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Best Torpedo Level [2020 Review]

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A torpedo level is a must-have tool for professionals, enthusiastic DIYers, and homeowners. Whether you want to hang a picture or install a conduit correctly, this tool will get the job done precisely. However, if you are not using a high-quality level, you may be selling yourself short and making your projects more difficult than it should be. 

Considering how time-consuming the process of looking for a good torpedo level can be, we took it upon ourselves to conduct thorough research to find the best torpedo level currently on offer. During our research, we considered several factors, including ease of use, accuracy, construction quality, among other things, to ensure you get a tool that can help you meet your needs.

Our Top Torpedo Level Reviews

Brand
Best Overall
Stabila 37816
Best for the Money
CheckPoint 0300B
Best Cheap Pick
Swanson TL043M
Product
Stabila 37816 48-Inch and 16-Inch Aluminum Box...
CHECKPOINT 0300B Pro Mag Precision Torpedo Level,...
Swanson TL043M 9-Inch Savage Magnetic Torpedo...
Product Dimensions
49 x 4.7 x 4.4 inches
8.5 x 1.2 x 0.8 inches
1 x 4.5 x 9 inches
Item Weight
3 pounds
8.5 ounces
8.8 ounces
Rating
-
-
-
Best Overall
Brand
Stabila 37816
Product
Stabila 37816 48-Inch and 16-Inch Aluminum Box...
Product Dimensions
49 x 4.7 x 4.4 inches
Item Weight
3 pounds
Rating
-
Best for the Money
Brand
CheckPoint 0300B
Product
CHECKPOINT 0300B Pro Mag Precision Torpedo Level,...
Product Dimensions
8.5 x 1.2 x 0.8 inches
Item Weight
8.5 ounces
Rating
-
Best Cheap Pick
Brand
Swanson TL043M
Product
Swanson TL043M 9-Inch Savage Magnetic Torpedo...
Product Dimensions
1 x 4.5 x 9 inches
Item Weight
8.8 ounces
Rating
-

Best Overall Torpedo Level: Stabila 37816

Stabila 37816 48-Inch and 16-Inch Aluminum Box...

The innovative design of the Stabila 37816 will allow you to take vial readings from different parts of your project site. The two levels come with three vials. Two of them have a vertical orientation to let you gauge plumb readings easily. The third vial comes with a horizontal arrangement to allow you to establish a level. Stabila makes the three vials with commercial-grade aluminum and encloses them in a sturdy frame.

Additionally, the tool boasts of electronic calibration to ensure the vials stay precise throughout the beam level’s useful life. The tool will also give you exceptional performance as long as weather conditions remain within a range of -5 and +165 degrees Fahrenheit. Plus, there will be no fogging or leaking of the vials. You won’t also have to make any adjustments because the vials come already fine-tuned.

If you have difficulties reading or taking measurements at different angles, you may find the Stabila torpedo level an excellent choice as all the three vials come with spring steel hairline indicators. Unlike traditional torpedo levels, the indicators ensure gauge vial readings are no longer an issue in areas where lighting conditions are unfavorable. 

With dimensions of 48 inches and weighing only 5 pounds, this product is lightweight and easy to maneuver. In addition, it won’t cause your hand to fatigue or fingers to strain even after using it for extended periods. Only a few torpedo levels optimize ease of use and comfortability like the Stabila 37816 model does. Both the 48 and 16 inches levels come with handgrips to ensure straightforward and hassle-free operation.

There are also the end caps that will help you to protect delicate drywall surfaces from scratches and marring. Additionally, you can still take flush measurements even after removing the caps. Overall, this product has several selling points that make it worth the purchase.

What We Like 

  • Spring steel hairline indicators on vials 
  • Easy to maneuver
  • Gives precise vial readings
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Durable construction

What We Don’t Like

  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Poor packaging
  • Expensive
Stabila 37816 48-Inch and 16-Inch Aluminum Box...
  • Accuracy certified
  • Spring steel hairline indicators
  • Light
  • Strong aluminum frame

Best Torpedo Level for the Money: CheckPoint 0300B

CHECKPOINT 0300B Pro Mag Precision Torpedo Level,...

If you are looking for a product that will get everything level and ensure all the angles are precise to the point, look no further than the CheckPoint 0300B torpedo level. One good thing about Checkpoint products is their high-quality construction in accordance with the industry expectations and standards. Also, the vials and laser-etched markings are large enough to enhance visibility and to ensure you don’t strain your eyes.

Some major highlights of this product include the aluminum billet construction and anodized color coating to enhance the appearance and offer protection against corrosive agents. The ultra-lightweight aluminum alloy that this tool is made of is strong enough to tolerate heavy use on the busiest project sites without registering the slightest dip in its performance. This torpedo level measures 8.5 inches in length to facilitate easier storage. 

This also translates to better maneuverability for people working in hard to reach areas such as basements and crawl spaces. The bottom has a flat surface while the top features a convenient V-groove whose design ensures perfect compatibility with pipes of up to 12 inches diameter. Additionally, the edge on the bottom comes with four large neodymium magnets to allow for hands-free operation, especially when working with ferrous metals.

The body of the 0300B is CNC-machined to remove all the pointed and rough edges and fitted with a reference point measuring 45 degrees for trouble-free use. It also comes with bubble vials to enable you to take on comfortably a wide range of projects on a commercial level and at home. One good thing about the bubble vials is that they have large viewing ports to enable you to take readings effortlessly from different angles. Overall, the Checkpoint model will provide you with exceptional ease of use, durability, and construction quality.

What We Like 

  • Lightweight for use in tight areas
  • Large vials to enhance visibility
  • Easy to maneuver and control
  • Sturdy construction
  • Powerful performance

What We Don’t Like

  • Bulky to fit in the pocket
  • Not very accurate
  • Small bubble vials
CHECKPOINT 0300B Pro Mag Precision Torpedo Level,...
  • 8-1/2 inch long CNC-machined 6061 aluminum alloy body
  • Oversized view ports for easy readings
  • Four rare earth magnets

Best Cheap Torpedo Level: Swanson TL043M

Swanson TL043M 9-Inch Savage Magnetic Torpedo...

The Swanson TL043M torpedo level comes with a robust billet aluminum construction to enhance the model’s durability. It also boasts of easy to read vials that make it one of the essential tools you will want to add to your arsenal. The surface illuminates light to ensure readability is not an issue, even in those places with lighting problems.

Additionally, the vial ports have a Brightview design that enhances the accuracy of measurements. This product has an accuracy of 0.029 degrees and 0.0005 inches, making it the perfect torpedo level for handling a wide range of commercial and domestic projects like electrical work and plumbing. There are also the four strong neodymium magnets that make this torpedo level ideal for professionals that work on commercial applications.

The magnets also come in handy when you want to level up electrical boxes. The Swanson comes with a long 7 inches laser scale and a metric scale measuring 118 inches to ensure you tackle heavy-duty project site applications such as electrification and plumbing effortlessly. Unlike most Swanson models that use the Tri-Loc feature, the TL043M uses a large footprint to enable you to bend copper pipe and conduit easily without straining.

With 9 inches length, it’s extremely compact and lightweight while its small profile allows for hassle-free carrying in most pockets, backpacks, and even tool bags. It’s also designed ergonomically with the convenience and comfort of users in mind. In addition, the product is well-built and can withstand heavy-duty applications without its performance being affected over time.

The Swanson model comes with impressive and essential several features designed to enhance your productivity and ease of use. This makes it the first choice for most professionals. It also scores well when it comes to performance and durability.  

What We Like 

  • The Brightview feature that enhances accuracy
  • Perfect for a variety of applications
  • Clear, easy to read vials
  • Durable aluminum construction
  • Designed ergonomically for easy use

What We Don’t Like

  • The battery compartment is not waterproof
  • A bit heavy
  • Small bubble vials
Sale
Swanson TL043M 9-Inch Savage Magnetic Torpedo...
  • 4 Strong Neodymium Magnets
  • Solid Billet 3X Stronger for Lifetime Durability
  • 4 Leveling Vials for Conduit Bends
  • Brightview Vial Surrounds *Patented Feature*

Torpedo Level Features and Considerations

If you want to upgrade or just looking to buy your first torpedo level, there are several factors you need to consider to ensure you end up with a functional tool that is suited to the types of projects you intend to perform. Here are the things you need to pay attention to while shopping for the best torpedo level:

Torpedo level over white background

Construction

The construction of your torpedo level will determine the level of success you will achieve while using it. That said, manufacturers have many materials options to pick from. However, the most common materials used are ABS plastic and aluminum, and each has its shortcomings and advantages. ABS plastic is cost-effective and keeps production costs down, which translates to fair pricing.

However, the material has a shorter lifespan that only lasts a fraction of the time that torpedo levels built with more durable materials last. Heavy-duty extruded aluminum or ultra-lightweight and ultra-strong cast aluminum are highly durable compared to ABS plastic. The only issue with models these models is that they are costly.

For normal, everyday use in your home, a torpedo level built with plastic will be ideal. On the other hand, a level made of aluminum will be an excellent choice for heavy-duty use on different construction sites.

Accuracy

Considering the importance of torpedo levels when it comes to maintaining straight angles and lines during the installation of HVAC, plumbing, and construction, accuracy should not be compromised. Regardless of the nature of the jobs you want to carry out, torpedo levels will ensure all your measurements are accurate.  

We can’t overstate the significance of being precise, especially in modeling jobs where even the slightest difference in measurements can mean a successful or failed project. So, before investing in a torpedo level, ensure it has the accuracy that is ideal for your projects. 

Ease of Use

Most torpedo levels come with a length between 6 inches and 9 inches, depending on the types of tasks they can handle. The nature of the jobs you plan to undertake will determine the type of torpedo level you will choose. If you are looking for a tool that can help you know how straight your room is, a model with less than seven inches long will do a good job.

However, people that construct big houses will require a longer one. Like the length, the grip and weight of your torpedo level is another important consideration. The best thing to do will be to choose a product that is compact and lightweight to allow for maneuverability and controllability. This is important, especially when working in tight or hard to reach places like corners.

You should also consider levels that come with magnets as they can hold effortlessly onto different metallic surfaces and allow for hands-free operation. This comes handy when you want to use both hands to make a cut.

Torpedo level used outdoors

Visibility

The model you pick should have oversized vials to make it easier to see the readings regardless of whether you are level or not. The torpedo level should also not fog. If the seal between the frame and the vial is not perfect, it will not leak. However, humidity can still find its way inside and make the vials become unreadable due to condensation buildup on the inside. We recommend buying anti-fog levels to avoid this problem. You should also go for products with large, dark markings to make reading the measurements easy.

Extra Features

The biggest difference between cheaply manufactured torpedo levels and their premium counterparts is the features they come with. High-quality levels come with essential features meant to save you effort and time while ensuring you get the best results. Here are some important features:

  • Vials: For easy readability and visibility, most levels use permanent bubbles while others use vials filled with liquid to indicate correct alignment. Also, most levels have three vials for gauging 45-degree vials as well as horizontal and vertical vial readings. Others have installed lighting to illuminate the readings in places with poor lighting conditions. 
  • Hanging Hook Hole: This allows you to use any type of holder or to add a string to enable the level to attach to the tool belt or other equipment so that you can have it ready for use.
  • V-Groove: This feature will help you achieve the perfect balance on conduit and pipes. 

Wrap Up

The best torpedo level should have the features that will make working on your project an easy task. However, the right tool for you will depend on your needs. All the levels featured in our review are of high-quality. They are lightweight, versatile, easy to use, and constructed well using rugged materials. Regardless of the projects you want to work on, you will find a suitable tool on our list.

Raised with a fix-it and improvement mindset, my wife and I completely restored our Craftsman-style home. Learning how to DIY a variety of home improvement projects, I started SawsHub with my father. He's the fine woodworker, I'm the DIYer!