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looking for a good level

boag1's picture

Bought a Stanley level some time ago (mahogany and brass type) and keep it put away until my old one got damaged. I put up some crown the other day and when I stated to check dimensions everything was out. I got out an old 2' level that I used for projects that were in rought spots and I checked it (true level) and went over the original project and was shocked.In back checking the level gave different horizontal levels when it was flipped over and when it was rotated front to rear -four different level readings????? the thing looks perfect nothing looks out of place dented etc. Fabrication looks sound, if you saw it on a shelf you'd think it was perfect.   I looked at the new levels and they just don't look the grade, plus I'm soured on my current name brand.Any suggestions on a good brand. Additionally, I've seen the digital levels and anyone used them?

When you buy a level you have (post #212943, reply #1 of 7)

When you buy a level you have to check it before you walk out of the store.  Maybe one in four is reasonably true.

Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

Stabila (post #212943, reply #7 of 7)

DanH wrote:

When you buy a level you have to check it before you walk out of the store.  Maybe one in four is reasonably true.

Perhaps you're walking into the wrong stores.

If you buy a Stabila level from a reputable tool dealer ALL your levels will read true (within 1/32" along 72"). If not, you can return it to Stabila at any time and get a new one that does. In fact, I've done it. I have also asked for replacement end caps after many, many years of use and had them sent to me at no charge. As a trade professional, what more could you ask for?

. (post #212943, reply #2 of 7)

Can't go wrong with Stabila

thanks, but you know there is (post #212943, reply #4 of 7)

thanks, but you know there is something really nice about a wooden level, I guess I'm too old school to use an metal or plastic one and hate to think I can't trust and older one. Probaly time to retire..........

boag (post #212943, reply #6 of 7)

I'll agree with Boss and Fla.


Search for wood level repair.  You might get lucky and find something regional.  I had my wood level redone when the glass broke out of one spot.  Sent it to The Wood Level Repair Co. in Milwaukee.  They reset the plaster vial and cleaned it up nice.



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Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.


Laser levels have come down (post #212943, reply #3 of 7)

Laser levels have come down in price and are exteremly reliable. They are especially effective for crown molding.

Strange but I suppose it can (post #212943, reply #5 of 7)

Strange but I suppose it can happen. Johnson, Mayes and Sands all make good wood levels. My 45 year old Johnson is still true although the glasl is so nasty I can hardly read the vials. It's a wall hanger now. I've bought a lot of levels over my life and never found a bad one.

Florida Licensed Building Contractor, 50 years experience in commercial remodeling, new homes, home remodeling and repairs and all types building maintenance.