Choose the Best Bosch Laser Level – 5 Simple Tips
Choosing a Bosch laser level can prove to be a difficult decision for the casual buyer. Bosch has built up one of the best product offerings on the market with their current array of cross-line lasers, point lasers, and rotary lasers. So, when you visit Bosch’s website to see what’s available – the number of products they have can be a little bit overwhelming.
This guide is intended to help you narrow down your options to make sure that the Bosch laser level you decide on will be the best tool for your individual purposes. I’m going to try to speak in layman’s terms as much as possible throughout this post. But if you do come across any terms or specifications that you don’t understand, please check out my laser level FAQ for simple explanations.
Bosch Laser Level GuideUnderstanding the Basics about Every Bosch Laser Level
There are a handful of options that are fairly standard across the whole industry, and you can find a Bosch laser level that has pretty much any of them. It’s important to understand what each of these options is and what they’re for so that you can choose a laser level that meets all your requirements – without over-spending on bells and whistles you don’t really need.
Here is a quick rundown of the most common options you’ll find across Bosch’s line of laser level products, with tips on how to approach each one:
Quick Tip #1 – Determine Your Visible Range
How big is your typical project? If it’s 50 feet or less – you’ll probably be able to find something that meets your needs in a single line or cross-line laser. If it’s 100 feet or more – you’re probably looking at a rotary laser, which means you’ll need to spend more money. Determine the visible range you need first, and that step alone will probably eliminate half of the product line.
Quick Tip #2 – Decide if You Need 2 or 3 Laser Lines
Some of the laser levels in Bosch’s line have 2 laser lines – 1 horizontal and 1 vertical. Others have 3 lines – 1 horizontal line and 2 vertical lines positioned at 90° to each other.
If your jobs typically have an element of depth – like cabinetry, bathtubs, shower stalls, etc. – then you might love having the third line to speed up the positioning process. If your jobs are typically flat lines – like framing, wiring, carpeting, and ceiling work – then the third line is probably something you can live without.
Think it over and decide whether you need the extra vertical line. If you do want 3 lines, you will only have to decide between the 2 or 3 different lasers that have that option. If you don’t need a 3rd line – you can knock those 2 or 3 lasers off your list.
Quick Tip #3 – Consider the Self-Levelling Option
If you choose a cross-line laser level or a rotary laser level from Bosch – it’s almost certainly going to have a self-levelling feature. The only exception would be if you choose an older model that was made before this feature became standard across Bosch’s product line. Other brands still offer cross-line and rotary lasers that don’t self-level, but Bosch includes this feature on all its current cross-line and rotary laser levels.
The basic idea is that there’s a pendulum inside the level, with sensors that can detect when the laser diode is perpendicular to the pendulum. The benefit is that you typically don’t need to set your laser up in a perfectly level position. You just set it up quickly and turn the unit on – and the laser moves to a perfectly level position on its own. For every self-levelling Bosch laser level that I’ve seen – the self-leveling feature is accurate to within 4°.
While the self-levelling feature is a huge improvement on early models, there is one key “gotcha” to watch out for. If you need to work on custom grades and angles – then the self-levelling feature can present a problem. Think stairways, ramps, and railings. If you do work where you need a straight line that’s not level – then you need to take that into account.
Single line lasers like the GLL 1P do not have a self-levelling feature, so that might be an option. You can also find cross-line lasers and rotary lasers from Bosch that include a manual override option to disable the self-levelling feature. This allows you to take advantage of the self-levelling when you want it, and simply turn it off when you don’t want it.
Quick Tip #4 – Consider the Visible Radius
All of Bosch’s rotary lasers have a 360° radius. You can also find a few cross-line lasers like the GLL 2-80 and the GLL 3-80 that have 360° coverage. But, if you don’t need 360° coverage, then there’s no good reason to pay the extra money for it.
The cross-line lasers that don’t have 360° coverage project at a variety of angles. Some of the lasers in Bosch’s line start at 120° fan angles and they range up to 160°. Think about your typical job and use a protractor to see how the different angles will play out on the job site.
A narrower angle isn’t a deal-breaker for most people – as long as they don’t mind stopping to move the laser from time to time.
Quick Tip #5 – Pick Red or Green
Green lasers are brighter, and therefore easier to see, than red lasers. They are also more expensive to manufacture than red lasers – so the same model will be more expensive with a green laser than it is with a red laser.
Whether it makes sense for you to buy a green laser depends on the nature of the work you do. If your typical project is outdoors in bright daylight, then you should probably avoid green lasers. If your typical project is indoors in normal light, and you use your laser all the time – then it might make sense to buck up and pay the extra money for a green laser. You can find more information on laser color here: FAQ – Laser Color.
Finding the Perfect Bosch Laser Level
There are a handful of specialty lasers from Bosch that are application-specific. If you do tile work, and nothing but tile work – then the GTL3 is a no-brainer. If you do interior design and you just need one straight line on custom angles – the GLL 1P is for you. And if you just want a square “chalk line” to speed up your cuts on sheet rock or plywood – check out the GTL2.
If you don’t fall into one of those categories, then you’re looking for a general-purpose laser level. The best process for you is to walk through the 5 tips above and use those to narrow down the field until you arrive at the best Bosch laser level for your purposes.
I hope these tips have been helpful, and I hope you find a laser that brings you a long lifetime of trouble-free use. If you still have a lot of questions after reading this, you might consider checking out my complete laser level buyer’s guide – you can find it here.
And to find any detailed review I’ve written about a Bosch laser level – you can check here.
Feel free to drop me a line if you have any specific questions that I might be able to help with. Good luck!