As part of our paid partnership with Home Depot, they sent along several Bosch laser levels for review and testing consideration.
- GLL 2 self-leveling cross-line laser level
- GLL3-300 200ft 3-plane cross line laser level
- GLM400C4 400ft outdoor laser distance measuring
Of these, I am confident in providing an opinion on the GLL 2. The others are too beyond my wheelhouse for me to comfortably recommending, but seem to be well-regarded by users, and excellent in my initial tests. I’m still hoping to be able find local testing opportunities, but most of my current contacts do residential work, and the larger lasers seem better suited for commercial.
Shown above is the well-regarded Bosch GLL 2 30ft self-leveling cross line laser level with clamp mount. We have talked about this model before, as it has become a regular holiday season special buy. Even now, it’s on sale for $40 at Home Depot.
An entry level model, the Bosch GLL 2 emits a red cross line at up to 30 feet, and it has an accuracy of ±3/16″. There is another model that’s often described on sites as being “newer,” but its accuracy isn’t as good.
With this laser you get the laser unit, and also an adjustable clamp. The laser can be used with standard photo tripods, and the clamp can be used to attach the laser level to poles and other such surfaces.
This is a very good first self-leveling laser level, offering reasonable accuracy and decent functions without costing a whole lot. You can switch between cross-line, horizontal-only, or vertical-only lines.
While not flashy with fancy features, the GLL 2 is a good buy. If you grow out of it, its small size and versatility can still complement more featured and longer range models.
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On the completely opposite end of the spectrum, you have the Bosch GLL3-300, a 3-plane cross-line laser level that can emit visible lines at up to 200 feet. This one is more suited for working in commercial spaces, given its range.
The GLL3-300 provides full 360-degree coverage, allowing for level, plumb, and square layout lines. With an optional receiver, the working range can be extended to 300 feet. Bosch says that it’s rated to IP54, which protects it from water splashes and dust ingress.
As with other laser levels, you can lock the GLL3-300, so that you can use it at any angle.
It comes with a “BM1” positioning accessory, which allows for all kinds of mounting options. It has a magnetic back, a height-adjustable base, 1/4-20 and 5/8-11 threaded mounts on the bottom, slots for screw or nail mounting, a clip for attaching to ceiling grids and raceways, and there are even retractable feet so that you can use it on the floor or other stable horizontal surfaces.
My initial tests show that it’s a robust and accurate laser level, although I have yet to find a room that’ll push it to its limits. This isn’t the type of laser that you would use in a residential setting, although technically you can.
The only downside is that the laser and its positioning accessory only come with a storage pouch for the laser. I think that most users would want it to come in a hard case of some kind. But, if it came with a hard case the price would be higher. By not coming with one, the user is free to buy a hard case of their liking, if they deem it necessary.
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How would you use a laser this powerful and featured?
Lastly, this is the Bosch Blaze GLM400C, an outdoor laser distance measuring tool, with Bluetooth connectivity and viewfinder.
It has an adjustable zoom and digital viewfinder, for finding the laser spot in sun-lit conditions, and a range of up to 400 feet. There’s an inclinometer, digital bubble level, and a slew of measuring functions, including real-time length, length, area, volume, indirection functions, and addition/subtraction. The memory can store up to 50 measurements.
Accuracy is ±1/16″, which seems amazing given the range.
The display is backlit, and easy to read, and in color. Bosch also built in Bluetooth connectivity, for working with the free Bosch MeasureOn app. It comes with sturdy-feeling soft case.
The GLM400C requires 3xAA batteries.
While I tend to use single-button laser distance measuring tools most often these days, I am increasingly seeing contractors with more elaborate models, including ones that download measurements to mobile devices.
What would you use this for?
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I have tested a variety of Bosch laser levels over the years, and they have all worked perfectly. The hard part is matching up the type and power of laser level to the type of user or application. The Bosch lasers I have tested have all been reliable, accurate, and easy to use.
My go-to has been the Bosch GLL 55. It’s a cross-line laser that’s visible to 50 feet, accurate to ±1/8″ at 33 feet, and priced at around $150. If you can’t find the GLL 55, the GLL 50 is similar.
I have access to a green laser, and while green lasers have a visibility advantage at a distance, I’ve been happy with the mid-range red GLL 50 that I’ve been using. (Thank you Bosch!)