10 Best Level Reviews That Are Accurate for Professional and Home Use

A level is an essential building or construction tool that indicates if a surface or object is horizontally level or vertically plumb. Whether you are building a house, a chicken coop, planing a DIY home improvement project, or hanging a picture on the wall, a highly accurate level is an indispensable gadget for your toolbox.

The 10 Best Level Reviews

Our Top Pick for the Best Level

Stabila 37816 48-Inch and 16-Inch Box Beam Level Set

Our top pick for the best level is the Stabila 37816 48-Inch and 16-Inch Box Beam Level Set.

Whether you are a professional tradesman or a DIY home renovation enthusiast, having the right tools can make or break a project and the Stabila box beam level set will not let you down. These two carpenter's levels feature that famous German quality and superior craftsmanship which means their readings are highly accurate and they are guaranteed to last a lifetime.

Check the price on Amazon

Types of Levels

The most common types of levels that are available today are a standard mason's or carpenter's level, a torpedo level, an electronic level, and a cross-line laser level.

Carpenter's Level

Carpenter's levels, sometimes called a “bubble” or “spirit” level, like the Stabila, Stanley FatMax, and the Empire, are traditional style levels. They have a long rectangular box shape that is usually made out of strong aluminum with impact resin coating and they range in size from 16-inches up to 48 inches.

The bubble or vial, which is set into the frame, is the key component as it determines if a horizontal and vertical surface shows a “true” level. While most “bubble” levels have two vials, some contain 3 or 4 vials, like the Empire True Blue level, which can be used for calculating multiple angles at the same time.

Torpedo Levels

For small DIY tasks or working in a confined space, a torpedo-style level like the Sola or the Klein Tools level is a great choice as it has a small and compact design. Torpedo levels range in size from 6, 9 to 10-inches and have a specially tapered end, which gives the level its torpedo look. These types of levels offer you a lot of portability around the job site as they are designed to fit on your tool belt or in your pocket.

Electronic Levels

Electronic or digital levels, like the Hammerhead, M-D Building Products SmartTool, and the DigiPas level, are highly versatile tools as they contain “spirit” filled vials for manual readings as well as a digital display for decimal point accuracy. You can use them to determine multiple angles and their digital displays may even light up which is a great feature for low light conditions.

Lazer levels

High-tech laser levels provide highly accurate readings through the use of a bright red laser or lasers that project lines or create multiple planes around the room. Some high-end laser levels, like the Bosch and TackLife units, have a self-leveling system and provide 360-degree coverage of a room and the lasers can reach up to 50 or 98 feet so they are a great choice for large rooms and long hallways.

These space-age devices are quite simple to use but their lasers may be difficult to see in bright sunlight.

Additional Features to Consider

Accuracy

Accuracy is the most important feature of a level and a quality carpenter's level should be accurate up to 0.0005 of an inch, but this can vary depending on the model. Digital and laser levels provide high precision accuracy, but you may need to calibrate the device first to make sure that its readings are always spot-on and make sure the battery is fully charged.

Magnetic Levels

A level that contains a powerful magnet is a great hands-free tool for working with metal surfaces. The magnet may be a full-length magnetic edge like the Empire level, or contain a strong rare earth magnet like the Sola level.

Rubber Grips

Holding onto a level can be hard especially if the unit is bulky and heavy so oversized handholds with rubber grips allow you to comfortably grip and hold the level. To protect the final finish of any surface, removable rubber caps make sure that the metal level does not leave any scratches behind.

Best Level Reviews

1. Stabila 37816 48-Inch and 16-Inch Box Beam Level Set

Stabila 37816 48-Inch and 16-Inch Box Beam Level Set

The Stabilia Box Beam Level Set is a fantastic choice for any tradesman or DIY home renovation enthusiast as the set includes a 16-inch level that has 2 vials and a 48-inch that has 3 vials. The vials contain a bright green fluid in the clear block acrylic glass that has spring steel hairline indicators, and the vials are epoxy-locked into the high-strength aluminum frame.

Both of the levels have been electronically calibrated and received a certification of accuracy, so they will always provide spot-on accuracy even in temperatures that range from 5°F to 165°F and accurate even if the levels are used upside down.

The oversized handholds have rubber grips to allow for a firm grip on walls and floors and the removable shock-absorbing rubber caps make sure that no scratches are left on any surface.

You can easily store the levels out of the way as they both have a large metal hang holes at the end to attach a rope or a lanyard.

For easy cleanup, the electrostatic enamel finish cleans up easily with water and a brush.

The Stabila level set is covered by a lifetime warranty.

Pros

  • High-quality
  • Excellent value for money
  • Set of 2 levels: 48-inch and 16-inch
  • Strong and lightweight wide aluminum frame
  • Bright easy to read vials
  • Oversized handholds with rubber grips and removable shock-absorbing rubber caps
  • Electronically calibrated with a certification of accuracy
  • Easy to clean electrostatic enamel finish
  • Large metal hang holes to store the levels
  • Lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Non-magnetic

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2. Stanley FatMax 43-524 24-Inch Non-Magnetic Level

Stanley FatMax 43-524 24-Inch Non-Magnetic Level

A highly accurate tool that is tailor-made for working in tough conditions, the bright yellow FatMax level from Stanley is made from a single piece of durable aluminum which gives it extra strength and stability.

You can expect a maximum accuracy of 0.0005 in./inch as the level has 3 block vials which contain a bright yellow fluid that is easy to see in most indoor conditions.

For easy placement and viewing on any surface, the special MaxEdge bridged center vial has a smooth seamless finish and the ergonomic over-molded bi-lateral hand grips help you to maintain a comfortable firm grip at almost any angle. To prevent any scratches to finished surfaces, the level has shock-absorbing heavy-duty ends caps and non-marring side bumpers for extra durability.

If you need to work with metal, Stanley also makes a magnetic Fatmax 48 Inch Box Beam Level.

All of the Stanley hand tools are covered by a limited lifetime warranty.

Pros

  • High-quality
  • Very good value for money
  • Affordable price
  • Unique design
  • Bright yellow color
  • Manageable size
  • Maximum accuracy of 0.0005 in./in. (0.5 mm/m)
  • 3 easy-to-see block vials for improved accuracy
  • MaxEdge bridged center vial smooth surface for easy viewing and placement
  • Durable single-piece, aluminum box-beam structure
  • Large ergonomic rubber over-molded bi-lateral hand grips
  • Shock-absorbing end caps hold up to heavy use
  • Non-marring side bumpers help prevent damage to finished surfaces
  • Limited lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Hard to see the bubble in low light
  • Can be hard to hold on some surfaces as it has no magnets

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3. Empire EM81.12 True Blue 12-Inch Magnetic Tool Box Level

Empire EM81.12 True Blue 12-Inch Magnetic Tool Box Level

If you need to do some DIY renovations in a small confined space or hang a picture, the Empire EM81.12 True Blue 12-Inch Magnetic Level is an excellent choice.

The U.S.A-made level has a compact design and its heavy-duty extruded aluminum frame is built strong but also lightweight enough at 5.6-ounces, so it is very easy to hold while you hang up a picture or install water pipes.

You have a lot of versatility in your hand with this little gem as its 4 glass vials are tinted with a blue fluid that allows for easy visibility in lighted areas and reliable accuracy for horizontal (level), vertical (plumb), 45 degree angles, and the vari-pitch dial can read the slope of a surface in 1/8 inch increments.

For quick and easy storage, the level has a lanyard hole in the end so you can hang it up in your workspace, in the tool cupboard or garage and the powerful, full length strong magnetic edge stays attached to metal surfaces.

Empire offers a limited lifetime warranty on this high-quality versatile tool.

Pros

  • Great price
  • High-quality
  • Made in the U.S.A
  • Compact
  • Heavy duty 12-inch extruded aluminum frame
  • Excellent level for tight, confined spaces
  • Well-designed
  • Highly versatile
  • 4 True Blue tinted vials provide superior accuracy and good visibility
  • Vials read plumb, level, 45 degree and vari-pitch slopes in 1/8-inch increments
  • Powerful, full-length magnetic edge
  • Lanyard hole for easy storage
  • Limited lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Glass vial is hard to see in low light conditions
  • Magnet could be a little stronger tends to slip down on vertical surfaces

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4. Sola MM 5 25 10-inch Magnetic Torpedo Level

Sola MM 5 25 10-inch Magnetic Torpedo Level

The bright red magnetic torpedo-style 10-inch level from Sola is a great choice for when you need to work in low light conditions or tight, confined spaces.

Whether you are installing shelves, cabinetmaking or working late at night, the 3 patented easy-to-read dials have a 30-percent magnification focus plus they glow in the dark.

If you need to work in harsh outdoor conditions like working on a constriction site, you do not have to worry about the device getting damaged if you drop it as it features a rugged design and its tough, durable cast aluminum frame is coated in a UV-protected red epoxy.

Maintaining accuracy on all types of surfaces is made even easier as the 3 vials are mounted at 45, 90 and 180-degrees and are molded seamlessly into the frame, and the”V” shaped bottom contains a strong rare earth magnet that allows the level to be attached to steel tubes and metal frames.

The Sola level is covered by a lifetime warranty.

Pros

  • High-quality
  • Very good value for money
  • Compact size
  • Bright red color
  • Made of durable cast aluminum with a red epoxy
  • UV protection
  • Highly accurate
  • Smart design
  • Solid construction
  • Ideal for indoors and outdoors
  • Top leveling bubble vial is located in the center of the level
  • 3 vials are mounted at 45, 90 and 180-degrees
  • Glow in the dark vials provide very good visibility
  • Easy-to-read dials have 30-percent magnification focus
  • V” bottom contains a strong rare earth magnet
  • Lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Heavy

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5. Klein Tools 935RBLT 9-inch Lighted Torpedo Billet Level

With 3 easy-to-read illuminated light green vials and a bright orange colored frame finish, the Klein Tools 9-inch 935RB Lighted Torpedo Billet Level is the perfect choice for working in tight, confined spaces on a tough work site.

The level features a durable professional-grade water and impact-resistant aluminum frame and the high-visibility bright orange color is easy to spot on the job site or workspace.

If you need to work with metal, the level's locking track prevents the powerful rare-earth magnets from falling out and the V-groove design easily conforms to the contours of conduits and piping.

Need to work in low light conditions? Press the button, and the 3 extra bright LED high-definition vials lights up with a neon green glow. They provide the accuracy you need for level surfaces, 90, and 45-degree angles, and the 3-minute shut-off system preserves the battery life of the 2 AAA batteries.

The level is small enough to fit into your toolbox and the tapered nose allows you to easily push it into a large sized pocket.

Klein Tools offer a 90-day returnable policy and their products are warranted to be free from defects in materials and workmanship for the normal life of the product.

Pros

  • High-quality
  • Very good price
  • Ideal for construction workers, welders, pipe-fitters, plumbers
  • 3 easy-to-read bright LED high-definition vials
  • Compact
  • Durable and sturdy aluminum frame
  • Very good accuracy
  • Large, top-view vial window enables can be read from multiple angles
  • High-visibility orange body
  • V-groove fits contour of conduit and pipe
  • Locking track prevents powerful rare-earth magnets from falling out
  • Large, easy-to-read high-visibility vials at 3 angles: level, 90, 45 degrees
  • Water and impact resistant
  • Tapered nose allows you to push the lever into your pocket
  • 3-minute auto shut-off saves battery life
  • 90-day returnable policy
  • Limited lifetime warranty

Cons

  • LED lights are not evenly lit
  • Bulky

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6. Hammerhead 24-inch Digital Laser Level

Hammerhead 24-inch Digital Laser Level

The 24-inch Hammerhead digital laser level is built for hard work with a durable aluminum frame and its smart accurate technology makes any building or DIY renovations super easy. It features a large digital display which shows unit selections in degrees, % and IN/FT, and it provides an audible beep at 0°, 45°, and 90° and it can even remember the last recorded angle measurement.

If you need to work on a large construction site or work area at home, the Hammerhead projects a long-distance bright red laser-dot that is visible to 100-feet, and it digitally records accurately measured angles to 1/10th of a degree and 1/20th of a degree at a level or plumb positions.

The level has an integrated ruler for making extra measurements and strong magnets for secure attachment to flat metal surfaces and it is compatible with all 1/4-inch threaded tripod screws.

The Hammerhead digital laser level is covered by a 3-year limited warranty and it comes with a heavy-duty zip-up carrying case.

Pros

  • Great value for money
  • High-quality digital-laser-level
  • Idea for a construction site or home improvement project
  • Durable aluminum frame with integrated ruler
  • Very accurate
  • Large easy-to-read digital display
  • Audible beep at 0°, 45°, and 90° angles
  • Can remember last recorded angle
  • Digital display shows unit selections in degrees, percentages, and IN/FT
  • Laser laser-dot projection is visible to 100-feet
  • Measures angles to 1/10th of a degree, and 1/20th of a degree at level or plumb positions
  • Strong magnet
  • Compatible with all 1/4-inch threaded tripod screws
  • 3-year limited warranty
  • Heavy-duty zip-up carrying case

Cons

  • Magnets detach easily from the level

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7. M-D Building Products 92288 SmartTool 24-Inch Electronic Level

M-D Building Products 92288 SmartTool 24-Inch Electronic Level

For a unique twist on the traditional carpenter's bubble level, the M-D Building Products Level offers you lots of high-tech functionality.

The SmartTool features a dual function that lets you measure digitally and electronically, and with an actual number, at every angle, for 360 degrees of a complete circle. For quick references, use the sensitive bubble vials. For hands-free decimal point accuracy for degrees, percent slope, and pitch (rise over run), the level's intelligent sensor module provides high precision accuracy to 1/10th of a degree and shows the results on the digital display.

You do not have to be a technical expert as the SmartTool is simple to use. Just press the on/off button and the SmartTool shows you the data on the screen and quickly tells you in an audible tone what the angle is and what the angle needs to be.

The box beam case is made out of sturdy, durable aluminum and the display even flips over so the SmartTool will always read right side up and the rubber caps protect any surfaces. A great power-saving device, it shuts off automatically after 5 minutes when it is not being used and it runs on just one 9-volt battery.

The SmartTool is proudly made in the U.S.A and is covered by a 1-year limited warranty.

Pros

  • High-quality
  • Excellent value for money
  • Suitable for a variety of home projects and medium construction projects
  • Sturdy and durable aluminum
  • Bright yellow color
  • Easy to use and reliable
  • Very good accuracy
  • Dual functions: 2 bubble vials, and a large digital display
  • Fast operation
  • Mode button lets you see angles in 3 ways – degrees, % slope or pitch
  • Push button calibration
  • Rubber end grips
  • Audible tone allows for hands-free operation
  • Runs on a standard 9v battery
  • Automatic shut-off after 5 minutes
  • 1-year limited warranty

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Not magnetic
  • Initial calibration is quite complex
  • No backlit display

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8. DigiPas DWL80E Pocket Size Digital Level

DigiPas DWL80E Pocket Size Digital Level

Whether it is installing a deck, a stair rail or building a house, the very affordable DigiPas digital level has some great innovative features that will save you time and effort with super quick calculations.

The DigiPas level uses a precise smart technology sensor to calculate every angle, all 360-degrees of a complete circle and displays the angles in degrees, In/Ft, mm/M, or slope % with decimal-point accuracy on the clear digital display and it gives an audible beep when the correct angle has been calculated. You can also check relative angles between two surfaces using the Alternate Zero function.

If you get distracted or forget the measurements, the level has an innovative hold function that freezes the reading on the LCD screen and it is easily recalibrated.

The level is built tough with a strong impact resistance ABS polymer material molded casing and a durable aluminum base that contains two built-in light green vials. Its compact mini pocket size is perfect for working in tight, confined spaces. You can carry it anywhere in your pocket or use its integrated handle, while its magnetic base can easily be attached to metal surfaces like roofing or a metal fence.

This DigiPas level has longer than average battery life and an automatic 3-minute switch off feature and it is covered by an 18-month warranty.

Pros

  • Compact pocket size with carrying handle
  • Very good quality
  • Very good value for money
  • Smart digital functionality
  • Strong impact resistance ABS polymer material casing
  • Durable aluminum base with two built-in bright green vials
  • Dual function measure angles digitally and electronically
  • Decimal-point accuracy
  • High accuracy of 0.1 degrees at 0° and 90° and 0.2 degrees at all other angles
  • Smart technology sensor improves accuracy
  • Shows readings in degrees, In/Ft, mm/M, and % slope
  • Alternate zero function available
  • Highly accurate and easy to recalibrate
  • Strong magnetic strip
  • 18-month warranty

Cons

  • Bevelled metal edges are not smooth
  • Display is hard to read from a distance
  • Battery compartment is hard to close

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9. Bosch GLL 55 Self-Leveling Cross-Line Laser

Bosch GLL 55 Self-Leveling Cross-Line Laser

If you are planning a large construction or renovation project, the professional Bosch Self-leveling Cross-Line Laser Level is packed full of high-tech features that can be accessed at just the press of a button.

This highly efficient super smart tool uses space-age lasers to project vertical, horizontal and cross lines and it can project two lines independently or together and the laser lines are visible up to 50 ft. All of your measurements will be precise as the gadget can deliver an accuracy of ±1/8-Inch at 33 ft. Its Smart Self-leveling Pendulum System indicates out-of-level conditions and locks the pendulum after the laser is switched off.

For a more hands-on approach, you can use the manual mode to lock the cross-line, and use the tool at any angle.

The Bosch-exclusive VisiMax technology delivers outstanding line visibility in standard working conditions and its intelligent system constantly monitors the laser's temperature so that the sensitive laser diodes continue to provide maximum laser line brightness without overheating.

A highly functional device, the Bosch has retractable feet so you can use it in a free-standing mode and the convenient swivel magnetic L mount allows for quick set-up on any ferrous metal surface or it can be attached to a tripod.

The cross-line laser is always job-site ready and is designed to withstand tough work environments with a sturdy over-molded ABS plastic construction that has an IP54 rating for water and dust protection and there is a hard carrying case for added protection and mobility.

The Bosch laser level is covered by 2-year limited warranty and requires three lithium-ion AA batteries.

Pros

  • High-quality
  • Great value for money
  • Good price
  • Excellent accuracy
  • Self-leveling
  • Easy to configure for out-of-level operation for custom slopes and angles
  • VisiMax technology ensures the laser diodes do not overheat
  • Pendulum locks automatically for maximum accuracy and longevity
  • Visimax technology delivers maximum line visibility in standard working conditions
  • Easy-to-use laser set-up modes projects vertical, horizontal and cross lines
  • Can project two lines independently or together
  • Smart pendulum system
  • Magnetic L mount features strong magnets to attach to steel
  • IP54-water rated
  • 2-year limited warranty
  • Magnetic Mounting Bracket
  • Laser Target Plate
  • 3 AA Batteries
  • Hard carry case

Cons

  • Bulky
  • Lasers are difficult to see in bright daylight

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10. Tacklife SC-L04 98ft Crossline Self-Leveling Laser Level

Tacklife SC-L04 98ft Crossline Self-Leveling Laser Level

Work smarter and faster with the Tacklife Self-Levelling Laser Level. Packed full of the latest technology, the Tacklife self-leveling device provides all-around coverage as its bright red laser lines project 360° horizontal and 360° vertical planes all around the room for level and align/plumb applications.

Its multifunctional mode allows you to manually project lines together or independently (cross line, vertical and 360-degree horizontal), and the smart pendulum system that can self-level and indicate out-of-level conditions. This incredible device can calculate degrees, percent slope and pitch at a highly accurate rate of ±1/9 of an inch at 33 feet, and it has a working range up to 98 feet.

Other handy innovative features include 2 full-time pulse modes that can be switched freely, depending on whether you are using the unit indoors and outdoors. The laser receiver detector operates on a default color mode and then automatically turns to a bright red that is easily viable in low light conditions.

For challenging work environments, the laser level is shock-wear, impact resistant, and dust-proof and has an IP54 waterproof rating and the device is protected by TPR soft rubber on all sides.

The Tacklife level has a compact design and its strong magnetic pivoting base can be attached to steel studs and the L mount can be fixed to a tripod.

It has excellent battery life for 8 hours on just a 9-volt battery and the laser beam dims when the battery is running out of power.

The cross-line laser level also comes with a carrier case; 4 AA batteries; an English user's manual; and it is covered by a 2-year warranty.

Pros

  • High-quality
  • Excellent value for money
  • Compact
  • All-around coverage: 360° horizontal and 360° vertical planes
  • Smart laser technology
  • Easy one-button manual operation
  • Self-leveling mode
  • Smart pendulum locks system for safe transport
  • 2 full-time laser pulse modes
  • IP54 waterproof
  • Shock resistant, wear resistant, impact resistant and dustproof
  • Laser dims on low battery
  • Strong magnetic base
  • Can be attached to a tripod
  • Very good battery life up to 8 hours
  • 2-year warranty
  • Carrying case

Cons

  • Lasers can fade in strong sunlight
  • Lasers can get damaged if dropped

Check the price on Amazon

Our Top Pick for the Best Level

Stabila 37816 48-Inch and 16-Inch Box Beam Level Set

Our top pick for the best level is the Stabila 37816 48-Inch and 16-Inch Box Beam Level Set.

Whether you are a professional tradesman or a DIY home renovation enthusiast, having the right tools can make or break a project and the Stabila box beam level set will not let you down. These two carpenter's levels feature that famous German quality and superior craftsmanship which means their readings are highly accurate and they are guaranteed to last a lifetime.

Check the price on Amazon

This article first appeared on morningchores.com Original Article

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