|Review by devann||posted 06-22-2011 07:29 AM||4043 views||1 time favorited||4 comments|
- Stanley Model 77-153 CL2 FatMax Self Leveling Cross Line Laser
- Brand: Stanley | Category: Measuring Tools
This is a review for one of my favorite levels that I use for some of my woodworking endeavors. I have many levels. I own about every type level made except for a Libella and I’ve been wanting to build a few of those to sell to some friends for their offices but haven’t gotten around to it. This level is the Stanley model 77-153 cross line level. It is an indoor use level that I find quite handy for cabinet setting, interior trim, general layout, and even tool setup in the shop sometimes.
It is a self leveling unit only requiring that it be placed at least +/- 4° from level. It achieves this by means of a magnetically dampened pendulum. So it is easily setup in a low light situation. If it is not setup properly the laser line will blink indicating that you have to adjust the position of the level to began use. And speaking of the line that is how it works. The laser projects a red laser “chalk line” rated to be within +/- 1/4”@ 30’. It comes with a spiffy little folding tripod that it attaches to by means of 1/4”-20 thread screw. Meaning you can also attach the unit to your standard camera tripod. The mini tripod included with the level also has a keyhole for hanging by nail or screw,and a strap for wrapping around something or a magnet that can also be used as a means to mount the level to what ever is handy for the desired benchmark setting. And it is also so easy to return to your previous benchmark if you have to stop and come back to the task that for many applications this is why it’s one of my favorites.
The unit only has one button to use switching between a horizontal line, vertical line, both at the same time and a lock feature, locking both lines held at right angles for other layout purposes. I’ve found the locking feature nice to have for floor tile layout, determining the angle of stairs, etc. Making it quick and easy to get on with the task at hand.
The unit is powered by 3AA batteries that will last for the better part of a workweek. And has a thick rubber sleeve that offers decent protection from everyday use. I’ve knocked mine off the wall a couple times, falling approximately 10’ to the concrete without any damage. I cringed each time thinking oh no that’s $100 bouncing off the floor, but when I checked the unit with a plumb bob hanging 15’ high and 25’ away the laser line was within 1/2 thickness of the string line so I was relieved to know that I did not have to adjust the laser line settings. And it does have a screw on the side of the unit to adjust the laser line but in going on 4 years of use I haven’t had to make any adjustments yet. And the plumb bob is my way of checking the laser from time to time so that I’m sure I can trust the unit to give me honest readings.
As mentioned for cabinet setting this unit can’t be beat. I use it with a geared shaft camera tripod. Crank it up to shoot the bottom of the uppers and when I get to the last one click on the plumb line and lower the level line to shoot across the tops of the lowers and I’m off and running. For stairs I use the lock feature to determine the angle of the cut for the handrail to the newel post and the angle of the setting needed for setting my jig for drilling balusters to the handrail. Trim on judges panels, wains coat, chair rails all are easy to set with a red line to follow. Shelving couldn’t be easier to get it level. Laying out for lights on the ceiling, just mark the locations on the floor and line up the laser and everything falls into place in a nice straight line. Even hanging pictures is a snap.
I’m going to give this tool a five star rating because it paid for itself the first day I used it. It’s proven to be durable and reliable. The only thing that needs replacing are the batteries and they are a common inexpensive type. And it’s about as idiot proof as any tool I have, so when I give it to and employee to use I can feel good about the results that I should expect end up with.
-- Darrell, making more sawdust than I know what to do with