This is my first review of any of the Tek4 line from Ryobi. So far, I’m impressed. Yes, it’s a consumer brand, but this laser has some pretty cool pro features at a fraction of the cost of a professional laser tool.
That being said, the first thing I do when I take a new tool out of the box is see if I can figure out how it works, where the battery goes, etc. – without cracking open the instructions. This was the first time I was stumped and had to take a quick glance to find out how to disassemble the outer shell from the inner workings to locate the battery compartment. After using the laser though, I can see why the compartment had to be buried, as it were. From there on out, it’s been a pretty simple tool to understand.
Starting with the basics, this tool has self-leveling horizontal and vertical lines, as well as plumb points top and bottom. It comes with everything in the picture – laser, battery (obviously inside the tool), wall charger, and soft belt case.
Operation is simple – depress the button on top to cycle through the lines. Press again to turn the unit off.
There’s a threaded socket on the bottom for mounting the laser to a tripod (or in this case a simple light stand) and shooting plumb points on the ceiling and floor.
Another nice touch is the rough and fine-tuning ability built into the case. A small lever on the side of the tool allows you to position the laser a couple of inches higher within the outer shell.
This was the clunkiest action of the laser. It takes a little getting used to with regard to positioning your thumb or finger to activate the lever. This is also how you access the battery compartment, by the way. However, if that is indeed its biggest sin, I can certainly live with it (especially at the pricepoint!)
The knob on top allows for fine tuning the final position of the lines, which operated for me with no problem.
The self-leveling feature rocks. The laser has a 5 degree angle of latitude. Tip it too far and the tool warns you with a blinking light first, then the laser turns off until it’s within the tolerance again. Basically, it keeps you honest.
I used it first to align and plumb a partition wall and it was dead on. Technically, it’s accurate within .04″ at 100 feet – that’s perfectly acceptable to me. The lines and points are bright and easy to see.
I haven’t tested battery life yet, but if it holds true to the Tek4 line, it should be more than acceptable. I welcome any stories you may have (good or bad) with regard to the batteries in this line.
Of course, the main selling point of these tools is that the battery is interchangeable. The manufacturer wants you to get comfortable enough with the line so that you’ll continue to purchase the Tek4 as a matter of simple convenience. In a way, that keeps them on their toes, since they understand a misstep in quality could switch your brand loyalty quickly. With this tool, Ryobi has not disappointed me. I wouldn’t attempt to drive a truck over the plastic housing, but it will certainly stand up to use around a DIYer’s home – even a pro could make good use of this on a job site if cared for properly.
At a fraction of the cost of pro tools that provide the same functionality, the Tek4 laser from Ryobi gets a gold star from me.
To purchase the Tek4 Self-Leveling Laser from Amazon ($50.99 at post): CLICK HERE
For more information on this and other Tek4 tools: CLICK HERE