Adding the Best Laser Level to Our Toolbox

We purchased bare land two years ago and since we’re developing our debt-free home (check out our timber frame home plans) from the ground up, a laser level is something we’ve needed for a long time. We’ve been going back and forth on whether or not to buy one new but we finally bit the bullet and bought the best laser level for our needs!

The Problem With Buying a Used Laser Level

First off, as with most tools on this property, we tried to buy used. For the past couple of years, we’ve had a saved search on Craigslist for a laser level. Once upon a time, we even tried to go look at one two hours away but the lady was a flake and stood us up. Luckily, we had other errands to run in the area.

After seeing many listings come up, there was one thing in common with them all: they were in great condition, only slightly used, but barely had a cost reduction.

We figured it was way safer to buy a brand new one to protect our investment.

If we were only going to save $100 buy buying used, then it wasn’t worth the risk because there was a chance the laser level was dropped or something.

And, in all honesty, for such a precision instrument, buying new really does seem the way to go, all things considered.

A low-quality or damaged laser level could cost you THOUSANDS upon THOUSANDS of dollars in the end, not to mention, a less than ideal structure.

The Problem With Cheap Laser Levels

When we were trying to build our hot tub and hot tub deck, we were trying to use a string level when we said “Screw this, we’re buying a laser level!”

We ran to Home Depot and bought a $100 laser level. We did look at the expensive ones but since money was tight at the time, we didn’t feel we could justify it.

Long story short, the laser level was complete garbage. Over just 16′ or so, the laser level was 4″ off or so. Not okay.

Check out our unboxing of that laser level, but PLEASE DON’T BUY it! You have been warned!

The BEST Laser Level for Our Needs

So, what is the best laser level? It really depends on your needs!

We chose to buy a laser level that was brand-name and that was reputable. A Bosch.

There are many different Bosch laser level kits (this is the one we bought). We will go into more detail on why we bought this exact kit at a later point (I need Jesse’s help for that portion of the post!), but for now, please enjoy the explanation in our unboxing video!

We’ll update this post later with more information on this laser level, our experience, and about laser levels in general so stay tuned!

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I am an aspiring homesteader on a journey to become self-sustainable and free. In my past, I've worked corporate jobs to make ends meet and get ahead a little; it didn't make me happy or confident in my future. Since taking the leap to self-employment and living a more simple life, my happiness levels have increased greatly and I've never felt more alive. I finally understand what I want in life and how to get there, and that is what this blog is all about.

Comments

  1. Steve says

    Been watching your YouTube videos for awhile now. I’m so excited for you guys too get to the foundation pouring phase. Can’t wait to see the house framing start.

    Awsome job!

  2. Jim says

    I know it is pretty primitive, but would a stretched string have shone up the high spot on the west footing of your first pour? And how do you go about leveling it? grinding it down? That sounds like a lot of fun.

    jim

  3. Colin Kapaska says

    As I watch and consume your videos and information, I was amused and pleased at the same time to see your review of a Bosch product. I currently work at BOSCH in Charleston, South Carolina.

  4. says

    The odds are very low that they (Jesse & Alyssa) will read this comment. And the odds are even lower that they will follow the advice. The advice is even not related to the post I am replying to. I could not find their email address. So, here is the advice.

    Based on the last video (Sunday09/10/17) they are really close to building the SLAB in their future garage. Their videos trails by 5-8 days the reality on the ground. So, my advice is:
    The floor in the garage should not be horizontal. It should be slightly lower at the entrance to the garage.

    Why?

    If , for any reason, a water leak happen, water should naturally leave building based on gravity.

  5. says

    The odds are very low that they (Jesse & Alyssa) will read this comment. And the odds are even lower that they will follow the advice. The advice is even not related to the post I am replying to. I could not find their email address. So, here is the advice.

    Based on the last video (Sunday09/10/17) they are really close to building the SLAB in their future garage. Their videos trails by 5-8 days the reality on the ground. So, my advice is:
    The floor in the garage should not be horizontal. It should be slightly lower at the entrance to the garage.

    Why?

    If for any reason, a water leak happens, water should naturally leave building based on gravity.

  6. Ben Glenn says

    Just watched your fire wood at night. I laughed out loud. You two are awesome. I have watch every video so far. We are kinda homesteading it. Building a container house, greenhouse/chicken coop, small farm kinda thing. Any who, love watching the both of you and what you do.

  7. Daniel Richardson says

    I do surveying and construction layout for a living and I think you guys made a pretty good choice with the Bosch. I’ve used a LOT of different brands and it seems like either you find a really nice laser or a really nice receiver, but rarely two great ones. Not that you guys are in the market, but for the sake of others, my favorite laser is the Leica Rugby 55. It sips power. I had one go 6 full days on a charge. Favorite receiver, which will work with the Leica, is a Topcon 80 series.

    My wife and I bought 17 acres in Colorado a couple years ago and the house planning/saving has been slow, but we will start construction this Spring(Lord willing). We just finished a small cabin to at least have some shelter while we’re working on the house. A few lessons learned that might help you. First, I vastly underestimated the amount of time it took to pick and haul materials. Our property is only 30 minutes from all the conveniences of civilization, but that feels like FOREVER when you misplaced the drill bits and have to get more. Do whatever you can to not forget something minor in town, but my bet is that you will. Try not to flip out for morale’s sake. My Lowe’s had a broken truck when I needed delivery and I ended up making three trips with a rented Home Depot truck for just our little cabin. All the nails and screws and little things can really explode the budget. It is HARD starting from nothing! Second, don’t build any walls that you intend to tilt-up that you can’t, you know, actually pick up. Seems like common sense, but I made the mistake of building a ~1000 lb wall that me and my wife couldn’t tilt-up without another non-existent helper. MacGuyvering saved the day, but not without almost breaking my wife’s finger. Third, observe a Sabbath day. Every time we tried to push forward without taking one(I work full-time and she works part-time) we absolutely regretted it and didn’t get much done to boot. Forth, get some pneumatic tools from the get-go. They are durable and a good value. You don’t need a huge compressor(6 gallon), but get a framing nailer at the very least. I don’t know what you’re planning on building, but for God’s sake, don’t go with a log cabin. They are pretty and romantic, but end up not being practical for various reasons compared to modern framing methods. Don’t get me wrong, I hate framing(I do mostly concrete and masonry for a living), but modern platform framing is easier to build, insulate, and run utilities in than a log cabin. Hopefully this info will be useful to you or someone else. Wishing you guys the very best!

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