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Whether used for slope tracing or masonry plumbing or for aligning false ceiling lines, the 360 ​​° rotating laser level is equipped with a light-emitting diode. The ray it projects can then be used to create a virtual plane as well as to draw a horizontal or vertical line.

Rotating laser level

Diagram of the rotating laser level

  1. Tapped holes for tripod mounting
  2. X-Y alignment mark
  3. Vertical laser window (plumb)
  4. Rotating head
  5. Charger socket
  6. Handle
  7. "Tilt" tilt alarm
  8. Scan Mode
  9. Rotation speed of the laser head
  10. Power on / off
  11. Adjustment of the slope and the calibration
  12. Manual adjustment
  13. Remote control

The right wavelength

Unlike an incandescent bulb that produces a light composed of several colors (or wavelengths), the laser generates a monochromatic light (only one wavelength). The particles move in a single direction, to generate a point or a luminous line. The wavelength of the laser is expressed in nanometer * (nm) and determines the range and the accuracy of the beam. The smaller the number, the more precise the laser is. For example, a laser with a wavelength of 635 nm, like our model (Stanley RL HVPW), exceeds 100 m range with a margin of error of plus or minus 2 mm / 20 m. Indoors, the radius is visible up to 20 m to the naked eye and up to 30 m with special glasses. Beyond that, it is necessary to use a beam detector.
* One nanometer is one billionth of a meter

Protect your eyes before using a rotating laser level

Wear glasses mandatory when using a laser level

Lasers are ranked from 1 to 4, depending on their danger to the eyes. All current laser levels are class 2 as here, with a power of 1 mW *. In current use, the laser levels are practically safe. However, do not position the beam in the direction of the eyes or fix it. It is also important to avoid using the level in the presence of children who tend to look for where the radius comes from.
* 1 mW (milliwatt) is one thousandth of a watt.

Preparation and settings

Turn on the rotating laser level

Turning on the laser level

The laser head automatically level. If the inclination of the unit is greater than 4°, the tilt warning light is displayed in red. The head then stops turning.

Vertical plane with rotating laser level

Vertical plane

The level is also locked automatically to obtain alignments on the vertical plane (setting up partitions for example). Just switch it. It can be placed on the floor as well as on a tripod.

Inclined line with rotating laser level

Inclined line

The rotating head can be locked in order to deflect an inclined line (single or double for slopes) up to 10 \%. Simply select the "manual slope" key to choose the tilt axis (green "X", red "Y"), then press one of the two arrows for a positive or negative inclination of the head. A remote control allows remote settings.

Ground point for a landmark


As soon as the level is switched on, a red dot is projected on the floor and another one on the ceiling. They serve as a benchmark for future partitions and help set up plasterboard studs.

Scan with rotary laser level

Sweeping and rotational speed

The scanning makes it possible to obtain a focused, precise and very bright ray just on an area. To adjust the length of the path, simply press the "scan" command several times. To accentuate or reduce the brightness of the beam, you have to play on the "rotational speed" control of the head. It varies from 150 to 600 rpm. The faster it turns, the less bright the ray, but the farther away.

Handling and accessories of the rotating laser level

Install the rotating laser level on his tripod

Tripod mount

In general, the rotating laser level is used on a tripod. The tripod screw is pierced to let the point of the plumb. A second tapped hole is used to set the tilted level for measurements in vertical plane. Quite heavy (about 5 kg), the device can be grasped more easily thanks to its large handle.

Rotating laser level beam

Beam detector

On long distance, the ray becomes invisible. The beam must be captured by a detector, held by hand or placed on a peg. The latter emits an audible signal when it matches the beam and a line appears in a window. Before drawing the mark, check the horizontality of the detector with its built-in spirit level.

Install the rotating laser level

Level positioning

On large surfaces (tracing of a terrace, topographic survey...), the laser level must be located most in the center of the survey or tracing area. This allows to have readings with always the same margin of error (here 2 mm / 20 m).

Remote control of the rotating laser level

The remote control

To facilitate remote operations, a remote control is provided with the level. It combines sweeping, rotational head speed, manual adjustment and slope control and allows operations to be performed up to 20 m away. Getting started can not be performed by the remote control.

Work at height with the rotating laser level

Work at Height

To set up the suspension lines of a false ceiling or to create a frieze, the level can be fixed on a vertical support thanks to a bracket. It can be magnetized on a steel wall or placed on a mast using a vise. A test pattern makes it possible to stall the beam at the desired height.

Maintenance, transport and calibration of the rotating laser level

Wash the rotating laser level

  • Perfectly waterproof, the device can be cleaned with water without any problem.
  • It must then be dried with a soft cloth, to avoid marks and scratches on the glass parts.

Rotary laser level battery

  • The rotating laser level operates on battery without memory effect of a 20 hours autonomy.
  • The charger connects to the control panel side.
  • It takes about 4 hours to recharge.

Carry its rotating laser level

  • Even if the device is designed to work on construction sites, the laser head is quite fragile.
  • The level must be carried in a case that protects it from shocks.
  • With the power turned off, the rotating head automatically locks.

Set the rotary laser level

  • After several uses, the laser may have gone out of order and the accuracy of the beam must be checked.
  • Place the device 20 m away from a wall.
  • Make a first trace, turn the device on its axis and draw a second mark.
  • If the space between the two lines is greater than 2 mm, recalibration is required.

Recalibrate the laser

  • To recalibrate the laser, turn the power off by leaving it in the last position, then simultaneously press the power button and manual slope button.
  • Then play with the arrows to wedge the beam between the two tracks.
  • Press the manual slope button one last time, the laser is calibrated. For this operation, you have to be two.

Buy or rent a rotating laser level?

Cost of a rotating laser level

Professional tool, the rotating laser level is quite expensive to buy: between 900 and more than € 1,200 excluding accessories (freestanding, cell...) for the most powerful devices. For individuals, the laser is easily rented. It takes about 260 € / weekend. For indoor use only, there is another family, laser tracer levels, which directly project a horizontal or vertical line or both (laser cross). This type of laser is easily found in DIY superstores, between 20 and 400 €, which leaves a nice margin of choice.

Video Instruction: How To Use a Rotating Laser Level Video