The Bosch GLL2-80 laser level is a dual plane model that gives users the functionality of a much larger rotary laser level combined with the convenience of a compact jobsite tool. To make it even better, Bosch gives you both horizontal and/or vertical 360 degree planes with just the push of a button. You can use this tool alone, or with the mount included in the kit or with a tripod depending on your needs.
The Bosch GLL2-80 laser level arrived in a heavy duty hinged plastic carry case. Inside the case, the laser level is cradled in thick foam padding that will protect it from most jobsite bumps when it is not in use. Along with the line laser, there is a separate adjustable height mount. The body of the Bosch GLL2-80 is made of tough abs plastic with black rubber overmold that covers nearly half of the tool. What makes this line laser so unique is the way Bosch engineers designed the 360 degree laser system. To better understand what is going on, most 360 degree laser levels utilize a spinning laser that actually projects the line in all directions. While this system works, it has moving parts, is usually large, bulky and very sensitive. The way that Bosch got around this is with something they call Cone Mirror Technology. Pretty much what happens is that the rigidly mounted laser shines against a precision machined reflective cone that then reflects the laser out in a 360 degree pattern. Since there are no spinning parts or motors, the overall size of the tool is greatly minimized and battery life is maximized since it only has to power the lasers. In the case of the Bosch GLL2-80 Dual Plane Leveling and Alignment Laser, two cone mirrors and lasers are utilized which is how they can project both vertical and horizontal lines at the same time.
There are a number of other great features built into the GLL2-80 laser level also. You can use the laser in three different modes: vertical line, horizontal line, or both at the same time. The tool is self leveling, just set it down and it does the rest. If it can not find level because the surface you set it on is more then 4 degrees out of level, the unit will beep until you find a better surface to set it. If you have to match existing surfaces that is not level, you can lock the laser into position so that it will march whatever plane you are trying to follow. When you all done using the level there is a setting that locks the internal pendulum in place so that it does not get damaged during transport. The level will automatically shut off after 30 minutes. The Bosch GLL2-80 has a useful range of about 65 feet, but should you need to work in larger distances, you can set the level into pulse mode and with a separately available receiver from Bosch, you can use the level effectively out to a few hundred feet.
The included stand for the level makes setting up and fine tuning the GLL2-80 dual plane laser level is a breeze. The stand has an adjustment knob, so you can easily set it up and then configure the exact height of the level. Should you want to mount the level on the tripod, it comes with both 1/4″ and 5/8″ threaded inserts in the base that make it so you can set it on most camera or surveyor tripods. Power for the level comes from four AA batteries. The GLL2-80 has a Ingress Protection rating of IP54. To help decode this rating, you take the first number, 5, which indicates that the unit is protected against limited dust ingress or you can say that no harmful deposits of dust can enter. The second number indicates the liquid protection level of the tool which is a 4, indicating that there is protection against water being sprayed from all directions with just a small amount of limited ingress permitted. For the street guy, the IP54 rating pretty much says that this baby is safe to use on a dirty, dusty, rainy jobsite without trouble.
Bosch GLL2-80 Laser Level Testing and use
Setting up and using the Bosch GLL2-80 laser level was a pleasure. My experience with other laser levels in the past always had to do with tricky adjustment knobs, finicky equipment and moving parts. This was not the case at all with this tool. I first took out the handy adjustable base and, using the 1/4″ threaded connection on the bottom of the level, I mounted it on the base. Since we were doing a tile job, I did not need much height, so I simply set the level on the floor and turned the level on to the horizontal line setting. Without a hitch, I immediately had a level line from which to establish my first course of tile. In this particular shower that we were going to tile, we had an angled corner seat and some other intricate areas that we needed to get into. With the laser level set to the front side, a nice bright line projected around all the walls of the shower. In this particular application, having the smaller size body of the GLL2-80 was a huge help since we were already working in tight quarters. The setup of the laser line was so simple and straightforward, which really speaks to the overall productivity that this tool can provide. No training or trial and error here, it was easy to just whip out the GLL2-80 and go to town on our project.
The Bosch GLL2-80 Dual Plane Leveling and Alignment Laser is a must-have if you don’t already own a laser level. Actually even if you do have a laser level of some other kind, our guess is that you would gladly trade it in for one of these – the advancements are simply too beneficial to pass up. With a super compact size, amazing functionality, and simple controls, this is a tool that no pro should be without. For that matter, homeowners just might find it useful enough to feel the gravitational pull of the product packaging. For our Value rating, we gave the tool a 8/10 since it really does give a new meaning to value in this market segment. For our Performance rating we give this tool a 10/10 since its ingenuity, performance and function is top notch, especially for a very reasonable investment.