Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 35

Thread: Cheap laser level.

  1. #1
    Mo
    Guest

    Cheap laser level.

    Are these cheapo laser levels any good?

    We have a bit of building work, nothing huge to do over the next few years, and some short lengths of drainage to do. Don't want to be messing about hiring in so fancy a go at the 250 mark.

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/AUTOMATIC-...item2c60077583

    something like this, plus tripod and staff.

  2. #2
    Monkthefarmer
    Guest

    Re: Cheap laser level.

    I would always say its better to buy a BRANDED second hand one, such as Lecia or Topcon than a cheap new one.
    Therefore if you have any problems there are always companies to service or repair them, the cheap one may only have the option of going in the bin, 250 wasted then! And, more often than not you'll see them on eBay complete with tripod and staff so you have the whole kit.
    Branded will always be worth what you paid for it too!

  3. #3
    Dry Rot
    Guest

    Re: Cheap laser level.

    The neighbour uses a long length of plastic tubing. Put some water in it and you have the perfect level and a lot cheaper than 250!! Just an idea.

  4. #4
    Steevo
    Guest

    Re: Cheap laser level.

    4-5 years back I went through the same thinking when we were doing the base for a new grainstore. Started off thinking cheapo...ended up speaking to the experts at P R Engineering (http://www.laser-level.co.uk/). Budget kinda jumped up a bit and ended up buying a 500 auto level jobby.

    BEST MONEY I SPENT IN THE WHOLE BUILDING JOB!

    Put in on the stand, press the button to turn it on, it whizzes for a few seconds, levels itself and starts spinning. You can then be 100% confident that it's perfectly level - something i'd struggle to do with a manual one.
    Easily paid for itself in stone, concrete etc etc. not to mention worrying about levels etc.

    Only bought it for the one job but it's surprising how many times it's been out the box since for one thing and another. Rarely do a job with a digger that it doesn't get used.

  5. #5
    Courier
    Guest

    Re: Cheap laser level.

    If you still want a cheapie have a look at Chas Olson

    http://www.clasohlson.co.uk/Product/...x?id=164718876

    They have a dozen stores around the UK,including one on The Headrow, certainly easier to deal with repair issues than one from Ebay

    http://www.clasohlson.co.uk/About/Stores.aspx?id=327744

  6. #6
    Exfarmer
    Guest

    Re: Cheap laser level.

    be wary of Ebay ones they may not be the genuine

  7. #7
    lordbonville
    Guest

    Re: Cheap laser level.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steevo View Post
    4-5 years back I went through the same thinking when we were doing the base for a new grainstore. Started off thinking cheapo...ended up speaking to the experts at P R Engineering (http://www.laser-level.co.uk/). Budget kinda jumped up a bit and ended up buying a 500 auto level jobby.

    BEST MONEY I SPENT IN THE WHOLE BUILDING JOB!

    Put in on the stand, press the button to turn it on, it whizzes for a few seconds, levels itself and starts spinning. You can then be 100% confident that it's perfectly level - something i'd struggle to do with a manual one.
    Easily paid for itself in stone, concrete etc etc. not to mention worrying about levels etc.

    Only bought it for the one job but it's surprising how many times it's been out the box since for one thing and another. Rarely do a job with a digger that it doesn't get used.
    I got one from them. It's been problematic. It also is unreliable for a good level. We have laid foundations only to find out later that our level is out.
    My old engineers levels are much more reliable, just more work

  8. #8
    Dry Rot
    Guest

    Re: Cheap laser level.

    I've an old Quickset I bought 31 years ago. It doesn't whizz around and was s/h when I got it, but I can use it and it does the job. A good workman doesn't need all this fancy kit, though I could sometimes use someone to hold the staff! Whatever you get, just make sure you know how to check that it is working correctly.

  9. #9
    joe soapy
    Guest

    Re: Cheap laser level.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dry Rot View Post
    I've an old Quickset I bought 31 years ago. It doesn't whizz around and was s/h when I got it, but I can use it and it does the job. A good workman doesn't need all this fancy kit, though I could sometimes use someone to hold the staff! Whatever you get, just make sure you know how to check that it is working correctly.
    Will a cheap laser sag along the line

  10. #10
    Dry Rot
    Guest

    Re: Cheap laser level.

    Quote Originally Posted by joe soapy View Post
    Will a cheap laser sag along the line
    The important thing is to realise that errors occur and know how to check for them and adjust accordingly.

  11. #11
    lamplighter2
    Guest

    Re: Cheap laser level.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mo View Post
    Are these cheapo laser levels any good?

    We have a bit of building work, nothing huge to do over the next few years, and some short lengths of drainage to do. Don't want to be messing about hiring in so fancy a go at the 250 mark.

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/AUTOMATIC-...item2c60077583

    something like this, plus tripod and staff.
    got a very good one from elliots 160 including staff laser and tripod. when i get a chance will go in shed and look at make

  12. #12
    Courier
    Guest

    Re: Cheap laser level.

    Not a lot wrong with one of these really 20.00 "buy it now" ... not very sexy though.

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Cowley-lev...item3374a59801

  13. #13
    suffolksmallholder
    Guest

    Re: Cheap laser level.

    Off topic slightly but still a little bit of useful information.

    I have a Cowley level, in fact I have two, one at work and one on the smallholding. I prefer these to anything else because they cost very little and are just as accurate and probably less fiddly! The only downside may be distances but you may need a 500 laser to get that extra 20' where the Cowley will run out to 40' and still be 1/16" accurate. Fine for all drainage and footing work. The first Cowley was my grandfathers so I've had it a long time. They can be serviced too. Earlier silver models are best and they come in a lovely velvet lined leather box. You will need the tripod and staff too
    SS

  14. #14
    farfrae
    Guest

    Re: Cheap laser level.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dry Rot View Post
    The neighbour uses a long length of plastic tubing. Put some water in it and you have the perfect level and a lot cheaper than 250!! Just an idea.
    People told me to stay away from cheap laser levels as they are not accurate. So for a smallish shed I'm building I reverted to 'Blue Peter' technology. Plastic pipe, water and food colouring!


  15. #15
    kennyo
    Guest

    Re: Cheap laser level.

    Quote Originally Posted by suffolksmallholder View Post
    Off topic slightly but still a little bit of useful information.

    I have a Cowley level, in fact I have two, one at work and one on the smallholding. I prefer these to anything else because they cost very little and are just as accurate and probably less fiddly! The only downside may be distances but you may need a 500 laser to get that extra 20' where the Cowley will run out to 40' and still be 1/16" accurate. Fine for all drainage and footing work. The first Cowley was my grandfathers so I've had it a long time. They can be serviced too. Earlier silver models are best and they come in a lovely velvet lined leather box. You will need the tripod and staff too
    SS
    how do they work?

  16. #16
    TC
    Guest

    Re: Cheap laser level.

    Built a 40 x 35 sand arena with an old cowley - was far more accurate than one not too far away done with lasers. Think the operator has as much to do with the accuracy.
    BTW we needed 300t stone to give a 6" level the other one used nearer 1000t.

  17. #17
    suffolksmallholder
    Guest

    Re: Cheap laser level.

    Smoke and mirrors!

    Seriously, a Cowley is a metal box measuring 5 1/2"x 4 3/4"x 2" with a couple of mirrors inside, one is on a pendulum and I think there is a prism involved too. ( I must take one apart to see one day!) The mechanism is activated when the level is put onto the tripod spike. This releases it to operate and it then finds its level. You look through the site at your levelling staff and you will see one right- way-up image and one wrong-way-up image. these are then brought together by moving the cross-bar on the staff. This then is the datum level.
    So to get your fall you would take a level off a peg and then a measurement to the next peg. If you want a 1:40 fall you will have walked seven paces (along your trench or proposed line) which is roughly 20'. Raise the cross piece by 6" and get the level by gently tapping the peg in 'till the crosspiece is lined up in the site. Repeat again in seven paces and presto you have your fall. Experience will find you getting quicker
    My wife or children help at home with siting and I do the peg work.
    It is important to remember to remove the level from the tripod spike when you need to move. This then ensures the internal mechanism remains secure and accurate and not shaken about. It is a robust little piece of equipment but it needs to be treated with a little respect.
    75 overhaul is todays price.
    They seem to go for between 10 & 40 on ebay but you do need the tripod and some kind of staff with a 'crosspiece'. You could make something out of ali or wood and you need some kind of measurement on the back of this staff to enable you to work falls over distance.
    SS

  18. #18
    Panzer III
    Guest

    Re: Cheap laser level.

    Lasers can tell lies:

    Digger 'operator' who dug the foundations for the weigh bridge here made a royal cock up. I went for a gander at the site and it looked by eye to be really shallow at one end, by about 50cm. "Has to be right, laser says so" ...

    I took a look at his laser and the previous user had left it set for a 2 degree run - ******' idiot

    He rushed the correct level, while the concrete arrived and sat mixing. Turned the pour into a bloody nightmare.

    So, they're only as good as the muppet thats using it.

  19. #19
    Colhonk
    Guest

    Re: Cheap laser level.

    you need to price in the extra person required to walk about with the staff with a cowley level.

  20. #20
    nick
    Guest

    Re: Cheap laser level.

    i bought a self levelling laser level 9 years ago,paid about 800 for it as it will last the rest of my life,got it from builders equipment in norwich and was top of the range at the time.set up tripod and mount level and turn on.all self levelling.easy for me to use by myself also germain built.i have old school builder customers who dont trust them and when levelling pegs they go round with a spirit level afterwards to "check".had a builder with a cowley and they are a bugger to get level in both directions by altering tripod.last bungalow he done before retirement he managed to get level 2 couses of bricks out from front to back corner.brickies loved sorting that one.in my opinion self levelling lasers are the best for one man to use by himself but they should be calibrated from time to time
    nick.....

  21. #21
    massey765
    Guest

    Re: Cheap laser level.

    wots the best for drians, so as to get fall , i do a bit of field drainage and could do with a one man system ,only used a laser for building work where stantions and footings wus level

  22. #22
    extremed
    Guest

    Re: Cheap laser level.

    i've the same question as massey765,what sort of price is one that will work out fall and also seen people use them on the digger arm,is this more expensive?

  23. #23
    Gee
    Guest

    Exclamation Re: Cheap laser level.

    Quote Originally Posted by nick View Post
    i bought a self levelling laser level 9 years ago,paid about 800 for it as it will last the rest of my life,got it from builders equipment in norwich and was top of the range at the time.set up tripod and mount level and turn on.all self levelling.easy for me to use by myself also germain built.i have old school builder customers who dont trust them and when levelling pegs they go round with a spirit level afterwards to "check".had a builder with a cowley and they are a bugger to get level in both directions by altering tripod.last bungalow he done before retirement he managed to get level 2 couses of bricks out from front to back corner.brickies loved sorting that one.in my opinion self levelling lasers are the best for one man to use by himself but they should be calibrated from time to time
    nick.....
    +1
    Rent a rotary laser and try it.

  24. #24
    btd-6
    Guest

    Re: Cheap laser level.

    I decided to buy this laser transmitter after some research, for the drainage work we do. http://www.mastenbroek.com/Trimble%20GL722.htm

    We easily work out achievable grades from long distances using the remote control unit. It's a very useful piece of kit, although unfortunately they aint what you would call cheap.

    We have a Trimble CR 600 receiver that magnetizes to the dipper arm on the digger, and a larger Trimble LR 21 receiver that controls the trencher. These work in co with the transmitter.

  25. #25
    mbsrhol
    Guest

    Re: Cheap laser level.

    Quote Originally Posted by massey765 View Post
    wots the best for drians, so as to get fall , i do a bit of field drainage and could do with a one man system ,only used a laser for building work where stantions and footings wus level
    I've got a topcon with a manual grade setting, it does the job nicely.

  26. #26
    Watty
    Guest

    Re: Cheap laser level.

    Have used them a fair bit and it really depends over what distance and what degree of accuracy you are after.

    If the unit is set up correctly, the beam is always level. Depending on the power of the unit the dot will become increasing larger and the edges less defined over distance ie if you put a measuring stick with a tape attached to it close to the laser you would be able to read millimetre accurate readings. If you then went 30m away with the same stick and tape you would find you had a wide red band on the tape and would find it difficult to plot an equally accurate reading. If you are happy with this level of accuracy then you are fine. If you are not then you need to either pay more for a more powerful unit or switch to the water method (U tube manometer) the accuracy of which remains undiminished over distance

  27. #27
    devils advocate
    Guest

    Re: Cheap laser level.

    Quote Originally Posted by farfrae View Post
    People told me to stay away from cheap laser levels as they are not accurate. So for a smallish shed I'm building I reverted to 'Blue Peter' technology. Plastic pipe, water and food colouring!

    Please explain that a little more.

    Do you have a central sump & walk around with the pipe?

    I know cathedrials were built with such technogoly.

    Have some very good blue die in stock

  28. #28
    Gee
    Guest

    Re: Cheap laser level.

    Length of clear plastic pipe long enough to reach all areas that you want to level from your chosen datum point.
    Tie first end to post at Datum point, hold other end along side first and fill with coloured liquid, until liquid reaches Datum point.
    then wherever you take second end on site and allow liquid to find its level will be level.
    Ensure no liquid escapes and there are no bubbles.
    In theory!!!!!

  29. #29
    farfrae
    Guest

    Re: Cheap laser level.

    Quote Originally Posted by devils advocate View Post
    Please explain that a little more.
    Well you wouldn't want to use it for commercial or big jobs but for smaller 'one offs' it can be surprisingly accurate.

    More info

    http://www.deckmagazine.com/article/64.html

  30. #30
    devils advocate
    Guest

    Re: Cheap laser level.

    Quote Originally Posted by farfrae View Post
    Well you wouldn't want to use it for commercial or big jobs but for smaller 'one offs' it can be surprisingly accurate.

    More info

    http://www.deckmagazine.com/article/64.html
    Thanks was thinking of the pad I'm levelling off for the bumper crop of haylage bales. Scraped the soil off then filling in with stone off the fields, topped off with road planing & then sand.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •