Bosch Laser level, GPL5S. (SKU 1000010441) from Home Depot. This product was supplied by Home Depot through the SEEDs evaluation program.
The Laser level is about 4.0 inches long, and about 1.6 inch wide, and 3.0 inch high. The level with batteries weights about 8.8 oz. (Without the adapter base attached) The laser level is powered by three AA batteries, comes with a carrying case that will fasten to a belt for carrying. There is also a mounting base that screws onto the base of the Laser level. The mounting base is a adapter, that has magnets, and slots for a mounting strap. This adapter can be used to attach the level to different surfaces for setting up a reference beams. They also supply a target plate for in spotting any of the five beams. The Laser level projects five beams, covering three planes, X,Y, and Z. There is a slide switch that turns on the laser, as well as locks the beam mirror optics from moving when in the off position. On the bottom side there is a threaded hole for a 1/4-20 screw, so that the level can be used with a standard camera tripod. The laser level is designed to be “self-leveling”, that is the five beams are projected from a reflector assembly that is suspended inside the laser housing like a pendulum. The Bosch laser level carries a two year Warranty.
The level is designed to be used as a reference for construction projects. When installing walls and partitions, or any object that needs to be level, square to another object, or perpendicular to floor plane. I have used these levels for installing cabinets, and shelves, and for aligning pictures on a wall.
The user manual goes into detail about how to check the calibration of the level, and how to adjust it if needed. I haven’t seen this type of detail in other product manuals, nice of Bosch to include this information. I did run a quick check of the calibration based on the information in the manual, and found this unit to be calibrated right on. The level seems to perform quite well. The only thing that I found amiss, was the adapter base that comes with the laser level. The one I received was not flat on the bottom, so if it was attached to the laser level, and placed on a flat surface, the whole level would “wobble” like a chair with one leg too short. Investigating this, revealed that the adapter was constructed of two plastic halves, that when assembled, they did not line up flush on the bottom and top sides. This produced a offset at one end of the assembly.
The “bottom” of the laser level assembly without the adapter attached was fine.
Observations; The easiest way to make use of these type of levels is to use them with a tripod. There are 1/4-20 threaded mounting holes in both the level assembly, and the adapter attachment, which attaches to the base of the laser with a 1/4-20 screw. In use, the laser beam spot does diverge as the distance from the level increases. At about 35 feet I noted a beam spot size of about 1/2 inch. If projected out to a 100 feet this would probably be about 1.5 inches. I would have liked to have seen a smaller beam spot, no more than 1/2 at 100 feet. In cases like this, you would have to estimate the center of the beam for your measurements. The manual spec’s the maximum calibration deviation to be 9/16” at 78 feet from the laser. So, if your beam spot is as large at the calibration limits, there is some question as to what the real accuracy is. In actual use, I would suggest that the center of the spot would be the most accurate to measure to. Better collimation of the laser beam would help.
As with any alignment laser tool, when used under brightly lit conditions the laser beam, or spot is very hard to see. To aid with using this this level under these conditions a target plate is included with the level. The target plate has magnets to allow it to be placed on steel framing studs or other metallic locations. This would be handy in aligning metal stud partitions. There is also a strap that is included to be used with the adapter base, so that the laser could be mounted on odd shaped objects, such as pipes, or wood posts.
Except for the two items I noted above, the laser level seems to perform quite well. I hope this information is helpful.
Easy to Use, Good Size & Weight, Light Weight, good warranty, self leveling
beam spot could be smaller, adapter base not flat