December 2, 2008

Black & Decker Bullseye - Review

black_decker_bullseye.jpgThe Black & Decker Bullseye Auto-Leveling Laser with Stud Sensor is a small laser level with the single purpose of hanging things on walls, or more specifically, lining up two or more items on a wall. There's really not a whole lot else you can do with it, but since it does its assigned task so well, the limits of the tool aren't really a problem.

The unit looks like a plus-sized stud sensor with switches on both sides and laser lights coming out of the sides of the rounded top. The switch on the right activates the stud sensor and the switch on the left turns on the self-leveling laser. We tested the laser against one that is about seven times more expensive and we have to say that the Black & Decker was spot on level.

The beam is nice and bright even in a well-lit room and if the unit gets tilted too far to either side, the laser gets blocked and can't be seen. After a few simple tests, we came t o the conclusion that the stud sensor works fine too.

The Bullseye comes with two attachments that allow it to be held on a wall so you can work without having to hold it, freeing up your hands for picture hanging.

The Bullseye costs about $40 which sounds like a lot, but anyone who has ever hung pictures with a loved one realizes that it's a process prone to making one generally unloving. That said, maybe $40 is a small price to pay for a tool that will make picture hanging a little less difficult.

The Bullseye comes with a nice nylon case that can hold the unit and both attachments.

At Amazon.com

Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking

October 28, 2008

Using a Water Level

water_level.jpgSometimes all the finest and most current technology can't out-do the tried and true method of a few thousand years. All the fancypants level companies have yet to create one that can project from one room, down a hallway, around a corner, and into another room. So put away your Stabilas, Fat Max's, and your PLSs and try out a water level.

We used a water level a few years back on a waterproofing basement job. The floor, if you could call it that, was wildly uneven, and the basement twisted and turned like the Minotaur's labryinth on the Isle of Crete. Using a standard laser level would have taken time and would have required moving it around and making benchmarks. Instead, we filled a tube with water and had all of our points marked by coffee break.

Fine Homebuilding's Using a Water Level

factsfacts Making and Using a Water Level

Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

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.

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Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

December 18, 2007

Black & Decker 36" Accu Mark Level

bd_accu_mark_level.jpgThis is either an interesting idea or the gimmick to end all gimmicks. For the sake of all the people who made it one of the number one holiday sellers at Amazon, we hope it's the former. The Accu Mark is a 36" level with two interesting features that separate it from the pack.

First, they have something called Geko Grips which are spring loaded pads that allow the level to be easily held against a wall with one hand, while you mark the wall with the other hand. The other new features are two gauges that slide up and down the length of the level. They are supposed to help with marking preset hanging holes, the kind that are usually found on the backs of those Pier 1 shelving units. The way it works is that you place the level against the back of the picture/shelf/whatever and line up the gauges with the hangers. Then when you place the level against the wall, you know exactly where to put the hangers.

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Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

November 26, 2007

Ryobi AIRgrip Laser Levels and SonicTape

UPDATE: Our review of the Procross Self-Leveling Laser is here.

Ryobi has three new laser tools that all look interesting. They've got the Self-Leveling Laser, the Compact Laser Level, and the SonicTape.

ryobi_laser_level.jpgRyobi ProCross Self-Leveling Laser with Airgrip - This self-leveling laser is capable of projecting a horizontal, vertical, or intersecting laser lines, it fits on to any standard 5/8" or 1/4" tripod, and it has a fine adjustment that allows the laser to move up to 1" without moving the housing. The laser can project up to 50' and the tool has some sort of battery-powered suction base (the AIRgrip), that allows it to attach to virtually any surface. It comes with 4 AA batteries, a padded carrying case, and a tripod adapter and costs $69.97.

Exclusively at Home Depot

ryobi_compact_level.jpgRyobi Compact Laser Level - This is a homeowner version of the above tool. Because it's not self-leveling, it comes with level vials built-in to the tool. The laser lens rotates 90 degrees so it can project either horizontal or vertical (but not at the same time). The head of the level rotates 360 degrees, so from the center of the room you'll be able to put a level line on all four walls. Like it's big brother, The Compact Laser Level also has the AIRgrip suction system. The tool comes with a padded case, a base, 2 push pins, and 2 AA batteries. At the price of $19.97, this looks like a good choice for around the house work; hanging shelves, hanging pictures, lining up hooks, etc.

Exclusively at Home Depot

ryobi_sonictape.jpgRyobi SonicTape - This laser tape measure is so small that it comes with a keychain ring attached to it. It can measure distances up to 30' and has a laser pointer for accuracy purposes. Along with distances, it can also measure room area. The SonicTape comes with 4 button batteries and it costs $14.97.

At Home Depot

Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

March 15, 2007

Johnson Magnetic Post Level

johnson_post_level.jpg
Johnson Level and Tool offers this great little Magnetic Post Level for anyone who is planning on building a deck this summer. We think this tool is a worthy investment and, once you use it, you'll realize how much time you've been wasting getting those posts to sit plumb. No more days of getting one side perfect and...wait...wait....hold it...hold it...(slowly move the level to the other side)...wait...stop shaking.....wait.... Now, you can just strap this level to the post (with the elastic band that comes attached) and have both hands free for positioning and stabilizing. It's really a simple tool that takes a lot of the hassle out of the process, and at under $7, it's not going to break the bank.

The Magnetic Post level is made of durable plastic and has three easy to read vials.

At Amazon.com

Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

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