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Best Spirit Levels

A good spirit level is an important piece of kit for a wide range of DIY projects. And if a job is worth doing, it’s most certainly worth doing right.

That means having the best quality tools to produce top quality results.

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We’ve been looking at what spirit levels are out on the market today, and there’s actually quite a lot. However, there’s no need to worry.

We’ve been doing our homework and come up with our top 5 spirit levels. Following that we’ve got a buying guide for you.

In a hurry? This is our winner!

Our rating:
Digi-Pas DWL80E Pocket, Black, 10.5 x 1.8 x 5.5 cm
  • Measuring range from 0 ~ 90 4 x 90
  • Resolution of 0.1 (1.75mm/M)
  • Accuracy of 0.1 at around 0 & 90 0.3 for other angles

Best Spirit Levels – Comparison Table

Best Spirit Levels – Reviews

Our Winner

Digi-Pas DWL80E Pocket, Black, 10.5 x 1.8 x 5.5 cm

Digi-Pas DWL80E Pocket, Black, 10.5 x 1.8 x 5.5 cm
Our rating:

This digital spirit level from Digi-Pas flies off the shelves at Amazon, really popular.

It comes with the horizontal and vertical high precision vials that you’d expect in a spirit level, but then it goes a step beyond that to give you a digital display of the angle, which you can choose to have showing as degrees, or percentage slope. Just what the doctor ordered for the perfectionists amongst us!

The digital display really takes all the guesswork out of things, and you get precise, reliable measurements. It’s accurate to ±0.1° at around 0° & 90°, and to ±0.2° at 1° ~ 89°.

We like the self calibration feature, so you can double check the accuracy of the spirit level before you put it to work.

We love it’s Alternate Zero feature, which allows you to set your own reference angle at any desired measurement angle.

It’s designed to be durable, with an impact resistant casing moulded to a tough aluminium base.

It has a handy magnetic base, for when you’re working with metals allowing to put the spirit level down and get on with the job.

We like that it’s so small, only about 10cm in length. This is handy for difficult work areas, and it’s handy for storage or carrying in your pocket. It also has a clip to hook it around your belt loop.

We like that it turns itself off after 3 minutes, but on the flip side that could be quite annoying in some scenarios.

It’s batteries are included in the price, and will run for 80 hours altogether.

Pros
  • Popular with customers
  • Horizontal and vertical high precision vials
  • Digital display of the angle
  • Have degrees, or percentage slope showing
  • Self calibration feature
  • Alternate Zero feature
  • Durable
  • Handy magnetic base
  • Small and portable
  • Batteries included
Cons
  • No laser
  • Turns itself off after 3 minutes

Multipurpose Laser Level, Spirit Level with Retractable Metal Tripod, Measuring Tape 8ft/2.5M Standard and Metric

Multipurpose Laser Level, Spirit Level with Retractable Metal Tripod, Measuring Tape 8ft/2.5M Standard and Metric
Our rating:

This tool from Goeco is just great – it has truly multi-purpose use. Customers rave about it.

Like a traditional bubble spirit level, it features 3 vials for determining not only the horizontal and vertical plane but also the 45° angle bubble as well.

Then it goes a step beyond that to give off a laser light, for expert precision without having to hold the tool at the same time. You can choose from 3 different positions of the laser light.

At the same time, it also works as a measuring tape, with both metric and traditional length measurements, going up to 8 foot in length. This is really helpful if your usual measuring tape tends to get frequently borrowed from your tool box!

Best of all, it comes as a package deal, not only do you get this multipurpose tool, but included in the price you also get a tripod to set it on, and batteries, plus a set of backup batteries.

The tripod is super handy and easy to use, simply adjust the tripod’s angle to your desired position, and remember to adjust the position of the clamp to keep the tool securely in place.

To be honest, for such a good product, we were expecting it to sell at a much price, but this is an absolute bargain!

Pros
  • Fantastic value for money
  • Truly multi-purpose use
  • Customers love it
  • 3 vials for horizontal and vertical plane and 45° angle
  • 3 different positions of the laser light
  • Also works as a measuring tape
  • Tripod included in price and easy to use
  • Batteries and backup batteries included 
Cons
  • The tripod is pretty basic and doesn’t always balance well

Digital Spirit Level-Angle Finder 4 90° Range(Total 360°),Diglife 415mm Level Digital LCD Inclinometer, Upright Magnetic Bottom,with 2 Bubble Block, 4 Strong Integrated Magnets(Red)

Digital Spirit Level-Angle Finder 4 90° Range(Total 360°),Diglife 415mm Level Digital LCD Inclinometer, Upright Magnetic Bottom,with 2 Bubble Block, 4 Strong Integrated Magnets(Red)
Our rating:

This is a great little digital spirit level from Diglife – customers love it.

It’s of course got your horizontal & vertical bubbles for leveling, but beyond that it also gives you a digital reading of the precise angle.

We love how you can either get the absolute measurement or you can set to give a relative angle measurement.

There’s a strong magnetic base, so you can rely on it to stay firmly in place when necessary.

It’s 21cm long, that’s about the width of a piece of A4 paper.

You can even use it in low light, thanks to its backlight.

It’s made from an aluminium alloy, and is designed to be sturdy and durable.

There’s an automatic shut off after five minutes, which really helps to prolong the battery life. Speaking of which it takes AAA batteries, so you won’t have any trouble finding replacements.

Pros
  • Horizontal & vertical bubbles
  • Digital reading of the angle
  • Get the absolute or relative measurement
  • Strong magnetic base
  • It’s 21cm long
  • You can use it in low light
  • Sturdy and durable
  • Automatic shut off after five minutes
  • Takes AAA batteries
Cons
  • You need to hold the spirit level upright to read the angle on the display, but that needn’t be a problem, you simply need to use the spirit level’s data holding function

Silverline SL01 Laser Level Kit 30 m Range

Silverline SL01 Laser Level Kit 30 m Range
Our rating:

Silverline is a big name in spirit levels, and this model has proved to be a hit with customers.

The kit includes the spirit level itself, which features both a horizontal and a vertical high precision vial for the bubble to accurately ascertain level points in each direction.

It also exhibits a laser light which can be seen for distances up to 30m.

The spirit level has an accurate rotating base with clear 360° markings.

Included in the kit, you will find a handy tripod. Simply set the tripod up, and fix the laser spirit level into position where you want it.

The spirit level has a sturdy aluminium casing, and the entire kit comes in a tough plastic carry case.

It’s accurate up to 0.5mm/m.

One thing we particularly like about it is that it uses AAA batteries, which you can get anywhere – super handy.

It comes with a 3 year guarantee, which you can register for online.

Pros
  • Both a horizontal and a vertical vial
  • Laser light which reaches up to 30m
  • Rotating base with clear 360° markings
  • Handy tripod 
  • Durable tool and carry case 
  • Accurate up to 0.5mm/m
  • Uses AAA batteries
  • Comes with a 3 year guarantee
  • Big hit with customers
Cons
  • Premium product at a premium price

Stanley Shock Proof Torpedo Level 230 mm/9 Inch 0-43-511

Stanley Shock Proof Torpedo Level 230 mm/9 Inch 0-43-511
Our rating:

Stanley is a well established brand in spirit levels, and this model is one of their best sellers.

It features the full 3 vials you need, horizontal, vertical and 45°, and they’re all high visibility luminous flasks, to allow fantastic readability even in darker areas.

It’s a sturdy and durable spirit level with an aluminium frame, and shock resistant rubber ends. This enables it to take a high impact shock like a drop without getting damaged and losing functionality.

It has a magnetic plate along one side, really convenient when working with metals.

We think the V shaped metal groove in the top centre could come in really handy for plumbers, since it allows you to check cylindrical surfaces such as pipes.

It’s a nice size, 23cm long, or 9 inches, which is pretty much an average size for a spirit level and will suit most DIY jobs.

Pros
  • Great brand
  • Great value for money
  • All 3 vials, horizontal, vertical and 45°
  • High visibility luminous flasks 
  • Sturdy and durable
  • Shock resistant rubber ends
  • Allows you to check cylindrical surfaces
  • Nice size, 23cm long, will suit most DIY jobs
  • Magnetic plate along one side
Cons 
  • The magnetic quality is fairly weak

Best Spirit Levels – Buyer’s Guide

In the following few paragraphs, we discuss the different types of spirit level available on the market today, and go through some things you might like to think about before making your purchase.

Bubble Spirit Levels

A traditional bubble spirit level is the simplest type you can come across and are also the most affordable. If properly calibrated, it will be just as accurate as their digital counterparts. When you place it on a horizontal surface, it’s easy to see if the surface is straight and level.

For the uninitiated however, figuring out the vertical side can be a little more tricky, especially if you need to mount something at a precise incline.

Digital Spirit Levels

If you’re prepared to spend a little more money, you could invest in a digital spirit level. Where digital spirit levels really come into their own is when you’re taking vertical and angle measurements, whereby the readings can be presented in a number of different ways.

You can get angle or slope readings as a percentage, decimal, fraction, or even via a sound as you approach the level, doing away with the need to take your eye off your measuring.

If you wanted to go for a digital spirit level, we can highly recommend our Number 1 product, the Digi-Pas DWL80E Pocket, or our Number 3 product, the Digital Spirit Level-Angle Finder.

Laser and LED spirit levels

Some spirit levels, both traditional ones and digital ones can sometimes give off a laser or LED light, which can be handy for several projects. And is particularly handy when working in tight or poorly lit areas. When you’re relying on an LED or laser light to see, this usually means that you don’t have to be holding the spirit level to do your job.

If you wanted to go for a laser spirit level, we can highly recommend our Number 2 Laser Level, or our Number 4, Silverline SL01 Laser Level Kit.

Which type of spirit level to go for

Digital spirit levels can offer you a lot more data for your DIY projects, and can give beginners to DIY that bit more confidence. However more often than not a traditional bubble spirit level will suffice in most instances.

If you’re not sure if you need a laser spirit level, our advice is to look at Youtube videos of people carrying out the same type of project as you, and see how they are doing it. If there are several methods, just choose the one that looks the easiest or best for your project.

Brand

There are a handful of brands that dominate the spirit level market, and they are bestsellers for a reason. They offer real precision that is often made use of in trade, and not just with DIY fanatics. These brands include Stanley, Silverline, and Stabila.

If you want to go for a branded spirit level, we would recommend our Number 4 product, the Silverline SL01 Laser Level Kit, or our Number 5 product, the Stanley Shock Proof Torpedo Level.

Budget

More money buys more fancy features. For example you pay a little more money for a spirit level with a laser than one without, and you’d need to pay more money again if you wanted a digital read out of the angle.

But that said, for most DIY projects, you don’t need all the latest fancy features. As a general rule, there’s no need to spend more than £30 on a spirit level.

The cheapest spirit level in our Top 5 products is our Number 5, the Stanley Shock Proof Torpedo Level which comes from a good brand, and is just as precise and reliable as all of the others.

Features to look for in spirit levels

Bubbles

Most spirit levels have at least two transparent tubes called vials where you will find the bubbles. These levels can be used for ensuring things are vertically level as well as horizontal. Some levels also have a third vial which allows you to find a 45 degree angle too. The placement of the bubble shows you when the desired level has been achieved.

Accuracy

The most important feature of a spirit level is it’s accuracy. A good quality spirit level will be accurate to within plus or minus 0.5 millimeters/meter, or 0.005 inches/inch or . 029 degrees. In order to ensure that your spirit level is accurate there are ways to check, and there are also ways to calibrate it before use. We cover this in our FAQ section later.

Size

Spirit levels can vary quite considerably in size, going from being just 9 inches small, up to a whopping 48 inches or more.

Smaller spirit levels are the best option if you’re working in tight areas, but if you’re using it for floor installation then it’s a case of the bigger the better.

If you’re using the spirit level predominantly for hanging pictures or shelves, then a spirit level that’s about 24 inches long would be a good choice.

Other Features

Some spirit levels can feature magnetic strips which can be handy for leveling metal objects. They’re not much use beyond that though.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you know if a spirit level is accurate?

If you want to check that your spirit level is accurate, there’s a quick way can check. First, look at the vial, mark the edges of the spirit level and take a reading of the bubble’s position. Then turn the spirit level a full 180 degrees (not upside down), so the side that was on the left is now on the right, then align the level with your marks.

Take a second reading, and if the level is accurate, the bubble will be in the same position for both readings.

How do you calibrate a spirit level?

To calibrate a spirit level, first place it on a surface you know to be level. The screws should be facing up. Use a small screwdriver to turn the screw ever so slightly. As you do so, you will see the bubble begin to move. Keep turning the screw until the bubble is centred, then you’re done.

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