- 12V lithium-ion power source
- Hi-visibility green beams with red plumb spots
- Easy-to-use onboard controls
- Fast and simple app-based controls
- Competitive pricing against other lithium-ion green beam laser levels
- Multiple mounting options included
- Self-leveling and locked pendulum operating modes
- No major drawbacks
This GCL100-80CG Bosch green laser level is a convenient, hi-visibility cross-line laser with easy-to-use controls on both the tool and the app. The learning curve isn’t very tough and the 12V lithium-ion power source makes it that much more convenient. With a lot of bang for your buck and 1/8″ accuracy on the beams, this is an easy recommendation for Pros.
Bosch hits the standard 1/8″ accuracy at 30 feet with this model. Less expensive models can drop to 1/4″ accuracy and Bosch’s GLL3-300 gets a touch better at 3/32″.
Note that the plumb spots are less accurate at 9/32″. It’s not going to be a major issue installing can lights and such, just know that it’s different if you need a super-tight tolerance.
I had several projects lined up to give Bosch a shot and see what its VisiMax beam can do on both indoor and outdoor jobs. This Bosch green laser level is the right tool to help me install some custom shelves, install projector brackets, and even hang pictures evenly around the house for my bride. I also put it to use outside setting posts for a pergola.
For the inside work, I mounted the GCL100-80CG on a combination of surfaces. Where there was metal, I used the magnets with the included RM2 mount and ceiling grid clip. Most of the time, I tapped a small brad nail in the wall or brought in a tripod. The threads are the same as a standard camera tripod, so you don’t absolutely need something fancy.
When you turn the laser on, the first stop keeps the pendulum locked so you can dial in an angle and the second releases it for self-leveling up to 4º. You start with both cross beams and plumb points on. Hit the level button on the top to cycle:
- Horizontal only
- Vertical only
- Up and down plumb only
- Both beams, both plumb spots
Cross-line laser levels are primarily interior tools, but you can get away with some exterior work if the conditions are right. Early morning and late evening give you legitimate visible beams thanks to the green beam.
Using the target card, I was still able to find my lines out to 13′ while I set those pergola posts approaching the noon hour. I wouldn’t have even tried with a red laser.
Once you get beyond visible range or light conditions, Bosch’s LR6 or LR8 receivers let you electronically find the beam out to 165′.
The onboard controls are few and easy to use. There’s sliding power switch on the side, a battery gauge, a receiver pairing button, and a button that cycles through the line and dot combinations. A fourth button connects to your phone via Bluetooth.
Bosch stepped up the techy-ness with the impressively useful yet simple Remote Leveling App. I downloaded the app to my iPhone 7S and was pleasantly surprised that it pairs with the Bosch Green Laser Level much more quickly than most connected tools. The laser’s responsiveness to my remote control through the app is just as fast as hitting the button on the laser.
The app is very user-friendly. It’s primarily picture-based, so it’s easy to see what each control does. Here’s an overview:
- Combi Laser Control
- Laser on/off (standby)
- Receiver mode on/off
- All beams/spots on
- Vertical only
- Horizontal only
- Plumb spots only
- Product Video (take you to YouTube)
- Power Control
- App Settings
When you’re working solo, the controls are really handy to toggle the power and save energy or flip modes without walking back to the laser every time. You also don’t have to cycle through the modes – just pick the one you want with one touch.
If you don’t use the app, the laser sticks with its regular beam power since there aren’t any controls for that on the main housing. Kicking it down to low for closer interior work or up where there’s more light lets you improve your runtime or visibility.
It can be intimidating to navigate smart tools like this Bosch green laser level, but they’ve done a good job keeping it simple with the app.
Self-Leveling Green Beams
Green diodes are more expensive than red diodes, but the premium buys a color wavelength that is several times easier to see. The Bosch green laser level’s kit includes a target card for those situations when ambient light overpowers the green beam.
The GCL100-80CG uses a Smart Pendulum System to level its green lasers up to 4° out of true. When it’s more than 4° out of true and can’t self-level, the laser will blink to indicate it needs an intervention. Too bad your coworkers don’t blink when they need an intervention.
It also blinks when you have the power on and the pendulum locked as a simple indicator that the laser isn’t self-leveling.
On its own, you can set the laser level down or screw it onto a tripod. The RM2 is a rotating mount and stand with magnets for the Bosch GCL100-80CG. It features a horizontal fine adjustment knob, a keyhole and a set of four magnets on the back.
Bosch also includes a ceiling grid clip. To use it, slide the laser onto the RM 2 mount and use its magnets to attach the clip. You get another keyhole to hang from, vertical fine adjustments, and a clip for ceiling grids.
12V Rechargeable Power Supply
Aside from the green beams, the other obvious upgrade is from AA batteries to a Bosch 12V pack. The 2.0 Ah battery and VisiMax system combine to give you up to 6 hours, 30 minutes of continuous run on the highest setting in our tests.
In the Kit
- Hard plastic case
- Soft laser case with hook and loop strap for your belt or bag
- RM 2 mount
- Ceiling grid clip
- Green target card
- 2.0 Ah 12V battery
The $379 Bosch Green Laser Level GCL100-80CG expands Bosch’s wide range of laser products and there are other options. The red diode version of this tool, GCL100-80C, is significantly less at $279.
You could ditch Bosch’s 12V battery for AAs with the $199 Bosch GCL 2-160 red laser and keep the self-leveling cross-lines with plumb spots. Or you can get a green laser with the $249 Bosch GLL 100 G but you’ll lose the plumb spots.
DeWalt’s DW088LG matches the $379 price without the plumb spots or connected controls. The Makita SK106GDZ is on the high end of the price range at $437 for the bare tool with four points to go with its green beams and no connected controls.
Looking broadly at the rechargeable green beam class, the major players aren’t giving you as much for the price as Bosch is. Some of their lasers aren’t as competitive on price, but they really hit a sweet spot with this one.
The Bottom Line
Bosch Green Laser Level GCL100-80CG Specifications
- Model Number: Bosch GCL100-80CG
- Power Source: Bosch 12V battery
- Laser Diode: Class 2, 500 – 540 nm and 630 – 650 nm
- Accuracy: ± 1/8 @ 30 ft; Laser points: ±9/32 @ 30 ft
- Visible Range: Up to 100′ (165′ with laser detector)
- Self-Leveling: Up to 4°
- Mount Threading: 1/4-20
- Operating Temperature: 14° F – 122° F (-10º – 50° C)
- Height 4.8″
- Length: 5.4″
- Width 2.2″
- Weight 1.4 lbs
- Includes (1) GCL100-80CG 12V Max Connected Green-Beam Cross-Line Laser with Plumb Points, (1) RM 2 Mount, (1) 12V Max Battery, (1) 12V Max Charger, (1) Ceiling Grid Clip, (1) Laser Target Plate, (1) Heavy-Duty Pouch, (1) Hard Carrying Case
- Price: $329.00