Three weeks ago, I decided that my home needed refreshing. You know one of those days when you wake up with a knack for the hammer even when you know very well you are not handy? That is me. Nonetheless, I did not allow my handicap to stop me. I lined up new photo frames to hang by the stairway in what I thought to be an artistic manner.

Do you need a handy tool for mounting your photo frames and mirrors? This could be it.

Let’s just say I learned the hard way that eye level isn’t what you think it is unless you use a laser. In about three hours, I had become an expert, thanks to the extensive research I did online. It’s only fair, you would agree (please do) that I share my newly earned knowledge with you.

What To Look For In A Laser Measure

  • A Pocket-Friendly Size

Size matters, you know, but when it comes to lasers, you want one that’s small enough to fit in your hand without causing you too much effort.

  • Rubber Base That Holds

You want a laser that hags the surface as if its existence depends in it. That is the only way to make it effective.

  • Manageable Noise levels

Unless you do not mind working in what sounds like a mine, you want your laser to make less noise. Some lasers, as I came to find out, are so noisy that you can hardly hear yourself think.

Now that we have that established, let’s look into the Ryobi ZRELL1001 AIRgrip Compact Laser;

Features and Pros of the Ryobi ZRELL1001

It Is Small And Compact

ryobi-airgrip-cheap-laser-measureWhen I first got this laser, I doubted whether it would be up to the task. I thought lasers were supposed to be bigger than it was (a mere 6.7 x 6.4 x 6.4 inches) to be effective. But now I find its size to be such a convenience as you can stash it in your pocket as you move around. It is shaped like a watch, which I found a bit fancy for such a handy tool (getting distracted here). This laser weighs 8 ounces, which is great because it does not weigh you down especially when you have to do a lot with it-such as bathroom tiling.

A Rubber Base That Needs No Pins

It has a non-marring rubber base, which holds well to most surfaces. The Air Grip technology does not require pins to mount the laser, and so you can mount it on various types of surfaces as long as they are smooth and flat.

To be sure that I had a clear picture of what this laser would work with, I tested it with a number of surfaces. It attaches well on ceramic tiles, unfinished maple, wallpaper that is not textured, hardboard, drywall, fridge door, cherry, and Veneered particleboard. I found that it does not attach to textured or painted wallpaper, concrete block, plywood, and corkboard.

Tripod Use For Efficiency

For accuracy in getting the desired level, you can mount this laser onto the tripod. At the pressing of the button (once you attach the level on your surface), it creates a line after doing a 360 degree check. The laser shines a horizontal or vertical line that goes in place with what you want to achieve. You can tweak it to perfect the line of your focus. This level is quite easy to use, even for someone with zero experience in using the tool.

Noticeable Cons

  • Limited Battery Power

The manual from the company said that the batteries last 2.5 hours, but I only managed to squeeze 40 minutes out of it. I conducted a test to see how long it would last when changed from one surface to another and by the 40th minute, the rubber base would not stick at all. I do not know what criteria Ryobi used to reach at this battery level because mine only lasts a fraction of that time.

  • Noise

I recorded 65 decibels from my smartphone app, which is not louder than my son gets when he wants my attention, but I understand why some people would be disturbed. If you are trying to have a conversation when this laser is on (I tried), you could find it annoyingly distracting. If you work in an environment that is quite noisy, you will not mind it at all.


While this laser is small enough to fit into your pocket, it is not as effective as some of its larger counterparts. It s great for small projects such as mounting mirrors and picture frames on the wall, but its beam resolution is not ideal for large projects such as tiling the bathroom. It comes with a three-year warranty, which is quite impressive for a product that cheap.

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