In this guide we’ll look at the best spirit levels.
We’ve compared durability, vials, additional features and cost
to give you our top recommendations.
What Is The Best Spirit Level?
More Detailed Spirit Level Reviews
Stabila 96-2-120 Level 3 Vial 122 cm / 48 in Review
The Stabila 96-2-120 Spirit Level is one of the best spirit levels on the market. This is a 4 ft spirit level (122 cm), has one horizontal and two vertical vials, and is accurate to 0.5 mm.
This spirit level provides everything you need for accurate levelling. The level features one horizontal and two vertical vials so you can achieve a perfect level every time. In addition, the vials should maintain accuracy for up to 10 years!
The spirit level has non-slip end caps which makes it easy to mark levels one-handed as the level grips the wall. The end caps are removable in case you need to position the level flush to the wall. The tool also has two smooth precision-milled measuring surfaces to help you set a perfect line.
This spirit level has a robust, ribbed frame constructed from reinforced aluminium so it can withstand construction site wear and tear. It is also powder-coated to resist corrosion and is easy to clean.
If you use a spirit level for trade or DIY this product is an all-round great investment!
OX Spirit Level Pro With Steel Rule 1200 mm Review
The OX Spirit Level Pro comes with 3 vials and an option for a steel rule.
The steel rule enables levelling and marking in one go. This is a 4 ft spirit level (120 cm) and is calibrated to provide accuracy down to 0.5 mm. It also features shock proof end caps that provide grip and protect it from damage. They are also easily removable for flush fitting.
The spirit level features a V groove in the base for use on pipes and curved surfaces. The bubbles can be read from any angle as they have a mirror in the window. The spirit level is made from durable aluminium with a powder coating that keeps it rust free and makes it easy to clean.
The integrated steel ruler is clear and easy to read.
This is an excellent option – it enables you to level, measure and mark up all in one go!
Stanley Fatmax Pro Torpedo Magnetic Level, 250 mm /10” Review
The Stanley Fatmax Pro Torpedo Magnetic Level is made from die-cast aluminium, features 3 accurate vials and is the perfect size for smaller jobs.
This mini spirit level is 25 cm long and ideal for smaller jobs such as fitting plugs, light switches and kitchen cupboards. The sturdy body holds 3 vials with the centre vial magnified so it is easy to read. The mini spirit level features strong magnets which makes it the ideal tool for levelling pipework and radiators. It also has a pipe groove for use on rounded surfaces.
This smaller level is ideal for intricate jobs and very convenient for many DIY jobs.
Bosch PLL 1P Laser Spirit Level (Wall mount) Review
The Bosch PLL 1 P Laser Spirit Level works as both a traditional spirit level and a laser level and comes with a wall holder.
This spirit level has a neat compact design and includes two bubble vials for vertical and horizontal use.
This level also has an integrated point laser, making it ideal for jobs like hanging shelves and curtain poles. You simply project the line onto the wall making it easy to drill holes along an accurate level line. It’s also great for angles so you can achieve a gallery wall on your stairway with perfect results. The laser creates a line up to 5 metres long.
The laser spirit level takes 2 AAA batteries that are included.
This is a neat compact, good value laser spirit level that is ideal for DIY jobs around the house.
Semlos Multipurpose Laser Level Measuring Tape Review
The Semlos Multipurpose Laser Level Measuring Tape is 3 tools in one. It offers a low cost option that is ideal for smaller jobs such as hanging pictures and shelves.
This laser spirit level has 3 vials for accurate levelling. These have LED lights so are easy to read even under dark conditions. It also features a laser level function capable of producing a vertical and horizontal laser light beam. The laser beam is clear and easy to read in low light conditions although it would not necessarily be visible on a bright sunny day. The laser spirit level also has a sturdy and accurate tape measure at one end.
This is a great multi-function spirit level that is super handy for many DIY jobs and offers excellent value for money.
Stabila Pocket PRO Magnetic Spirit Level Review
The Stabila 17768 Pocket PRO Magnetic is a professional quality tool with a neat compact design, ideal for smaller DIY projects such as fitting switches and plugs.
This small spirit level features an extra strong earth magnet, perfect for fitting metal back boxes since it can fit inside and remain held in position by the magnet. It is also ideal for levelling pipework and appliances.
The small spirit level has the same accuracy as the larger Stabila spirit levels. The main body is made from tough acrylic and has a removable metal case.
This handy tool will come in useful for any number of household tasks but it is durable and accurate enough for trade applications too.
Spirit Level Buyer’s Guide
Spirit levels are typically made from durable polypropylene or reinforced aluminium. Long spirit levels that are often used on site tend to be made from aluminium with reinforced ribs as this is a tough material that can stand up to wear and tear. Small spirit levels tend to be made from durable plastics which make them lightweight and robust. Aluminium spirit levels often have a powder coating to protect them from corrosion and make them easy to clean.
Many spirit levels also have shock resistant end caps that help protect your level if it gets dropped or knocked. These also hold the spirit level against surfaces to make one handed use easier. The end caps are often removable to allow flush fitting. Some companies also manufacture replacement end caps.
Spirit levels may have a milled surface to facilitate a true line as well as a groove in the bottom to allow levelling on pipes or other curved surfaces.
To ensure that the bubbles are easy to read, some spirit levels have magnified centre vials. Others use mirrors to ensure that you can read the level from a variety of angles. Some spirit levels have LED lights to illuminate the bubbles in dimly lit locations.
Long spirit levels like the OX Spirit Level usually have three vials, two for horizontal levelling and one for vertical. The two horizontal vials help you to achieve a more accurate result over longer distances. Small spirit levels and mini spirit levels such as the BOSCH PLL 1 Spirit Level sometimes only have two vials, one for vertical and one for horizontal levelling.
Pocket spirit levels like the Stabila Pocket Pro Level tend to have one vial that can be used both vertically and horizontally. These small spirit levels are ideal for levelling plugs and sockets.
The vials are the most important element of your spirit level.
Spirit levels often come with some additional features to make them useful in a range of scenarios. These include the following…
Integrated steel ruler
An integrated steel ruler makes it easy to measure, level and mark up in one simple step. Look for one that is clear and easy to read.
Some spirit levels like the Stanley Fatmax Pro Torpedo Magnetic Level include magnets, so the magnetic spirit level can be attached to pipework, back boxes, appliances and the like, in order to achieve a more accurate result.
Spirit levels like the Semlos Multipurpose Laser Level include a simple laser for additional functionality. Laser spirit levels are particularly handy if you want to hang long items such as shelves or curtains poles but don’t want to have to store a long spirit level.
A spirit level is an essential tool for every home even if you just want to hang a picture. Using a spirit level allows you to achieve perfect line when putting up pictures, shelves, cabinets and curtain poles.
Spirit levels are also an essential tool in garden landscaping for attaining level patios and decks, fences and features.
Of course, the spirit level is also essential for many tradesmen, from bricklayers to electricians to plumbers and window fitters.
How do I use a spirit level?
Spirit levels have vials that are filled with coloured liquid. Within this liquid is a bubble of air. The vial contains two markings on its outer surface. When the bubble is positioned between the markings you know you are level.
A spirit level can be used for a variety of purposes. To mark a horizontal level place the spirit level against the wall and move it up and down until the centre bubble is between the two guidelines. You now have your level.
If you are hanging a shelf with brackets, place the spirit level on the shelf surface and position the shelf where you want it on the wall. Using the spirit level, ensure the shelf is level and mark where the bottom of the shelf will sit.
Next, hold one of the brackets up against this line. Place the spirit level on top of the shelf bracket to ensure it is level. Place a pencil into the screw holes of the bracket to mark the wall. Do the same for the other screw holes and then repeat for the other bracket or brackets. You now have all your drill holes marked.
An accurate spirit level is an essential tool whether you are a keen DIYer, tradesman or just want to hang a picture or shelf. Choose a good quality spirit level for the best results.