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Brent Romero
01-18-2016, 5:59 PM
Been thinking about buying an "old school" transit level but have talked myself into a rotary laser.

Anyone have any comments or suggestions?

Thanks

Bill Space
01-18-2016, 6:19 PM
Just wondering what you want to use it for?

Brent Romero
01-18-2016, 6:21 PM
Projects around the house....establishing elevations for fences, slabs, etc.

Brian Henderson
01-18-2016, 7:42 PM
I ended up with a "cheap" one a while back, figured it might be useful, don't think I have ever used it for any project though.

John K Jordan
01-18-2016, 7:54 PM
There was a thread about this a couple of months ago. I think it was on this forum but it might have been on WoodCentral.

Years ago I bought a Dewalt rotary laser for my farm and have used it extensively. I have use it in building my shop and other structures, setting posts, marked posts for installing beams, for precise concrete forms and pins, drew topo maps for planning, checked grading for drainage around buildings, for electric gate installation, determined fall for drainage pipes, to install guttering for good drainage... many, many uses.

This one uses D-cell batteries which last for years, is not self-leveling (uses sensitive bubble levels to set up), and has worked flawlessly. It is incredibly precise. It has an alarm to detect if it is bumped so you don't accidentally build your shop off-kilter.

I recommend also buying:
- tripod
- telescoping grading stick
- electronic detector

I bought all this at either Home Depot or Lowes, can't remember which.

It is theoretically possible to use one without the detector but practically? not so much. When I tried I could almost use it when it was dark outside so I went back and bought the detector. With the detector it can be used any time and a long distances. It has different beeps so you can tell whether it is low or high without looking at it.

JKJ

Brent Romero
01-18-2016, 8:19 PM
Thanks for the input. I keep putting off buying one and every time I turn around I could use one for one purpose or another. You, like me, recognize the many uses for a rotary laser. :)


There was a thread about this a couple of months ago. I think it was on this forum but it might have been on WoodCentral.

Years ago I bought a Dewalt rotary laser for my farm and have used it extensively. I have use it in building my shop and other structures, setting posts, marked posts for installing beams, for precise concrete forms and pins, drew topo maps for planning, checked grading for drainage around buildings, for electric gate installation, determined fall for drainage pipes, to install guttering for good drainage... many, many uses.

This one uses D-cell batteries which last for years, is not self-leveling (uses sensitive bubble levels to set up), and has worked flawlessly. It is incredibly precise. It has an alarm to detect if it is bumped so you don't accidentally build your shop off-kilter.

I recommend also buying:
- tripod
- telescoping grading stick
- electronic detector

I bought all this at either Home Depot or Lowes, can't remember which.

It is theoretically possible to use one without the detector but practically? not so much. When I tried I could almost use it when it was dark outside so I went back and bought the detector. With the detector it can be used any time and a long distances. It has different beeps so you can tell whether it is low or high without looking at it.

JKJ

Chris Kiely
01-18-2016, 9:26 PM
Transits are great for long distances, but lasers can't be beat for in close (depending on the horsepower, of course).
Plus, you usually need two people to read a transit, or just one for a laser.
And self levelling is generally more convenient.

Bill Space
01-18-2016, 10:35 PM
I have a laser level. It is a Bosch that I bought for around $99. It works well and I love having it, but not sure if it is a "rotary laser level" though. It self levels and works great, as long as the ambient light is not too great.

I use it for so many different things! While there are other ways of accomplishing things, the laser level sure makes things easy much of the time...

329691

Bill

PS... I do not think your post is OT!

second edit. I used this laser level when I put a 28 x 12' deck on the back of my house but it did not work well in normal day light. If you need something to use outside during the daytime you better spend more money and buy something that is designed for that purpose. The one I have is a great laser level for use inside the house but is not that good if you want to use it outside in normal daylight. To put it more bluntly it really sucks outside during the day… But otherwise I really love the thing!

Martin Wasner
01-19-2016, 12:31 PM
Look at Pacific Laser Systems. Mace in the USA, excellent quality. I've got a Stabila laser level, not a big rotary, and wish I wouldn't gone with the PLS just from the repair standpoint. Stabila service means sending it to Germany. PLS is in California.

Randy Reitz
01-24-2016, 7:35 PM
I just worked on a project with a self-leveling rotary laser and I was really impressed with it. Old bubble leveling lasers were a major step up but you're limited by how finely you level it. The self-leveling laser was always exact. We were remodeling my mom's old farmhouse and used it to level floors, level lowered ceilings, set a beam where we opened a wall, and to set the cabinets.

Mike Henderson
01-24-2016, 11:32 PM
Transits are great for long distances, but lasers can't be beat for in close (depending on the horsepower, of course).
Plus, you usually need two people to read a transit, or just one for a laser.
And self levelling is generally more convenient.
+1 I used to have a builder's level (a transit level) but it takes two people to use it. And you have to be careful to level it and not kick one of the legs by accident when you're using it. Lasers are easier.

Mike

Jamie Buxton
01-25-2016, 12:41 AM
I had an early rotary level that leveled manually. I stepped up to a self-leveling one, which is much better. If you bump it, it just re-levels itself.
Technically, my new one isn't a rotary. It has no moving parts. It just projects a horizontal red beam, or vertical, or both. I mostly use it indoors, installing cabinets and the like. I think it cost $150 or so.