new spirit level ?? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
  • 1 Post By Tennessee Tim
Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 8 Old 03-19-2019, 12:00 PM Thread Starter
Junior Member
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 3
View JeffB1961's Photo Album My Photos
new spirit level ??

i want a new 4 ft box level and want to get something a little nicer than the typical craftsman that i built with for several decades . i'm absolutely NOT going to spend anywhere near $100 or more for a stabila or milwaukee ! i'm looking at a Kapro vulcan or condor .... empire 75/95 series and the milwaukee compact all between 45 - 65 bucks . i'm leaning towards the kapro and empire . i don't want another I-beam type . anyone here have any experience with kapro ? anyone have any opinions on the brands i mentioned or any suggestions for something in their price range or less ? thanks .
JeffB1961 is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 8 Old 03-19-2019, 12:26 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Florida Panhandle
Posts: 11,476
View GeorgeC's Photo Album My Photos
A spirit level is a spirit level. The technology could not be any simpler. Go to several stores and find one you like the looks of. I cannot imagine that there is any question of accuracy among brands. About the only difference I have ever seen is whether or not one has a built in laser.

I personally prefer the I beam models because they are light and easy to handle.

GeorgeC is online now  
post #3 of 8 Old 03-19-2019, 01:09 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 556
View Terry Q's Photo Album My Photos
Iíve owned levels that have been wrong and it gets frustrating using them before you get it figured out that the tool is defective. Different readings depending on which edge is used. Make sure you test the level against an object and make sure you get the same reading regardless of which way you hold the level.

I donít have experience with any of the mid price brands you asked about. Sorry

In woodworking there is always more then one way to accomplish something.
Terry Q is online now  
Sponsored Links
post #4 of 8 Old 03-19-2019, 01:15 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Posts: 4,793
View FrankC's Photo Album My Photos
Get the style you prefer and feel comfortable with, test it for accuracy before you buy it, anyone else's preferences may be different than yours for many reasons.

It is a precision tool, treat it that way and it will serve you well.

ďEverything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.Ē
― Marcus Aurelius
FrankC is online now  
post #5 of 8 Old 03-19-2019, 06:43 PM
Sawing against the Wind
Tennessee Tim's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: God's beautiful hills of Middle Tennessee
Posts: 2,377
View Tennessee Tim's Photo Album My Photos
Originally Posted by GeorgeC View Post
A spirit level is a spirit level. The technology could not be any simpler. Go to several stores and find one you like the looks of. I cannot imagine that there is any question of accuracy among brands..............

SORRY George....not true. The vials (tubes) are the most credical part and the easiest way to tell a GOOD accurate/more precise level is by the bow/arch (actually the lack of) in the vial. The flatter/straighter the vial is the more precise it is. I recommend spending extra for a good level. I use Johnsons most of the time and you can get them in different flavors/styles....solid or I beam. They are also good if they need warrantied as I had one solid to twist or bow??? I had all the correct caring procedures they were interested in and beyond.

Good tools aren't cheap!!!! BUT levelness is at the top of the list for spending on a good tool.

To check a level, sit it on a surface and note where the bubble doesnt matter as much IF you know what to look for BUT setting level is the simplest for a beginner, then spin it 180 degrees and sit in the same exact spot it originally came from and it should show exactly the same. Normally there's 6 vials to be checked.

There are a few with adjustable vials but I normally go with a fixed from the factory.

I hope this helps while shopping.

36 years self emp'd high end fixing what most can't do correctly. Level is important!!!!
gmercer_48083 likes this.

Have a Blessed and Prosperous day in Jesus's Awesome Love, Tim John 3:16-21 ..........
Reveling God's awesome beauty while creating one of-a-kind flitches and heirlooms.
Tennessee Tim is offline  
post #6 of 8 Old 03-19-2019, 08:53 PM
Beware of purists
sgcz75b's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: beyond the pale
Posts: 76
View sgcz75b's Photo Album My Photos
If you like the Kapro, get it. I prefer the Kapro Apollo, but there's nothing wrong with the Vulcan. I have several Kapro measuring instruments and they're all fine.

Try to get a four footer, what ever you choose. You can add a shorter and longer level later, but a four footer is a good place to start.


Remember - You're not a "real" woodworker unless you do exactly as another woodworker says you must do to be a "real" woodworker. It's called "The True Woodworker Fallacy."
sgcz75b is offline  
post #7 of 8 Old 03-19-2019, 09:00 PM Thread Starter
Junior Member
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 3
View JeffB1961's Photo Album My Photos
thanks for the replies . yep , i know to check for H & V on the vials . glad someone here has experience with kapro :)
JeffB1961 is offline  
post #8 of 8 Old 03-20-2019, 08:27 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 554
View gj13us's Photo Album My Photos
I've been using the same inexpensive Stanley aluminum i-beam level for years. Whether it's accurate, I cannot say. But since it's the only level I use, it's always exactly spot on accurate to itself.
gj13us is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
GIVEAWAY: PLS 3G Green Laser Level Kit! On Cricket Off Topic 0 02-11-2019 09:50 AM
Entry Level Workbench mtairymd Project Showcase 2 02-05-2019 04:14 PM
Built in level Confused Trim Carpentry & Built-Ins 15 12-11-2016 10:11 PM
Shop Organization LVWood General Woodworking Discussion 25 01-30-2016 11:37 PM
How Would You Do This/ What Tool? Arbee General Woodworking Discussion 10 11-20-2015 08:25 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome