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stabila_typehl-100.jpgWhile we’re waiting for the first functioning light saber to hit the commercial market — or would that sell better at Target? oh well, we’re not marketers — we’ll just have to be satisfied with the glut of other laser-driven products flooding shelves.  What product isn’t better with a laser?  Or two?

One such laser-driven goody we stumbled across today is the Type HL–100 Hole Laser from Stabila.  The HL–100’s geared to make electricians, plumbers and HVAC technicians’ lives a bit easier by simplifying the process of drilling holes in a row.

It’s pretty easy to use, or so Stabila’s marketers say: Drill your first hole.  The HL-100 mounts to that hole in a stud or board via a large locking-nut-type device that screws onto the HL’s shaft.  The laser is positioned in the shaft, also now conveniently located the center of your freshly-bored hole.

Flip on the laser and the HL projects a beam exactly in the same spot on the next stud. Each time you drill, the laser shines through to the next stud.  Drill ’till you’re done.  Stabila says it works on wood and metal studs.

We know what you’re thinking.  We had the same thought: Call us when the laser can make the holes.  Come on, be serious.  In the imortal words of Santa Claus, “You’ll shoot your eye out, kid.”  This is the next best thing, really. 

Street pricing for the HL–100 starts around $180 and you cna find it all over the web.

HL-100 Hole Laser [Stabila]
Street Pricing [Froogle]

 

9 Responses to Finds: The Stabila HL-100 Hole Laser

  1. Nick Carter says:

    But if the stud isn’t square, or the hole isn’t square, it would lead you astray? Let’s say the stud has a 2 degree twist, of the hole is off 2 degrees – over 30 feet that’s a heck of an error, (over a foot, if my math is correct)

  2. Sean O'Hara says:

    A good point sir! Were I facing that problem I might bring a Fubar with me to help straighten out wayward boards or shim the HL to get it to the proper adjustment.

  3. Rick says:

    judging from the pictures on the Stabila website. It appears to have some adjustment built into the mechanism. So you can measure it the first time out, and make sure it’s spot on.. then start drilling.

  4. Nick Carter says:

    I just looked at the manual.
    The procedure is to drill a hole after laying out accurately, then mount the Stabila. You then lay out the next hole accurately and use it to calibrate the beam so it is aiming at the location of the 2nd hole.

    Now how much of an error will you make in layout? Let’s assume you are pretty good and lay the 2nd, calibration hole, out to within 1/16″
    That gives us an angular error over the 16″ between studs (another assumption) of .22 degrees.

    Now that’s a pretty small error, however over 50 feet that means the hole will be off 2.34″
    Now you could of course check the alignment every 10 feet or so and get it back on track iteratively.
    So for short distances it probaably works well, but over longer, not good unless you are very careful with layout of the 2nd alignment hole (the 2nd hole would have to be laid out to .0016″ max error , to give a 1/16″ error over 50′). Angular errors are sneaky!

    As usual all numbers above are suspect until verified as it was done on a Saturday at 10:00 p.m.

  5. Jason says:

    Maybe I’m being naive, but it seems that something like this could be made with a laser pointer, some small levels, and a home-brew jig.

  6. joeyd says:

    “The procedure is to drill a hole after laying out accurately….”

    so you’re saying that I have to drill each hole accurately? how is this different from doing it without the laser and checking periodically at the first hole if I can see through all the other holes?

  7. anonymous says:

    Uh, maybe it’s the professional, time=money, carpenter in me, but what in the world are you feeding through those studs that demands that type of accuracy? Call me crazy, but your going to cover all that sh*t up, and probably got more important things to do, with your lasers and your time. That accuracy helps with grout lines, not running electrical lines.

  8. Mel says:

    so this god knows how much battery eating gizmo is that much better than my 8 buck chalk line? I chalk can leave your hands a little dirty, but isn’t getting dirty doing these things half the fun?!

  9. melvin says:

    If you are going to run a piece of conduit or black iron pipe through the holes after drilling you’d like the holes to line up as much as humanly possible. I use a story board/template but sometimes your base isn’t all that level.

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