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A spirit level is an essential tool that gets used every day and more often than not, taken for granted. If you spirit level is damaged then there really isn’t another tool you would have in your toolbox that you could use in its place for such accuracy. Without it your workmanship will not be at its best.
This is a tool worth investing in. A cheaper level may not withstand the wear and tear of everyday use and may not give the most accurate reading. The vial is likely to be held in with glue meaning it could easily move or fall out completely. In some instances it is worth putting quality over cost. Like many cheap and cheerful products, you end up having to replace them more often which could work out to be more expensive in the long run.
So it’s worth taking some time to pick the right spirit level for you. Stabila levels have a patented moulding process which holds the vial in place. Visibility of the vial is also important which Stabila have covered with its large viewing window offering a 300° viewing angle. Cheaper levels use a magnifier which seems helpful but can cause ghost images of the bubble and issues when marking out.
A good test of the quality of a spirit level is how long the liquid in the vial stays green for. It should last the best part of ten years. If it is resistant to ultra violet light then it will stand the test of time.
Stanley use solid block acrylic vials on their FatMax range to give best in class accuracy to 0.5mm/m in eight orientations. To prove their confidence in their products, they offer a lifetime accuracy warranty.
If you are a plumber and require a longer level, it can be the case that they lack strength. Again, Stabila have this sewn up with its R-Type spirit level. It has an extra wide base at 4cm to give it more stability. It features twist resistant engineering due to its R-Shaped extrusion. This creates a greater strength along the entire level. The removable shock absorbing end caps and anti-slip stoppers enable you to get right into any tight corners.
All these different types of spirit level are great but may not be a whole lot of help if you are measuring of off an uneven floor. The best way to do this is with a laser level, these can be expensive but if lining up pipework is an everyday job for you then it is the way to go.
A cross line laser level is a cost effective option. Stabila have the LAX50 which is a pendulum self-levelling laser that shows a cross enabling measuring on the horizontal or vertical. Stanley has a range available including the FatMax CLLI Cross Line Laser Kit 1-77-123 which includes the mounting pole, bracket and bag.
Whether you are hanging pictures in your home or laying pipework throughout buildings, a spirit level is an essential tool to have in your bag, box or belt!