It’s easy to say that all torpedo levels are the same. It’s just as easy to think that if you have one you don’t need another, or that any 9″ level will do. For some, that might even be the case. But as we’re introduced to more and more products, like the new 250 Series Magnetic Torpedo Level from Irwin, we are being made away of more and more handy features that will likely appeal to some trades over another. Let’s dive right into the 250 and talk about some of the stand-out features.
Features & Build Quality
A mirror on a level isn’t something you see every day, but Irwin put one on the 250. They dubbed it, sensibly, the “Plumb Site” and it’s there so you can check if you’re plumb without having to look around the level or move it to the side. It functions as a window through the top of the level which allows an integrated 45 degree mirror to let you see if you’re on target. We were checking the positioning of some vertically-oriented conduit and loved that we could just hold the level in virtually any position, front or side, to take a reading.
The body of the level is made from die cast aluminum and, aside from plumb and level, there are two more vials for 45 degrees and 22.5 degrees. Not content to stop there, Irwin also added a 1.5 degree, 1/4″ per foot drainage button. There’s even a slight curvature on the bottom to allow the level to sit more securely on 4″ or larger pipe. There’s a little bit of play in the button, so I wouldn’t consider it a precision feature, but it’s certainly in the ball park.
Speaking of pipe, the integrated rare earth magnets are strong. In addition to holding the level securely on conduit and pipe, the magnets were tough enough to suspend the level upside down and also vertically from steel chain. Even without a smooth surface to connect with, the level seemed able to grab onto just about anything and hold fast. Lastly, Irwin decided to use the very end of the 250 Series torpedo level to integrate a B-Tank valve key. It lets you open a standard non-recessed acetylene tank valve.
All-in-all, the Irwin 250 Series Magnetic Torpedo Level is durable, functional, and perfect for both commercial contractors, plumbers and electricians. That’s not to say that other pros and advanced users won’t also enjoy this level, but we think those industries will particularly benefit from the 250′s unique features. At under $25, this is a reasonably-priced tool that should make for a great addition to your collection… And it may even displace a couple of tools in the process.