Professional Tool Reviews for Pros


Milwaukee Cross Line Laser Level Review

Milwaukee Cross Line Laser Level Review

Milwaukee Cross Line Laser Levels Will Leave Others Green with Envy

BOOM! Just like that, Milwaukee Pipeline Episode #2 is in the books and we’ve got everything you need to know about the Milwaukee cross line laser level lineup!


Pros

  • Green beams in all laser levels
  • Two power sources to choose from—M12 or RedLithium USB
  • Five designs to choose from
  • Full-day runtime in each model (8-hour minimum)
  • New micro-adjust dials in positions easily and quickly
  • Laser pivots on the plumb spot so it doesn’t move while you adjust
  • 1/8-inch per 33 feet accuracy

Cons

  • More expensive than some of the competition if all you need is the basics

Recommendation

Milwaukee cross line laser levels have the accuracy and visibility we demand and help speed up the setup process. We like the fact that every model is lithium-ion powered with the runtime to make it through a full 8-hour day. Overall, there’s genuine innovation to be excited about and we expect Milwaukee is going to make a significant impact in the line laser market.

Milwaukee Cross Line Laser Visibility

Every Milwaukee cross line laser uses a green beam to get the best visibility. The design team also worked up a new form of the standard target card to make seeing your line easier when you’re dealing with a brighter area.

It has better visibility with a high-contrast design that makes it easier to see when you’ve hit the center. It’s also magnetic and has standard and metric measurements.

Milwaukee Target Card

Green beams come with a couple of trade-offs. For starters, they’re more power-hungry than red, so your runtime is lower given the same battery sources. They’re also more expensive to produce, so you’ll notice a bit of a premium compared to red lasers.

But they’re so much easier to see that we’re willing to accept those trades to get better visibility.

Milwaukee Cross Line Laser Accuracy

Milwaukee cross line laser

Milwaukee dialed in the accuracy of the diodes at 1/8-inch for every 33 feet. That’s dead-on what we expect from professional laser levels in this class. Some models drop to 1/4-inch over 33 feet or worse, giving Milwaukee better accuracy than entry-level models.

Power Sources and Runtime

Milwaukee is targeting two types of power sources: alkaline and lithium-ion. The irony is they’re doing it solely with lithium-ion power.

Milwaukee RedLithium USB Laser Levels

Milwaukee RedLithium USB cross line laser models are designed to replace the ones Pros use with alkaline batteries. Using up to 4 AA batteries for power, heavy line laser users might go through two or three sets of batteries a week.

Milwaukee Laser Level

Even though these Milwaukee laser levels run $50 – $100 more than alkaline, there’s a value proposition worth considering.

Let’s say you’re on the conservative side use just one set of batteries a week. A pack of 48 Energizer batteries runs a little over $20 on Amazon. That’s enough to get you through 12 weeks. You’re going to need four of those over the course of the year (plus a little, but we’ll give you some vacation time), costing you $80. Your return on investment for going lithium is about a year or less.

If you’re that heavier user running through three sets of batteries a week, you’re in it for $240 a year. You’ve almost paid for the whole laser by the end of year 1.

So what about that runtime? Milwaukee’s RedLithium USB batteries will run for more than 8 hours in the cross line lasers and 15 hours in the 3-point model.


Thanks to USB charging and the ability to run while charging, you can easily use an M18 or M12 battery with a USB adapter as a power source. That will extend your runtime significantly.

M18 Battery Adapter

Milwaukee M12 Cross Line Lasers

For compatibility with Milwaukee’s compact cordless tools, go with one of Milwaukee’s M12 models. These line up more closely with the lithium-ion competition out there in terms of runtime.

Milwaukee M12 Cross Line Laser

Using a 3.0Ah battery in the cross line/point laser or a 4.0Ah battery in the 3-plane model, you can expect 15 hours of continuous use.

Setup Simplified

One of the major highlights on each Milwaukee laser level is a micro-adjust for the vertical beam. We’ve used plenty of lasers with a micro-adjust on the mount for horizontal height, just not on the vertical plane.

Milwaukee Cross Line Laser Level Review

Most of the time, you make adjustments by hand and there’s a lot of wobble along with simply overshooting your mark from across the room. With Milwaukee’s adjustment, it’s much smoother and more precise so you can get it right more quickly.

The other issue that pops up from adjusting most lasers by hand comes from the using the plumb spot to dial in a starting position. As you make your side-to-side adjustment, the plumb spot moves, too. The design team put their pivot right on the plumb spot, so you can make that vertical line adjustment without shifting your floor reference.

Jobsite Ready

Sensitive diodes, jobsites, and less-than-careful crew members don’t necessarily get along. However, Milwaukee designed these laser levels with 1 meter (3.3 feet) drop protection and with an IP54 ingress rating.

Styles and Pricing

PriceBattery
RedLithium USB
3-Point$2493.0Ah
Cross Line$2993.0Ah
Cross Line + Points$3493.0Ah
M12
Cross Line + Points$499 ($399 bare)3.0Ah
3-Plane$5994.0Ah

Available Accessories

In addition to the lasers, there are a couple of handy accessories worth pointing out.

Milwaukee Cross Line Laser Level Review

First is what appears to be a fairly standard magnetic/hangable mount. In reality, the design allows you to attach the laser in 360º, making it easier to find a quick mounting point in nearly any environment.

There’s also a track clip to help you out when you’re working on a drop ceiling or something similar.

The Bottom Line

Milwaukee cross line laser levels have the accuracy and visibility we demand and help speed up the setup process. We like the fact that every model is lithium-ion powered with the runtime to make it through a full 8-hour day. Overall, there’s genuine innovation to be excited about and we expect Milwaukee is going to make a significant impact in the line laser market.

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Lawrence K.

Watch out where you buy any of these new Milwaukee lasers from. You get the hard storage case only if you buy them from certain power tool online sellers. Just look at all the complaints on the Milwaukee website under these lasers of tradesmen who didn’t get the hard case. The games Milwaukee plays…….

Last edited 7 months ago by Lawrence K.
Gabe

Funny how I was comparing this to the Dewalt DW089LG. 2 Weeks back, dewalt site said the accuracy was 1/8 @ 100ft which got me confused when milwaukee said 1/8 @ 33ft.

Now dewalt has it at 1/8 @ 30ft. How accurate are they over that in comparison?

Dave

Really? As innovative as Milwaukee is they couldn’t make it use M12 or M18 batteries without usb and adaptor? I’m not going to buy a M12 battery and charger just for a laser, and I can’t see using the adapter and cord in many situations.

M Salmon

I totally love Milwaukee but like others have mentioned I needed a laser a few years ago. I have a couple of Bosch green lasers and they work well and support 1/8″ variance at 30 feet. I do like the magnetic mounting bracket design – Milwaukee innovation!

Shelby Shafer

Seriously. I waited as long as I could. I ended up getting a dewalt.

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