How to Use a Rotary Laser Level

Laser Level
J Rodriguez

Rotary laser levels are one of the most useful tools available to complete earthworks or gradings. These type of levels will provide a 360-degree reference level that will facilitate the performance of the job. It is not only used on-site work, as it might be used on many other applications that will require precision and accuracy. There are many models available that can be matched according to your needs

How Rotary Laser Level Works

A rotary laser level produces a laser beam line that rotates 360 degrees. This equipment needs to be level, although there are also automatic leveling types, and be used in conjunction with a laser detector. Depending on your needs, some of these models will be equipped with plumb-up or plumb-down beams, variable rotation speed, fixed rotations speed and be manufactured with different levels of accuracy.

If you are using the equipment that needs to be leveled, be careful that no equipment or worker hits the level causing changes in the referenced elevation.

However, it is important to highlight that even the auto-leveling lasers will be shut down when they receive a big impact or a sudden movement is detected in the rotary laser level that causes a difference greater than 5 percent. Any bump or movement caused to an auto-leveling laser level that's greater than about 5 percent will cause the laser to blink or shut off, alerting the user it's no longer able to auto-level itself.

Level Applications

Some of the most common application on which a rotary laser level can be used are:

Interior Work

These types of levels can be installed on walls or ceilings and no laser detector will be required. They can be used outdoors only if used in conjunction with the laser detector. They can be operated by remote control. A human eye is not able to detect the laser line in a clear day, thus the importance of using the detector.

Exterior Work

These are very similar to the interior ones, but will be mounted over a tripod and will contain a grade rod, on which you will attach the laser detector. When the laser detector is used, the range of the laser level can be doubled. There are green beam laser levels and red beam lasers, so be sure to get the right laser detector, otherwise, it won't work.

Grade Types

The rotary laser level with grade match is somewhat sophisticated as it has the ability to tilt the desired grade. It will allow the user to tilt until it reaches the existing grade or the elevation that has been set on your grade rod.

The Auto-Level feature disables itself if you are out of level and are doing a grade function. Some of these laser levels will have the availability to track two different grades at the same time, horizontal and vertically.

There is also the rotary laser level with grade entry. On this one, the user will need to enter the desired grade into the laser control panel. This will add some additional cost to the equipment but can be very useful and convenient.