How to Calibrate a Rotary Laser Level

rotary laser level on tripod outside house with person in the background
  • 1-2 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 0-500
What You'll Need
Rotary laser level
Flat head tripod
Carpenters level

A rotary laser level is a very valuable construction work tool to help carpenters in leveling their projects according to their blueprint computations. It helps construction workers measure accurately the levels from wall to wall or even the floor to the ceiling.

Purchasing your own rotary laser level can be a very good investment, and you must also know how to calibrate your level in cases where there is some discrepancy in the factory’s default calibration with your own system of standards. It's also very important to determine the calibration after you receive your rotary laser level from mail or if it has been accidentally dropped. So here’s how you can calibrate your rotary laser level properly.

Step 1 - Set-Up All Equipment

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Place the tripod at least 100 feet from the wall or pole. Level the tripod’s head carefully using the carpenter’s level and the tripod’s legs. Then secure the rotary laser level on the tripod, screwing the laser’s base properly. Level the rotary laser with the screws. Leveling is usually done for the L4, L4+ and L5 Servo models. The L1-AS and L6 do not necessarily need to be leveled, as these will automatically level once they are turned on. However, if the tripod has been leveled properly, the laser will be able to rotate 360 degrees on the tripod with only a few adjustments.

Step 2 - Manipulate the Laser

Turn the laser towards the target (wall or pole). If you have the L4, L4+ or L5 model, the laser is at the side portion with the control panel and is found on the inclined portion of the main casing for the L1-AS model.

Step 3 - Turn on the Device

Turn on the laser. Go to the wall or pole target bringing the laser detector with you. Take off the clamps. The detector will then give a signal. Then you will mark the target with +X with the use of the marking notch.

Step 4 - Repeat at 180°

Rotate the laser at 180°. Making sure that the laser is within the same level, repeat the same process, and make a marking with the detector. This time, mark it with –X. You will notice that the rotary laser level will need to be calibrated if the markings are not on the same level. Therefore, the center point between +X and –X will be the true level. This should not be more than is ±1/8th inch or ±1/16th inch from the center point if the specified accuracy of the rotary laser level is ±1/8th inch or ±1/16th inch.

Step 5 - Rotate at 90º

Finally, move the laser on the third side at 90º, still pointing at the target wall or pole. Check whether the laser is still within the level. Using the detector again, mark the target and label it with +Y. This distance from the true mark made a while ago should be that distance specified in your laser’s accuracy.

Step 6 - Manipulate the Adjuster Knob

If after moving the level to the different degrees of rotation (back and sides) and the laser does not hit the target, try to adjust the adjuster knob at the end of the level vial. Then assess again and re-adjust if you have to.

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