to narrow down your choices and find the Dewalt laser level that’s best for you. Before you start, put some thought into the type of job for which you’re typically going to use the laser, and the conditions in which you usually work. I’ll use layman’s terms whenever possible, to keep things simple. If you come across anything that you don’t recognize, check out my laser level FAQ for a quick explanation.
A Simple Guide to Every Dewalt Laser Level – Starting with the Basics
You can quickly narrow down your choices by walking through the basic types of lasers that are available. Types of lasers are fairly standard across the industry, and if you take the time to understand each type, you’ll be able to find the laser that best meets your needs.
After you select the appropriate type of laser for your needs, you’ll only need to navigate your way through a few bells and whistles within that type to find the perfect Dewalt laser level. Take care to make sure you select a laser that has the features you need – without overspending on functionality that you’ll never use.
Let’s get started. Here’s a walk through of the common options you’ll need to decide on, with some tips that should help you along:
Step #1 – How Much Range Do You Need?
Determine the type of project that you’re typically going to use the laser for as a first step. This will let you know your required operating range. If you’re working on small indoor projects like carpentry, shelving, or custom closets – you’ll be fine with the minimum range. If you work on indoor projects that span an entire room like drop ceilings or painting, you’ll want a laser that can cover the entire room. 30 feet of range is plenty for projects like these in most homes – but you should take measurements and be sure that the laser you select can provide the range you need.
If you’re planning to use the laser on large commercial or outdoor projects where the working range will be greater than about 35 feet – you’ll need to look at Dewalt’s rotary laser levels. These have a far greater range, but also require a far greater investment.
Step #2 – How Many Laser Lines Do You Need?
Dewalt laser levels come in a variety of configurations – some have a single line, some have two lines, and some have three lines. If your typical job has an element of depth – like cabinets, tiles, shower stalls, etc – then a 3 line laser will considerably speed up your work, as it allows for positioning in 3 separate dimensions.
If your typical job only needs height and width control, then a 2 line or single line laser will get the job done. The cost of the laser level is directly proportionate to the number of laser lines – so you will save yourself money by purchasing a laser that only has the number of lines you really need.
The options you have are also related to the number of lines you need. There are more 2 line models than 3 line models in the lineup of Dewalt laser levels.
Step #3 – Do You Need a Self-Leveling Laser Level?
Self-leveling laser levels have a pendulum mechanism that allows the laser to level itself whenever the housing is positioned within about 4 degrees of level. So, if you set the laser on a surface that is not quite level, the projected lines will still be level. The acceptable tolerance for the typical Dewalt laser level is about 1/8-inch at about 30 feet.
Most of Dewalt’s current product line does include the self-leveling feature. If you buy an older model that does not self-level – then you should double check to ensure that the model does self-level if this is something you require.
The alternative to self-leveling is to manually level the laser on your own, which can be done by leveling the laser housing – but often requires you to also double check the level of the projected lines. As you might imagine – you can save a lot of time with the self-leveling feature.
Step #4 – What Radius Do You Need?
All of the rotary laser levels in Dewalt’s line have a 360° radius. Several of the newest cross-line lasers also have 360° coverage. This is an awesome feature to have if you work on projects like custom painting or hanging ceilings where marking an entire room at once is important. If you don’t really need a 360° radius, however, you can save quite a bit of money by sticking to a more traditional 180° radius.
If you’re not sure about the radius you need, do a dry run to get a better idea. Stand in a room where you can image your typical project happening, and decide where the best place to position the laser would be. Use a protractor to estimate the coverage you would get at various degrees of radius – and use your estimates to determine the minimum radius you will need.
Step #5 – What Color Laser Is Right for You?
Green lasers are brighter and typically easier to see than red lasers. There are some exceptions, however. In bright direct sunlight, it can be virtually impossible to spot a green laser without a sensor/receiver/detector. If you’re going to be working mostly outside – stick with red.
Green lasers are great for indoor visibility, but the cost is significantly higher. Several of Dewalt’s lasers are available in both green and red – which is why this is the last factor you should consider. First, determine your range, radius, etc. Then, choose whether you want red or green. More on laser color here.
Finding the Perfect Dewalt Laser Level
There are a few specialty lasers in Dewalt’s line, so if you’re looking for a very specific solution – one of those might do the job better than a normal cross-line laser. The DW7187, for instance, is specifically designed for use with a miter saw.
If you’re interested in a general-purpose laser level, then the best approach will be to walk through the 5 criteria above to narrow the field and find the best Dewalt laser level to match your needs.
Hopefully this guide helps you wade through Dewalt’s product offering to find the laser level that works best for you. We’ve done detailed reviews of several Dewalt lasers, and you can find them here.
If you have any questions – feel free to get in touch. Good luck!