The only real “tip” with something basic like a level? Don’t buy the cheapest one. You’re looking for a sturdy, durable, wide tool that’ll stay where you put it and not tip easily. You want it marked with measurements you can see and read easily.
The basic two-foot level is a toolbox staple, but somewhere along your quest for the perpendicular or parallel, it’ll come up annoyingly short. I think I’d watched my pencil roll down a six-foot shelf twice before I picked up the four-foot version above. It makes life easier anytime I’ve got more than 18 inches to be straight with – a group picture hanging, a base for a stone patio, a clothesline pole. The 12-inch one’s good too, for tight quarters like a drawer runner inside a cabinet.
Level, plumb, or 45 degrees, the “spirit level” as it’s technically known, is not exactly complicated. But like any basic tool, it’s nice to have the right one there when you need it.
text and photo by Steve MacDonald