Laser Levels For Bricklaying: What To Look For

The pros may make bricklaying look easy, but constructing even the smallest brick wall or outbuilding requires a lot of skill, patience and concentration. Labour-saving devices can be useful for both professional and DIY bricklaying tasks, and many bricklayers have come to rely on laser levels to level and plumb their footings and courses.

If you are looking for a laser level for your next bricklaying project, it's important to choose the right level for the job. Some basic levels are practically useless for bricklaying. Here are three features you should look for when choosing a laser level for bricklaying:

Rotary Functionality

Basic laser levels work on a linear plane and project a straight line across a two-dimensional axis. These levels have their uses, but if you want a more versatile level ideal for bricklaying tasks, invest in a rotary laser level.

These levels are placed in the centre of a work site, and use a spinning laser beam to project a straight, level line across 360 degrees. They are perfect for four-sided construction work, allowing you to ensure that every side of a new building is level from the ground up. 

Self Levelling

Cheaper, manual laser levels take a fair amount of time and finesse to set up properly, and will not project a truly level laser line until they have been properly calibrated. This can be difficult if you are working on a largely unpaved surface or a relatively steep gradient, so manual laser levels are less than ideal for a lot of outdoor bricklaying tasks.

You can use an adjustable tripod to make calibrating a manual laser level easier, but a better option is to choose a self-levelling model. These laser levels are fitted with internal motors and gyroscopes, and can automatically generate a horizon-level line, no matter how uneven the terrain. They are perfect for bricklayers working on retaining walls, decorative landscaping brickwork and other brick structures constructed on unpaved ground.

Laser Detectors

Because most bricklaying tasks are outdoor jobs, it can be difficult to see the beam or dot projected by the level in broad daylight. Some laser levels use green lasers, which are easier to see in daylight conditions, but these can still be difficult to use in very bright, sunny locations.

Laser detectors are a better option for working in daylight conditions, and come packaged with many laser level models. These devices can be held up to partially constructed walls or footings, and give an auditory or visual signal when they detect a properly calibrated laser line. 

Using laser detectors with your laser level will also extend the useful range of your level. Because lasers dissipate over long distances, the lasers projected by some models can be impossible to detect with the naked eye at extended ranges, but these dissipated lasers can still be sensed by detectors. This can be very useful for larger bricklaying projects such as home construction.