Best Torpedo Levels reviewed

by Joost | Updated on:  August 23, 2021
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Good work emits perfection. Imagine an unbalanced picture hanging on the wall. Doesn’t seem nice, does it? We like to see things in the level, balance in everything, a satisfactory shape in objects.

Not everything has a reference point with which you can straighten up designs and balance them. Torpedo level has successfully unraveled this problem in the case of non-linear objects. Torpedo levels are used to bring out a well-balanced and leveled structure both horizontally and vertically by the indication coming off from the liquid in the tube.

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So, if you are looking for the best torpedo levels in the market, you have indeed come to the right place. All you need is PICK!

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Torpedo Level buying guide

If there wasn’t need, there wouldn’t have been differences and superiority. The tool may be very simple to operate but not all model has your desired features. So, in order to buy a torpedo level, you must know what you will be getting and first of all you must know what you want and exactly what to look for.

That’s why we thought it would be better if we at first, take you through some delicate information that might help you to buy exactly what you need. Let’s go!

Vials

Vials in every torpedo level are not the same. So, you need to choose what you want for the vials. The material can be plastic, glass or acrylic. Among these three, we prefer glass. Because glass is tough and won’t leak, crack or fog over unlike others. There will be times when your torpedo level can fall from the surface. So, if you are looking for something durable glass would do a lot better compared to the others.

But also try to look for shockproof vials that will ensure that they don’t break from accidents or banging against anything. The vials are filled with diluted ethanol. The air bubble gives you the reading by moving per your adjustment. If you want a clear look at the readings even in the dark look for those which glow.

How many vials does your level feature? It’s important that it can’t be missed out. Two vials are the minimum requirements that measure horizontally and vertically simultaneously. These are often called plumb and level. They are able to measure 0 and 180 degrees and 90 degrees. But there are also vials for 30 and 45 degrees to give a more exact reading.

Material

Torpedo levels mostly are designed and constructed to deal with arduous environments. Buy a tool that will serve you for a long period. So, testing the durability is really important. Try to look for the most durable material for the frame for your torpedo level.

The most common materials used in the torpedo level are ABS plastic and aluminum alloy. Both are comparatively lightweight for easy move around and portability. But there are differences. Such as plastic can be cast into any shape. Moreover, plastics are not affected by heat or cold depending on the temperature. But on the other hand, aluminum does not have a bit of edge like plastic. It conducts electricity which might be a danger in the case of the electric field. So, we advise you to look for a torpedo level that has plastic as a material.

Magnets

Torpedo level with magnets featured is very much impressive. The magnetic system provides you a hands-free operation so that you have the luxury to focus on another thing at a time.

There are strip magnets and rare earth magnets. But in case of efficiency, the rare earth materials are comparatively more powerful than the strip magnets. Thus, it makes rare earth magnets a popular choice. But you don’t really need magnets if you are not working with metals. Magnets attract metallic dust when used in a workshop. So this indeed can create a problem ending in small shards scratching and damaging the surface. Also, do not forget to wipe away relics from a non-metal surface before getting started.

V-Groove

A V-groove is basically a concept to make way for the pipes and conduits to fit into places quickly and precisely. It’s very simple. A side of the torpedo level is designed like a V. More control is acquired by the material that fits into the groove. Though we only have been talking about pipes and conduits, these also do with any round shapes. It stabilizes the material and does the job effortlessly and gives you more fixity. V-groove is a must feature if you look forward to working with pipes and conduits.

Thumb Screw

Conduits require V-groove. But besides that, screw thumbs are also a part of the performance-enhancing. The thumbscrew fits the level to a piece of conduit to do good even in a bending situation. It comes in really handy for this specific job. If you are not into bending, then thumbscrews are not a necessary go feature. But what’s the problem if you get thumb screws even if you don’t need it. Then who knows when you are in need!

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Warranty

It’s important to buy a tool with a warranty. The problem with torpedo levels is that the vials break or crack or leak the fluids out. So, try to look for the warranty that covers the vials. The best thing about the warranty is you get to know what it covers and whatnot. You never know what’s going to break. So, why not have a warranty and replace it or fix it without any expense!

Best Torpedo levels reviewed

After spending a lot of time with the torpedo levels, we have picked out the ones with the best features at an affordable price. We urge you to go through the reviews patiently. Thank you!

1. Qooltek Multipurpose Laser Level Laser

Diacritic attributes

The Qooltek Multipurpose Laser Level Lase comes with 8ft measuring tape that takes readings in metric or imperial linear measurements and graduates down to 1/32″ and 1mm. It has a 3 pronged approach which combines a tape measure, triple-positioned leveling bubble, and new laser level to provide the topmost exactitude.

The three bubble levels let you take readings in vertical, horizontal and diagonal lines precisely. It has a laser ranging error that is given as +/- 2mm at 10m and 25m. The laser comes in black and weighs almost 184g. The small size and triple measuring system make it more convenient.

The level is constructed with hard plastic material to ensure durability preventing damage while falling off. It can be fitted to a standard tripod. It is equipped with a 3 x AG13 Button cell and a backup battery to cut the expense of extra batteries providing maximum convenience.

Drawbacks

The measuring tape is extremely insubstantial as you’ll find high-quality laser tape measures out there. The level sets off a cheap impression. The bottom piece was put on uneven. A different reading of measurement from side to left and right. Level bubbles turn off soon according to user experience. Users have found difficulty in getting the laser-accurate.

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2. Swanson TL043M 9-Inch Savage Magnetic Torpedo Level

Diacritic attributes

Swanson brings you a well-designed level torpedo for heavy usage. The Swanson TL043M 9-Inch Savage Magnetic Torpedo Level is equipped with 4 sparse earth neodymium magnets for a firm and secure grip on metallic surfaces giving you the advantage of hands-free operation. The sealed top and bottom vials are designed to provide for great exactitude in work.

The legibility of the tool is provided by extreme construction design coming merged with a machine production ensuring the edges to be adequately sharp and the surfaces dead flat. The vial ports are engraved with a unique BrightView signature design for ameliorating the exactitude of reading and the surface is able to reflect light to make sure you don’t have a problem getting readings even in daylight.

It can give reading up to 0.029 degrees and 0.0005 inches and provide effortless performance in domestic and trade projects simultaneously. It has a long 7” laser-fitted SAE scale in addition to a metric scale that reads up to 18inches. The 9inch length of the unit easily atones the two scales.

It uses a large footprint for leverage while bending conduit and copper pipe. This has vials for 0,45 & 90 degrees. It comes in lightweight for easy portability.

Drawbacks

Swanson didn’t spare any room for glitches. It is a little expensive. It is a bit heavy. According to some users, the bubble seems a little bit. The fluid leaked in some user experience. The magnets fall out more often.

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3. Stanley 43-511 Magnetic Shock Resistant Torpedo Level

Diacritic attributes

The Stanley 43-511 Magnetic Shock Resistant Torpedo Level has a decent amount of features, full to the brim, ameliorating use and ensuring ultimate permanence. It comes in heavy-duty, sturdy and robust all-aluminum frame ensuring accuracy up to 0.002” and capability to withstand heavy use in different job sites and under rough conditions. The aluminum frame is water-resistant due to which it can do evenly good in wet and damp conditions.

It features an open, top-read vial from which exact information can be seen at any angle. The torpedo level has 3 vials for 0, 45, and 90-degree measurements. To expect a feature like a magnetic strip for convenient use with metals is rare from such cheap tools.

The bi-material body that features rubber ends for shock absorption is an impressive improvisation from Stanley’s end. It has a gentle learning curve. Non-marring feet can be used on finished surfaces without damage.

It comes with non-marring feet, which unravels a problem ordinary to cheaper levels. Unlike some, it won’t scratch your work surfaces. It features a pipe groove for leveling rounded pieces. A dimension of 10 x 3.9 x 0.8″ is convenient. Plus, you get a limited lifetime warranty!

Drawbacks

The unit’s deceptively curtailed profile has shown some significant problems to users. The size is a little bulky to fit in a pocket. The magnet is weak. The plastic construction gives off a cheap feel. It has also some accuracy problems according to some users.

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4. Stabila 25100 10-Inch Die-Cast Rare Earth Magnetic Level

Diacritic attributes

Targeting the professional users working on a regular basis, Stabila has presented a torpedo level that just can’t get any better than it already is! With a sturdy die-cast, 10-inch metal frame and monolog level design this torpedo level is certified to hold up well against drops from ladders and against accidental crushing situations.

Featured two acrylic vials allow for very good and clear reading for the user. The acrylic vials are also equipped with a limited lifetime warranty which will replace the tool if they break or obfuscate. It clearly shows that Stabila is willing to stand behind such commitment.

This torpedo level features two very strong flushes mounted rare earth magnets on the back, which allow the user to mount this level to a platform he is working on and the user thus is free with two hands for balance.

The reading is very accurate within .029 degrees of the actual reading shown. That error is small enough for the user not to notice it but the subtle jobs. For easy portability, the user will be glad to know it can easily fit into a tool pouch holster.

Drawbacks

The magnets come loose. The price is a little bit for frequent users. Some users have complained about the bubble to be too big. Other than these, the torpedo level doesn’t seem to have many problems.

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5. Johnson Level and Tool 5500M-GLO 9-Inch Magnetic Glo-View Aluminum Torpedo Level

Diacritic attributes

This particular Johnson torpedo level equipped with a time-saving top read window is constructed with industrial-grade full-length cast aluminum frame ensuring the extreme durability and enhance performance. The edges are CNC machined focusing on providing the level with topmost strength.

The well-engraved vials surrounded by SurroundView white polymer frames, feature 360-degree visibility for superior visualization of the readings. The patented Glo-View technology gives you a sleek operation experience. The 5500-Glo shows precision and versatility. The unit comes with three vials for reading plumb, level, and 45 degrees.

The lightweight affords the easy portability. It is magnetic thus being able to stick it to several metal surfaces gives you extra hand leverage. Simply by facing it up against light will give you enough glow to go through the extreme jobs in the infirmly glazed atmosphere without much stress.

Actually, the Glo-View technology gives you adequate glow light for visibility in the dark. The v-groove and three earth magnets are the reason that it does fit and has a firm grip over pipes and metallic surfaces.

Drawbacks

It can measure only three vials. The magnets are not “worth every penny” ones because they fall off more often. The Plumb level is big making it difficult with plumbs. Some users have complained about different readings after a 180-degree rotation.

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6. Empire Level EM81.9G 9 Inch Magnetic Torpedo Level w/Overhead Viewing Slot

Diacritic attributes

This Empire torpedo level features a built-in overhead viewing slot that helps you exhort the situation in every position from above. The built-in rare earth neodymium magnetic edge is an opportune feature that helps you to mount the level on a metal surface and gives you a hand-free operation advantage.

It is constructed with shock-absorbing end plates to prevent damage from tough working situations. It comes in a heavy-duty thrust aluminum frame. Irrelevant of the pitches or surfaces, the level shows an accuracy of 0.0005inches. The fact that it’s made in the US is the backup behind its quality and durability.

The bright white circles surrounding the vials lets you see in any condition. It consists of three true blue vials for scrap-free estimation of levels, plumb and 45-degree readings at several levels. The pipe groove built into the edges lets you slide this level effortlessly underneath or on top.

The V groove edge keeps the torpedo level in position while amounting to pipes and conduits. The 9-inches by 1 inch by 2inches weighs lightly and the size is adjustable to any storage space. You get a lifetime warranty!

Drawbacks

Different readings after 180degree rotation. The size is too small for some tasks. It’s not for heavy usage. The magnet is not strong enough. Apparently, the magnetic strip on the bottom can be compared with a weak fridge magnet. It has a plastic plug in one of the holes and the hole gets scratched up.

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7. EMPIRE EM71.8 Professional True Blue Magnetic Box Level

Diacritic attributes

Empire has thought about almost every feature that can be poured into a torpedo level. The Empire EM71.8 is a “worth every penny” tool. It is one of Empire’s finely crafted works. It is constructed with Heavy-Duty 6061 T5 Aircraft Aluminum Chassis that clearly spares no room for doubt that it can withstand frequent falls.

This torpedo level is highly recommended for industrial use. The impact-resistant blue-banded vials are oddly attractive. They highlight the bubble edges and enhance the superiority of readability and thus the readings are very easy to note.

The true blue solid block acrylic vials resist breaking, leaking and fogging. They are 400% stronger than standard regular vials. In an 8inch frame, Empire has managed to fit 4 of them, a 90-degree, a 45-degree, a 0-degree offset, and a 0-degree flat. It has three strong magnets.

The level of accuracy is set to almost .0005inches by the patented true blue vials. The vial gives you a 300-degree view with the help of the top reading window making it easy to read. It has three strong magnets: a flat edge on one size, a grooved edge on the other side and one flat end to stand upright and one inclined end.

Drawbacks

Quality has a downfall. Unless there is good lighting, it’s difficult to see because of the light blue lines in the blue vials. The magnets positioned with one directly in the center makes it hard to use. No large central cut out for your hand. It is a bit heavy.

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8. Klein Tools 935AB4V Torpedo Level

Diacritic attributes

Klein Tools 935AB4V torpedo level comes with a patented magnet track that prevents powerful rare earth magnets from falling out. This means that it locks the magnets in place and thus the tool can be used with ease and confidence in its functionality all the time.

For broader applications, the level comes with thumb screws that let you attach the level to a conduit to measure angle while bending. The vials are very well designed and serves you with great visibility at 4 angles:  level, 90, 45, and 30 degrees. The large top-view vial windows surely did an outstanding job of enhancing easy visibility from just about any angle. The vials actually light up when you see in the dark.

This level features a truth ground-level surface to increase exactness. The lightweight aluminum frame is sturdy enough to last long and has a V-groove in case of use with conduit and pipe. The bright orange color is really likable and makes it difficult to blend in with other tools.

The V-groove fits the contour of the pipe. Also, the tapered nose resolved the problem of being able to fit into tight spaces. High-visibility orange aluminum makes it sure that it is easy to see on conduit and at the job places.

Drawbacks

Klein tools actually did not leave any room to complain. But due to shipment experience, some users have found the liquid leaking out. Not really built for heavy and long usage.

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What is a Torpedo Level

Before you get into the reviews, at first you should have an idea about what a torpedo level is. Basically, the torpedo level is a smaller version of a spirit level designed and made compact for easy use, portability, and convenience. You can use it in tight spaces and compare to large level contractors. These help you carry easily with you and do your work.

These tools are 5.5 to 10.3inches long but there are longer ones. Most of the two vials that measure 0 degrees and 90 degrees ensuring that you get the exact readings both horizontally and vertically. There are also levels that feature three or four vials to enhance performance. Technically, the 30 and 45-degree vials give you extended flexibility.

Do You Need a Torpedo Level?

At first, ask yourself do you want a picture on your wall hanging in a lopsided position? (just a simple example) If not then yes you do need a torpedo level. To make it more simple a torpedo level is like a fire extinguisher, you don’t really know until you need it.

For carpenters, electricians, and plumbers it is a necessary evil. Torpedo level has several uses. Used to put up a shelf for your books or a picture of your family o the wall. If you want flat-pack furniture, it is necessary to pick. Despite the fact, the contractors need larger spirit levels for their use but it comes in handy in tight spaces and these are not also too expensive.

How to Use a Torpedo Level

Before getting started, you need to clean the level and remove all dirt from the edges. Choose your surface and place the level on the object. The spirit tube must run parallel to the object. You will see the bubble floating to the top of the spirit tube. Focus at the level of the spirit tube.

Observe where the bubble is inside the spirit tube. If it is in the center between the lines on the tube, the object is level. If the bubble is on the right side of the lines, the object is said to be downward from right to left. If the bubble is on the left side of the lines, the object is said to be downward from left to right.

In order to find the true value for vertical, just repeat the same process but vertically.

Calibration

Place the torpedo level on a flat and roughly level surface. See the bubble inside the tube and note down the readings. This reading refers to what extent the surface is parallel to the horizontal plane and the accuracy is yet unknown. Do a 180-degrees rotation and repeat the same procedure. If the readings in both events are the same then your level has high accuracy if not then not so accurate.

Spirit Level vs Torpedo Level

A spirit level indicates whether a surface is horizontal (level) or vertical (plumb). The carpenters, stonemasons, bricklayers, other building trades workers, surveyors, millwrights, and other metalworkers use different types of spirit levels. A device that consists of a sealed glass tube filled with liquid containing an air bubble which indicates the level by its position.

A torpedo level is a spirit level designed for use in tight spaces. Torpedo levels are small in size. It consists of two or three vials filled with ethanol. Some features glow in the dark visibility. The torpedo level also indicates the level by the position of the bubble.

FAQ’S

What Is a Torpedo Level For?

A torpedo level is a type of spirit level that is an essential tool for any professional working in tight spaces. The body of the level is made of either metal or plastic and contains two or three tube vials. These tubes, or vials, contain yellowish-green additives and are used to determine the surface level.

Are Goldblatt Levels Good?

The Goldblatt levels – both sizes – have an accuracy of 0.029° in both directions, which is pretty good. For comparison purposes, one of Johnson’s 24-inch levels ($25 via Amazon) has an accuracy of 0.029° in one direction, and 0.043° in the other. … This means you can read the Verti Site bubble from 3 sides of the level.

What Are the Best Levels?

The 10 Best Level Reviews

Stabila 37816 48-Inch and 16-Inch Box Beam Level Set (Our Top Pick)
Stanley FatMax 43-524 24-Inch Non-Magnetic Level.
Empire EM81.12 True Blue 12-Inch Magnetic Tool Box Level.
Sola MM 5 25 10-inch Magnetic Torpedo Level.
Klein Tools 935RBLT 9-inch Lighted Torpedo Billet Level.

What Are the 3 Bubbles on a Level?

Some levels also have a third vial which allows you to find a 45 degree angle too. On each vial there are two marks that are spaced apart. When the bubble sits between them it indicates a horizontal or vertical level (or 45 degree if you are using the third diagonal vial).

Why Do Levels Have Two Bubbles?

The bubble in the spirit level or bubble level is simply made of air. … There are two vials so the level will work on when lying on either its top or bottom edges. Since air bubbles seek the highest point, the bottom vial (the one shaped like a rainbow) will be the working vial.

What Is the Best Stabila Level?

Type 196
Best Construction Level – Hands down we felt the Stabila Heavy Duty Level Type 196 was the best level that we tested. The quality, strength, visibility, and accuracy of this level make it easy to name as the best construction level that we tested.

What Length Level Should I Buy?

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.

Q: Which one should I buy?

Ans:  It depends on what you work with. Two vials would serve you great, thumb screws are not necessary if you are only a frequent user.

Q: What are the numbers under the line?

Ans: Those are the multipliers you need to use for specific angles.

Q: Which one I should prefer, Glass or plastic?

Ans: Glass is a better option if you think about shock damaging and durability.

Conclusion

It’s important that you understand the nature of your work and choose accordingly. The reviewed torpedo levels here are the top among the best ones. Now all you need to do is look for your preferred feature and pick one of the best torpedo levels.

If you want our verdict we have come up with two torpedo levels which we thought to be slightly better compared to others (despite the fact that each and every model reviewed here is extremely good).

The Stabila 25100 is a great package with its strong magnet, sturdy construction and the warranty for the vials. Johnson Level and Tool 5500M-GLO 9-Inch with the unique Gio-View technology and the three magnets and V-groove make it a great package.

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Tools Doctor is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new equipment, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with tools & crafting tips.