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Comparison Guide to Rotary Lasers

September, 24 2019
When you need accurate measurements on the field in a matter of minutes, self-leveling lasers are the only obvious choice. But out of all the self-leveling lasers in the market (and there are a lot), which one is the best for you?

This comparison guide considers this question and answers by first discussing the important features that you need to be looking for in self-leveling lasers and then listing the top 10 self-leveling lasers that we know of.
Important Features in Self-Leveling Rotary Lasers
1. Accuracy
The level of accuracy you may require depends on your use. Indoor lasers tend to be less accurate than bigger lasers, so the location of your project is going to be an important factor. For example, a small indoor laser level typically has an accuracy of ±1/8 inch over 30 feet while rotary lasers for outdoor use tend to have higher accuracy over long distances – with ±1/16 inch over 100 feet and even more.
2. Range
The range that you need depends on the job at hand. Smaller self-leveling lasers have a lower range of a few hundred feet while rotary lasers can stay accurate over 2,500 feet or more. If you’re going to be working in extremely long distances, it’s best to purchase a rotary laser with a large range.
3. Rotation Speed
Rotary lasers have what is called the rotation speed which is measured in rotations per minute (RPM). Although it doesn’t affect the accuracy of the laser level, it does affect how well you see the laser line.

The faster the speed, the easier it is for laser receivers to detect the beam. If you’re going to be working outdoors, it’s best to choose a higher rotation speed. A rotation speed of 600 RPM is usually good enough for this purpose. On the other hand, slower rotation speeds make the beam more visible, making it great for indoor use. Some rotary lasers have a fixed rotation speed while some have two or more speeds so you can adjust the beam visibility as needed.
4. Durability
Job sites, especially outdoors, are unpredictable environments prone to changing weather conditions, tip-overs of equipment, and other equipment damage. Since laser levels have sensitive spinning diodes and other parts, it’s crucial to have built-in protection features like rubber bumpers for shock absorption. Most rotary lasers are IP54 rated, with some even as high as IP67 which are dustproof and can survive water immersion with a depth of up to 1 m. (3.3 ft.) for around 30 minutes.
Top 10 Best Self-Leveling Lasers
Considering these features, we have come up with our top 10 self-leveling lasers – in no particular order – that have guaranteed performance and quality over the years. At the end of this list is a comparison chart summarizing the features of these units.
10. Geomax Zone20 Series Self-Leveling Rotary Laser ($705.58)

The Geomax Zone20 self-leveling rotary laser has the longest range in this list – it works up to a staggering 3000-ft. diameter with a laser receiver. With an accuracy of ±3/32 inch at 100 feet and an IP67 rating, this rotary laser is ideal for both small- and large-scale construction sites.

Key specifications:
  • Self-leveling: ±6°
  • Rotating speed: 600 RPM
  • Protection: IP67
  • Battery life: 40 hours (alkaline)
  • 3-year warranty
Browse more laser levels from Geomax by clicking this LINK.
9. Stabila LAR200 Exterior Self-Leveling Rotary Laser ($1264)

The Stabila LAR200 boasts a working range of 1,800 ft. diameter with a laser receiver and has an accuracy of 1/8 in. at 100 ft., making it ideal for use in site preparations, concrete and road construction, and other general construction projects that require long-range measurement and high accuracy. It is IP65 protected, has a long battery runtime, and can withstand harsh weather conditions with an operating temperature of -10°C to +60°C.

Key specifications:
  • Self-leveling: ±5°
  • Rotating speed: 600 RPM
  • Protection: IP65
  • Battery life: 120 hours (alkaline)
  • 2-year warranty
Browse more laser levels from Stabila by clicking this LINK.
8. Pro Shot Laser L4.7 Self-Leveling Horizontal/Vertical Rotary Laser ($759.20)

With an accuracy of ±.1/25 in. per 100 ft., Pro Shot’s self-leveling laser has one of the highest accuracies among self-leveling rotary lasers in the market. This is the unit you want when you absolutely can’t mess up with your numbers. It stays accurate up to 1,500 ft. with a laser receiver and has an IP55 rating. Another plus is the battery’s long runtime of up to 110 hours.

Key specifications:
  • Self-leveling: ±5°
  • Rotating speed: 600 RPM
  • Battery life: 110 hours (alkaline) and 60 hours (NiMH)
  • 3-year warranty
Browse more laser levels from Pro Shot by clicking this LINK.
7. Pacific Laser Systems PLS HV2R Manual Rotary Laser ($1169.99)

The self-leveling laser of Pacific Laser Systems has an accuracy of ±3/32 in. at 100 ft. and a working range of up to 1000 ft. with a laser receiver. If you don’t need an extremely long-range capability, this unit should do the job just fine. Like the Leica self-leveling laser, the PLS rotary laser has an IP67 rating and can withstand drops from up to 3.3 feet (1 m). It has a long battery life and four rotation speed options for easy adjustment of beam visibility.

Key specifications:
  • Self-leveling: ±5°
  • Rotating speeds: 150, 300, 600 RPM
  • Battery life: 60 hours
  • 3-year warranty
See more rotary laser levels from Pacific Laser Systems by clicking this LINK.
6. Johnson Level Electronic Dual Slope Rotary Laser ($771)

Johnson Level’s self-leveling laser is a dual slope, which means that it can provide highly accurate readings on two axes at the same time, making your work a lot faster and easier. The range is pretty good at up to 1,500 ft. diameter with a laser receiver, and it comes with two rotating speeds – 300 and 800 RPM – so you can easily adjust the red beam visibility for indoor and outdoor use.

Key specifications:
  • Accuracy: ±1/8 in. at 100 ft.
  • Self-leveling: ±5°
  • Rotating speeds: 300, 800 RPM
  • Protection: IP54
  • 1-year warranty
See more rotary laser levels from Johnson Level by clicking this LINK.
5. Northwest Instrument NRL602 Series Self-Leveling Rotary Laser ($616.20)

The Northwest Instrument features horizontal and vertical beam directions, both with excellent accuracy. Its notable range of up to 2,000 ft. with a laser receiver makes it great for large projects. One thing you have to consider is it only goes up to 500 RPM which may make it more difficult for laser receivers to detect than units with 600 RPM.

Key specifications:
  • Horizontal accuracy: ±1/16 in. at 100 ft.
  • Vertical accuracy: ±1/8 in. at 100 ft.
  • Self-leveling: ±5°
  • Rotating speeds: 0 and 500 RPM
  • Protection: IP54
  • 1-year warranty
See more rotary laser levels from Northwest Instrument by clicking this LINK.
4. Leica Rugby 640G Green Rotary Laser ($1145)

Leica is a trusted brand known for its range of high-quality construction equipment including its green beam self-leveling rotary laser. Green beams are generally easier to see outside under direct sunlight than red beams, making this laser easier to see out in the field. It comes with an obviously expensive payoff, however, it’s one of the most protected models in this list with a rating of IP67. Its accuracy is not as impressive (± 3/32 in. at 100 ft.), and its working range is only up to 1,300 ft. diameter with a receiver.

Key specifications:
  • Self-leveling: ±5°
  • Rotating speeds: 0, 120, 300, 600 RPM
  • Battery life: 40 hrs (alkaline); 60 hrs (Ni-MH)
  • 3-year warranty
Browse more rotary laser levels from Leica by clicking this LINK.
3. Spectra Precision LL300N Self-Leveling Laser ($672)

If you need a self-leveling laser that can survive much abuse in tough job sites, the red beam Spectra Precision LL300N is the right guy. It has IP66 protection and can withstand high drops of up to 3 ft. (1 m.) directly onto concrete or up to 5 ft (1.5 m) on accidental tripod tip-overs. While its accuracy (± 3/32 in. at 100 ft.) is not the best in the market, its range is considerable at up to 1,650 ft. (500 m.) with a laser receiver.

Key specifications:
  • Self-leveling: ±5°
  • Rotating speed: 600 RPM
  • Battery life: 90 hrs (alkaline); 45 hrs (Ni-MH)
  • 5-year warranty
Browse more rotary laser levels from Spectra Precision by clicking this LINK.
2. AdirPro HV8RL Red Beam Rotary Laser ($399.95)

AdirPro’s red beam rotary laser level is the most cost-effective in this list. Its affordable price yet decent accuracy of ±1/16 in. at 30 ft. and a long range of up to 1,650 ft. diameter with a laser receiver give it a good price-functionality balance for anyone looking to stick to a budget. It also has four RPM options so you can adjust its beam visibility according to your needs. Being IP55 rated, it’s protected against dust and jets of water from all directions.

Key specifications:
  • Self-leveling: ±5°
  • Rotating speeds: 0, 60, 300, 600 RPM
  • Battery life: 30 hrs (alkaline); 40 hrs (Ni-MH)
  • 3-year warranty
See more rotary laser levels from AdirPro by clicking this LINK.
1. Topcon RL-H5A Horizontal Self-Leveling Rotary Laser ($639.60)

Topcon’s RL-H5A Horizontal Rotary Laser is a red beam self-leveling rotary laser with a staggeringly long range of up to 2,624 ft diameter and an above-average accuracy of ±1/16 in. at 100 ft. It’s the right balance between accuracy and range, making it one of the best laser levels for outdoor use. With an IP66 rating, this laser level is completely protected from dust, sudden light rain, and even torrential rainfalls.

Key specifications:
  • Self-leveling: ±5°
  • Rotating speed: 600 RPM
  • Battery life: 100 hrs (alkaline); 60 hrs (Ni-MH)
  • 5-year warranty
Browse more rotary laser levels from Topcon by clicking this LINK.
Model Unit Accuracy Self-Leveling Range Protection Manual Mode Beam Color Battery Life Warranty
Topcon RL-H5A Horizontal Self-Leveling Rotary Laser ±1/16 in. at 100 ft. ±5° Up to 2,624 ft diameter with receiver IP66 Yes Red Alkaline: 100 hours Ni-MH: 60 hours 5-year warranty
AdirPro HV8RL Red Beam Rotary Laser ±1/16 in. at 30 ft. ±5° Up to 1,650 ft. diameter with receiver IP55 Yes Red Alkaline: 30 hours NiMH: 40 hours 3-year warranty
Spectra Precision LL300N Self-Leveling Laser ±3/32 in. at 100 ft. ±5° Up to 1,650 ft (500 m) diameter with receiver IP66 Yes Red Alkaline: 90 hours NiMH: 45 hours 5-year warranty
Leica Rugby 640G Green Rotary Laser ± 3/32 in. at 100 ft. ±5° Up to 1,300 ft. with receiver IP67 Yes Green Alkaline: 40 hours Li-ion: 60 hours 3-year warranty
Northwest Instrument NRL602 Series Self-Leveling Rotary Laser H: ±1/16 in. at 100 ft. V: ±1/8 in. at 100 ft. ±5° Up to 2,000 ft. with receiver IP54 Yes Red - 1-year warranty
Johnson Level Electronic Dual Slope Rotary Laser ±1/8 in. at 100 ft. ±5° Up to 1,500 ft. diameter with receiver IP54 Yes Red Alkaline: 40 hours NiMH: 24 hours 3-year warranty
Pacific Laser Systems PLS HV2R Manual Rotary Laser ±3/32 in. at 100 ft. ±5° Up to ≤ 300 m (1000 ft.) with receiver IP67 Yes Red Alkaline and NiMH: 60 hours 3-year warranty
Pro Shot Laser L4.7 Self-Leveling Horizontal / Vertical Rotary Laser ±.1/25 in. per 100 ft. ±10 arc min. Up to 1,500 ft. diameter with receiver IP55 Yes Red Alkaline: 110 hours NiMH: 60 hours 3-year warranty
Stabila LAR200 Exterior Self-Leveling Rotary Laser 1/8 in. at 100 ft. Up to 1,800ft/550 m diameter with receiver IP65 - Red Alkaline: 120 hours NiMH: - 2-year warranty
Geomax Zone60 DG Fully-Automatic Dual Grade Laser ±3/32 inch at 100 ft. ±6° Up to 3000 ft. diameter with receiver IP67 Yes Red Alkaline: 40 hours 3-year warranty