40-0918 Manual-Leveling Rotary Laser Level

Note from Johnson Level:   

The 40-0918 Manual-Leveling Rotary Laser Level is a great opening price point laser from Johnson.  The elevating tripod mentioned in this review makes this laser ideal for most interior applications and the illuminated vials allow for easy reading in any condition.  This laser level is easy to operate with one dial to turn the laser on and control the variable speed.  The 40-0918 has been a great seller here at Johnson Level, the leader in levels and lasers.  This review was written by Harold Therault and can be viewed in its original form on lunch.com.

Product Review:  Johnson Level & Tool #40-0918 Manual Rotary Laser Level (5 Stars)

If you ever were wondering if it was worth it to own a laser level, let me tell you that once you decide to purchase one no matter what you pay for it, it will help with the accuracy of the job that you do.  There are several different styles of these laser levels, but for the price, you can't go wrong with this one from Johnson Level, manufacturer of levels, laser levels and construction measuring tools.

This is the ultimate tool in the toolmans', toolbox. This laser level only weighs 1 pound 3.1 ounces and is approximately 5" x 5" x 6". The tripod that you get with it is made of aluminum and only weighs 1lb. and 5.8 ounces. This tripod will come in very handy, because it will act as an extra set hands for you. When opened up fully it stands 35" tall, with an additional 12" extension which will give you a total of 47". This whole kit only weighs 5 pounds and 14.6 ounces, the case is very durable and will help keep the laser protected when in storage or when traveling. Along with this being made of aluminum the three legs come in two sections that with just a flip of a lever you can lock and unlock them to stay in place. On top of this tripod there is a small bubble level to allow you to level the tripod then there are three more levels on the laser that will help you make the most out of your laser. This is a class lllA type laser, the laser wave length is 650nm +/-10 nm.

The whole set-up can be locked into place just tightening the center locking ring which is stopped by a rubber o-ring. For more of a fine adjustment there is a hand crank located on the side top of the tripod, this crank can be slowly turned to raise and lower for the most precise spotting. The laser can be mounted either vertically or horizontally by screwing the laser onto the 5/8" threads that are located on top of the tripod. This will take 4 AA batteries to operate, you will get the first set with the kit, you may have to change these because they probably will have been sitting for a while you should get 25 working hours out of your batteries. When you first switch the laser on, you will see a split beam of red light shoot out of the top and side at the same time, be careful not to let this get you in the eyes. At the very top of the laser you have a black knob that will spin faster as you rotate the dial, to a maximum speed of 600rpm. The very durable and sealed casing that this laser is protected by will help keep dust and water from getting into the inner components and damaging anything. It is best if you use this laser level at temperatures above 14F. - not to exceed 113F. This kit also has an IP protection class of 43 and comes with tinted safety glasses.

Even though there are three types laser levels, rotary, line levels or the ever popular dot level. Of these three, I only have two of them and they are the rotary and line levels.  I have used the line level in almost all of my projects but it is time now to go to the newer generation of levels and this laser level is the way to go. I have used this on all of my remodeling needs, it has become my right hand man in my kitchen job. This kitchen job was quite difficult, because we had to gut the entire kitchen and start all over again. In doing that we found all of the undesirable workmanship that was done in the previous attempts to rebuild this kitchen. At first glance, the appearance of the kitchen looked to be pretty good, until we were there a while. After about six months a lot of stuff starting falling apart and it was time to dig out the sledge hammer and saws to demo this kitchen.

In doing this there was a lot of things that we could not trust and that was the levelness of the walls and floors when trying to get the dimensions off of the floor all to the ceiling properly. I have use this laser level for putting up above ground pools and fencing outside, and installing drywall and drop ceilings, paneling, wallpaper, and even wooden trim. There have been some instances that I have reverted to using this to hang pictures but more than not because of the age of the house you have to go with the way that it looks rather how level it is. Meaning that if you put it up level it still looks off because of the door trim and doorways are not level to begin with.

My main concern was the lighting, I had nothing that I could trust and I had to get the proper dimensions off of the floor and put them on the ceiling. These had to be perfect, because they had to hang perfectly center over the granite island that we were installing. If we were off by one half of an inch it would look atrocious. This is when I took a chance and with the dimensions drawn out on the floor I took a short nail and put it into the floor at the desired spot, then instead of using the tripod I just centered the laser level over the nail (letting the nail protrude through the threaded hole located at the bottom of the laser) then by adjusting the little dials that help with leveling the laser I was able to put an accurate spot on the ceiling 9' over my head.

Now that I did this I hung some strings with little weights to simulate where everything was going to be and it looked perfect. I did not trust the outer walls because when I measured them,(the wall seemed to be traveling) they were two different measurements, and if I would have used those measurements the island and lights would have looked crooked and off center. Once I did this I felt confident that my lighting was in the right spot and started to install the drywall.

This time is used the laser on the tripod and it work like a champ and saved me a lot of time. With the split beam in action I could see two different spots at the same time to assure me that the drywall was going up straight and true, even if the studs were a little off.  If you have to use this to install a drop ceiling I better tell you that you will need a ceiling mount to use it for that. But, we simply used drywall on the ceiling and cut holes for the lighting. Since we did the ceiling first, we still had the measurements on the floor, so that when the drywall went up we simply just placed the laser over our little trusty nail and transferred the spots onto the new drywall and proceeded to cut the hole and the spotting for the lighting was perfect.

Our kitchen turned better than expected with the help of this little gem. I felt that we did a very professional job and the outcome was superb. This laser level is only a manual one and it is accurate to +/- 1/8" every 30', this also has a range of up to 200' in diameter inside, and the outsides distance depends on the lighting conditions.  If you wish to use this outside it will only work well with an electronic receiver.

Believe this, I called the company to inquire if the tripod was also included in the warranty and they said that everything that comes in the kit is covered by a three-year warranty that you can get just by sending in the warranty card and proof of purchase.

I can highly recommend this tool, it will not take a rocket scientist to operate this laser. If you know how to read and use a regular level then you are on your way to having more professional looking jobs. My eight year old daughter has even used this and has had a lot of fun helping me out, so if she can do it then that tells you how easy it is to use. We have used this just about every day that we have a project to do, so far none of the jobs that we have had to do has been too big, or there has not been any problem for this laser to be used on any jobs. So far I am very impressed at how much time that I have saved on my projects and the accuracy that this laser has given me.