How to Calibrate a Laser Level?


When you buy a laser level, typically it comes with a default calibration by the company. However, that isn’t fool-proof. Sometimes the default calibration is faulty or you otherwise begin to notice some discrepancies typically after accidentally dropping the laser level. Even a small error in calibration can lead to disastrous results in your projects. However, what do you do if there are flaws in the calibration?

Many models allow you to send it back to the company for recalibration, but then you have to wait literal weeks for them to get to it. Sadly, it does need to be sent to the service center in order to get recalibrated, but you can perform a field check to see if the calibration is in fact the issue.

How to Re-Calibrate a Laser Level Yourself

  • Set it All Up – The first step is to, obviously, set up all your equipment. The easiest way to do a field calibration check is to set up your laser level on a tripod (since you can sure it is a level surface) in a large room at least 20 feet from a wall.
  • Find the X – Some laser levels come with X and Y coordinates which makes things easier. In those models, aim the X coordinate at the wall and mark where the beam strikes with pencil. However, if it doesn’t come with XY coordinates, simply draw a vertical line on the wall and mark the point where the beam strikes.
  • Rotate 180 degrees – After you have marked the X coordinate, rotate the laser level 180 degrees and, again, mark the spot where the beam strikes.
  • Find the Difference – Now compare the two marks and figure out whether they are within the accuracy range mentioned by the laser level’s manufacturer. If calibrated correctly, the two marks should differ by no more than 1/16 of an inch.
  • Find the Y – Now it is time to find the Y axis. If your model has XY functionality, find Y and mark the spot where the beam hits. If not, then simply rotate the laser 90 degrees and mark that point instead.
  • Rotate 180 Degrees – Now rotate the laser level 180 degrees from the Y axis and mark that spot
  • Find the Difference – Finally you need to find the difference again just like you did with the X axis.

The Calibration is Off, Now What?

If you find that there is some discrepancy in your field test, then your laser level is indeed in need of calibration. Sadly, you cannot do the calibration yourself unless you have already had some training in it.

The good news is that many of the large brands like Dewalt or Bosch have service centers that you can take your laser level to and have it recalibrated. The bad news is that these service centers may not be close to you or you picked a brand which needs to be mailed in.

Taking a laser level to a service center is relatively pain-free. However, having to send it by mail often means you will be without your tool for awhile. Regardless, it needs calibration otherwise all your projects will be off. If your laser level needs to be recalibrated, the addresses to the service centers will be on the brand’s website as will instructions for mailing the product in.

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Howze it? I'm Raf. Been living and working construction in Hawaii for about 10 years. Just recently started doing some handy man work around my neighborhood and then got the itch to review equipment that makes my life easier and hopefully yours too.


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