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Posted By: NJI layout lasers - 02/02/07 03:03 AM
good mornin! i was in the market fopr a new laser and wondered what you alll had good luck with any new product out there. i'm need it for mostly the residetial jobs, box lay out, can layout ect. I was using an older rotory but i think i'd like to go to something a little less expensive this time. any thoughts? what have you seen????
Posted By: wis-sparky Re: layout lasers - 02/02/07 04:02 AM
I have two - my favorite one is a Porter Cable 3 beam self leveling (model LS3100,around $100, Menards had it on sale for $79) (self leveling is a must) - I mostly used it as a plumb line - works slick for pendants, vaulted ceilings and can layouts - what I don't like about it is that the crosshairs are next to invisible, but the bead only mode is what I really use- the other one I have is a Bushnell model 82897 straight/crosshair that is manually leveling - the manual leveling is way too inaccurate for detail work - you can level it 3 times and get 3 different marks - so I use it in straight line mode to line up cans, etc - works good for that and is fairly easy to see - picked that one up for about $20 - I wouldn't go too nuts on buying something real expensive - both sit in my truck now because resi work is dead!
Posted By: macmikeman Re: layout lasers - 02/02/07 04:39 AM
If resi work is dead, then I gotta go tell a bunch of yahoo's who are busy framing up jobs that I am contracted to wire to stop, since you say its dead.

I like my fat max laser. It self levels. This thing is great for light fixture layout work. I bought one of those stick on strait line laser levels also, but never tried to use it yet.
Posted By: Trumpy Re: layout lasers - 02/02/07 06:19 AM
Can't beat the old "story-stick" for repetitive measurements.
I've used a piece of PVC conduit for years, mark it out with a Sharpie and a tape measure.
It has not failed me once.
Sure it is low-tech, but it gets the work done.
Posted By: Joey D Re: layout lasers - 02/03/07 12:47 AM
Hard to do a kitchen layout without a level on a remodel. The stick it good for general plugs and switches but the kitchen I use a self level laser. Most old houses the kitchen is off 1-2 inches over 10'
Posted By: e57 Re: layout lasers - 02/05/07 01:19 AM
That said some new homes are an inch or so out of level too....

Anyway, depending on what type of lay out items you are doing I would suggest both a Hilti PMP32, and a PML32. ($450+ ea.) When it comes to lasers the sharpness and accuacy of Hilti is the best, and they are extremely well made - but you'll pay through the nose for them both. For 1/2 the price (~$275) you can get PLS still good lasers but not as stoutly made - both the PLS2E, and PLS3 are pretty good and I can vouch for both the Hilti and PLS stuff as good proffessional products. However I just bought one of these from David White (~$200)(Mark2XT) [Linked Image from]
So far I am fairly happy for the price I paid for it, as it does some thing the Hilti doesn't in their line laser - it shoots a line above it and it continues down close to the unit. All the David White stuff is made by CST/Berger and fairly well made considering the low price - it's not Hilti... But still OK... Not thrilled, but happy so far. It has that "Fat Max" type of feel to it that makes me feels cheated psychologicaly...

What I really want is for someone to make a "All in one" line and plumb laser... But I have found that it is better to use both for some things. For instance, track or trappeeze runs. Or the things that you mentioned... You can set up the line laser - not move it at all - then use the point plumb to shoot up and get really accurate points on that line... And for counter tops all you need is a decent line laser. And if at all possible what ever laser you get - get a good tripod. The David White one that comes with that laser is a bit hockey, so is the PLS one. Hilti make a good wall mount magnetic bracket that solidly mounst to a wall - but a good stable camera tripod makes life much easier.

And if you do any outside, or bright day light work I would suggest a laser detector unit - PLS or David White.

What ever you do - streer clear of Porter Cable/Robotoolz and their "Electronic' Self-leveling lasers - if the battery gets low they will take a while to "Adjust" - by which time you could be done with what you're doing - or be half way done with it before it decides to "Adjust" itself. And they are too fickle, and dont stand up to abuse at all... Especially after you boot it across the site because you realize it just wasted several hours of your time. Stick to "Pendulum self-leveling" models - less crap to go wrong in them.
Posted By: iwire Re: layout lasers - 02/05/07 10:15 AM
that makes me feels cheated psychologicaly...

I would think that is odd but I know exactly what you mean. [Linked Image]

We electricians are a strange bunch..... [Linked Image] [Linked Image]
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