How often should you check a rotating laser?

rotating laser level

A rotating laser level should be checked for level accuracy at least once a week. This is the recommended interval when the rotating laser level is in daily use. If the rotating laser level is used infrequently then it should be checked before use.

Checking a rotating laser level for level accuracy is not difficult. Here is a simple guide to checking a rotating laser level.

It is also recommended that a rotating laser level should be checked before carrying out any critical levelling work. Knowing that the rotating laser level that is accurate prevents potential instrument errors. Recording your level check observations is also recommended.

Is checking the rotating laser level the same as calibrating?

No. Checking the rotating laser level is not the same as having it calibrated. All most people can do is check that the rotating laser level is providing the level accuracy it is supposed to be providing.

Calibration of rotating laser levels requires specialist equipment. When a rotating laser level is calibrated, it is adjusted to give the best accuracy it can. Calibration should only be done by competent persons who are experienced in carrying out the adjustments required.

How do you calibrate a rotating laser level?

Calibration of rotating laser levels is carried out in controlled environments with the use of specialist calibration equipment. The calibration equipment is checked regularly to ensure that it is perfectly level. This is to ensure that all levelling equipment can be adjusted or calibrated correctly.

Adjustment of the laser beam in the rotating laser level often requires specialist knowledge and software. Adjustment of the rotating laser level beam can be difficult and does take time to complete.

If you are using a rotating laser level in a professional capacity, then it is imperative that you get your rotating laser level calibrated. This is so that you can prove to your customers that the surveying equipment you are using is suitable for the task at hand.

How much does it cost to calibrate a rotating laser level?

Calibrating a rotating laser level is not expensive. It is certainly cheaper than using a rotating laser level that is not accurate. The cost of getting a rotating laser level calibrated will usually be stated as a minimum price. This price would be the price paid if the rotating laser level is in good working order on the day of the calibration.

If the rotating laser level requires adjustment or requires a service then this can result in extra costs.

UK Calibration Cost From £45+Tax   

US Calibration Cost From $150+Tax  

Australia Calibration Cost From $66AUD  

Canada Calibration Cost. These are often get quotes for Calibrations.

How often should a laser level be calibrated?

It is generally accepted that Rotating Laser Levels should be calibrated at least once a year. This interval would be for general construction activities. This does not mean that you cannot shorten this interval.

I know many construction firms that have their rotating laser levels calibrated every 6 months. The time between calibrations you decide on should be dependant on how the rotating laser level will be treated and the nature of the work you undertake.

If your rotating laser level accuracy checks are not giving the desired accuracy, then you should get your rotating laser level calibrated.

How do you know if a laser level is accurate?

The only way to know if a laser level is accurate is to check it. All levelling equipment should give the same result if they are truly level. Remember that there will be instrument errors to be accounted for.

There are other measurement errors that you should be aware of when using a rotating laser level or any survey equipment. Find out about the measurement errors in construction setting out.

How accurate are laser levels?

Laser levels are usually more accurate than the stated accuracy from the manufacturer. Having used rotating laser levels for years, I have found that they are very accurate when used correctly.

Recently I checked a random rotating laser level for accuracy. I set up an exceptionally long base level line and checked a Leica Rugby dual grade laser. The article can be found on this website by following this link to Rotating Laser Level Accuracy.

What is the most accurate laser level?

The most accurate rotating laser levels are produced by Topcon. Having done some research on the quoted accuracies of rotating laser levels, the table below has been compiled.

ManufacturerModelWorking Range
AccuracyWorking Time
(Single Charge)
Current Price
TopconRL-20011004mm at 200m100Hrs 
TopconRL-H5A8005mm at 200m100Hrs 
TopconRL-SV2S8005mm at 200m120Hrs 
TopconRL-H5B40010mm at 200m100Hrs 
LeicaRugby 6809001.5mm at 30m60Hrs 
Spectra PhysicsLL300S8001.5mm at 30m60Hrs 
BoschGRL 500 HV5001.5mm at 30m25Hrscheck current price
Johnson40-65846001.6mm at 30m100Hrs 
Johnson40-65415001.6mm at 30m33Hrs 
Johnson40-65355001.6mm at 30m33Hrs 
LeicaRugby 6105002.2mm at 30m60Hrscheck current price
LeicaRugby 6206002.2mm at 30m60Hrscheck current price
LeicaRugby 640G4002.2mm at 30m60Hrs 
LeicaRugby 6405002.2mm at 30m60Hrscheck current price
Spectra PhysicsLL300N5002.2mm at 30m90Hrscheck current price
FukudaFRE-102AR6002.3mm at 30m25Hrs 
Johnson40-6950L4502.4mm at 30m16Hrs 
MakitaSKR200Z2003.0mm at 30m60Hrs 
Spectra PhysicsLL100N3503.3mm at 30m50Hrscheck current price
PacificHVR 505R1523.3mm at 30mN/A 
StabilaSTB-LAPR1502406.0mm at 30m80Hrs 
HiltiPR 2-HS A12600N/A16Hrs 
The most accurate laser levels currently available.

What is the best rotating laser level?

Topcon RL-H5A rotating laser level
The Topcon RLH5A Rotating Laser

My preferred rotating laser level is the Topcon RL-H5A. It is one of the most accurate rotating laser levels on the market today. It also has the longest standard manufacturer guarantee at 5 years. It is also available at a good price.

The best package to go for includes the rechargeable battery pack. The recommended price for this Topcon RL-H5A is £699+Tax.

The best price in the USA can be found on Amazon using this link for the Topcon RL-H5A.



Top Tip for Getting the Best Results When Checking Levels.

Whenever you are checking an Automatic (Dumpy) Level, or a Rotating Laser Level, or a Total Station, make sure that the tripod head is as close to being level as possible. Whenever I am carrying out these checks I like to use a bullseye spirit level like this one I bought from Amazon. Its 65mm diameter so it spans the tripod access hole and is large enough to be easy to set.

Large Bullseye Spirit Level
65mm Large Bullseye Spirit Level.

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This is the website where I share the information that I have learnt, the tips I have been given and the tools that I use day in, day out whilst surveying and engineering.