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The Complete Guide To Spirit Levels

Posted by Katy | Toolstop on 21st Jan 2021

Spirit Levels are an essential piece of kit in many trades. They help ensure accuracy every time. This Toolstop guide discusses some of the best spirit levels and their features whilst also showing you some of our top selling spirit levels.

Spirit Levels are an essential piece of kit when laying bricks. They help ensure accuracy every time. This Toolstop guide discusses some of the best spirit levels for bricklaying and their features whilst also showing you some of our top selling bricklaying spirit levels.

The Complete Guide To Spirit Levels

What is a Spirit Level?

Spirit levels are designed to indicate whether a surface is completely level. Though an essential hand tool for bricklayers, tradesmen and surveyors, they are also somewhat a household essential. Hanging up a photo frame? The spirit level is probably the only tool that will tell you if its completely straight!

The spirit level will absolutely make the difference between an amazing job or a complete failure of a job. It’s the one tool that every bricklayer, builder, you name it needs. It’ll be used all day, every day, and it’ll always be right at your side.

Spirit levels are ideal for DIY, building, hanging photos, the professional trade and so much more. Of course, if you are only going to use it every now and then around the home, you won't need as high a spec one or a particularly long one.

In this short guide, we’re going to be looking at some of the best spirit levels for professionals and giving you three recommendations that will ensure you work quickly and, more importantly, accurately.

Stabila Spirit Level

How to use a Spirit Level

First off, lets talk about the correct way to use a spirit level and how they work. The spirit level should always be positioned in the centre of the object you are levelling. If the object is level, the bubble in the vial will be directly in the middle of the two lines. If the bubble is too far to the left or right, this means that it is not completely level and you should adjust the height at one end.

spirit level vial

What is the Best Spirit Level?

Below we have chosen 3 of our favourite spirit levels on the market, each available to shop at Toolstop. Top brands of spirit level include Stabila and Stanley. They are renowned for their quality and precision.

Stabila 1220mm Spirit Level Type 96-2 with 3 Vials

Stabila spirit levels are available in a variety of different lengths and styles. One of our favourites is the 96-2 range. The models in this range from Stabila benefit from a fixed moulded vial. Yes, one of the most important elements of any level is the vial. Yet it can also be one of the most fragile elements. With that in mind, Stabila has designed each of their bestselling spirit levels to have a fixed moulded vial, which measures absolute accuracy even in the most demanding conditions.

The 1200mm 96-2, or any level from the 96-2 range for that matter, provides absolutely accurate measuring in all positions. It has 2 measuring surfaces making it ideal for reverse measurements and an extremely robust and durable aluminium profile to protect it against any knocks and bumps. The shock absorbing end caps protect the vials should the level be dropped. It features 2 vertical and one horizontal vial to help you take a reading in any position.

The 96-2, alongside most other spirit levels at Toolstop, are available in a range of lengths to cater to the DIY hobbyist to professional tradesman.

More details on this level and its full specification can be found on our product page.

Stanley 1-43-553 FatMax 600mm I Beam Spirit Level with 3 Vials

The Stanley FatMax range of spirit levels is up there with Stabila, the best of the best. The 1-43-553 I Beam Spirit Level features solid-block vials to provide an accuracy of 0.5mm/m in eight orientations. Like the 96-2, it has 3 vials, one horizontal and two vertical to allow you to take a reading in any position.

The FatMax spirit levels are 2x stronger than regular Stanley levels thanks to their unique reinforced box-beam construction. Handling is easy thanks to the integrated handle and lightweight body, plus it benefits from precision engineered, dual-machined levelling surfaces for maximum accuracy. And finally, the 3 vials are magnified for improved all-round visibility with shock absorbing end caps to protect the level even if it’s dropped.

Again, the Stanley FatMax I Beam level is available in other lengths.

Stanley FatMax Xtreme 600mm Magnetic Box Beam Spirit Level with 3 Vials

The Stanley FatMax Box Beam Level delivers superior accuracy in all levelling applications. Their solid-block acrylic vials provide the best-in-class accuracy of 0.5mm/m in eight orientations and their box beam construction is up to 5x stronger than other Stanley levels. The centre vial is magnified for improved visibility and super strong magnets allow it to be used on magnetic surfaces.

Though packed with all these amazing features, the box beam levels are lightweight. Full details on each of these products can be found on our website.

Stanley FatMax Box Beam Level

What’s your pick for best spirit level?


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