Spirit level buying guide
Jeremy, construction site supervisor, Cardiff127 guides
- Number of vials
Spirit levels for indoor or outdoor use
Spirit level for indoor work
Go for a rectangular spirit level with at least two vials and a minimum length of 40 cm. This type of level is lightweight and easy to read which allows you to work quickly. Its body may be made of plastic or metal.
Spirit levels for outdoor work
Choose a level with a trapezoidal shape, two or three vials and a minimum length of 40 cm. The body of this type of level should be metal as this will prove more durable. Select the right length of level based on the work you are doing. For example, if you are laying a brick path or pouring concrete you will need a much longer level than if you are simply hanging a shelf.
Rectangular spirit level
How does a spirit level work?
The good news is that all types of spirit levels work using the same basic principle. The flat-based body contains a vial filled with liquid. Within this liquid is a bubble of air which moves between two lines to indicate whether your surface is level (horizontal) or plumb (vertical).
Most models include one vial for horizontal levelling and one for verticals; some even include a third vial for levelling 45° angles. Laser levels are used to level surfaces from a distance.
Final tips for choosing your spirit level
If you are trying to decide between a few similar spirit levels, pick the most sensitive model; the best spirit levels are accurate to half a millimetre per metre.
If you’re working in a confined or cramped space, consider a more compact model. Spirit levels measuring only a few centimetres in length can be just as accurate as larger models.
Some levels are magnetised which is practical for both indoor and outdoor projects.
For more advice on picking your tools, check out the following guides:
Jeremy, construction site supervisor, Cardiff 127 guides écrits
for 4 years now, I am restaoring and bulding an extrension to a bungalow in the heart of the welsh countyside. My experience in manual work and my knowledge means I am proud to be of service. Terraces, interior design, roofing, plumbing, electricty, anything goes! We have, my wife, daughter and I, built almost everything we have from scratch! So to answer all of your questions, and to orientate and advise you on coosing your tools? Easy!