How to set up laser levels to establish grades

Written by evelyn fielding
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How to set up laser levels to establish grades
Set up your laser level carefully so it's accurate. (Laser Entfernungsmesser image by Otmar Smit from

Laser levels, sometimes called laser transits or optical builder's levels, can help you establish grade levels for landscaping and building projects. You should place the tripod where it can remain undisturbed for the entire project, if possible, so you always use the same base point for measuring grade. Double check accuracy occasionally if you're using big machinery, since the vibrations may knock the laser level out of alignment. If you rent a laser level from a tool rental store, check the kit to ensure that all parts are there and in good condition before taking it home.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Tripod

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  1. 1

    Set up the laser level on firm dry ground so it doesn't shift as you walk around. Push the tripod's pins into the ground as far as they will go.

  2. 2

    Mount the level to the tripod securely. Use the adjustment screws to bring the level's bubbles into the centre. Don't worry about exact accuracy at this point.

  3. 3

    Swing the level around 180 degrees and centre the bubbles again.

  4. 4

    Return the level to the starting position and check the bubbles. Adjust as needed until the level is accurate in all dimensions.

Tips and warnings

  • Some laser levels and builder's transits are automatically self-levelling. Follow the manufacturer's instructions to set up these levels.

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