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Johnson Self-Leveling 2-Dot Laser Level
Connecting the dots has never been so accurate
Text, photos and video by Tom Hintz
Posted – 4-10-2011
The Johnson Self-Leveling 2-Dot Laser Level makes identifying exactly plumb locations very easy through the use of a self-leveling pendulum mechanism. Set the Johnson Self-Leveling 2-Dot Laser Level on a reasonably level surface (+/- 3-degrees) and it does the rest. The pendulum uses gravity to perfectly align the laser beams so you can focus on doing your job and be sure that it is plumb.
The Johnson Self-Leveling 2-Dot Laser Level comes with the laser unit itself, AA-batteries, a graduated target, carry case with belt loop and the instruction manual. You really can buy this unit and go right to work. Johnson also offers the #40-6675 model that is identical to the Johnson Self-Leveling 2-Dot Laser Level except that it adds a forward facing horizontal laser beam that is exactly 90-degrees to the two plumb dots.
The Johnson Self-Leveling 2-Dot Laser Level is 4.212"-tall by 2.598"-wide by 4.528"-long and weighs just 0.127lbs (0.58kg) so getting it to the jobsite is not an issue. It is powered by three AA-type batteries (included) that should last up to 50-hours of run time so you won’t need to be running after new batteries very often.
The Johnson Self-Leveling 2-Dot Laser Level (#40-6670) uses a Class IIIa laser with a maximum output of <=5mW. This laser has an accuracy of +/-1/8"at 50ft (+/-2mm/10m) and an interior range up to 100ft. (30m) depending on the ambient light conditions naturally. The laser has a wavelength of 650nm +/-10nm (Red). As bright as the Johnson Self-Leveling 2-Dot Laser Level has been during this evaluation under our photo lights I have a hard time believing that the laser dots will disappear in anything but the absolute worst conditions.
The tough plastic case has rubber overmolds strategically located to make it comfortable to the hand, slip resistant and resistant to some of the knocks of being transported from job to job. While the Johnson Self-Leveling 2-Dot Laser Level can be simply set down on a reasonably level surface the case does have bushing in the base with 1/4"-20 threads to make it compatible with virtually any of the ca-zillion or so camera tripods and stands on the market.
In the Shop
Using the Johnson Self-Leveling 2-Dot Laser Level is about as easy as it gets. You do have to come up with a sort of flat surface that is within 3-degrees +/- of level for the internal pendulum mechanism to make that laser dots truly plumb automatically. If you can’t make a surface that is within 3-degrees of level you really need to slow down and pay attention a little more! The Johnson Self-Leveling 2-Dot Laser Level will let you know that it is not level enough with a series of audible beeps and flashing of the laser. Those indicators go silent when you get within the +/- 3-degrees sweet spot.
The Johnson Self-Leveling 2-Dot Laser Level has a knob on the side that turns the laser on and off. That same knob also locks the pendulum mechanism when the laser is turned off so that it will not be damaged during transport. The manual gives clear instructions for checking the calibration of the Johnson Self-Leveling 2-Dot Laser Level, something you should be doing from time to time with any precision instrument. There are adjustment ports on the front and in the ON\OFF knob to access the internal adjustments just in case the Johnson Self-Leveling 2-Dot Laser Level needs tweaking.
The front edge of the Johnson Self-Leveling 2-Dot Laser Level has a ½”-deep by 2”-tall recess that slips over common framing materials to put the laser dot exactly on the edge. Then the vertical dot shining on the ceiling or upper surface is exactly plumb to that edge. The recess also has magnets set into the surfaces that help hold it motionless against things like steel framing materials.
Installing just about anything that needs to be plumb just does not get much easier than with the Johnson Self-Leveling 2-Dot Laser Level. It looks to be well built and is as accurate as I can find a way to measure. All you have to do is connect the dots!
With a street price of about $95.00 to $100.00 (4-9-2011) the Johnson Self-Leveling 2-Dot Laser Level is as affordable as it is versatile. Precision measuring tools like the Johnson Self-Leveling 2-Dot Laser Level can make your life in the shop or on the job site easier and more accurate. Those are two traits that are not often found within on tool these days.
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