Roger Bisby: Levelling Up with Leica

Roger Bisby: Levelling Up with Leica

At one time a laser level was something you saved up for but there are now so many sub £100 laser levels around that you might not think it is worth looking at one which sits a little over that magic price barrier.

But there is one simple reason, above all others, that makes this level worth a closer look, and that is accuracy. My mantra throughout my working life has been “a level that isn’t level is not a level – it’s a liability.” Reaching the end of a job and realising that it is out of level or plumb is not a good feeling.

It can cost you time and money to put right and it is also likely to get you talked about in all the wrong ways.

You might assume that all levels with a recognised brand name stamped on them are going to be there or thereabouts – what we might call ‘within an acceptable tolerances’ – but that is a false assumption.

I have been checking out specifications on a number of levels under £100 and it surprised me that some levels give a plus or minus tolerance of 8mm over their range of 15 metres.

That is a jump up on a tile grout line and a trip hazard at a threshold. You would also notice it on a run of kitchen wall units if the splashback was tiled.

This Leica Lino 2 cross line laser is said to be best in class for accuracy and the high build quality means that, with reasonable love and care, it has a better chance of staying that way.

The comfortable working range of this laser in dull light is around 15m, but it is also compatible with a Leica finder that can be purchased separately. Like most lasers of this type this is self-levelling and the pendulum can be locked to allow it to be used for running pitches or falls on patios etc.

It is important with all lasers to lock them when you are moving them around because the pendulum which ensures the self-levelling accuracy is tiny and delicate.

In the kit you get a mini tripod for placing on a worktop or table and it is also magnetic, so you can attach it to any metal surface such as a steel beam.

You can also screw the level into a standard ¼ in. tripod. It comes in a padded zip up bag with a belt loop which is good for setting out suspended ceilings.

The operation is very simple with an on/off switch, a locking slide and a brightness control which saves battery. The casing is rated IP 54, so you can use it in light rain and it keeps out dust.

The final thing that strikes me is that this level is not much bigger than an 8 metre tape measure.

For further information on Leica click here.

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