Johnson Level 99-006K Rotary Laser Level Review
Johnson Level 99-006K Rotary Laser Level Review
Updated: January 21, 2017
Johnson Level's 99-006K rotary laser level gets you most of the features of a high-end rotary laser level at a serious price discount. Reliable performance, decent range, with a solid warranty from the manufacturer.
At a Glance:
Rotary Laser Level
$$$ Mid Range
Read our full review below for full technical specifications, pros and cons, and recommended applications for this model.
Full Product Review
Johnson Level 99-006K Review
The Johnson Level 99-006K rotary laser level is an interesting innovation in the marketplace that brings the power and functionality of a long-range rotary laser within the budget of home users and DIY weekend warriors. It's also a popular choice among contractors who need to control their spending on dedicated jobs. It is a great value, as it packs many of the features of a high-end rotary laser level and backs it up with a solid warranty. What's the trade off? Range. See below.
The Class IIIa laser diode is powered by 4 standard AA batteries. You won't be able to use any of your rechargeable lithium ion battery packs with this tool, but the AA batteries are relatively convenient and don't put too much of a strain on your budget for long projects. If this laser is something you plan to use on a daily basis, it might be worth your time to invest in set of rechargeable AAs. Johnson Level lists the battery life as 20 hours of continuous operation, so you can plan on getting a few days' work out of each full charge.
The laser pendulum has 3 speed settings. This isn't a feature you'll find in too many rotary laser on the market today, and it is useful for conserving battery life. The laser can be set to rotate at 200, 400, or 600 RPM. Light is emitted at 635 nm, which is a standard red beam and should be compatible with any red laser recognition glasses and markers. Keep in mind that this is a Class III laser - so care should be taken to protect eyes, skin, and flammable/combustible materials. Make sure you let everyone in the area know that they should not look directly into the beam.
If you're shopping for the best value in rotary laser levels, you've probably found it here. With an IP-rated enclosure and a 3-year warranty, you can rest assured that you're getting a reliable tool at a great price.
If, however, you're shopping for a rotary laser strictly because you need the long range that rotary lasers are known for, you might keep looking. Consider spending a little more and look at the Topcon RL-H4C, which has about 4 times the range of this Johnson Level model.
The Johnson Level 99-006K has an IP54-rated enclosure, which means it is protected against dust and splashing water. It's safe to use on dirty sites, and outdoors, although you should treat it with the same care and protection you give any other electronic device. The pendulum locks itself when power is turned off, to protect the life and accuracy of the mechanism. A few people have reported issues with a short lifespan, although the overall reputation of this tool is tip top, as evidenced by the overwhelming number of 4 and 5-star reviews on Amazon. If you do run into any issues, you've got Johnson's 3-year warranty to fall back on.
The interface is simple enough, with the primary controls consisting of only a few toggle buttons. The pendulum levels itself in the horizontal plane (unit upright). There is an out-of-level indicator on the interface which lights and produces an audible alarm with the laser is beyond its self-leveling range. You must level the tool yourself in the vertical plane (unit on its side), and an illuminated spirit vial is included on the interface to make it nice and easy - if a bit imprecise. The included receiver is simple and straightforward, with a few LEDs to indicate reception and alignment, and a horizontal spirit vial to ensure you're plumb all around. Additional receivers can be purchased separately - see accessories below.
The package includes a simple aluminum mounting tripod with manually locking legs, and a 13 foot extendable grade rod. You also get a mounting bracket for easy mounting to the wall or ceiling. The Johnson Level 99-006K uses a standard 5/8-inch mounting thread, so it's very easy to swap out other mounting tools as desired.
- Variable rotation speeds for extended battery life and easier viewing
- Laser receiver included extends range up to 800 feet in diameter
- Self-Leveling up to up to 3° in the horizontal plane for speedy setup and operation
- Automatically locking pendulum for extended lifespan and accuracy
Items Included in Package
- Johnson Level 99-006K Rotary Laser Level
- Johnson Level 40-6705 Receiver/Detector
- 4 AA Batteries for Laser Level and 2 AAA Batteries for Receiver/Detector
- Red Laser Beam Enhancement Glasses and Magnetic Target
- Soft Carrying Case
- Aluminum Tripod, Laser Mounting Bracket, Receiver/Detector Mounting Clamp
The Johnson Level 99-006K rotary laser level system includes pretty much everything you need to get started right away. You will receive various mounting options and several accessories when you order the system.
Some applications might require an additional receiver/detector, and you can order these separately as needed. The price for additional receivers is fair, and and Johnson does offer more advanced receivers - including long-range visibility and machine-mountable receivers - if you want to upgrade.
If you'll be doing extensive grading with the Johnson Level 99-006K, you might consider upgrading to a telescoping tripod to speed up your work. Johnson offers a tripod upgrade separately, and the standard 5/8-inch mounting thread means that you can use pretty much any standard tripod with that thread.
If you're considering the Johnson Level 99-006K as an everyday tool, keep in mind that the published battery life is 20 hours with a full charge. Consider purchasing a set of rechargeable AA batteries to minimize your downtime and power costs, and don't forget about the AAA batteries for the receiver - if you plan to use it regularly.
The Johnson Level 99-006K rotary laser level is ideal for home users who want the extended range and convenience of a rotary laser level. It is useful for any number of home-scale projects including framing, ceiling installation, tile work, cabinetry, and wiring/plumbing installation. It is also a great tool for contractors who work indoors and don't need 1000+ feet of range.
If you're planning to use the Johnson Level 99-006K rotary laser level for outdoor applications, you'll definitely need to rely on the receiver for the extended range. And please note that the range with the receiver is still under 1000 feet. You won't have any trouble viewing this laser in low light indoor conditions. But if you work outdoors in bright daylight, you'll need the included receiver to find your line beyond 10 or 20 feet, depending on conditions. If you don't mind using the receiver and the 800 foot range - the Johnson Level 99-006K is fine for outdoor applications including foundation work, small-scale leveling and excavation, and patio/porch/deck construction.
Pros & Cons
- Unmatched value - you won't find a better price on a rotary laser level with these features
- Variable speed laser rotation allows for easy viewing indoors and helps to prolong the short battery life
- The 99-006K system includes all of the accessories you need - no additional purchases required
- Relatively short range compared to other rotary laser levels
- Short battery life, at 20 hours with a fully charged set of four AA batteries, means that power costs can add up over time
The Johnson Level 99-006K is a great tool for weekend warriors, advanced homeowners, and professional contractors who typically work on small job sites. You simply won't find another rotary laser level that offers these features for a better price.
If you're skittish about buying a lower cost tool, check out the reviews on Amazon and read the details about Johnson's 3-year warranty. This tool is affordable, but it is not a cheap, throw-away item. It's rugged and tough, with a locking pendulum and an IP54 enclosure.
The biggest issue you should be aware of is the limited range. If your typical job site does not require more than 800 feet of coverage, then this tool offers you an exceptional value. If your job sites are 1000 feet or larger, you'd be wise to consider a more powerful laser (at a significantly higher cost).
We give the Johnson Level 99-006K 4 1/2 out of 5 stars.
Product Specifications - Johnson Level 99-006K
Rotary Laser (1 Line)
200 foot diameter
± 1/8 inch at 50 feet
Laser Diode Specifications
200 RPM, 400 RPM, 600 RPM
4 AA Batteries
14° F / -10° C ~ 113° F / 45° C
Various / composite
5/8-inch - 11
5 x 6.5 x 6.5 inches
3.3 pounds (unit) - 18 pounds (package)
Limited 3 Year Warranty