Chalk line is the simplest and most accessible handy marking tool that can be a nice addition to your DIY toolbox. Whether you are a professional or occasional user, you will be compelled to feel in love with this great little tool once you pick it up. This article will help you with some of the best chalk line reviews and all the things you should know to choose the best chalk line.
Our Recommended Best Chalk Lines
Here I am reviewing some of the best chalks lines including a laser chalkline for your ease of consideration.
1. Tajima CR301 JF Chalk Line
If you are used to carrying around heavy metal chalk boxes you’ll be surprised by this light tool. IfIf you are tired of cheap line breaking all the time, this will be an economical buy for you.
You can use it to snap lines to get accurate layout on concrete, plate, to snap lines on walls, iso boards, roof decks, sheetrock and for all your construction needs. Leaves a fine, sharp and highly visible line.
The super thin braided line picks up chalk on the first pull and snaps clean lines without any chalk splatter. Extremely strong string will ensure no line breakage. The large winding handle is easy to use. It winds up nice and holds a large amount of chalk. The clear case is convenient for seeing what is left. No jam and fast reel.
Being that the whole casing is made of plastic it is inevitable that it would break eventually. It would be better if it were sturdier.
The line hook is what really sells this product and securely stays put with the tension on the line, making one-man operation much easier.
Another great feature is the rubber coated end, it grabs board, very easy to see the mark also. Some user may not like it as they won’t be able to slide this one across a surface to a coworker.
You can lock it when it’s opened or closed and automatically unlocks when you start to reel. The large fill neck is convenient for easy filling without any mess. It is a little bulky in size.
2. Stanley 47-443 Piece Chalk Box Set
Perfect for occasional use, much cheaper than getting a metal one in a local hardware store. It does what it’s supposed to do, you cannot expect anything fancy in this price.
The chalk reel is a high-quality ABS case. The case has an onboard hook for storing while not in use.
The port (sliding door) for loading the chalk is convenient for easy filling without creating any mess and the unit feels good in the hand.
You won’t have trouble getting this one to reel or pull out and it does stay attached to where you secure it. Holds a good amount of chalk so you can do a lot of work before needing to refill with chalk.
Not an item for the professional or daily users. Constructed of plastic -though expected for this price. Crank is flappingly annoying when you unwind. Its featherweight makes it useless as a plumb bob – slightest breeze will make it dance.
Mostly does the job but it’s difficult to get the line chalked evenly. Most of the time there are gaps in the line once snapped.
3. IRWIN Tools STRAIT-LINE 64499 Aluminium Refillable Chalk Line
The brand is reputable and made for the professional as well as anyone else. Perfect size refillable chalk line and also comes with chalk. The generous amount of chalk will last a very long time. Slide-fill opening is for filling with chalk dust with no mess. Dispenses chalk on the line.
This line-snapper is a handy tool for use when you need to record a removable line on walls for painting, or floors for tiling. Great item for the woodworker or can be used for anything. For retractable self-locking metal handle, you can use reel as a plumb bob. This chalk box works flawlessly leaving a visible line without powder residue.
It was also not something I would recommend using on your own. Be aware that for any appreciable length, this is a two-person operation.
The line itself is a cotton string. This is fine for occasional use. If you use it a lot, it’s more likely to wear down and break. Great for DIYers or hobby builders.
The metal body doesn’t have a nice smooth finish. As far as value, maybe this isn’t a bad deal after all.
Anyway, for an occasional use tool, this is a decent buy and a good addition to your toolbox.
4. Milwaukee 48-22-3982 100 Ft Bold Line Chalk Reel
Reels in quick with no jams and snaps braided, straight and clean line.
This box has a line that does not stretch, which is actually very nice. The lines stretch when pulled very tightly which is very normal.
The string is thicker than some of the others and leaves a thick line. A lot of chalk comes out as you pull the string making it difficult to see the line for more exact cuts. It’s not very thick and is advertised as a “bold “line. Quick rewind is nice, good size and hook just need to hold back the chalk better.
You’ll like the push button feature when you drag the line out. There is no groove for the nail to hook onto so the hook will slide around by a half inch. The hook is similar to Tajima lines, you get used to it because it does “hook”. The gearbox works very well.
This little thing can break if it is dropped. SomeSome reviewers have said that the size is pretty bulky.
5. M-D Building Products 007 60 Contractor Chalk Reel
Great for professional uses-making straight tile line and tile cutting framing, for concrete, roof, deck building, and much more.
The braided string is strong enough to last for years with daily use, you can pull it tight and don’t have to worry about breaking. It is thicker and stronger than the usual ones you buy at the store that makes long and clear lines. That is the most important thing a chalk line does. The lines are a little thick. Personally, I like a little thinner line for a crisper chalk mark.
It’s light enough to carry in the tool pouch. You can fold the crank flat to keep it in your back pocket. The handle locks in 4 different holes, so that you can pull the line tight. It is a simple gear-free and jam-free chalk box.
Chalk not included so you will need to purchase a bottle of powdered chalk. But the box holds a lot of chalk. The plastic body will break if dropped off a two storey and roof.
6. DEWALT DW088K Self-Leveling Chalk Line
Great for lining up light fixtures, speakers and alarm sensors on ceilings, for hanging TVs, picture, wall tile, mouldings and framing etc.
Gives very accurate result, less prone to human error than a water level, string level. Comes with a nice sturdy plastic case which includes spaces for the batteries. The magnetic base is very strong and holds it solidly in place.
Has options for vertical, horizontal, and vertical plus
horizontal which reduces human error or issues when someone bumps your laser
while you weren’t looking. AA batteries so no need for expensive batteries,
like lith ion drill packs.
There is no possible way you are going to see the laser line on a sunny day. It works great indoors and projects a bright well-defined line. For shorter distances, you might be able to see the line ok, but in full sun over something like 20 feet you might be out of luck.
This is not a 360-degree unit yet costs almost as much. For you contractors or even a serious DIYer who has a lot of exterior projects which would benefit from the laser the extra cost would be worth it. The laser unit doesn’t have a transport lock, so it tends to bounce around inside the housing, not a good design on DeWalt’s part.
What is the Chalk Line?
A chalk line is a simple hand tool for marking long, straight lines. It is a little box filled with coloured chalk powder that has a reel of string inside it. The string is coated in that chalk powder and reeled out, pulled and snapped back down tightly to strike and thus transfer the chalk and mark straight lines onto the flat surfaces. It gives a perfectly straight line that is temporary or permanent which is not practically possible with hand or a straightedge.
How to Choose the Best Chalk Line
A good chalk line should have certain features for giving the best outcome to its user.
A strong string will ensure you a nice crisp long line which is the main concern of using a chalk line. If the string is thick, it will eventually produce a thick line which will give you an imprecise line. Nylon-string is stronger than cotton string and will last longer.
The hook is important to keep the tool securely stay put with the tension on the line that makes a one-man operation much easier.
The case should be made from good quality metal or hard plastic. Some metal cases do not have a good finish on them. If you just want a functional case and don’t bother about its finish, you will be ok with them. But flimsy plastic chalk line can be broken if it is dropped from your hand. A clear case is convenient for seeing what is left.
A professional user uses chalk line daily so he needs refilling it very often. A good chalk line should have easy refilling system so that you can refill the chalk without any mess. Many chalk lines have a sliding door which is very convenient for refilling chalk easily.
Amount of chalk it contains
A good chalk line should contain a lot of chalk to use it for long without the tension of refilling. Many chalk lines come with chalk dust while some manufacturers do not provide chalk dust. You should also check this.
The higher the gear rating will be, the faster you can reel in a chalk line.
Chalk Line Colour and Which I Like Most
Among the permanent chalk line Red and fluorescent chalk colour are highly visible, contrast well on almost all surfaces and materials. Cannot be removed once applied. The black colour is also highly visible and adhesive. Naturally contrasts against light surfaces. Though yellow is a light colour, it is very much permanent and bright. You can’t even scrub it away. Contrasts well on bricks, plastic, metal than wood. They are for outdoor use that will not wash away in the rain.
As a non-permanent colour blue chalk powder is used for general purpose. Contrast well on wood, plastic, metal surfaces. For dark surfaces, white is the best temporary colour. You can wash both of them off after use. Both of them are for interior and visible surface.
For visible surfaces, I like the white colour most. And for outdoor projects, red or fluorescent will be a good choice.
What is the Best Quality Chalk Line String?
Nylon string is more durable for daily and professional use. Cotton strings are less durable and I will not recommend it for daily use. The cotton string breaks if it is pulled tightly. To get a clear and crisp line, you have to choose a string of ideal thickness.
How to Fill Chalk Line
On the side of a chalk line, you will find a small trap door that will slide out of the way and allow you to fill it up with chalk. To open it, just push it the direction of the arrow and it will slide open, Now take your chalk, squeeze the chalk line a little bit and it will start filling it up.
How much you fill it up will depend on the capacity of your chalk line. You typically want to fill it pretty full but not so full otherwise you can’t get that door close.
How to Remove Chalk Line
Pour some distilled vinegar, use a black scabby pad with some water. Scrub on the red chalk lines and they will be noticeably lighter. Then stain it with either a reactive acid,chemical stain or a water reducible concentrate.
Now after everything has dried, go back with some water reducible concentrate in a coordinating colour and mist that on to hide the lines even more. Some people use powerful stain removers to remove the res chalk lines with some good success. I do not recommend this because harsh chemical on the concrete will do long term.
To remove the chalk line from painted walls brush and rinse as much as possible to lessen the colour with a sponge. Then remove the remaining stain with a wet sponge or soft scrub.
People also ask
Q. What is spray chalk?
Answer: At first, open the box to remove the old string line and reel, remove the hook from the end of the string, attach new string line to the reel, ravel the excess string around and finally replace the reel.
Q. How to remove spray chalk?
Answer: To remove spray chalk, rinse the wall or surface with ample water. Use a hose to put enough water pressure on it. Use a brush if needed.
Q. What is the function of a gear ratio?
Answer: When a chalk line has a gear ratio more than 1:1, it takes less effort to wind the string back. The gear allows maximizing a force with a minimized effort.
Here I have suggested some of the best chalk lines within different price ranges so that you can pick any of them whether you are a professional user or an occasional user. If you want to spend some more bucks to get better and quicker result, pick up the laser chalk line confidently. The choice is up to you.