Last updated: August 5, 2021

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Cross-line lasers are a great help in craft activities. Few crafts can do without a cross-line laser and it is also a welcome aid among hobbyists. Unlike other measuring tools such as spirit levels, the cross-line laser enables a very precise execution of the most diverse craft activities. The use of a cross-line laser is always worthwhile, no matter whether you want to lay tiles, paint or mount wall cabinets.

With our large cross line laser test 2021 we want to support you in choosing the perfect laser for you. We have compared different cross line lasers and filtered out the best in their class for you to make your decision as easy as possible.




Summary

  • The cross line laser is a modern alternative to the conventional spirit level. It simplifies a number of crafts and is helpful when you need a 90 degree angle. Your work will be much more precise and easier to do.
  • There are a number of different cross line lasers. They differ in their features and number of additional functions. The only extra function that is recommended for everyone is self-levelling. A tilt function or optional plumb points can still be included if required.
  • Both professionals and do-it-yourselfers achieve very precise results with the cross-line laser when painting, laying tiles or fitting wall cabinets.

The Best Cross Line Laser: Our Choices

Buying and evaluation criteria for cross line lasers

In the following, we will go into the aspects you should consider when choosing the right cross line laser for you. The criteria that you can use to compare cross line lasers with each other include:

In the following, we explain what the criteria mentioned are and why they are important for your selection.

Distance spectrum

The distance spectrum is one of the most important criteria for your decision. It indicates the range of the laser beams. Accordingly, you should think carefully about the distance at which you will work with the cross line laser. Generally, a range of 10 metres is considered the minimum range to enable meaningful work.

Below 10 metres, the cross line laser will be in your way and you will probably not achieve your desired measurement results. With a working range of 15 metres, you can already do the majority of all tasks without any problems. Some higher-priced devices can even achieve ranges of up to 30 metres.

However, you can also achieve these ranges with additional accessories, such as a receiver. This is often the cheaper alternative.

You should also bear in mind that poor lighting conditions can have a negative effect on the laser range. In this case, a standard model with a short range may have problems. The measurable distance will be reduced by several metres and you will not be able to work as desired.

Accuracy

In addition to the distance range, you should pay attention to the accuracy of the cross line laser. More precisely, the levelling accuracy. The levelling accuracy indicates the horizontal and vertical deviation.

The deviation always refers to a distance of 10 metres. This information can vary greatly between different manufacturers and models. Accordingly, you should pay particular attention to this criterion.

Basically, the smaller the specified deviation, the better your final result. You should make sure that the specified deviation does not exceed 5 millimetres over 10 metres.

Any deviation over 5 millimetres at 10 metres is visible to the human eye. Standard cross line lasers from proven manufacturers usually have a deviation of about 2 to 5 millimetres per 10 metres. Cross line lasers with even smaller deviations are also available for a clearly perceptible surcharge.

Suitability for application

Before buying a cross line laser, you should be aware of the intended area of application. Above all, pay attention to the laser colour and IP protection class. Cross line lasers are available in red and green. Functionally, the colour of the laser has no effect. However, green lasers are much more visible to the human eye in bright environments.

This can be a big advantage if you want to use your cross line laser outdoors.

Laser colour or IP protection class are good indicators for the optimal application of your cross line laser.

If you want to use the cross line laser in particularly dirty or humid environments, the IP protection class should be an important criterion for you.

The IP protection class indicates how well the electronic measuring device is protected against dust, water and contact. Most cross line lasers have an IP54 rating. This includes protection against dust, contact and splashing water. If you want your cross line laser to be fully waterproof, then lasers with IP57 or IP58 are the best choice.

Battery / Battery capacity

As already mentioned, cross line lasers are often used outdoors or on construction sites. Accordingly, the cross line laser should be as mobile as possible. A battery-powered laser is much easier to use and enables good mobility.

Corded cross line lasers do not have this advantage and are avoidable trip hazards. Battery-powered cross-line lasers are an alternative, but the battery is much more environmentally friendly. Apart from the environmental aspect, the battery-powered versions are just as good.

Make sure to choose a cross-line laser with as high a battery capacity as possible to prevent breakdowns during use. The battery should be replaceable. That way you can always take spare batteries with you and change them when needed.

Weight

If you plan to use your cross line laser frequently and carry it with you almost every day, then you should pay attention to the weight. The majority of cross line lasers weigh around 500 grams.

At first glance, this does not seem like a lot. However, there are also devices that weigh only about half as much. This can pay off with intensive use. If you already know that you will rarely use your cross line laser, you can neglect this criterion.

Decision: What types of cross-line lasers are there and which one is right for me?

If you want to buy a cross-line laser, there are four types of products you can choose from. The main difference between the product types is that they have different numbers of additional functions.

Type Advantages Disadvantages
Manual cross line laser Very reasonably priced, can be tilted as required, easy to use Imprecise, time-consuming, additional tools are required
Cross line laser with self-levelling Good value for money, very precise, easy to use Cannot be tilted, unusable on sloping surfaces
Cross line laser with plumb function Very precise, optimal room division possible, time-saving More complicated operation, unusable on very sloping surfaces, significant surcharge
Cross line laser with tilt function Sloping surfaces are no problem, work on the diagonal possible More complicated operation, significant surcharge

If you would like to learn more about the different types of cross line lasers, please read the following 5 sections.

Manual cross line laser

Manual cross line laser

A manual cross line laser is the basic version. It is the cheapest, but also offers the least features. The only function of the manual cross line laser is that it can project a laser cross onto a surface. This cross must now be balanced by hand. A spirit level is needed for alignment.

A manual cross line laser has the disadvantage that a lot of time is needed for manual alignment. In addition, further equipment is needed, without which the manual cross line laser is useless. Precise work is almost impossible with the manual cross line laser and requires a high degree of patience.

Advantages
  • very reasonably priced
  • with a lot of patience when aligning, good results
Disadvantages
  • very inaccurate
  • time-consuming
  • aids needed

Unfortunately, the manual cross line laser has no advantages apart from the price and should only be considered if you want to use the cross line laser only rarely and you can do without precision.

Cross Line lasers with self-levelling

Cross line lasers with self-levelling

The advantage of a cross line laser with self-levelling compared to a manual cross line laser is that it aligns itself independently. The projected laser cross is therefore already almost perfectly aligned and you can start directly with your actual work.

Even uneven surfaces are no problem. The price of a self-levelling cross line laser is higher than that of a cross laser, but still affordable for hobbyists.

Advantages
  • Time-saving
  • very precise
  • good price-performance ratio
Disadvantages
  • no tilt function
  • unusable on very sloping surfaces

A cross-line laser with self-levelling saves time because it is no longer necessary to use a spirit level for alignment. It is also much easier and more convenient to use. The results that can be achieved with a self-levelling cross line laser are very professional due to the small deviations. In summary, the self-levelling cross line laser is a very helpful tool with clear advantages over the manual cross line laser and a good price-performance ratio.

Cross line laser with plumb function

Cross line laser with plumb function

A cross line laser with plumb function offers the possibility to project a plumb point on the ceiling as well as on the floor. This function enables, for example, the central mounting of a ceiling lamp or is used for the construction of drywall.

Although an integrated plumb function of your cross line laser enables a precise division of the room, it is also another function that makes the use of the cross line laser more difficult for non-professionals.

Advantages
  • very precise
  • optimal room division possible
  • time-saving
Disadvantages
  • more complicated operation
  • unusable on very sloping surfaces
  • significant surcharge

Otherwise, the cross-line laser with plumb function offers the same functions as the cross-line laser with self-levelling. You should therefore think carefully about whether you need this additional function and are prepared to pay the extra price.

Cross line laser with tilt function

Cross line laser with tilt function

The additional tilt function of the cross line laser enables you to work diagonally. The tilt function is a function that is only necessary for self-levelling cross line lasers. Manual cross line lasers can already be tilted as desired because they do not align themselves.

Accordingly, a cross line laser is only a self-levelling cross line laser for which you can switch off the self-levelling function. Such a function can be particularly useful for laying tiles, creating staircases or painting work. A cross-line laser with a tilt function can therefore be very interesting for both professionals and hobbyists.

Advantages
  • sloping surfaces are no problem
  • working on the diagonal is possible
Disadvantages
  • more complicated operation
  • significant surcharge

If you really need such a tilt function, the higher price is certainly a good investment.

Guide: Frequently asked questions about cross line lasers answered in detail

In the following guide, we would like to answer the most important questions about cross line lasers. We have compiled some questions for you and will answer them shortly. After reading this guide, you will know almost everything you need to know about cross line lasers and will hopefully have no more unanswered questions.

What is a cross line laser?

A cross line laser projects a vertical and a horizontal line at right angles to each other onto a flat surface. These lines form a cross, which enables exact plumbing, alignment and measuring and thus facilitates many handicraft tasks. Cross line lasers are usually battery-operated and have a range of 10 to 15 metres.

Shorter ranges make working with cross-line lasers ineffective. In addition, cross line lasers are much more precise than spirit levels and can replace them. Cross line lasers are available in many different versions with various additional functions. Possible additional function:

  • Tilt function
  • Plumb function
  • Green instead of red laser
  • Self-levelling

Professional cross line lasers can combine all these functions and thus reach prices of over 1000 euros.

Why should I make sure that my cross line laser is self-levelling?

Self-levelling cross line lasers have the advantage that they can align themselves. Manual cross line lasers do not have this function and have to be aligned manually. As a result, manual cross line lasers often have large, visible deviations.

With self-levelling cross-line lasers, only minimal deviations are the rule.

It follows that self-levelling cross-line lasers deliver better results and are easier to handle.

When is a cross-line laser used?

Cross line lasers are always used when you need a 90 degree angle and are measuring or plumbing something. This is usually the case for manual work. Craft activities that require the use of a cross line laser:

  • Painting work
  • Laying tiles
  • Erecting drywall
  • Fitting wall cupboards or shelves
  • Creating staircases

Kreuzlinienlaser-1

As a painter, you are often dependent on a cross-line laser. You can achieve exact results almost exclusively with a high-quality cross-line laser.
(Image source: jarmoluk / pixabay)

The cross-line laser is popular with professionals as well as hobby craftsmen.

What is the minimum distance range my cross line laser should cover?

The working range of your cross line laser should cover at least 10 metres. Smaller ranges can cause the cross line laser to get in the way of your work.
The working range of your cross line laser should cover at least 10 metres.

If you want to measure warehouses, for example, you need a cross-line laser with a long range. An alternative option is to purchase additional equipment.

With the help of a receiver, longer distances can be covered even with a standard cross-line laser. Very bright lighting conditions can severely limit the range of your cross line laser. This can be counteracted with additional equipment, a cross line laser with a green laser beam or a very high-quality cross line laser.

What does a cross line laser cost?

The price of different cross line lasers can vary greatly depending on the equipment and manufacturer. There are entry-level models that are available for as little as 20 euros. These have only a few functions and often the quality also suffers from the price.
Type price in euros
Manual cross line lasers from 20
Cross line lasers with self-levelling circa 50-200
Cross line lasers with tilt or plumb function circa 50-300
Professional cross line lasers from 500

As you can see from the table, there are also professional cross line lasers that can quickly cost over 1000 Euros. The average price of a good cross-line laser is around 75 to 150 euros.

What are the alternatives to a cross line laser?

The classic alternative to a cross-line laser is the spirit level. It clearly loses the comparison with a cross-line laser, as it would never deliver a similarly exact result as a cross-line laser.
Alternative How it works
Spirit level The spirit level is the classic and manual method for measuring 90 degree angles. It is a very cheap alternative, but cannot compete with the precision of a cross-line laser
Rotating lasers Rotating lasers are suitable for outdoor use because they have a greater range and better visibility.

There are also other alternative construction lasers.

The rotating laser is one of them. The choice depends on the area of application. For example, a rotating laser is better suited for outdoors and a cross-line laser for indoors.

Where is the best place to set up my cross line laser?

Both a manual and a self-levelling cross line laser should be placed on a level surface. Otherwise, with manual lasers you will have to invest a lot of time afterwards in adjusting and aligning your laser cross.
Both manual and self-levelling cross line lasers should be set up on a level surface.

Self-levelling cross line lasers can become completely unusable if the surface is too uneven, as the self-levelling will not work. There are tripods and mounts that prevent this problem.

This makes it possible to mount a cross-line laser in almost any location. In addition, you should not place your cross line laser too close to the surface on which the cross is projected. Otherwise, the cross line laser may get in the way of your work.

Is a cross line laser suitable for outdoor use?

There is no universal answer to this question. There are cross line lasers that are suitable for outdoor use as well as those that are not. One indicator of outdoor suitability is the IP protection class. The IP protection class indicates the degree to which the electronic measuring device is protected against dust and water.

An IP protection class of IP54 is the norm for commercially available cross line lasers. These are protected against dust and splash water and are therefore suitable for outdoor use to a limited extent.

Kreuzlinienlaser-2

It can often get very dirty and damp on a construction site or outdoors. Therefore, you should make sure that your cross-line laser is sufficiently protected against external influences.
(Image source: Białasiewicz/ 123rf.com)

If you want better protection, you should look for devices with a higher IP protection class. These are available at an extra cost.

What do I do if my cross-line laser is inaccurate?

If your cross line laser is inaccurate, you have to readjust it manually. Bosch offers a calibration service for this. You can find details in the operating instructions or on the manufacturer's website. You can also find many helpful entries in online forums on the subject of DIY.

Is a cross-line laser suitable for tiling?

A cross-line laser is very suitable for tiling. The cross projected onto the wall can be used as a starting point for your first tile. In addition, you can check with the cross line laser during tiling whether you are still adhering to the 90 degree angle and obtain a clean result.

You can also use a cross-line laser for laying diagonal tiles. However, you should make sure that you use a cross line laser with a tilt function. A manual cross-line laser without a tilt function can also be used for laying diagonal tiles, as you can tilt it as you wish.

Kreuzlinienlaser-3

A cross-line laser can be used to achieve perfect 90 degree angles when tiling. For large projects like the one shown in the picture, a cross-line laser is a must.
(Image source: Zbysiu Rodak / Unsplash)

Image source: ????????/ 123rf.com

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