Review: Klein Tools 93LCLS Laser Level
If you thought you never needed a laser level, think again! They can make short work of many measuring and leveling tasks. A few uses include installing ceiling grid, shelves, cabinets as well as plumbing doors and maintaining consistent heights when mounting multiple objects. The laser will basically give you a perfectly straight line to follow for any needed application and unlike chalk, it is easily removed once finished.
The first thing I noticed when opening up the Klein Tools 93LCLS Laser Level, is the well designed case. The case features actual metal latches that you simply don’t see anymore. The level also comes with an assortment of mounting options as well as the required batteries. I will note that I found the battery compartment very tight about how hard I had to push to close it. The compartment is lined with a small rubber gasket and seems designed to keep out the elements, which may be the reason it is so tight.
The unit has a wide variety of mounting options. The base is threaded to accept a standard 1/4″ inch tripod as well as a larger 5/8″ survey tripod. In addition to tripod mounts, the unit comes with two brackets. The first snaps on to the laser and has some up and down adjustment if needed. This bracket contains two magnets to mount the laser against a metal object, as well as holes to slide over screws if that is the desired mounting method. The second bracket contains a clip and foot. The clip is used to grab onto a piece of ceiling grid and the foot rests on the wall to prevent the weight of the laser from deforming the ceiling grid. This bracket has a sheet of metal on the back and mounts to the magnets on the first bracket.
The Klein 93LCLS has three different lasers onboard. Each laser can be turned on/off individually per its own button (see pic below). They can also all operate simultaneously if desired. The beams will self level, meaning that you just have to get the unit itself moderately level (within 4 degrees) and the laser automatically fall into a level adjustment. If mounted in such a way that the laser cannot self level, the beam will begin to turn on and off and the excessive tilt light will illuminate.
The level comes with a nice safety feature as well. There is a slide switch on the front of the unit. When turning the laser on, if you have not slid that to the unlocked position, you will find that it will not power up the laser. I like this feature because it keeps you from accidentally turning it on while putting it away for storage, but also unintentionally turning it on and potentially shining it in someones eyes.
I have read some customer comments about the magnets being weak. The magnets on the laser I received are more than strong enough for this unit. The held the laser solidly in place and it took a good tug to remove the tool. Even when adjusting the laser it took some effort to slide. Not a huge effort, but it would not slide on it’s own. Perhaps the metal others where mounting to had different properties, or maybe I got lucky.
I set the laser up on a tripod and measured the beam at different intervals. I have had some cheaper lasers that would not emit a truly flat beam. The beam closest to the laser diode would be the most accurate, and then the line would actually move off level as the beam distance increased. I found this extremely frustrating and was very impressed to see that the beam from the Klein 93LCLS stayed completely flat throughout the length it was projecting on the surface.
The red laser is extremely bright as long as you are working indoors. I found the beam tends to become very hard to see if not impossible when working outside in the sun. The human eye is naturally naturally more sensitive to green light than red, however, red lasers are more inexpensive to produce. I believe Klein went with a red laser on this tool because most people will be using it indoors. If you are looking for something that will be used outside, you may want to forgo this model and find something that has a green laser instead.
There are two main sizes of ceiling grid. The most common size which is 15/16″ wide and the more modern looking but not so common 9/16″ size. The mounting bracket looked like it would easily mount on the 15/16″ grid, but I wasn’t sure if there was enough on the clamp to grab onto the thinner 9/16″ style. It turns out the bracket has no issues mounting on this style of grid (see pics). The unit felt very solid mounted on the grid and the foot did a great job of relieving any stress that the laser’s weight would have place on the grid itself. Also in this picture you can see the laser can be slid up or down the metal plate on the bracket as the magnets allow for an infinite adjustment.
My eyes have always had a tendency to be drawn to anything crooked. Because of this I tend to take a long time measuring as well as double checking to make sure what I am working on is level. This laser has simplified that process and allowed me to streamline some of my processes. There seems to be a wide range of prices on laser levels. Based on my experience, I feel that this product is an excellent value for the performance and features you receive.