Dewalt DW088K Cross-Line Laser Level Review

​Dewalt DW088K Cross-Line Laser Level Review
Updated: December 21, 2016

​The Dewalt DW088K cross-line laser level packs all of the features of higher cost laser levels into an affordable package that comes with a good warranty.

At a Glance: ​

Type

Price

Applications

Cross-Line

$$ Mid Range

Home
Commercial

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

Image of Dewalt DW088K Laser Level

Dewalt DW088K Laser Level - Image via Amazon.com


Full Product Review

Dewalt DW088K Review

​The Dewalt DW088K cross-line laser level brings one unquestionable benefit to the table and that is value.  It has most of the features and options included with higher-priced tools, and you won't find another level with this range (165 feet with a receiver) for less money.  If you're worried about the price/quality trade-off, you've got Dewalt's strong reputation - and their 3 year limited warranty - to ease your mind.

The laser operates with 3 AA batteries, so backup power is easy - although you can't use any of Dewalt's standard lithium power units with the Dewalt DW088K laser level.  It will, however, accept any standard AA rechargeable batteries (1.5V). 

The laser diodes themselves are both class II, emitting less than 1 mW of radiation, and they operate in the 630 - 680 nm range (which is visible red).  Your eyes are generally safe with the lasers on the Dewalt DW088K, although they can cause permanent damage if you stare into them for longer than 0.25 seconds. 

Pro Tip


If you're leaning towards the Dewalt DW088K cross-line laser level because of its superior range, don't forget to factor the cost of a receiver (detector) into your purchase price.  Without the receiver, the DW088K's listed range is 100 feet - which might be true for dark indoor applications but not for outdoor use.  You can expect outdoor visibility without a receiver to be in the 30 - 50 foot range, depending on conditions.  For a comparable tool without the receiver option, see the Bosch GLL 2-15.

​The Dewalt DW088K features an over-molded plastic composite enclosure, and it is rated IP 54.  This is the most affordable laser we've found with an IP-rated enclosure.  You won't need to worry about dust ingress, and it's resistant to splashing water.  Again, this feature highlights the value of the Dewalt DW088K laser level.  Despite its affordable price tag, many users have attested to the toughness and durability of this tool.  Aside from a few occasional issues with the automatic leveling feature, it has a great reputation.  If you have any doubts, check out the massive number of 5-star reviews it has on Amazon

The interface for the Dewalt DW088K laser level is simple and straightforward, with push button control to toggle on the horizontal and vertical lines.  The two lasers can be used separately or in conjunction.  Self-leveling is automatic, and cannot be disabled.  The only big feature we really miss in this laser is the ability to lock the position manually for custom angles.

Unlike most other laser levels of this style, the Dewalt DW088K has its positioning mount integrated into the tool enclosure.  This might be a big feature if you're prone to losing spare parts and pieces - or it might be a big drawback if you frequently need to set up custom mounting setups.  It shouldn't get in the way too much, and the enclosure does accept standard 1/4-inch threads for mounting on a tripod, monopod, or other custom mounts.

Special Features

  • Self-Leveling up to 4° for quick, easy set-up and operation
  • Available receiver (detector) extends range up to 165 feet
  • Integrated magnetic base for quick set-up on suspended ceiling and metal framing jobs

Items Included in Package

  • Dewalt DW088K Cross-Line Laser Level
  • Acoustic ceiling mount
  • 3 AA Batteries
  • Hard Carrying Case

Available Accessories

Because the positioning mount is built in to the Dewalt DW088K, there's no need to purchase an upgraded mount for this unit.  The integrated mount includes magnets for mounting to metal surfaces and slots for mounting with screws or nails.  For additional versatility and speedy adjustments between different locations, you might consider picking up a mounting tripod.  The Dewalt DW088K uses standard 1/4-inch mounting threads, and there are a few tripods that are specifically listed as compatible by Dewalt - the Dewalt DW0881 tripod extends from 24 inches to 69 inches, and the Dewalt DW0737 tripod is a heavy-duty option that extends from 38 inches to 60 inches.

​The most important accessory for the Dewalt DW088K is the available receiver (or detector) that will extend the functional range of the laser from 100 feet up to 165 feet.  This is a great option for contractors who work on large job sites, and it's a feature that is hard to find on other laser levels at this price range. 

If you're going to use the laser outdoors with any regularity, you might consider picking up a pair of red laser identification glasses - available from Dewalt or several other manufacturers. 

Tripod

Glasses

Laser Target

Laser Receiver

The Dewalt DW088K is great for a variety of indoor leveling and layout applications including ceiling installation, tiling, fixture and conduit positioning, flooring, and cabinetry.  If you're going to work on jobs that extend beyond 100 feet (or about 50 feet in outdoor daylight), consider purchasing the optional receiver/detector to extend your range. 

Outdoors, this tool is good for small builds including stairways, door and window installation, and porch and deck work.  The lines can be hard to find in direct sunshine, so be sure to get yourself a pair of red laser identification glasses if you're going to use the Dewalt DW088K extensively on outdoor applications.  Because the over-molded enclosure has an IP 54 rating, there's no need to worry about dirt, debris, or splashing water. 

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Unmatched value.  You won't find another laser in this price range with comparable range or full-time pulse mode and a compatible receiver.
  • Integrated positioning mount simplifies the setup process and reduces the number of separate parts & pieces to keep track of.
  • Dewalt backs this laser up with a 3-year limited warranty and free service for one year. 
Cons
  • Laser lines can be hard to identify in bright direct sunshine.  Use glasses and/or a receiver for exposed job sites.
  • No manual positioning option to mark lines at custom angles (self-leveling option is "always on")

Our Rating

​The Dewalt DW088K packs a lot of features and functionality into a very affordable price point.  Dewalt's tools have a great reputation among homeowners and contractors, and the 3-year limited warranty with 1 year of free service has a lot to do with that. 

We love the range, the price, and the fact that a compatible receiver is available.  We wish it had a manual position lock for custom angles. 

We give the Dewalt DW088K 4 1/2 out of 5 stars.

Product Specifications - Dewalt DW088K

Type

Cross Line (2 Lines)

Range

100 feet (165 feet with receiver)
30 meters (50 meters with receiver)

Accuracy

± 1/8 inch at 30 feet
±3 mm at 9 meters

Laser Diode Specifications

Class II
630 - 680 nm, < 1mW
Red

Power Source

3 AA Batteries

Operating Temperature

20° F / -10° C ~ 115° F / 45° C

Enclosure Construction

Over-molded plastic composite

Enclosure Ratings

IP 54

Mounting Threads

1/4-inch

Dimensions

(Shipping Pkg) 9.2 x 4.5 x 9.5 inches

Weight

1 pound (unit) - 3.9 pounds (package)

Warranty

1 Year Free Service
Limited 3 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.