Professional Tool Reviews for Pros


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Swanson T04424 Wood Magnet Review

Swanson Wood Magnet T04424 Review

The new Swanson T04424 Wood Magnet is one of those types of tools that once you use it a few times, you realize how many times it would have come in handy on all your past projects! With low cost and highly versatile applications, this compact tool is able to combine a number of project leveling and layout tools into one. The simple design combined with a pretty rugged build should make this an easy choice for both DIY types and pros alike!

Ryobi RP4000 Tek4 Self Leveling Plumb/Cross Laser Review

Ryobi Self Leveling Plumb Cross Laser Review RP4000

The RP4000 Self Leveling Plumb/Cross Laser represents one of the best values we’ve seen in a while. For pros and do-it-yourselfers alike, this is one tool that is priced as low, or lower than many of the non-rechargeable competition. The tool actually sits inside of a plastic jacket that contains a threaded tripod mount. Once the tool is lifted a bit and “unlocked”, the level is able to self-level and you can get effective results in any of the three modes. The modes are a combination crosshair/plumb bob mode which fires a horizontal and vertical beam as well as top and bottom lasers for use as a plumb bob. The second mode fires only the horizontal beam and the top dot. The third mode shoots a vertical beam with the bottom dot. For setting up cabinets and interior work this is going to be a no-brainer and a real go-to tool.

Swanson BBL24M 24" Magnetic Box Beam Level Review

Swanson Box Beam Level BBL24M Review

When a durable, indestructible 24″ level is desired, Swanson takes up the call and delivers its BBL24M Box Beam Level that has the features to take a beating and then some. With rubber “Super Shock” end caps and solid block acrylic vials, the Swanson Box Beam level is certainly a tool that isn’t afraid to take a beating and come out on top. We took it for a spin in our real-world test and found it to be an extremely easy-to-use, no-nonsense product that will provide years of reliable service.

Swanson Savage and Lil' Savage Magnetic Torpedo Levels Review

Swanson Savage Magnetic Levels Review

Sometimes you make do with an average level, but when you finally get ahold of something professional, like the Savage series of magnetic torpedo levels from Swanson Tools, you’ll immediately recognize the difference. Their billet aluminum construction and clear, easy to read vials make them a handy tool that you’ll want to make sure are within easy reach for plumbing, trim and even electrical work. These torpedo levels even include four rare earth magnets which make them indispensable when working around commercial power applications and when leveling up electrical boxes.

Swanson TL041M and TL043M Savage Levels Preview

Swanson Savage Levels TL041M and TL043M

This week we got to do some hands on with the new Swanson Savage Torpedo levels. These new levels are made of solid billet aluminum and feature new “Brightview” vials which almost seem to light up from within. The way they are designed they really tend to suck in light to make the level easier to read, even in dimmer areas. The Savage series of levels (including the Lil Savage) have 4 really strong rare earth magnets which, in the demo we tried, allowed us to pick up a 12 pound block of steel without losing grip. If you’re doing commercial work with steel studs this could really come in handy.

Swanson T04424 Wood Magnet Preview

Swanson Wood Magnet T04424

At this year’s 2009 International Builder’s Show (IBS) in Las Vegas we got our hands on the new “Wood Magnet” from Swanson Tool Co. It’s a unique leveling device that fits onto any 2X material and instantly gives you accurate level, whether vertical or horizontal. It also has an integrated rubber band which allows it to be strapped onto 4X4 lumber to level up posts and foundation supports. What makes it truly unique, though is its adaptability. Instead of bringing along a 5- or 6-foot level, for example, you can simply strap the Swanson Wood Magnet onto a straight piece of 2X4 (up to 8 feet long) and instantly convert it into a long level.

Black & Decker BDSL30 Accu-Mark Level

Black & Decker BDSL30 24-Inch 3-in-1 Gecko Grip Level Preview

The Black & Decker BDSL30 24-inch level is really three tools in one. The 24-inch level is great on its own, offering large easy-view bubbles for making sure your pictures and shelves are perfectly level. Not stopping there, Black & Decker added a 9-inch torpedo level that pulls out from the right side of the BDSL30 and can be used simultaneously alongside its 24-inch host. But wait, there’s more… The 9-inch torpedo level comes complete with an integrated stud finder to sweeten the deal. A stud finder integrated into a level? That’s absolutely the most absurd…ly perfect combination we can think of. In fact, why aren’t all torpedo levels made this way?

Black & Decker Gecko Grip Level

Black & Decker Gecko Grip Level with Accu Mark BDSL10

For anyone who has ever attempted to hang a larger shelf or picture without the help of an assistant, the new 36-inch Gecko Grip Level from Black & Decker might not change your life, but it could make it easier. It combines “Gecko Grip” pads that help keep the level in place with one hand, while the innovative Accu Mark targets let you pinpoint exactly where on the wall you need to drill to mount your picture or shelf system.