Best Bubble Level Buying Guide for Pros News & Opinion

How Long Should Your Bubble Level Be?


How long should your bubble level be? That’s the latest topic in our Training the Apprentice series and a common topic for both new Pros and DIYers. It seems like a pretty simple thing, right? Shorter levels work everywhere and are cheaper, so why bother going with a longer one?

Well… not so much. There’s a reason bubble levels (also called spirit levels, level tools, or just plain levels) have so many lengths to choose from. If you’re not familiar with the different level types yet, check out our guide.

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How Long Should Your Bubble Level Be?

Essentially, you want to use the longest level you can on any project. If you span the entire length of your workspace, you will know if the two ends are level or plumb. Rises in the middle of the work somewhere will cause the level to have a point to rock on. Low points in your work will leave a gap that you can see light come through.

How long should your bubble level be

Most Pros start with a 48″ level for general work or a torpedo level for plumbers and electricians. Each job is different, and you’ll notice that the more specific the job, the more specific the level lengths veterans will carry. For example, Milwaukee’s Redstick Door Jamb set includes a 78″ and a 32″ level – one for the vertical sides and one for the horizontal.

 

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Other Options?

In some cases, you can go more high-tech with a cross line laser. With self-leveling, the red or green beam can give you a line to work with that extends much farther than any bubble level can. The downside is that it takes more time to get set up and you have batteries to replace or recharge and they’re significantly more expensive.

How long should your bubble level be

Can you get away with using a level app on your smartphone? Find out here.

The Bottom Line

You should use the longest level you have access to in order to get the highest level of accuracy you can. As a Pro, you’ll collect several lengths and types to cover the variety of jobs you encounter.

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