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Attention Paver Installers: Levels

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by RedWingsDet, Mar 27, 2005.

  1. RedWingsDet

    RedWingsDet LawnSite Gold Member
    from Detroit
    Messages: 3,556

    What kinds of levels do you guys use for the subase? Last year I used the stake and line level method. But I see those laser levels that are like 800$, does anyone use those. Or what about the cheaper models that are like $300. Also, how do the laser levels work? Thanks!
  2. YardPro

    YardPro LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,570

    we just bought the self leveling dewalt. a little over $1K.

    you will still need to use strings, but the laser will make it a lot easier to set the stakes.
  3. MidAtlantic

    MidAtlantic LawnSite Member
    Messages: 123

    Go on ebay and look up spectra physics, or laser plane. We have never bought a laser on Ebay but we have used lasers for grading since the early 90's. Plus spectra physics has repair centers across the US that can do the alignments every couple years to make sure its working properly.
  4. RedWingsDet

    RedWingsDet LawnSite Gold Member
    from Detroit
    Messages: 3,556

    thanks guys. now, my other question. what do I look for in a laser level? like what features do they have/offer and what do they mean?

    thanks guys.
  5. YardPro

    YardPro LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,570

    the accuracy varies.
    also the range varies.

    the big price jump comes with a self leveling one. You add about $500.00 for a self leveling laser.
  6. RedWingsDet

    RedWingsDet LawnSite Gold Member
    from Detroit
    Messages: 3,556

    is the self leveling alot eaiser? and is it needed?
  7. YardPro

    YardPro LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,570

    needed -NO-
    convenient YES

    the main difference is that usually the self leveling are also more accurate. they are also more consistant.

    there is more room for error when you have to manually level the unit on two sides.
  8. RedWingsDet

    RedWingsDet LawnSite Gold Member
    from Detroit
    Messages: 3,556

    okay. I'd get the self leveling.

    Im not fimiluar (spelling?) with self leveling tools, obvisouly... can you please explain to me how it works? does it just put a laser beam on the ground for you to grade properly or what?

    sorry if its a dumb question, but we all learn some way. lol

    thanks so much.
  9. D Felix

    D Felix LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,898

    No, it doesn't put a beam on the ground.:laugh:

    Most of them (the good ones anyway) have a rotating laser that you need a detector for. The detector goes on a measuring stick (story pole) that you set your grade on/with.

    We have a Topcon grade laser. ~$3k, but it'll make any future paver/grading/drainage jobs go SO much easier. Those can be done with a normal laser level, but it involves more thinking and more time, those equal more room for error.

    Before the grade laser, we had a Topcon laser level that was traded in for the grade laser.

    Whatever you do, stay away from CST/Berger. Or David White for that matter. I think CST/Berger bought White a few years ago. They used to have really good products, but from what I understand their service has gone downhill a LOT.

    Self-leveling lasers are easy to use; mount them to the tripod, turn them on, and walk away. Our grade laser is basically the same, but you need to make sure you have it oriented the correct way (uphill/downhill), and you have to input the grade you want before you walk away.


  10. mbella

    mbella LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,284

    Dan, I just ordered the Topcon H3C3 (not sure if that nomenclature is exactly right). It is the single slope laser. What has been your experience with Topcon as far as service and the product itself?

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