The paper describes a new alignment technique for three-dimensional Laser Doppler Anemometers (LDAs), which has enabled accurate velocity measurements to be obtained within very small flow regions. This technique uses a quantitative, rather than the more usual qualitative approach, to give greater consistency and reliability, resulting in greatly improved alignment of the laser beams. This enables much higher data rates and validity to be achieved, even in the critical cross-coupled mode, which in turn allows a significantly smaller measurement volume, thereby increasing the spatial resolution of the system. Examples are given which illustrate the type of small scale velocity surveys now possible as a result of this technique. These show 3D velocity surveys taken within the wake behind a 0.8 mm diameter surface particle in a boundary layer, and examples of three-component boundary layer velocity profiles in the order of 0.2 mm thick, recorded on a horizontally mounted cylinder rotating about a central vertical axis.