A spirit level is used for determining horizontal and vertical levels and can be used on a variety of DIY projects in and around the home. A spirit level is used to designed to indicate whether a surface is level on the horizontal or vertical planes, and there are a variety of sizes and designs for every project.
A Spirit Level is a tool used to indicate how parallel (level) or perpendicular (plumb) a surface is relative to the earth. A spirit level gets its name from the mineral spirit solution inside the levels.
Typically, the vials in a spirit level are a yellowish-green color with additives for UV protection and maximum performance in temperatures ranging from -20 degrees F to 130 degrees F. The best spirit level is accurate to within plus or minus 0.5 millimeters/meter, or 0.005 inches/inch or .029 degrees. The next level of accuracy displayed is 0.75mm/m or.043 degrees. The vial bodies of a spirit level, also referred to as a bubble level, can be shaped like a barrel, like a rectangular block or even curved, banana-shaped, to measure slope in fractions per foot of pitch; and are mostly made from acrylic today versus glass originally.
80⁰, 90⁰, 45⁰ high visibility block vials.
Heavy duty aluminium profile.
Shock absorbent end caps.
High Accuracy: 0.029⁰, 0.5mm/m.
Locate the bottom edge of the level. This rests against the surface you're trying to level.
Some models feature magnetic edges, which "stick" to metal surfaces for ease of use.
Inspect the body of the level and check for grabbing points where you won't block the vials with your hand(s).
Most levels feature a punched hole on at least one end for hanging above your workbench.
The tube vial in the center of the level helps you find the true horizontal.
Tube vials on the ends finds the true vertical.
On many torpedo levels and other specialized levels, there is an angled tube vial to find level at 45°.
Clean the level, removing all buildup and dirt from the edges.
Mark a line along the bottom edge on the wall.
Flip the level over so that the bottom becomes the top. Put the new top edge along the marked line. If the bubble is centered, your level is accurate. If not, it is defective.
Place the level on the surface of the object for which you want to find the true horizontal (the “horizon”). Make sure the spirit tube runs parallel to the object. Allow the bubble to float to the top of the spirit tube.
Put your eyes at level with the spirit tube. In order to get an accurate reading, close one eye.
Take note of where the bubble is inside the spirit tube. If it’s centered between the lines on the tube, your object is level. If the bubble is to the right of the lines, your object slopes downward right-to-left. If the bubble is to the left of the lines, your object slopes downward left-to-right.
To find the true vertical or "plumb," repeat the same process vertically.
Place the level on a flat surface.
Make one mark at the end of the level.
Make another mark along the side of the level, under the vial in the center.
Take a reading of the bubble's position.
Rotate the level 180° end-to-end and align the level with your marks.
Take another reading. If the level is accurate, the bubble will be in the same position for both readings.
To test the vertical vial, follow the same procedure against a flat vertical surface.