An essential measuring tool for both professionals and DIY-ers, a level indicates whether a surface is exactly horizontal or vertical, ensuring accurate installations that are perfectly aligned. Long levels provide a more accurate measurement when working across a large surface, while smaller models are handy for tight spaces and quick spot-checks. When choosing a level, consider key factors such as accuracy, durability, and functionality as well as optional features—like laser guides, magnet grips, and angle measurements—for added convenience. Our picks below will help you find the best level for your project.
1. Qooltek Laser Level
An excellent all-in-one tool for quick, accurate measuring, Qooltek’s level features a 6-inch straight edge with vertical, horizontal, and 45-degree leveling vials, and an 8-foot measuring tape with both metric and imperial guides. Ideal for hanging artwork, this tool also includes an adjustable beam laser that can project either a vertical, horizontal, or cross-shaped line with an accuracy that is within 2 millimeters from 10 meters away. While the level is a bit bulky for its size, it more than makes up for it with the convenience of having so many tools all in one place.
2. Swanson Magnetic Torpedo Level
This highly portable 9-inch level features a four-vial design to accurately measure horizontal and vertical planes as well as 45- and 30-degree angles. With windows designed to capture light, the leveling vials are easy to read at any angle and provide 0.029-degree accuracy. It is constructed of lightweight and durable billet aluminum with a V-shaped groove along one side that allows easy positioning around round edges such as piping. Four strong, rare-earth magnets provide a secure grip to metal for hands-free convenience.
3. IRWIN Level
Providing stability and balance, this 48-inch I-beam level has a long, rigid surface that makes it easy to check alignment across larger surfaces such as cabinets or flooring. It features horizontal and vertical plane vials with dual-sided viewing ports that are easy to read from any position, and a unique rotating vial to measure any angle gradation. A thick-walled aluminum frame provides durability, and a full-length magnetic strip and v-groove edge make it ideal for working with rounded metal surfaces. Measuring vials are accurate to 0.058 degree. Two easy-grip center handles allow smooth positioning, and rubber end caps provide shock absorption, helping to ensure the level’s accuracy over time.
4. WORKPRO Level Set
A great starter pack for any tool kit, this set includes three common level sizes. The 12-inch and 24-inch box beam levels feature easy-to-read vertical, horizontal, and 45-degree vials and a continuous straight edge for convenient marking. The set also includes a 9-inch torpedo level that is lightweight and compact, with vertical and horizontal plane vials and three strong magnets at its base.
5. Johnson Post Level
This molded-plastic level forms a 90-degree angle to fit snugly around the corner of a post to quickly and accurately determine positioning. With three measuring vials, it has one vertical vial in the center and two horizontal vials on either size to simultaneously read plumb and level guides. The tool includes a rubber strap attachment that wraps around a post for easy, hands-free measuring.