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Why is it Called a Spirit Level? How to Choose a Good Model

How do you measure whether or not something is perfectly plumb? The answer is simple – with a spirit level. But do you know which is the best spirit level?

A spirit level has long served as a tool for plumbers and engineers to check vertical levels across a building. Nowadays, they are also commonly found in homes, spirit level for bricklaying, or where handymen often use them to check the accuracy of their plumbing projects.

But what exactly does this little gadget do? And how can you tell if your current one is working correctly? How to Choose a Good spirit level set? Let’s find out by reading this article!

What Is A Spirit Level?

The first thing that comes to mind when someone mentions “spirit level” is probably the image of an old-fashioned barometer. So-called Spirit Levels because they get their name from the mineral spirits (a type of solvent) inside them. [1]

In its simplest form, a spirit level consists of two flat surfaces: one is fixed while the other moves up and down relative to it. The device indicates that the measured object is horizontal when the two surfaces are parallel. If the surface on top is higher than the bottom, the object is tilted upwards; if the opposite happens, the object is tipped downwards.

In more sophisticated models, there may be three or four flat surfaces instead of just two or a spirit level app. These devices have been used for centuries to determine the exact angle at which objects rest on the ground.

Spirit Level Types

Waterproof Models

Waterproof models are ideal if you plan on using your level frequently. They will keep water out of the mechanism so that it can be used over time without any issues. These models are usually made from plastic and have a rubber seal around the glass tube.

Glass-tube Models

Glass-tube models are more durable than waterproof models but less convenient because they require cleaning after each use. They are typically made from glass and feature a metal ring at one end that fits over a pipe’s top.

Plastic Models

Plastic models are inexpensive and easy to clean. They come in various sizes and shapes and are generally made from polycarbonate plastic. A common size is 1 inch by 3 inches. [2]

2 Spirit Levels with yellow & black background

How to Find a Good Spirit Level?

When shopping for a new spirit level, look for features like these:

  • A clear window through which you can see the liquid inside. This helps you know if the level is leaking and needs replacing.
  • An adjustable bubble vial that allows you to adjust the height of the level. You should be able to set the bubble vial anywhere between 0 and 90 degrees.
  • A sturdy base with a non-slip grip.
  • A wide range of angles to accommodate different applications.
  • A locking mechanism to prevent accidental movement.
  • A transparent cover to protect the level during storage.
  • A low price tag.

If you’re unsure about the best spirit level for your home improvement project, try checking online reviews before making a purchase.

Check our review for the Empire 1200mm spirit level if you’re going to buy one.

Closing Thoughts

A spirit level is a simple tool that can help you measure the slope of a roof, floor, wall, or other vertical surfaces. When choosing a model, ensure it has all the above features. I hope this article helped solve your curiosity and helped you learn something new.

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