Torpedo Levels are just Spirit Levels squeezed down to 6 to 11 inches. They’re super handy to carry around and are indeed worth the money. Cause it’s just a hassle to carry around a big one all the time.
But is there anything you should know before you go shopping one? Well, Yeah obviously. Especially if you don’t want to regret after buying one and want to have the best torpedo level.
Did you know that the accuracy of a level can easily be quantified? And a lot of levels you think are damaged isn’t actually damaged. Just needs a bit calibrating.
Stick with me and I’ll guide you all the way till you get the best torpedo level of your choice.
Best of Torpedo Levels
From an unbiased, unprejudiced and unsponsored perspective, I am going to put forth a collection of superior i.e. bests of the best products.
1. Stanley 43-511 Magnetic Shock Resistant Torpedo Level
Can’t beat the price.
Features and Benefits
Stanley helps you to keep things simple by providing you with a compact, durable, affordable Torpedo Level.
All these are pretty common but what would actually make you crave for this is the features and longevity in turn for what you are paying. This bad boy comes in around 6 to 7 bucks a pop.
It’s a reasonable and safer choice for an electrician. I am saying it because it’s made mostly out of plastics. Beside got rubber round the edges to offer proper grip.
Despite popular belief, the plastic case doesn’t give off a cheapo vibe at the least. And is also durable enough not to bust when you drop it.
You can check on three different angles. The 0, 90 and 45 degrees.
The thing that’ll make you crave for this is the dual “magnetic” working edge with a V-notch on one side.
Not a few but a handful of buyers are genuinely dissatisfied with the accuracy of this thing. But more importantly what a lot of users are seeming to be having an issue is the magnet’s strength.
Wouldn’t hurt to put in another vial for 30 degrees.
2. Klein Tools 935RB Torpedo Billet Level
Worth the money.
Features and Benefits
Magnets aren’t glued on or anything but have specially designed tracks to hold the magnet. The track’s design is patented. That’s how special it is.
This thing shouts durability. Cause it’s made out of ALUMINUM. Speaking of strength, the magnet’s super strong too. It can pick up a foot-long room heater, that’s how strong the magnets are.
Another thing about the designing aspect of 935RB is the bumper sorta lump on the top and bottom. But “What is, it is fo’?“. Well, it’s super handy to get a hold of it and pull it.
It’s got four vials for 30, 45, 90 and 180 degrees. Except for the 90, all of them has a hole on top to get a proper look when you are seeing from the top.
If you set this on one side the level will be 90 degrees and for the other, it’ll be 45 degrees. Pretty slick huh?
It’s reported that some buyers are unlucky enough to have received levels with fewer fluids in one or two vials. And then some had no fluids at all in one or two of the fluids.
3. Greenlee L107 Electrician’s Torpedo Level
Precise enough to use for making aircraft.
Features and Benefits
It’s fathomable that it’s durable especially because it’s anodized on top of being made out of aluminum.
It’s super handy to use, cause it’s got a pretty long hole for you to grab the thing. Four distinct slab of magnets makes the torpedo hang on super tightly to any magnetic workpieces.
The fact that they did not slack out on the quality of this thing, is assured by having rare-earth magnets instead of regular cheapo magnets.
Despite having high visibility fluids on this you’ve got holes on top of all four of the vials. This makes sure that get a good look at those vials from all possible angles.
This tool’s 8 inches long and 1.25 inches high. Just perfect for your toolbox or even your pocket.
You might have noticed a notch on the bottom side of this thing. It’s helpful when you’re placing this thing in between two pipes.
Well, some are saying that the level isn’t much of a level. If it’s held on a flat surface then it’s quite noticeable.
4. Empire em81.9 True Blue 9-Inch Heavy-duty Magnetic Aluminum Torpedo Level
Tailored to your needs.
Features and Benefits
This torpedo level which comes in at less than 10 bucks even has an aluminum frame. That’s a sign of a rugged, long-lasting and heavy-duty torpedo level.
Even if it does get damaged at one point, you’ve got nothing to worry about. Why? Cause, Empire’s giving you a lifetime warranty for this!!!!
Empire’s em81.9 is made in the States and designed brilliantly. As you’ve seen, the concentric molds make the vials perfectly formed.
Frames are a bit extruded on both sides so that you’ll be able to grab a hold of the level properly. Moreover, there’s a hole on top of the 0 degrees so you can see it when you’re looking from the top.
Instead of the regular green vials, this one has blue. It’s supposed to offer greater accuracy. Well, at least more than the yellow ones.
And like usual you can read plumb, level, and 45 degrees.
There’s a strong magnetic strip on one side to give a proper hold on the workpieces.
Only a part of the frame that’s most prone to damage is made out of aluminum but the primary tool material is plastic. That says a bit about durability.
Most of the torpedo levels come with four vials. They are for plumb, level, 45 degrees, and 30 degrees. But this one has three by missing out on the 30 degrees.
5. Swanson Tool TL041M 6-Inch Heavy-duty Magnetic Torpedo Level
Best for the price.
Features and Benefits
Swanson Tool is giving you an aluminum (100%) torpedo level with four vials for just around 10 bucks. Now, that’s a deal.
On top of being made out of aluminum this thing’s anodized. They are even kind and innovative enough to put a 13 cm scale on one side by laser etching. This is new!!
This has got holes on top of the plumb and 30 degrees vials to be seen from the top. The next big thing for this is the screw at one end. This’ll help you to attach the level to one end of a pipe or something. It’s really handy for plumbers
It has four isolated pieces of rare-earth Neodymium magnets. Not one single strip of the magnet which gets destroyed pretty quickly.
The vials light up in the dark. It might sound useless but you’ll feel the need when you’re working in a congested spot
It’s really a bummer that the vials aren’t sealed properly. This causes the vials to keep on losing fluids and the bubbles to keep getting bigger.
6. Goldblatt Lighted 9in. Aluminum Verti. Site Torpedo Level
A torpedo level for dark times
Features and Benefits
Along with the price, accuracy of this thing is also high. Accuracy is 0.029. Apart from helping you to keep the levels and inclinations of your project perfect, this level packs a 7-inch laser etched ruler on one side. You’ll find it super handy.
The way vials are designed is a bit special too. Once you end up in a confined space, you be grateful for this.
As I’ve said, this is a level for dark times. Why? Cause, there’s a separate LED for each vial.
This 9-inch long torpedo level has a bulge on the sides so that you can get a good hold of these. You’ll be needing to get a good hold, especially because there are four magnets.
All of the magnets are rare-earth magnets. That tells a lot about its strength. Another thing about the magnets is that they are four individual pieces of magnets, not strips.
The level itself is made out of aluminum. So, you know how durable this thing is.
In case you were wondering, Goldblatt do include batteries for the LED.
The button for the LED might get pressed and keep on turning the LEDs, while it’s in your pocket or toolbox.
Even though it’s aluminum, it’s a bit on the soft side. So, it might get dented when it falls.
7. Sola MM 5 25 Cast Aluminum Magnetic Torpedo Level, Red
Features and Benefits
Being a bit beveled on two sides and heightened in the middle, this torpedo level is a but customized for masons. It easily slides into pockets and pouches because of the bevels.
The Sola MM 5 25 is about 13 oz in weight and is cast out of aluminum. Aluminum indeed makes it durable but the smooth epoxy coating makes it corrosion resistant.
It’s always reassuring to have Life Time Warranty for anything you get.
Vials are made out of rugged acrylic glass. But the reason the vials are patented is that they are designed to give a magnifying effect.
This torpedo level is engineered to function uninterruptedly from – 200 C to 600 C. And as for dark conditions, the level vial is coated from the indies with fluorescent. So, you can see it properly even in the dark.
Almost everything’s alright with this torpedo level except for the price. It’s a bit much for a torpedo level.
Then it’d be cool to have one more vial for the 30 degrees and hole on top of the vial.
How to Recognize the Best Torpedo Level?
There’re always a few key areas to look at that’ll get you the best one. But what are those? And why are these important?
Let’s point it out and break it down.
The accuracy of a torpedo level is measured by the inaccuracy it produces per unit length. Usually, it’s measured in inch per inch.
Most desirable or the best torpedo levels nowadays have an accuracy of 0.0005”/1”.
But how do you figure it out before you have it? Well, check the manufacturer’s specification. But people always tend to rely on the reviews, cause they’re more reliable.
LED for Each Vial
It’s just something a bit extra to make the level handier. When you’re working in tight spaces, the light might not get there properly.
So, people really find it helpful.
Lots of torpedo levels on their pursuit of becoming the best torpedo level started adding scales to it. But how? Well, they’re laser etching it on the torpedo level that’s anodized aluminum. And those that are plastic have it printed on them.
You never know when you’ll need it. So, it’s better to check the specifications to see you’re getting it.
Extrusion in the Sides
Most of the torpedo levels have this bulge on the sides for the user to grab a proper hold of this thing. It’s super handy.
You can check the reviews or specifications to see if you’re getting one with this.
A lot of torpedo level has this notch on the bottom. Unlike those notches on iPhone, these are useful and logical. It’ll help you get around those uneven surfaces.
Specifications almost always mention them but you can always check out the reviews.
Holes on top
Another neat little feature to have on your torpedo level is holes on top of the vials. These are super duper helpful. Why? Cause, it’ll help ya see from the top or when you are attaching the level somewhere on top of your head.
You don’t need y magnets on this to be able to pick up a couple of pounds. But still, they gotta be strong at least to hold on their own weight.
Most of the manufacturers are giving rare-earth magnets. These magnets have magnetic fields that exceed 1.4 tesla.
Ways to know which one you’re getting is to check the specifications and reviews.
Individual Vs Strip for Magnets
Some torpedo levels have a whole strip whereas others have a few individual blocks. Which one’s better?
Well, the first thing about magnets is that they get weak and obviously break if you keep on slamming or banging ‘em.
So, if you have a few separate ones then they’ll divide the shock and the whole impact won’t be on one magnet all the time. So, for obvious reasons having multiple blocks is better than a strip.
Bubbles have an optimal size. Hard to get a proper read out of a big one and definitely hard to see a small one.
It’s better to check the reviews to have opinions about this.
Few torpedo levels have this issue of getting their bubbles bigger over time. How do you know yours won’t? Well, in this case, you’ll just have to read the reviews,
Some torpedo levels also have a laser on one end. But…. ”What is, it is good for’?”. Well, you’ll get a proper idea about the level over a long distance. Though it’s an optional feature, If you have a laser distance measure, simply, you can skip it.
Some brands are giving a lifetime warranty for their torpedo levels. Torpedo levels are cheap, so you wouldn’t mind not having any warranty. But it shows the manufacturers confidence in the durability and quality of their product.
How to Calibrate a Torpedo Level?
The fluid in the vials are chemicals such as ethanol or any other kind of spirit. Any fluid with sufficiently less viscosity might be used. But the fluid might get out of balance at times and end up giving you imprecise readings.
The way you can get it back to the way it’s supposed to work i.e. make it get back to level is calibrating your torpedo level.
Get Everything You’ll Need
To calibrate your spirit or torpedo level the thing Y’all will be needing are table, pencil, paper and something that’ll act as a wedge to lift your table slightly.
First thing’s first, place the torpedo level on your table. But be careful about how you place it. Place it gently and without any sudden movement.
Give it a Moment
After placing it on the table, give the level sometimes for the bubble to settle down. About half a minute or so will be fine.
Now get a vivid, clear and memorable look at the position of the bubble in the vial. Compare the position with the prints on the vial to remember it.
Spin your level by 180 degrees, again don’t be hasty, take your time and be gentle. Then let the bubble settle down like last time.
Once you’re done rotating and letting the bubble settle down, look at the position of the bubble.
If it’s at the same position as last time, then your torpedo level is working just fine. If it’s not the same as before you gotta calibrate i.e. get through the next two steps.
Find the Screw
Almost all the time there’s a screw somewhere near the vial. Find it.
Level Your Table
Now you’ll have to place the level on a surface that you’re absolutely sure that it’s level. Or, the most feasible thing at hand is making your table level.
So, get a level from your friend that works perfectly and put wedges under the table to level it. Eh Voila, you have a perfectly level surface.
This step’s easy but it’s all about caution. Place a screwdriver and keep rotating until the bubble gets in the center.
You’re done but get through the previous steps again to make sure you’ve calibrated properly.
Q. How accurate is a torpedo level?
Ans: The accuracy of torpedo levels can be quantified, I’ve talked about it. But all of them are very accurate unless they need calibration. You could lean on other digital measuring tools accuracy.
Q. How long is a torpedo level at max?
Ans: A torpedo level should be 11 inches at max. If not, then it’s not a torpedo level. It can be level, but not torpedo level.
Q. Are the magnets of torpedo levels replaceable?
Ans: There’s not one in the market which has this feature yet. But hey, if you’re a DIY guy you can get it done.
Q. Are those levels without warranties bad?
Ans: No, not necessarily. But still, it shows the confidence of the manufacturers on their products.
Buying the torpedo level is a matter of patience and a lot of effort until you know how to identify the best.
Even if you do know that having the best magnetic torpedo level is still a lot difficult. Why? Cause, judging every single torpedo level to check if it’s the best is something that you’ll be needing to give a lot of time and effort.
To put an end to all these miseries of yours I’ve listed down and talked about all the features and key areas that you’ll be needing to look at to lay your hands on the best. But that’s not enough to get the best torpedo level for ya.
I even presented the pros and cons of some of the best torpedo levels on the market. So you’ll be having the best one of your choice without breaking a sweat.