Cross Line Green Laser Comparison Dewalt vs. Bosch vs. Stabilia

Green Laser Comparison

Laser and plumb levels are becoming more and more popular in the residential and commercial construction world these past few years.  As a remodeling tool, laser and plumb levels, save time and improve accuracy by stepping up precision in your projects. This article is a cross line green laser comparison Dewalt vs. Bosch vs. Stabilia.

We recently took a sample of three industry leading tool companies, and compared their entry-level  lasers. All three of these lasers use AA Alkaline batteries.

  1. Dewalt DW08CG
  2. Stabila LAX 300 G
  3. Bosch GLL 100 G

Additionally, for alternative comparison, we looked at a fourth higher priced laser, the Dewalt DW088 LG, sells for $330 and comes with a rechargeable 12-volt battery to give you a sense of what an upgrade, battery-platform laser might look like.

Let’s look at the three AA alkaline battery powered Green lasers.

Green vs Red Laser Color

Why did we choose green lasers? Studies show that our eyes see green better than any other color in both day and night. So is the green laser better?

Regarding the brightness of red versus green lasers, red lasers are most visible in low light conditions. The human eye naturally detects green with great ease, allowing it to appear brighter in conditions and environments with higher ambient or natural light.

Accuracy

We tested all four lasers for accuracy at 30-feet confirming both their plumb and level lines with a Stabilia level that was also checked for accuracy prior to this test. All four lasers were spot on at 30-feet.

Laser Durability

In this article will be referring to IP ratings to indicate laser durability. What is an IP rating, and what’s it really mean?

The IP Code or International Protection Rating, consists of the letters IP followed by two digits. It classifies the degrees of protection provided against the intrusion of solid objects, dust, accidental contact, and water in electrical enclosures.

The standard was designed to provide users with more detail on the products durability in the elements.

  • The first digit represents protection against ingress of solid objects
  • The second digit represents protection against ingress of liquids.

The larger the value of each digit, the greater the protection. For example a rating of IP54 means:

  • 5 = Limited protection against dust ingress.
  • 4= Protected against splash water from any direction.

    IP TABLE:

    IP..First digit:
    Ingress of solid objects
    Second digit:
    Ingress of liquids
    0No protectionNo protection
    1Protected against solid objects over 50mm e.g. hands, large tools.Protected against vertically falling drops of water or condensation.
    2Protected against solid objects over 12.5mm e.g. hands, large tools.Protected against falling drops of water, if the case is disposed up to 15 from vertical.
    3Protected against solid objects over 2.5mm e.g. wire, small tools.Protected against sprays of water from any direction, even if the case is disposed up to 60from vertical.
    4Protected against solid objects over 1.0mm e.g. wires.Protected against splash water from any direction.
    5Limited protection against dust ingress.
    (no harmful deposit)
    Protected against low pressure water jets from any direction. Limited ingress permitted.
    6Totally protected against dust ingress.Protected against high pressure water jets from any direction. Limited ingress permitted.
    7N/AProtected against short periods of immersion in water.
    8N/AProtected against long, durable periods of immersion in water.
    9kN/AProtected against close-range high pressure, high temperature spray downs.

Class 2 Lasers

All of these lasers are listed as a Class 2 laser. Lasers are classified for safety purposes based on their potential for causing injury to humans’ eyes and skin.

Class 2 lasers’ output power is below 1 milliwatt. All Class 2 lasers emit visible light only. Lasers in this rating normally would not harm an eye unless a person deliberately stared into the beam. Laser protective eye-wear is normally not necessary. A Class 2 laser is not a skin or materials burn hazard, which is a plus on a job site with a lot of flammable combustible around.

Dewalt Laser DW088 CG

The DW088CG is a comparable but less expensive than both the Bosch and the Stabila. It also has an integrated bracket and full time pulse mode which allows the line to be picked up by a line-detector. The DW088CG Cross Line Laser emits a green beam and has a great range that projects bright crossing horizontal and vertical lines.  A laser like this is ideal for various leveling and layout applications, such as, drop ceilings, cabinets, remodeling and tile work.

Dewalt Laser Features

The DW088CG is powered by three AA batteries, and has an accuracy of +/- 1/8” at 30-feet. The bottom of the laser allows a tripod mount of ¼”-20 threaded insert. The mounting bracket allows the laser to rotate 180 degrees and has two magnets. It can easily sit on the floor, and has an included suspended ceiling grid clamp.

This laser has a working range of 165 ft with a detector and a 65 ft visible working range. There are two switches on the DW088CG. One switch is for a level line and the other is for the plumb line. There is a small low battery indicator LED as well. The battery compartment is located on the lower rear of the unit. A simple, easy to pull down tab exposed a gasket protected battery compartment. The battery configuration is subtly indicated on the battery compartment lid.

There is no lock for the laser pendulum, the laser line will flash when out of level or plumb. The The Dewalt DW088CG is rated for drop protection for 1 meter [3-feet] and has an IP54 Rating.

Stabila Laser LAX300 G

The Stabila LAX300 G is specifically designed for interior construction projects. Stabila uses a technology they call STABILA GREENBEAM. This technology provides for a razor-sharp, extremely bright, laser line. We tested this in our shop and agree! The laser also gives you clear lines from the floor to the ceiling, provides two plum-line dots, and has a laser range is rated 90 feet.

The LAX300 G is designed to be placed on the floor, mount on a tri-pod, or can be attached to receive ¼”-20 thread. The rear of the laser also has magnets for mounting on metallic objects and round pipe. There are also inlets on the base that would allow a strap to be threaded around a pole or object.

The base of the laser has a vertical sliding adjustment allowing micro height adjustments.  The laser swivels 360 in its base, and allows laser coverage for approximately 300 degrees on its base – a really nice feature! A metal plate is provided to screw to a wall and allow the laser to slide vertically via its magnets.

Stabilia Laser Features

The Stabilia is powered by three AA batteries and has a 15-hour runtime. The power switch is a sliding mechanical switch with a positive registration. It’s has an on or off feature and locks the laser pendulum when placed in the off position. Both plumb and level lasers come on with switch. On the opposite of the switch is a multi -function push button switch, that allows the user to cycle through horizontal, or vertical lines. Both the laser line, and  small LED flashes when the unit is out of plumb.

The Stabila battery change compartment requires a two-handed operation. The battery compartment does not have a rubber gasket, but does have molded indicators for proper battery placement. The Stabilia laser is IP 54 rated.

Bosch GLL 100 G Laser

The Bosch GLL 100 G Green-Beam Self-Leveling Cross-Line Laser uses green-beam technology, and has a working range up to 100 Ft. The GLL 100 G produces vertical, horizontal and cross-line modes, and the tool can project two lines independently or together, for a broad array of alignment and leveling applications. It includes Bosch-exclusive VisiMax™ technology, which allows for outstanding line visibility in standard working conditions. It constantly monitors the laser’s temperature so the diodes are always driven to maximum line visibility, while protecting the laser diodes from overheating.

Bosch Laser Features

The tool has a working range up to 100 Ft., and it offers an accuracy of ±1/8 In. at 33 Ft. and ±3/8 In. at 100 Ft.

The Bosch Smart Pendulum System self-levels and indicates out-of-level condition by flashing the laser line. The laser pendulum will lock after the laser is switched off for secure transport. The laser is built with an IP54 rating.

The power switch on the GLL 100 G is a two-position, sliding mechanical switch with a positive registration. It’s has an on or off feature and locks the laser pendulum when placed in the off position. Both plumb and level lasers come on with this switch.

The Bosch laser can be locked to allow for the diagonal laser line applications. On the back side is two buttons that independently control the plumb or level lasers. There is also an LED indicator to indicate low battery and pendulum lock conditions.

When mounted on the base the Bosch laser can achieve approximately 270 degree of rotation coverage. A tripod mount allows both 1/4-20, and 5/8-11 threaded attachment.

The included BM3 Positioning Device offers quick setup in ceiling grid applications, and can also be screwed to a stud or wall and has a micro fine height adjustment. When using the BM3 positioning device [base] and attached to metal objects via magnet the Bosch is not as stable as the Dewalt and Stabila. The laser base, in free-standing mode, has retractable feet to give it additional stability.

Changing the battery is a one-handed operation. The battery compartment does not have a rubber gasket, but does have an interlocking ridge around the lid. The battery position indication is molded into the case.

Dewalt Laser DW088LG

The DEWALT DW088LG 12v Green Cross Line Laser is part of the 12V lithium-ion rechargeable power tool battery platform. This line laser is designed for extra-long run time and the convenience of rechargeable power tool batteries. Allowing the end user to save on battery purchases.

It features self-leveling cross lines that projects bright crossing horizontal and vertical lines. It also features an integrated magnetic bracket; rear mounted magnets allow flush attachment to metal track and steel. It has a full-time pulse mode that allows for use with detector, over-molded housing and IP65 water/debris resistance, a locking pendulum to help prevent damage to internal components.

Dewalt DW088LG Features

A mechanical slide on the front of the laser locks the pendulum, and the power switch will not operate if the lock is engaged. There are two switches on the DW088LG. One switch is for a level line and the other is for the plumb line. A fuel gauge near the switches indicate the level of charge in the battery. The laser allows for diagonal placement but blinks twice approximately every 5-seconds.

The laser swivels 360 degrees in the base and give you approximately 300 degrees of laser coverage.  The base is heavy duty can sit flat on a surface. It has two tripod mounts [1/4-20 and 5/8-11 threaded inserts] Additionally, it has the ability to be mounted with screws and a wall mount / ceiling grid bracket allows the laser to be slid up and down via the laser base magnets.

Which Laser Was Brighter?

The Dewalt DW088LG 12-volt laser was by far the BRIGHEST laser both vertically and horizontally, but the laser lines are definitely thicker. This may bother some contractors that are sticklers for super fine lines.

The second brightest was the other Dewalt, followed closely by Bosch and Stabila.

Which Laser Was More Focused? [Cleaner Lines]

The cleanest, thinnest line was the Stabila LAX300 G. This is the line that will give you the MOST ACCURATE indication. Second to the Stabila, was the Bosch GLL 100 G laser which was also very clean.  The Dewalt lines were super bright, thick and a bit fuzzy.

Best Storage Case

The Dewalt DW088LG 12-volt laser uses a T-Stak box, thus giving it the “best case award.” Second was the Bosch case, which resembles their older jig saw cases. All of the lasers, with the exception of the Stabila come in hard cases. The Stabila come with a soft nylon Velcro enclosed bag and offered the LEAST protection.

Price

  1. Dewalt DW08CG sells online for $157.00
  2. Stabila LAX 300 G sells online for $350.00
  3. Bosch GLL 100 G sells online for $230.00

 

Our Choice

Ok this is easy. If money and brightness are your concerns, then the Dewalt DW088CG is your laser. The Bosch will give you a cleaner, more accurate, better quality laser for a eighty dollars more. The Stabila is extremely well-made and gives you a ceiling and floor plumb dot but comes in at double the price

If you’re already using the Dewalt platform, like me, that 12-volt is my 1stchoice. It comes in at $330 and uses a rechargeable battery. I have other 12-volt Dewalt tools which allow me the option of using my other 12-volt batteries, if needed.

 

About the author

Rob Robillard

Robert Robillard is also the Editor of Tool Box Buzz and the editor of the blog, A Concord Carpenter and principal of a carpentry and renovation business located in Concord, Massachusetts. As a carpenter and web editor, Rob is a recognized leader in tool and how-to information for building professionals. He is the carpenter correspondence for and writes a Q&A column, in the Sunday Boston Globe, called "Ask the Carpenter."He hosts the Concord Carpenter Cable TV Show,, offering the do-it-yourself audience in Boston’s Metro West region expert advice on home repairs and maintenance. Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review - Video Channel, where we post all of our tool reviews and video editorials. Rob enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate on best practices in the remodeling industry. The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob

http://www.aconcordcarpenter.com/@https://twitter.com/robertrobillardRob Robillard

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