How Safe is a Line Laser? | Engineer Supply - EngineerSupply

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Are line lasers safe?

Blog are line lasers safe

While the beam coming out of a line laser has only a small amount of power, it’s concentrated enough to cause eye damage. The coherence and low divergence of a laser beam, which is aided by the focusing from the lens of your eye, can cause a concentrated amount of laser radiation to focus on an extremely small spot on your retina. Even an increase of 10 Degrees Celsius can destroy retinal photoreceptor cells. And if the laser is powerful enough, it can cause permanent damage in a fraction of a second (which is faster than the blink of an eye).

Lasers that are powerful enough in the visible to near infrared range (400-1400nm) will penetrate the eyeball and can heat up the retina, while being exposed to laser radiation with wavelengths that are less than 400 nm or greater than 1400nm are mostly absorbed by the cornea and lens (which can lead to cataracts or burn injuries). Infrared lasers are extremely hazardous, because the body has a protective glare aversion response (also called the “blink reflex”) that is only triggered by visible light.

blog are line lasers safe

Laser Line Level Classifications

A line laser can have any of the following classifications:
  • Class I Lasers— These are usually under 0.4 milliwatts (mw) of power and aren’t powerful enough to damage your skin or any tissues.
  • Class II Lasers— These are visible to human eye but have very low power (below 1.0 mw). When the eye is exposed to this type of rotary laser level, it blinks (which can give you enough protection). But if you’re continuously exposed over time, it can damage your eyes.
  • Class IIa Lasers— These aren’t meant to be viewed, and being exposed to them for more than 3 minutes over an eight-hour period can lead to injury.
  • Class IIIa Lasers— These are intermediate lasers that are between 1-5 mw. Lasers in this class can damage your eyes if they’re exposed to the beam for more than two minutes.
  • Class IIIb Lasers— These are moderately-powered lasers that are between 5-500 mw. Lasers in this class could damage your eyes if they’re exposed directly to the beam, and it may be permanent.
  • Class IV Lasers — These are high-powered lasers that can damage your eyes and skin. Many industrial, scientific, military, and medical lasers fall within this category. Even some handheld lasers (such as laser pointers) are available in this category.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has detailed information with regard to laser hazards in Section III, Chapter 6 of the OSHA Technical Manual (

Guidelines for Line Laser Safety

While you’re using a laser line level, you should take the following precautions:
  • Never stare directly into the beam.
  • Tinted glasses don’t offer enough protection from direct exposure to a laser beam.
  • Don’t try to repair or disassemble a rotary laser levelor any other laser tool, because doing it improperly can result in serious injury.
  • Don’t use a line laserunless you’re familiar with how it operates.
  • Never point a laser at a vehicle with a driver, people, or pets.
  • Don’t let children play with lasers.
  • Purchase a line laserwith a level of strength that’s compatible with your intended use.
  • Always turn the laser line leveloff when you’re not using it or if it’s left unattended for any period of time.
  • Remove the batteries while you’re storing it for a long period of time (more than three months) to keep it from getting damaged from battery deterioration.
Everyone who uses a laser should understand the risks. Not only should you avoid staring directly into the beam, but you should also wear protective eyewear that has the right type of filtering optics to protect your eyes from the reflected or scattered laser light. Eyewear needs to be selected according to the specific laser classification, so it can block or attenuate in the right wavelength range. Protective eyewear is rated according to optical density (OD), which is a measure of how well the optical filter can reduce the beam’s intensity. If direct exposure to the beam is possible, it has to have enough optical density and wavelength rating to withstand a direct hit from the beam without breaking.

If you’re looking for a quality line laser from some of the best manufacturers in the industry, feel free to look at the broad selection we have at Engineer Supply.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How does a line laser work?

blog are line lasers safe

A laser line level projects the beam as a line instead of as a point, which is achieved by passing the beam through a cylindrical lens. Depending on what it’s used for, line lasers can project lines. And more than one can be used together to produce a cross or some other pattern.

How do I use a line laser?

You can use a laser line level to create an accurate level or plumb reference. It projects a 180-degree beam that can run both horizontally and vertically, but there are some that can project a 360-degree beam. If you’re looking for a rotary laser level or any other laser leveling product, feel free to look at what we have at Engineer Supply.

What's the best type of line laser level?

There are a number of line laser levels on the market, so you should pick one that will meet your specific needs. Feel free to look at what we have at Engineer Supply, so you can find a product that’s right for you!

What's the difference between a line laser and a dot laser?

A laser line level emits a line beam that’s transmitted to a surface (such as a wall), and they can be visible up to a distance of about 10 meters. They can be used for any of the following applications:
  • Tiling projects.
  • Kitchen or cabinet set-outs.
  • Electrical drywall setup.
  • Partitioning projects.
A dot laser emits a dot, which will have a plumb down, plumb up, and a horizontal dot at 90 degrees to plumb up and down. Sometimes they have three horizontal dots at 90 degrees, and they can be used for any of the following applications:
  • Partition fit-outs.
  • Electrical light placements.
  • Sprinkler system layouts.
  • Kitchen and cabinetry set-outs.
  • Equipment set-up.
Whether you’re looking for a rotary laser level or any other laser leveling tool, be sure to look at what we have at Engineer Supply.

Where can I buy a quality line laser?

If you’re looking for a broad selection of line laser levels or any other laser leveling product, Engineer Supply has a broad selection of tools from some of the best manufacturers in the industry. Feel free to look at what we have in stock, so you can find a tool that will meet your specific needs.
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