360 line lasers
a 360 line laser is a line which has an un-interupted (near un-interupted) 360 degree line either horizontally or vertically.
This is not a new technology, Spectra had for many years a 360 line laser in their range, namely the Spectra Physics Laserplane 100 series.
But these models were sold as low powered alternative to a rotating laser level rather than an indoor/outdoor line laser, in fact many owners believed them to be a rotating laser. The core technology of this model was the use of one laser diode shooting up to a mirrored cone, this cone would then convert this single dot into an un broken line. The Laserplane then had a receiver that would pick up this line in much the same way as in a rotating laser. The main difference between these and a rotating laser was working range with the rotating providing substantially greater coverage.
Over the laser couple of years this technology has been used to produce visible 360 line lasers. Before this if a manufacturer wanted an unbroken 360 line laser they would used 3 or more laser diodes producing lines and setting them up to overlap to create the full 360 degrees. Using 1 dot laser diode shooting onto a cone is far smaller, lighter, easier to construct and so, much cheaper. If it is done right then its just as effective as using multiple diodes.
There are number of example of this technology by Bosch, Spectra, Dewalt just to name a few and some have multiple planes with horizontal and dual vertical 360 laser line planes at 90 degrees to each other. Some models produce a pulsed beam and supply either as standard or as a optional extra a line laser receiver so can also be used outside in full sun.
So where do these types of laser fit into the mix. Clearly they make exceptional internal fit out laser levels due to every angle being covered, level, vertical alignment, plumb up and down and squaring applications. But they also make a pretty handy outside laser (using use line receiver) for such things as decking, patio’s, sheds, driveways etc. They do, however, have a limited range as compared to a rotating laser so for house block and commercial concreting, drainage, earthmoving etc, the rotating laser level is still king.
Below are a few example you can buy.