The Bottom Line
- Quite affordable. Priced for homeowners.
- Tek 4 battery pack is very easy to use.
- Once battery is charged and installed, level is easy and intuitive to use.
- Removing unit from outer sleeve difficult.
- Fine-tune knob to adjust vertical height of unit is difficult to turn.
- Ryobi Self-Leveling Plumb/Cross Laser Tek 4
- Accurate 1/8" at 15 feet.
- Self leveling at 5 degrees or less. Unit warns first, then shuts off, if unit is out of level.
- Stated battery charge time is 5 hours, though I found it to charge much faster.
- Vertical and horizontal cross-hairs. Vertical-only line. Horizontal-only line. Plumb dots.
- Auto shut off feature saves battery.
Guide Review - Ryobi Laser Level - Tek 4
I've heard that one before. And ten years ago, I heard statements like, "But I don't need a cell phone!" You start using these "non-essential" items, and shortly thereafter you can't imagine life without them.
The Ryobi laser level is a laser level for the rest of us. In general, these are serious (and seriously priced) pieces of equipment, particularly rotary laser levels. It's about time that laser levels be brought down to the DIY homeowner level.
The feature that Ryobi is really highlighting, though, isn't those bright red lines--it's the battery pack, which is part of Ryobi's Tek 4 lithium ion system. The Tek 4 battery for this laser level is 4 v. and, according to company literature, can outlast 6,000 AA alkaline batteries.
Do you need that kind of long battery life for a laser level? Probably not. Laser levels are used for short periods, and this Ryobi level in particular, has an automatic shut-off feature to save power. Still, anything to keep another battery out of the landfill is fine by me.
It's a dead-simple tool. Opening up the level to access the battery was the hardest part of the process. Reading the instructions--as I am often averse to doing--does help. Slap the Tek 4 battery into the charger pack and plug it into the outlet (no cords - hurray). Wait an impossibly short time--under one hour--for all 3 green bars to light up, and you're ready to start leveling.
Push the button on top and you can cast cross-hairs, a vertical-only line, or a horizontal-only line. Along with those lines, you also get plumb bob points on top and bottom.
If the laser unit is out of level more than 5 degrees, it will tell you--by first blinking a warning light and then by auto-shutting off. That's because the laser within the unit has a 5 degree tolerance.
Distance and accuracy? The red leveling lines and dots are good for average residential use; that is, within rooms you find in most houses. If your house happens to have a ballroom, you'll need to find another laser level--and spend upwards of $3,000, too. But as this Ryobi laser level is vastly cheaper, it's a product you won't feel guilty plucking off of the store shelf and having on hand for whenever you need to do accurate leveling.