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New to laser transits. Which unit?

MattR

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Dec 25, 2010
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I'm almost embarrassed to admit, but I've still been using an old David White transit. I see lots of Topcon lasers. Many models. What model is good for general excavating? Some ditches, garage pads, basements, general drainage on roads, ponds, etc. We are a small company, and I really don't know much about them.

is there also some with a sort of alarm I can put on a machine to indicate grade?

I have read about Topcon model RL-H5A, would that be good? A local has RL-H3C. What is better for me?


Bear with me. Thanks
 
Last edited:

Welder Dave

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Spectra Precision are what some members on here recommend and generally have a good reputation.
 

CM1995

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A Topcon RL-H5A is a great laser to start with - $700-800 as a combo with a cheap tri-pod and grade rod.

I have a RL-H5A which is the slope match function and a RL-H5B which doesn't have the slope match. Honestly we never use the slope match feature.

Also have a Spectra GL 622N dual slope laser we use to lay pipe and run our laser box blade. The Spectra is a very nice laser with remote but it's north of $2K which is well worth it if you need that much of a laser.
 

MattR

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Thanks Dave, I'll look into them.

Another question: is it worth the extra money to get a 2 slope/grade unit? I don't think I'd use the feature much, but I can see it would be handy at times.

I was looking at Topcon models: RL-SV2S and RL-SV1S

Thanks again
 

MattR

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A Topcon RL-H5A is a great laser to start with - $700-800 as a combo with a cheap tri-pod and grade rod.

I have a RL-H5A which is the slope match function and a RL-H5B which doesn't have the slope match. Honestly we never use the slope match feature.

I was replying to Dave just as you replied. What do you think of the models in my upper reply?

Also have a Spectra GL 622N dual slope laser we use to lay pipe and run our laser box blade. The Spectra is a very nice laser with remote but it's north of $2K which is well worth it if you need that much of a laser.
 

CM1995

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Matt what is your budget for a new laser?
 

MattR

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Michigan
Well, when we get to work again this summer I wouldn't mind spending the $1700 for the RL-SV2S if it's worth it. This time of year in Upper Michigan we are off for frost laws (and now corona) , so I don't think it's smart to spend too much right now. But I'm just getting the research done since I'm just twiddling my thumbs anyhow. But I'm going to do it this year. I've been threatening myself for several years, but this time I'm serious!
 

MattR

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But is the 2 slope good to have for the basic stuff I do? Or just go single? Honesty, the $350 difference doesn't sound too bad to have the extra function. Even if rarely used.
 

bam1968

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I have a Topcon RL-H4C, a Leica 100LR and an AGL (can't remember the model #) laser. We do mostly farm type work and have rarely needed a dual slope laser. My 'go to' laser is the Leica but honestly I don't have a very good reason why other than it's the one I'm used to and most familiar with. The AGL is a spare laser and doesn't get used much mainly because it doesn't have a rechargeable battery pack like the Topcon and Leica. I have had good luck with Spectra Lasers as well. Just my $.02
 

CM1995

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I love our Topcon RL-H4's, they are great lasers and will run our Cat laser blade.

For $350 I'd go for the dual if you are already spending that much. Probably not use it that much but for that first parking lot that splits grade 2 ways it might just pay for itself.
 

MattR

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I love our Topcon RL-H4's, they are great lasers and will run our Cat laser blade.

For $350 I'd go for the dual if you are already spending that much. Probably not use it that much but for that first parking lot that splits grade 2 ways it might just pay for itself.
I'm thinking the same. I appreciate the info felloe
 

mitch504

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I figured felloe was just a typo, but I looked it up. It is the part of a wagon wheel the spokes go into, so he might be calling you old fashioned, CM.

I use a Dewalt rotary laser, it's manually adjustable for slope. It works good for the little I use it. One important point for me, since I don't use it everyday, or even every month, is that it runs off D cells. The one I had before it was rechargeable, and wasn't always charged if I wanted to use it.
 

CM1995

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Good point Mitch.

All of our lasers run on D cell batteries. You can always find them and/or keep an extra set on the truck.
 

Shimmy1

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Hopefully the other guys don't get too irritated, but as a guy that has been using lasers for over 25 years, you could not MAKE me go back to D-cell alkaline batteries. I won't do it. I would rather shove them, well, you know. Make sure you get Ni-MH (NOT Ni-Cad) and charge the laser each time after using it. Just my $0.02.
 

MattR

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Shimmy, what do you know about the models I listed? Is the 2 slope worth it? Thanks for the reply
 

CM1995

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Hopefully the other guys don't get too irritated, but as a guy that has been using lasers for over 25 years, you could not MAKE me go back to D-cell alkaline batteries.

No irritation here - each to his own. What would happen to me is the laser is in one truck and the charger is in another 20 miles across town during rush hour.:rolleyes:
 

bam1968

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I'm with Shimmy on this one. I carry a battery pack with "D cells' in the case for a backup but it rarely gets used. My problem is I'm usually working 20 miles from any place that I can buy any batteries. But for what the rechargeable battery packs and chargers cost you can sure buy alot of batteries.
 
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