Bosch GLL 55 Cross-Line Laser Level Review

Bosch GLL 55 Cross-Line Laser Level Review
Updated: September 21, 2017

The Bosch GLL ​55 Cross-Line Laser Level ​is a solid addition to Bosch's product lineup that ​offers the critical features of more expensive models ​at a price point that is affordable for homeowners and small job contractors. 

At a Glance: ​

Type

Price

Applications

Cross-Line

$ ​Low Range

Home
Commercial

​Read our full review below for full technical specifications, pros and cons, and recommended applications for this model.

Image for Bosch GLL 55 Cross-Line Laser Level

Bosch GLL 55 Cross-Line Laser Level - Image via Amazon.com


Full Product Review

Bosch GLL ​55 Cross-Line Laser Level Review

Bosch has filled an important gap with the GLL 55 cross-line laser level, introducing a model that has the dependable and durable performance that has made them a premier brand - at a price that is well within the reach of most homeowners and small contractors.  This model has quickly amassed a strong following, as evidenced by the overwhelming number of 5-star reviews on Amazon.  It has the range and power of more expensive products, with a slimmed down feature set that retains all of the critical functionality you would expect in a high-end laser level.  

The vast majority of the negative ​comments that we've ​heard ​focus on the difficulty of seeing the lasers in bright daylight.  In daylight, the visible range of the lasers is ​somewhere in the neighborhood of 15 feet, although this will change depending on your local conditions.  This problem is not unique to this model, and ​any laser on the market will be hard to see in bright daylight conditions.  If the majority of your work is in bright daylight, you need to consider a laser that operates in pulse mode and has a compatible laser receiver or sensor. 

This model does incorporate Bosch's signature VisiMax technology.  This is a proprietary technology Bosch developed to maximize the power of the laser.  The temperature of the laser diodes is monitored in real time, and power to the diodes is adjusted accordingly to keep the diodes at maximum power at all times without any possibility for overheating the lasers.  The lasers are powered by three standard AA alkaline batteries.

​Another notable feature that ​is squeezed into the affordable Bosch GLL 55 cross-line laser level is the IP-rated enclosure.  The design uses an overmolded composite housing with a minimal interface and it has earned an IP54 rating - meaning the unit is protected from dust ingress and can withstand several minutes of splashing water with no adverse effects to the laser's functionality.  The comments we've heard from the field about durability and longevity are overwhelmingly positive - with very few problems reported.  

Pro Tip


​Some online sources ​are reporting that the Bosch GLL 55 cross-line laser level ​provides 360° coverage on at least one plane.  This is NOT ACCURATE.  This laser does not have 360° coverage on either the horizontal or vertical line.  The radius is impressively wide; the vertical line can ​cover an entire wall top to bottom at close range; but it ​does not provide ​360° coverage.  

If 360° coverage is imperative for your intended use, please take a look at the Bosch GLL 2-20 (360° coverage on one plane) or the Bosch GLL 2-80 (360° coverage on two planes).  Either of those models may be a better fit for 360° applications.

If you have the necessary budget, you should definitely take a look at the Bosch GLL 3-80, which provides three simultaneous planes of 360° coverage.  

​Bosch did a great job of keeping the user interface clean and simple on the GLL 55.  There are three key inputs, and learning to use them is quick and easy.  The horizontal and vertical lines are controlled by simple push-buttons on the rear of the unit.  And the pendulum lock mechanism is controlled by a sliding switch on the unit's side.  Any time the sliding switch is moved to the "on" position, the pendulum will attempt to self-level.  Any time the the sliding switch is moved to the "off" position, the pendulum will lock in place.  You can project either laser on a custom slope or angle by locking the pendulum and ​then pushing the button to turn the ​the line on.  When the pendulum is not locked, self-leveling happens automatically (up to 4°), and both lines will flash periodically anytime the lasers are out of level with the pendulum unlocked.  

​The Bosch GLL 55 cross-line laser level ships with a convenient magnetic mounting for quick setup on any ferrous metal surface.  Steel framing, steel ladders, and many other metal surfaces will work great with the strong magnets that are fixed to the back of the swiveling bracket.  If you don't typically have a metal mounting surface available, you'll need to consider a tripod, monopod, a clamp mount, or some other mounting method.  This shouldn't pose much of a problem because the bottom of the casing includes female threads for both standard mounting screws - 1/4-inch and 5/8-inch. 

​Special Features

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    ​Self-leveling up to up to 4° for quick setup and simple operation
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    ​Easy to configure for out-of-level operation for custom slopes and angles
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    ​VisiMax technology ensures the laser diodes receive maximum power without ever overheating
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    ​Pendulum locks automatically when sliding switch is in "off" position for maximum accuracy and longevity

​Items Included in Package

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    ​Bosch GLL 55 Cross-Line Laser Level
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    ​Magnetic mounting bracket
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    ​Hard carry case
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    ​Red laser target plate (card)
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    ​3 AA alkaline batteries

​Available Accessories

​The Bosch GLL 55 cross-line laser level does not operate in pulse mode, and is not compatible with any of Bosch's red laser level sensors (detectors).  The best accessories to extend the visible range are the red laser card which ships with the laser, and Bosch's red laser recognition glasses.  If you'll be moving the laser frequently, you should consider picking up a compatible tripod.  And there are some additional mounting options you can consider if you think they'll be a better fit than the magnetic bracket for your application.  

Tripod

Glasses

Monopod

Positioning Mount

​Recommended Applications

​The Bosch GLL 55 cross-line laser level is well suited for indoor use.  If you'll be using the unit primarily outdoors, you should expect a very limited range of visibility.  The closer you can keep the laser to its target, the better.  This unit is great for projects like painting, ceiling work, cabinetry and closet installations, and interior framing.  It is perfect for interior designers, DIY weekend warriors, and anyone who wants the functionality of a high-end laser level at a comfortably low price point. 

​Pros & Cons

Pros
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    ​Great value!  Lots of high-end features ​for a very reasonable investment
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    VisiMax technology for maximum power with no concerns about overheating
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    ​IP54-rated enclosure means no worries about dust or moisture fouling the pendulum
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    ​Bosch's standard 2-year limited warranty
Cons
  • minus
    ​No pulse mode - no compatible receiver
  • minus
    ​Difficult to see in bright daylight

​Our Rating

​The Bosch GLL 55 cross-line laser level offers a rich set of features at a very affordable price point that's within the reach of most private homeowners, small job contractors, and DIY enthusiasts.  We think it's a great compromise between high-end features and low-end cost. 

​This unit is probably not the best choice for people who will be working primarily in bright direct sunlight.  If your work is outside during daylight hours, you need to look for a laser that works in pulse mode with a compatible receiver. 

For people seeking the basic high-end features like self-leveling, a locking pendulum, custom slope capability, and flexible mounting options - the Bosch GLL 55 gets you everything you need, without the unnecessary options that can drive the cost up.

We give the Bosch GLL 55 cross-line laser level 4 out of 5 stars.

Product Specifications - Bosch GLL ​55 Cross-Line Laser Level

Type

Cross Line (2 Lines)

Range

50 feet
15 meters

Accuracy

± 1/8 inch at 33 feet
±3 mm at 10 meters

Laser Diode Specifications

​Class II

630 - 650 nm, < 1mW

Red

Power Source

3 AA Batteries

Operating Temperature

14° F / -10° C ~ 122° F / 50° C

Enclosure Construction

Over-molded plastic composite

Enclosure Ratings

​IP54

Mounting Threads

1/4-20 & 5/8-11

Dimensions

​4.4 x 2.2 x 4.2 inches

Weight

​1.08 pounds (unit) - 3.6 pounds (package)

Warranty

Limited 2 Year Warranty

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Michael F.

I'm a laser level enthusiast. I enjoy keeping up with new products and industry trends, and I write about them on this site. I was introduced to lasers at my first job out of college, working for an industrial automation company. From there, I moved on to work with larger CO2 lasers in the packaging industry. Along the way I've owned and used several laser levels, and I've always kept myself up to date with the latest and greatest.