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Congratulations, everyone! Our tools now come equipped with laser beams — we’re officially in the future. Many drill presses, circ-saws, miter saws, and even some wacky hand tools now feature lasers for precision work. It seems manufacturers are anxious to put as many laser beams on their products as possible. I’m sure we’ll see a hammer that shines a laser on the head of a nail by year’s end. But do these high-tech beams of light really help?

I recently acquired a jigsaw that had a laser on it. I thought is was a bit weird, since lasers shoot straight and jigsaws are meant to cut curves — but I tried it out. Although it seemed to work at first, I wound up watching the laser instead of the blade, and my cut started to wander.

My Ryobi drill press also sports a laser. Although the laser crosshairs can be useful, I have to realign it almost every time I use the darn thing. On the other hand, I used to cut granite commercially on a large wet-saw, and my cuts would’ve been horrible had I not had a laser to align them.

So, are laser alignments hot or not? Do you have a tool with a laser? Which one? Do you use the laser, or does it just get in the way? Let us know in comments!

Saws With Lasers [Google Products]
Drills With Lasers [Google Products]


17 Responses to Hot or Not? Tools With Laser Beams

  1. Paul says:


    I have a drill press that has lasers and I think it is the best thing that ever happened to me.

    Besides, if you don’t like them you can just turn them off.

  2. Vody says:

    Wish my miter saw had one, but I agree – can’t see it as too useful on a jigsaw.

  3. T says:

    My miter saw has one, but it’s not adjusted correctly. It’s about a 16th off from the actual cut line. It’d be fantastic if it actually lined up correctly with the cut line, but it’s still pretty handy.

    The one on my drill press is better, because it has provisions for adjustment, which I haven’t needed yet. I still find myself bringing the bit down with the power off to check my location, though, so I’m not sure it’s doing anything for me.

  4. Bart'sDad says:

    A solution to a problem that didn’t exist.

  5. Joe says:

    Hot on tools where the bit/blade plunges into the workpiece (drill press, miter saw, plunge router). Not on just about everything else.

  6. Roger says:

    I like the one on my circ saw…not always incredibly accurate..but definitely helps speed things up. Definitely very helpful on a drill press.

  7. tmib_seattle says:

    I want to mount a laser (and a big hurkin’ scope) on my pool cue.

    Just because.

  8. Fred says:

    We have several chop/miter saws – some with and some without. Some of my carpenters like them – some don’t.
    My 2 drill presses in the shop (one an ancient Walker-Turner and a more modern Delta) do not have them – but we’ve always aligned using jigs and stop blocks for repetitive wood work and center punch metal. Maybe I’ll try one when we need to buy another drill press.
    I have a Morse (Evolution) metal-cutting circular saw that has a laser. We use it for cutting roof decking – and align the saw against a straight edge – not paying much attention to the laser.

  9. Greg Smith says:

    its “fricken laser beams”…

  10. AHAHAAH!!!!! Nice comment Greg!

    Trust me, I wanted to title the article “Fricken Tools With Fricken Laser Beams” but figured only half of you have seen Austin Powers and didn’t want to alienate the other half.

  11. Old Donn says:

    Got the Irwin add-on laser attachment for my miter saw. It works as advertised, no complaints. I’m not a pro, so my stuff doesn’t get used every day and doesn’t get bounced around in the bed of my truck, but so far, so good.

  12. scubasteve says:

    Lasers as they stand are lame. I want my tool to be the laser itself. Seriously, who would want a reciprocating saw to cut stuff when you can use your light-saber? Come on tool-makers…I want the ACTUAL future! This “fake future” is just pissing me off. And where is my flying car already??

  13. KevinB says:

    please tell me that last photo is an April’s fools joke, a friggn laser beam on a keyhole, thats too much,lol.

  14. justatoolguy says:

    I work in the biz and we generally call lasers a “sell feature” as opposed to a “use feature”. It’s something that sells stuff, but really isn’t all that useful in real life.

  15. Bob TDG says:

    I use a Hilti laser range meter… it speeds up the drywalling quite a bit! There’s a company that makes a fun toy:


    I haven’t found a practical use for it yet… I can’t justify a $1700 cigarette lighter… maybe if it could score drywall….

  16. green lasers says:

    I like green beam more than red one!

  17. Ted Bluck says:

    I have an Erbauer 10″ sliding mitre saw which has a faulty laser light, any idea where I can get a replacement,blub, or beam, or whatever they’re called.

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