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laser for newbie

Discussion in 'Lasers' started by nickkendall, Jan 19, 2013.

  1. nickkendall

    nickkendall Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2011
    Messages:
    48
    Location:
    n.d.
    i am needing to get a laser I have used them a couple of times before and now ready to purchase. I am wanting something that is user friendly and i can catch on to quick. I want auto leveling also .. I do not need anything real fancy and don't want to break the bank but still want something reliable. What and where to get it? I may someday want to set it up to be used with excavator if possible but that is not a big deal at this time
     
  2. Greg

    Greg Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2008
    Messages:
    1,175
    Occupation:
    Excavating Contractor
    Location:
    Wi
    Buy something good when you do it. I recommend Spectraphysics. Have had mine for a long time and it never fails me
     
  3. CM1995

    CM1995 Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2007
    Messages:
    9,079
    Occupation:
    Running what I brung and taking what I win
    Location:
    Alabama
    I should have a new Topcon RL H4C tomorrow. I wanted a good long range laser (500 +') with auto level and the ability to match a slope, wanted a dual slope laser but don't have the $3K to put into one right now. The H4C fit the bill for what I need right now, we'll see. I have had Spectraphysics lasers in the past and they are good lasers as well.
     
  4. 06Pete

    06Pete Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2012
    Messages:
    174
    Location:
    MD
    What kind of work will you be doing? I have hade good luck with Dewalt or other brands sold at Lowes. They are much cheeper and I have checked them many times with the much more expensive ones and they are always dead on in 100 feet or so. I have dug thousands of basements footings and septics useing them and have not had any problems yet. If you are just starting out I would start cheep and then as your bussiness growes buy something bigger Just my opinion. I will check and see what the other brand besides Dewalt is that I have but that is the one I like the best.
     
  5. roadrunner

    roadrunner Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2008
    Messages:
    148
    Location:
    Saskatchewan, Canada
    I have a Spectra/ Trimble laser and receiver , very easy to use and reliable.Excavator magnetic mount is included and I use it all the time.
     
  6. lumberjack

    lumberjack Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2011
    Messages:
    1,027
    Location:
    Columbus, MS
    I'm going to be buying a laser in the next little bit. Instead of going the cheap route then upgrade, I've found it's better for me to but better from the get go.

    I plan on getting the Trimble 522 and the CR600(at least, might go LR50) and some stick mounted receiver as well.
     
  7. ARPlante

    ARPlante Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Messages:
    81
    Occupation:
    Owner, secretary, estimator, mechanic, janitor
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    I have had very good luck with the Trimble 422 and CR600 receiver. We also have a Trimble 722 for the auto laser system on our D5 that has been good so far.
     
  8. Hendrik

    Hendrik Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2009
    Messages:
    1,232
    Location:
    Adelaide South Australia
    Really depends on how much you want to spend, I have a Hilti I bought off ebay a while back and it works great but likes to eat D batteries. Which is not a drama because if I am using it I am earning money.
    If a laser is something you use all the time and levels are critical you are best off to buy a good one, if you use it occasionally to get near the levels a cheap one would suffice.
     
  9. Randy88

    Randy88 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2009
    Messages:
    1,787
    Location:
    iowa
    First find someone local that sells and fixes them, if you buy the best laser in the world, it means nothing if you don't have local support to keep it going or can get it fixed. Most brands out there are good today, just depends on how much you want to spend and how much your going to use it and for what, or what your wanting to do with it in a few years, to say spend the extra dollars for an upgrade now, can mean a lot of dollars upfront, everyone's idea of cheap and expensive might mean different things.

    I've had a few lasers over the years, single slope, dual slope, with remotes without, heavy hard to handle, lightweight and easy to use and everything in between, with machine controls and without, depending on what I was doing and using at the time.

    Ask locally what everyone there has and is using and who sells and maintains them locally, there has to be someone, and ask them questions and get a sales pitch of what they think you need to buy, what models, configuration, options and etc, then ask us if we've had any experience with those models and what we've found wrong with them or how they work or the pro's and cons of each model, might be a better way to go about hunting a laser and asking questions. Right today, I'd recommend any laser I've ever owned, they were all good, and ranged from 1500-9000 dollars each. Now dealers, thats a whole different story, I've had some pretty good and bad dealers over the years, none are in your area at all. As for used, I'd never buy a used receiver, but I've bought used lasers and had good luck, I also had good dealer support and got honest answers about them too, but I do prefer to buy new whenever I can on anything laser related, so I have a warranty which on my newest laser is 5 years now.

    Me personally I'd never buy a laser off the internet, even new, because I'd not have dealer support when I needed it, for me, when I've got problems or want it checked over, I get a free loaner while mine is in the shop if its in season and I need one, to me thats the thing I'm wanting, no downtime or waiting and he's a half hour drive from me, so if I'm tiling and need the laser, I'm down maybe an hour and back running again, or finish grading a building and my laser quits, an hour later I'm back to work and my old one can be back in a day, week or month, I don't care, to me that's service and why I buy the brands I do, not because of the company or what contractors say, its because its the brand my dealer sells and fixes and offers product support for. This has only ever happened twice in all the years of owning lasers but was worth its weight in gold to me when it happened, since all my other lasers were being use by my crews as well, and I'd have had expensive delays without a laser.