Swanson Wood Magnet T04424 Review
The new Swanson Wood Magnet T04424 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!
Our Swanson Wood Magnet T04424 arrived attached to a retail cardboard card that told about the tool and its uses. As far as build quality, it is quite simply made of tough yellow colored ABS plastic which is good because of its high-impact resistant qualities. There are grey overmolded rubber grips and also three easy-to-read level vials built into the body. The idea of this lightweight plastic tool is that it compresses and fits over the edge of a piece of standard 2x lumber material. Once the level is attached to a piece of 2x, it can then be used in the same way that a level is used. The idea is that if you forget your long 4 or 6 ft level, you can get a “straight” (as possible) piece of lumber, attach this baby to the middle of it and you then have a level of whatever length you need. In addition to fitting it to standard 2x materials, it can be used to plumb both square posts and round pipes up to 4” in diameter. If you start to think about it, this can be a pretty handy hands-free stud level, plate level, screed level, or post level!
To attach the Swanson Wood Magnet to a post, there is a built-in rubber band that holds the tool in place so the post can be properly positioned. We wish that there was a wood magnet designed for 4x material rather than using the rubber band attachment method. To us the rubber band seems like a weak point or almost an afterthought. It’s one of those nice fat rubber bands too, one that is just asking to get shot across the room at one of the other guys on the job when he is not looking!
As far as testing the Wood Magnet, it works just like the package suggests. From what we saw, it WON’T fall off of standard 2x material once it is pushed on (it is easy to take off, too). When we tried to use the Wood Magnet as a portable level by attaching it to a piece of 6 ft 2×4, we had pretty good results when we compared it to our standard level. The biggest issue for us was to find straight lumber. It seems we picked through a stack of 2×4’s before we found one that was worthy to be called true. We used it to plumb studs in a little renovation project. It was very handy because we did not have to hold a level, position the stud, and then try to shoot it in place with our nail gun. We simply were able to attach the wood magnet to the stud, plumbed it up and nailed it in. For plumbing up some posts for a small deck project, we found that the wood magnet worked pretty well. Again, we were not big fans of the rubber band thing, but it did work and it was nice we did not have to stand there and hold a level on the post.
We think the Swanson Wood Magnet T04424 and its simple and durable construction will help it withstand job site rigors. Given its compact size and versatile applications, it can be a handy addition to most folks (especially since it is easier to transport and store than an 6 or 8 ft level). For our value rating we gave the tool a 9/10 because it really offers some great features for the low cost. For our Professional ratting we gave the tool a 5/10 because, while it does serve as a pretty good level, there are limitations to its precision. It’s really just meant to be used as a handy rough level, especially when compared to a longer regular level. Still, we like the concept and found that it would be most fitting for rough framers, more so than precise finish work.