Bosch's 360-Degree Dual-Plane Laser Level is Affordable and Versatile - Fine Homebuilding

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Bosch's 360-Degree Dual-Plane Laser Level is Affordable and Versatile

comments (7) April 21st, 2011 in Blogs
JFink Justin Fink, Senior Editor

Video Length: 2:56
Produced by: Rob Wotzak; edited by: Mike Dobsevage


Sometimes choosing a laser layout tool can be a bit of a balancing act. On one hand you have really expensive rotary lasers, which are overkill for a lot of jobs; and then you have the less expensive crosshair lasers, which are a great buy, but they are a little weak in some applications. Bosch has come out with a new laser level that bridges those two categories and may be the best option for the typical builder or remodeler.

Big laser performance, little laser price
The key to GLL2-80Bosch's GLL2-80 new dual-plane leveling and alignment laser is a a pair of conical mirrors.


Further Resources


Ceiling remodel: From flat to cathedral

Leveling an old ceiling

Review the Bosch GLL2-80 Laser


A typical rotary laser spins a pin-point laser fast enough to project a straight line 360 degrees along a single axis. Bosch took a different approach with the GLL2-80; inside a self-leveling vial on the top of the device is a conical mirror suspended over a dot laser. The beam of light is split by the tip of the conical mirror, projecting a level line in every direction that is accurate to 1/4 in. at a distance of 100 ft. A similar vial on the side of the device holds a laser that creates a 360-degree plumb line. What you end up with is the stability of a stationary laser, but it still gives you a crisp 360-degree line.

Familiar functionality

A switch on the side of the GLL2-80 allows you to lock the laser in the off position for transport, lock the laser on at any angle for projects like laying out sloped ceilings, or put the laser in self-leveling mode for projecting perfect plumb and level lines. In self-leveling mode, an alarm sounds if the device is tilted to far in any direction. There is also a pulse mode for using a detector at up to 265 feet.

A switch on the side of the GLL2-80 allows you to lock the laser in the off position for transport, lock the laser on at any angle for projects like laying out sloped ceilings, or put the laser in self-leveling mode for projecting perfect plumb and level lines. In self-leveling mode, an alarm sounds if the device is tilted to far in any direction. There is also a pulse mode for using a detector at up to 265 feet.

The basic package includes the laser tool, a hard-shell case with a foam-rubber lining, and a wall-mount bracket. It would be tough to find a competitive tool for a similar price.



posted in: Blogs, framing, levels

Comments (7)

JFink JFink writes: It's worth noting, Robbandwood, that the PLS doesn't do a full 360 line. I'm not saying this is strictly necessary, but I am pointing it out in the interest of fair comparison between Bosch and PLS, in terms of features.
Posted: 11:18 am on May 4th

robbandwood robbandwood writes:

If you are looking for a laser? I would suggest that you also look at Pacific Laser Systems PLS 180 system. It is a line, plumb, and square line laser with a receiver (for outside work) for less money then the Bosch GLL 2-80. The GLL 2-80 is a line and plumb line level, no square and the receiver is another $150. The PLS 180 in made in San Rafael California with a one year warranty. The GLL 2-80 is made in China with a three year warranty. Both are great tools, but I went with the PLS 180 system after much research and having them both demonstrated to me.
Posted: 5:27 am on May 4th

FHBdotcom FHBdotcom writes: kurtthetileguy,
Just like some of the less expensive straight-line levels, each laser in the Bosch GLL2-80 is in a vial that hangs on some sort of fulcrum. If you lean the body of the level, the vials can only tilt so far before they rest against the sides of the fulcrums. This means you can set the device on a surface that is slightly out of level, but it will warn you if it's leaning too much. As far as precision goes, you're right, a water level is very accurate and fairly fool proof. But, it seems that plenty of people are willing to give up a little precision for a tool that you can just set on the ground and go.
Posted: 8:30 am on April 27th

kurtthetileguy kurtthetileguy writes: If the laser is self leveling, why does it have an alert to tell you it's out of level? Perhaps you need to get it somewhat level/ plumb first, and then the floating mirrors will fine tune it. If that's the case say so! The tolerances seem a bit sloppy as well. I can do better than 1/4" with a water level.
Posted: 12:58 pm on April 25th

BGodfrey BGodfrey writes: What the heck? I made my comment on the video about the markers. Computers are weird.
Posted: 11:10 am on April 25th

BGodfrey BGodfrey writes: You can keep all those markers in one place and whole by putting a cap on both ends of an 8 to 10 inch piece of 2" PVC or ABS drain pipe. Glue one cap and put the markers inside.
Posted: 11:09 am on April 25th

TheTimberTailor TheTimberTailor writes: Justin,

Thanks for the Bosch laser review. Based on the features you describe it looks like a great tool indeed.

Matt
Posted: 8:03 pm on April 21st

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