Remodeler: Chris Peterson

Company: Schloegel Contracting Co., Kansas City, Mo.

Product: DeWalt Cordless Rotary Laser, model DW073.

To achieve a quality finished project, remodeler Chris Peterson starts all his jobs with a level line. Whether he's establishing grades for excavation of footings and foundations, leveling floors and ceilings, or making sure crown moldings and chair rails all run at the same height, Peterson uses his DeWalt Cordless Rotary Laser.

The 18-volt rotary laser's manual leveling system is accurate to within +/- 1/4 inch per 100 feet, according to the maker. It runs off any 9.6- to 18-volt compact DeWalt battery pack, so if its battery runs out, the battery pack from nearly any other DeWalt cordless tool can be used. Built-in wall, floor, and tripod mounts make for fast and easy set-up. The laser's two-position, pivoting head allows for quick adjustments from level to plumb lines. Also, a built-in sensor alerts the user if the laser is bumped after leveling.

After a year and a half, Peterson and his crews have become experts in the rotary laser's use. "It took a while for it to catch on, because people didn't know how to use it," Peterson says. Leveling on his jobsites gets done much faster now. "It used to take four or five hours to level an entire room, but you turn on this laser and it's done pretty much instantly," Peterson says. "It also takes the blame game out of the equation if you start with a level playing field."