January 31, 2008

Ryobi Procross AIRgrip Self Leveling Laser - Review

ryobi_level_on-wall.jpgWith the resources that are out there, homeowners are taking on more and more complex projects and are thus starting to use the tools that the pros use. With this move happening, it's no shock that Ryobi is on the leading edge of providing an affordable laser level to the general public. We recently tried out their AIRgrip Self-Leveling Laser and here's what we found.

First, a bit of general information on the tool. The laser itself projects from a little pendulum that hangs inside of the tool housing. The housing itself can rotate 360 degrees around, meaning that the level can be set in one corner of the room and even if the laser isn't projecting all around the room, one twist of a knob can move it. There is also a knob to move the housing up and down with about an inch of play here, so you can get the level all set up and you can still adjust some to get it to the desired height.

ryobi_level_on-wall_2.jpgAs far as the laser itself goes, it can project one of three ways; a vertical line, a horizontal line, or with both at the same time, resulting in a cross. You can toggle through these variations by using the on button.

The most interesting feature of this level though is the AIRgrip feature that allows you to stick it to a wall and leave it there while you work. This removes the need of a tripod (although the tool is built to accept those as well). The way it works is that you just place the laser level against the wall, press a button and it starts sucking out all the air behind this little suction cup on the back of the tool. It's easy to tell when it's done because the noise that it makes changes dramatically. The whole process takes about 3 seconds. To release the tool, just press a button and off it comes. It's a good suction too. Although we were able to pull it off by rolling the tool off the wall, we never once felt that the tool would fall off on its own. The kit also comes with a rough surface adapter, which is just a cushiony plastic fitting that attaches to the suction cup allowing it to fit to uneven surfaces. We tried this out on our textured ceiling and found that it worked great.

ryobi_level_on_ceiling.jpg

So we got the level attached to the wall and projected a cross across the room about 10'. To test the line accuracy, we broke out or trusty Stabila levels (2' and 4'). We tested out both the vertical and horizontal with each of the two levels and found the laser lines to be spot on.

So what else can we say? It's a great, versatile, easy-to-use design and the levels are dead-on. The tool is made from the plastic that all Ryobi tools are made from, so even though it should prove to be pretty durable, we wouldn't recommend dropping it.

ryobi_level_in_case.jpgThe Procross Laser Level comes with a cushioned carrying case, two push pins, a tri-pod adapter, the rough surface adapter, a strap, 4 AA batteries, and a multi-function base. The tool retails for just under $70, which is a nice price when compared to the laser levels offered by Stabila, CST and PLS. It's a great item for any homeowner or contractor and because it's sold exclusively at Home Depot, it'll be readily available to anyone who wants one.

At Home Depot

Read More in: All Reviews | Hand Tools | Levels

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Posted by Doug Mahoney at January 31, 2008 5:29 AM

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