Checking level and plumb is essential to a lot of DIY home improvement projects. From plumb bobs to laser levels, choose the right one for your next job.
Decide what type of projects you'll need your level. Length is particularly important if you're working with lumber, paver projects or drywall – a long level gives a better measurement. Most levels do double duty as a ruler or straight edge. Some levels are magnetic to allow hands-free use on metal surfaces. Some models feature lights for use in low-light areas. Here are the most common hand tools for finding level and plumb.
Small level used to check horizontal and vertical at the same time.
Battery operated level displays in degrees, percent, and inches / feet.
Finds level and plumb as well as distance. There are handheld versions for DIYers or tripod-mounted for larger jobs and jobsites
Designed to attach to mason's cord or other string to determine levelness of the string over a distance.
This is not a traditional level with liquid-filled vials, but a tool that uses gravity to find plumb. Normally used to locate posts or align wallpaper.
Finds level and plumb simultaneously when used to plumb posts, flag poles, water pipes, railings, and decks.
Most common type of level, they range from 24 to 96 inches in length and are available in a wide variety of materials such as wood, aluminum or ABS (high impact resin). Can be named Box Beam or I-Beam (If viewed from the end, a box beam looks like a rectangular box and an I-beam looks like the letter "I".)
Measures level / plumb / diagonal in tight spaces. Range from 6 to 9 inches; designed to fit in a tool belt or pocket.