Leica Lino L2P5 – Tool Business & Hire

Leica Lino L2P5 reviewedLeica Lino L2P5 – You know you need one…

Don’t you hate those people at Leica Geosystems – just when you thought you had got the best out of your latest laser device, out comes a new device that is much more advanced and will do a lot more sophisticated things. You wrestle with your conscience, but deep down you know that the new device will actually work better and make your working life easier – and will probably save you time and money. So you make the investment, knowing full well that those clever Leica people will probably launch another market-leading device in a couple of years. Ah well, such is life and such is progress – if it wasn’t, you would still be laying out your jobs with a chalkline and spirit level.

The particular device I am talking about is the Leica Lino L2P5. A much bigger and more sophisticated brother to the Lino L2. The L2 is quite compact, being about 95mm high, 100mm long and 65mm wide. It has a horizontal and vertical laser lines, self-levelling capability and a laser lock so that angled lines can be projected. I have used the Lino L2 many times for things as diverse as putting up curtain poles and setting out tiles in a bathroom. I have always found the laser lines bright and accurate and the Lino completely easy to use. I thought I would never find a similar device as good – until I tried the Lino L2P5.

Immediately noticeable is that the Lino L2P5 is much bigger – 120mm high, 135mm long and 80mm wide. There are also so many other things to notice too – like the three laser projectors and laser dot projectors. That is when the penny drops that a quantum leap has been made and the new Lino is a much bigger brother, with a master’s degree in sophistication. However, the overall look of the Lino brand is maintained. The outer casing is a mixture of solid black Leica ABS with generous red rubberised “bumper zones” on the top and bottom where most contact with other materials will occur. In fact, Leica guarantees that the Lino is “Siteproof” – and it comes with a three-year warranty, so they must be fairly confident at Leica Headquarters.

To get started, four AA batteries are inserted into the lidded compartment under the base – as opposed to three in the Lino L2 – no doubt to take account of the extra laser functions. Near the battery lid is a threaded hole that can fit onto a standard tripod as it is. The ingenious Leica mini-tripod (not included in this kit) is a great way of using this hole, and for many straightforward applications, this may be enough, but included with the new Lino kit is a multifunction magnetic base adaptor. The L2P5 in turn, is designed to click- fit firmly to the new magnetic adaptor, making the Lino L2P5 much more versatile in the levelling stakes.

This adaptor makes possible a number of very useful functions that help the new Lino surpass the old one. Firstly, it has a larger brass insert for use on a much larger tripod such as a surveyor’s tripod. This is clearly needed to provide the necessary stability for accurate work with projected lasers. Secondly at one end of the adaptor there are two methods of fixing it to a vertical wall. A simple keyhole hook allows it to be hung on a nail or screw stuck into a wall. Secondly, a powerful set of three magnets can be used to hang the adaptor from a ferrous metal surface. These magnets are so powerful that there is no danger that the Lino will ever fall off once attached.

Finally, on the adaptor is a rotating base onto which the Lino is slid and locked into position. This base can be rotated 360 degrees and it is graduated for every 15 degrees of turn. Because of this base adaptor, the new laser features of the Lino can be fully exploited as it offers incredibly flexible ways of holding and therefore aiming the lasers.

Leica lasers are legendary in the sense that the Leica Power Range Technology makes the lasers far easier to see than competitor products. The lasers retain their sharpness and brightness even at maximum projection (about 35m I believe). Combine the sharp laser lines with a guaranteed accuracy of ± 1.5mm and you can be pretty sure of the accuracy of your laying out.

Leica Lino L2P5For me, the key thing about the Lino is its incredible ease of use. For most users with some experience of using lasers, they should be able to get accurate results within half an hour out of the box. There are only two switches on the top of the device. The on/off switch controls the horizontal and vertical laser lines sequentially. To switch off, you simply hold the button down for a few seconds. The other button controls the pulse/powersave mode. All these modes are indicated by tiny indicator lights near the switches. On the right side of the Lino is a locking lever. This is engaged in lock position when the Lino is used for laying out an angled line, a balustrade railing for example. When it is unlocked the Lino will self-level, provided the surface on which it stands is no more than 4 degrees or so out of level. Any greater misalignment will simply deactivate the laser lines. Unlocking the lever also activates two cross laser lines, the vertical laser and four dots. These dots are placed exactly at right angles to each other, so this simplifies setting out things like kitchen cabinets.

As you would expect, the Lino comes in an ABS fitted case with target plate, magnetic adaptor and instructions. For site use the Lino can be carried in the much lighter padded nylon case supplied as standard.

In truth, I can’t find anything negative to say about the Leica Lino L2P5 – Leica Geosystems designers, in my experience, don’t leave anything to chance. You do pay a top price, but you do get, in my opinion, the best. Even for the price of £319 + VAT it represents a good value for money. I also discovered quite a few good things about my new house using the Leica Lino. For one thing, the door frames are surprisingly plumb and the oak worktops are millimetre perfectly horizontal. If the Lino wasn’t so new, I would guess that the guy who did my kitchen used one.

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