People don’t regularly use levels for woodworking unless they are working on a project that is semi-permanently or permanently mounted depending on the surface of the earth. You cannot level a wall shelf or fireplace mantle while you are building them, but you have to level them before mounting them onto a wall.See also:
Doors, structures, and wooden fences on the other side have to be leveled during some construction phases. No one wants to have unleveled fences or garden sheds, and that is why leveling is a must during the construction period.
Alternatively, you can choose the best laser level
With that said, let us get you some information you need to know before buying a level for yourself.
- List of Best levels 2020
- Our Best Pick: M-D Building Products 92325 48-Inch Smart Tool Digital Level with a Carrying Case
- Runner Up. Checkpoint 0300PL Pro Mag Precision Torpedo Level
- Budget Pick. Stanley 42-324 24-Inch I-Beam 180 Level
- Also, Consider. Klein 935RBLT
- Also, Consider. Milwaukee 48-22-5102
- Also, Consider. Kapro 946 Smarty
- Also, Consider. Kapro 930-24 Smartcast Aluminum Professional Mason-Foots Level with Optivision Red Vial, 24-Inch Length
- Also, Consider. Ox Tools 48″ Bamboo Mason’s Level
- Also, Consider. EMPIRE LEVEL 48 inches True Blue M
- Also, Consider. Milwaukee Redstick MLBX48
- Crucial Uses of Levels
- Hanging Wall Shelves
- Setting up Fence Posts
- Hanging Doors that are Pre-Hung
- The Installation of Cabinets
- Hanging Art on Walls
- Checking Other Angles than Level and Vertical
- What to Look for When Getting a Level
- Various Types of Levels
List of Best levels 2020
Our Best Pick: M-D Building Products 92325 48-Inch Smart Tool Digital Level with a Carrying Case
This is a more expensive digital level because it has a readout that is digital. It uses a sensor technology which measures with excellent accuracy of one-tenth of a degree. It can also be set to beep at an angle that has been predetermined. This level is powered by a battery of 9 volts. When getting this level, you also get a case that protects it while it is being transported.
It is a costly level. Therefore, you ask yourself if it is overly pricey? No, it is not, for a level with this accuracy and size, you have to expect that it costs this much. Plus it is a digital level.
The body of this level is made out of aluminum which means that it is durable and light. For its protection, it is coated in yellow, and this also gives it better visibility.
It doesn’t only have a digital display, but also a vial sight which is used for fast reading of plumb and level. The digital display reads in inches per foot, degrees, and roof pitch. Another great thing about this level is that you can set it to beep when it reads the angle you desire.
Yes, it is a really expensive level, but it offers you a great variety of different measuring methods. It isn’t a must for general shop work, but it will serve you right in various scenarios in the field and the shop.
Runner Up. Checkpoint 0300PL Pro Mag Precision Torpedo Level
This level is eight and a half inches long, and that is why it is an excellent choice for easy carrying and quick measurements. It is made out of aluminum which means that it is durable and light, and can last for an extended period. The best thing about this level is that it has rare magnets that are used so that you can adhere it to metal objects like metal fence posts and pipes.
This is a cheap level, which makes it a great addition to your tools in your workshop.
The body of this level is made out of a special aluminum alloy which is generally used in the construction of aircraft. This type of aluminum is a lot harder than the aluminum used for beer cans, which means that it can withstand a lot and last for years. On one side of the levels body, you can see a v-groove that is built with rare earth magnets that allow you to set it on a fence tubing and pipes without the need to hold it.
This level is equipped with a 4-vial system that can read ninety degrees, forty-five degrees, and zero degrees levels. These vials have viewports that are oversized, and also they have oversized zeros for much more comfortable reading.
With the cost, quality, and size which are all working in favor of the level, this one is a perfect choice. It is great for leveling wall art, but you can easily use it for many other things.
Budget Pick. Stanley 42-324 24-Inch I-Beam 180 Level
This level is perfect for checking the level of the countertop. It is also good when you are marking the double hangers for better hanging off the shelves and things like that. It is made out of aluminum, and therefore it has a light and durable construction. On top of this level, you will see markings just like the ones on a ruler for fast measuring.
For the quality and the size, this level has a very reasonable price, and it represents a great little addition to your workshop.
As we already said, it is made out of aluminum and for better visibility and protection it is powder coated. The markings on the top are easy to see, which means that you can level and measure quick with it.
This level has a 3-vial sight which offers you easy reading. Two of these vials are fixed permanently on the zero degrees mark and the ninety-degree mark. The third vial is made so you can rotate it in order to read different angles.
This is a great level that represents a good buy for its size and quality. With the adjustable vial, this is a more useful level than others at this price range. When buying this level, you can’t go wrong.
Also, Consider. Klein 935RBLT
When not using levels, you probably store them in one of the possible two places: your pocket or your tool pouch. A really handy thing about this level is that it has an angled nose that helps you slide it in both of these more easily. Besides this, Klein offers you plumb, 45-degree vials with a couple of LED lights for situations with low light, and level.
This is definitely one of the best levels for electricians and plumbers because they usually work in places with low light. On top of this level, you can see a v-groove which helps you to work on pipes easier, and also it has magnets which are useful for working around steel objects. Another great thing about this level is that it is very durable and it offers you great visibility and outstanding accuracy.
Also, Consider. Milwaukee 48-22-5102
This is a pocket type level, and it is great for quick work and checks in some tight spaces. But, having only one vial, it is a bit limited. This limitation, the Milwaukee overcomes by having one rotating vial which is also lockable. You can set it to a specific angle which works at two degrees increments, or you can even find the joint angles of 15 degrees, 22.5 degrees, 45 degrees, and 75 degrees on the other side of the dial. By buying this level, you are ensured with exceptional durability, fantastic visibility, and high accuracy all located into this tiny guy.
Also, Consider. Kapro 946 Smarty
If you are used to dials that can rotate, then this is the level for you. This level has a white housing and a vial that is red, this way giving you great contrast when you are reading the measurements. Even though it doesn’t have LED lights, it still offers great visibility of the vial. It has one percent and two percent marks which provide you help in checking the installation gradients. You also get a magnetic holder which can be clipped to your belt, this way keeping the level close to you at all time.
This level offers you great durability, extreme accuracy, and excellent visibility.
Also, Consider. Kapro 930-24 Smartcast Aluminum Professional Mason-Foots Level with Optivision Red Vial, 24-Inch Length
These types of levels are more stringent than others. This level offers you great visibility because it has read horizontal vials. This way, you can see clearly the reading lines whether you are in a low or bright light situation. Another thing that enhances the visibility is the tilted horizontal vial that has a direct line of sight.
The Kapro Smartcast is also a highly durable level because it has bridges located at the horizontal vials, this way increasing its toughness and making the marking surface continuous. The body of this level is made out of heavy-duty aluminum. The integrity of this level is protected because it has end caps and rubber strike pads that absorb shock.
Also, Consider. Ox Tools 48″ Bamboo Mason’s Level
This level is made out of bamboo, and it is offering great strength over other box levels that are hollow. It even looks fantastic while you are using it. The accuracy is great, being wrong for only 0.00074 inches. The vials are made out of acrylic, and this way they have better accuracy than the vials that are traditionally curved.
For greater protection, this level has aluminum binds that increase its strength. Being that this level is made out of bamboo, it is eco-friendly. The bamboo construction also makes the cleaning of this level more manageable, and it adds to its stability. It has an ergonomic handle that is smooth, and this makes the usage pretty comfortable. For a direct view of the bubbles, the vial is tilted horizontally.
Also, Consider. EMPIRE LEVEL 48 inches True Blue M
If you have already perfected the use of bubble levels and want to start using digital levels, then this is the one for you. It sure is a little more expensive, but trust us, it is worth every penny you spend on it. This Empire level offers you fantastic accuracy which you can read all on the digital readout. The best thing about this level is that it has an auto-calibration system meaning that all you have to do is turn it on and start measuring.
By having a dual digital display, you won’t have to ever again check the bubbles. But, being that it runs on batteries, they can run out from time to time. When that happens, you can rely on using the plumb vials and standard level with high visibility. It is also a firm level wrapped all up in the IP65 rated case.
Another great thing about this level is that it offers seven different modes of measuring. It can measure in degrees, inches, feet, millimeters, meters, and percentage.
Also, Consider. Milwaukee Redstick MLBX48
This is a fantastic level which is equipped with sharp site vials that give excellent visibility when compared to the vials that are standard. But, when speaking about this level, the best thing is the one that you can’t actually see, its metal backbone. On the backbone, you can see multiple ridges that move along the boxes interior giving it the best durability possible compared to all the other box levels.
As for the accuracy, it is excellent being wrong for only 0.0005 inches. This one is also a bit more expensive, and you may be worried about its maintenance. But you don’t have to, because when buying this level you also get a case that helps you protect it from harm. The redstick line also offers other gadgets that can help you preserve your level.
Crucial Uses of Levels
When does a woodworker make use of levels? Here are some scenarios which you can’t make work without a level.
Hanging Wall Shelves
Who has need of a wall shelf that can’t sit leveled? Pretty much no one. They need to sit level. The best possible way you can make sure that a level is placed perfectly horizontal is by using a level.
Setting up Fence Posts
You have to plumb fence posts to the ground. Well, you don’t have to do this, but that is the right way of building a fence. It is a perfect sign that you are a professional craftsman. By using the right level, you will know if your posts are placed the right way and if it is pointing straight down and up.
Hanging Doors that are Pre-Hung
When building a door frame, you have to make sure that it is vertical, or else it will swing closed or open, depending on where you went wrong when plumbing it. If you don’t plumb doors, they will close by themselves when they should stay open, and this can be very irritating.
The Installation of Cabinets
Countertops and kitchen cabinets should absolutely be leveled. It can be irritating when the spills on the countertops start running to the edge. Leveling a countertop will prevent that from happening.
Hanging Art on Walls
Art, photos, and things like that look wrong when they aren’t appropriately leveled. By using levels, you can mark where to drill holes in the wall and this way leveling the art piece when it is hung onto the wall.
Checking Other Angles than Level and Vertical
You can find levels that can check other measurements than level and vertical. Do you want to equip your woodworking shed with a 45-degree rafter? Then you will need a level that can read 45 degrees. You can find lots of different levels that read infinite numbers on the market.
What to Look for When Getting a Level
The most important quality you have to look for in a level is accuracy. When you hang an item just a few degrees of level, it won’t look right. That is why it is of utmost importance to get a level that is accurate. Most of the levels are set accurately in the factory, and you get them like that, but there are some like the bubble levels which can be off because of the rough shipping and transport.
When getting a digital level look if they passed the quality control standards that assure the accuracy and also they are made to retain their accuracy. When getting levels, it is better to go for the ones produced by trusted companies.
You can’t tell if it is accurate by just looking at it, but you definitely can go online and see what other people think about them.
It is essential that they make levels out of materials that can last for extended periods. The original material from which the body of the level was made is wood. But today, you can find levels made out of aluminum and other polymers. These two types of levels are lighter than the wooden ones, and they last longer.
Various Types of Levels
These ones use tubes that are curved and made out of glass. They are filled with liquid and have a single air bubble. The glass curve is made to look like a rainbow bowing down to the top of the level. When used, the bubble is moving towards the highest point. The width of the bubble separates the marked two lines on the glass tube. When you level the level, you will be able to see the bubble centered in between these two lines.
The digital levels use electric circuits which are made to sense the perpendicular relation to the earth’s center. These levels have the ability to measure an infinite number of different angles, and you get them zeroed from the factory. The level should show zero degrees when you are reading absolute levels. On the other hand, when you measure the plumb, it should show ninety degrees.
Now that we have told you about some necessary information you need to know before buying a level let us get to the list of our best choices.
We know that it can be hard to find the right level considering there are a lot of different ones out there. But all you have to do is follow our guide and the tips we have given you in order to find the best one that will fit your needs. But the most important thing is that you have to know if the level is accurate and durable because you will be using it for a long time. And if it is not accurate, then it is almost as if you don’t have a wooden level. Check our list, and find the one for you. We hope that we have helped you in your search!