April 27, 2011

Johnson Hot Shot Laser Mouse - Review

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We've covered a number of Johnson levels lately and this latest is the smallest so far. Called the Mouse for obvious reasons, this one shoots a straight laser line against the surface that the unit is sitting on. It comes with bubble levels on the X and Y axis so you can make the line plumb or level, depending on your needs. Johnson sent us one to check out and our thoughts are as follows...

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According to Johnson, this tiny fella is capable of projecting a line up to 30 feet. We don't have any rooms big enough to test that claim, but it seemed to work fine in all of the areas we checked (up to about 20'). The laser light is ok, but gets a little hard to read in the daylight.

The most interesting feature about he Laser Mouse is its 'wall-adherence' ability. The underside of the unit has three recessed areas that are covered with a sticky putty (sort of like the stuff you used to hang your Zeppelin posters in your cinder-block dorm room in college). So what you do is hold the Mouse against the wall, use the vials to get the line where you want it, and then press the three black buttons on the face of the unit. These buttons correspond with the puttied areas of the underside and by pressing them, you push them against the wall causing the laser to stick. It's pretty cool.

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The Mouse comes with some additional sticky putty and Johnson says that when the existing putty starts to lose it's adherence, just pull it off and smoosh it up a bit and stick it back on.

We used the laser a bunch and the stick is definitely solid. One day we stuck it to a wall and five or six hours later, it was still there. We also used it on painted walls and when we removed it, the paint was unharmed.

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So it's a nice unit for what it is, but we wouldn't recommend getting to ambitious with it. The packaging says that it can be used for flooring and tiling projects. And, sure, it can be used for those, but we're going to prefer to keep it in the 'picture hanging' category. If you're putting down a floor or tiling a back splash, chances are that you've already sunk some cash into the project, so we suggest sinking a little more in order to get a level that has more in the way of features and capabilities. Like we said, this little guy is functional and we're not trying to diminish it, but it's not the tool we're going to use when we start getting into more complicated projects.

That said, if you've just moved into a new place and you've got a lot of picture hanging ahead of you, you could certainly do a lot worst than the Laser Mouse. In addition to the extra putty, the tool comes with a little carrying satchel and a plastic piece to protect the underside when in storage.

$25 at Amazon.com

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Posted by Doug Mahoney at April 27, 2011 8:03 AM

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Recent Comments

And I was thinking at first that this was a laser mouse for my computer, just couldn't figure out why my "mouse" needed a level! :P


Posted by: Alvin from National Woodworking at July 25, 2011 12:33 PM
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