10 Best Torpedo Levels 2021 – Reviews & Top Picks
Torpedo levels are essential for professionals and home DIYers alike. If you want to get something straight, a torpedo level is the way to go.
However, when you’re relying so heavily on a single tool to help you keep your project straight, the tool must be high-quality and accurate. As you might imagine, this can be difficult if you can’t test the tool ahead of time. Luckily, we’re here to help with reviews of the top 10 torpedo levels on the market.
We also wrote a complete buyer’s guide to help you choose the exact level that’s best for your needs. After all, tools are never a one-size-fits-all answer.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
|Best Overall||Klein Tools 935AB4V Torpedo Level||
|Best Value||Stanley 43-511 Torpedo Level||
|Premium Choice||Sola MM 5 25 Magnetic Torpedo Level||
|Swanson TL043M Magnetic Torpedo Level||
|TACKLIFE MT-L03 Alloy Magnetic Torpedo Level||
The 10 Best Torpedo Levels – Reviews 2021
1. Klein Tools 935AB4V Torpedo Level – Best Overall
The Klein Tools 935AB4V Torpedo Level is the best option on the market. It has a patented magnet track to prevent the magnets from falling out and keeps the magnet accurate and in place. The numbers are large and extremely easy to read. We found the numbers to be some of the easiest to read on the market. The white numbers on the red background are clear in every lighting level. Four different angles are laid out on the level, which is about average.
The top-level vial windows allow you to see the level even from strange angles. This is a huge benefit since you hardly ever use levels straight-on. If you work in smaller spaces, this is a substantial benefit. The aluminum body is professional-grade and designed to last a very long time. We expect that it will hold up to quite a bit of use.
We also loved that this torpedo level is exceptionally inexpensive. However, it did not seem to have a significant impact on the overall quality of this level.
2. Stanley 43-511 Torpedo Level – Best Value
For those who need a very inexpensive torpedo level, the Stanley 43-511 Torpedo Level is a reliable option. It is made out of a heavy-duty aluminum frame, which helps increase accuracy and durability. This torpedo is made to last a very long time, so you don’t have to worry about it breaking prematurely. The open vial on the top provides maximum readability. You’ll like the non-marring feet, which will prevent it from messing up finished surfaces.
This torpedo level is water-resistant. This does not mean that it can survive underwater for an extended period. However, it can withstand quite a bit of humidity. This improves its overall durability and its accuracy as well. You don’t have to worry about using it in wet conditions.
This level can even be used on rounded surfaces thanks to the pipe groove. The magnetic base allows you to use it hands-free on metal surfaces as well.
The only major problem we have with this level is that the magnets are not very strong. They are not nearly as strong as some other options on the market so that this level won’t stick to everything metal. Still, this is the best torpedo level for the money.
3. Sola MM 5 25 Magnetic Torpedo Level – Premium Choice
The Sola MM 5 25 Magnetic Torpedo Level is a bit more expensive than other options. However, it is also of higher quality than most options. You’re getting what you pay for. If you plan on using this level a lot, you may want to consider purchasing this level. It has 3 different angles – all of which are easy to read. All the vials are magnified by 30%, making reading them a bit easier than some of the other options on the market.
This torpedo level is made out of aluminum and is coated in red epoxy. This red epoxy isn’t the easiest to read. However, this level doesn’t have angles written down, so you don’t have to read anything on the level itself. The epoxy does help it last longer in many cases and protects it from the elements.
The leveling bubble is very tight inside the tube, which helps with the accuracy a little bit. However, it also makes it slower than some of the other options on our list. This also glows in the dark. You may not need to use it in the dark very often. However, if you do, this is a substantial benefit.
4. Swanson TL043M Magnetic Torpedo Level
The Swanson TL043M Magnetic Torpedo Level looks like an average level. However, it is a bit more complicated than that. It is much longer than most of the other levels we’ve reviewed at 9 inches. It is also a bit more expensive than some of the other options on this list. However, it isn’t the most expensive, either. The price is pretty mid-tier. It contains 4 powerful magnets that allow it to stick to just about everything.
It also has 4 different leveling vials, which is more than most other options on this list. The angle of each level is also written down on the level. While you may think that this is an essential feature, you’d be surprised by how many levels do not have the angles written on them. The angles are written in white on a red background, making them very easy to read.
This torpedo level comes in many different options, one of which is the magnetic illuminated option. This level does not have a water-tight battery compartment, so it is quite a bit less durable than other options on the market.
5. TACKLIFE MT-L03 Alloy Magnetic Torpedo Level
The TACKLIFE MT-L03 Alloy Magnetic Torpedo Level is extremely basic. It has 3 different vials. This is about average, though some on our list have 4 different vials. You can read some of the vials from the top. Once again, though, you cannot read all of them from the top. It also acts as a ruler, though it probably isn’t as easy to use as your usual ruler. The end caps are protected by a soft rubber, which prevents it from being damaged during drops. It also protects finished surfaces, at least somewhat. The orange, powder-coated body makes this level very easy to see and read. It is very high-visibility, making it perfect for low-visibility environments.
On a bad note, this is not the most accurate level out there. There are significant gaps between the bubble and the lines, making it difficult to read the exact angle. It is hard to get things exactly right when using this level, just because the bubble is a bit hard to read.
The level is also quite heavy, which makes it unable to stick to all surfaces.
6. DOWELL 9 Inch Torpedo Level
As a very simplistic level, this torpedo level from DOWELL is also very inexpensive. It is one of the cheapest options on the market. However, that doesn’t necessarily make it the best budget option. It isn’t necessarily as high-quality as many of the other options on the market. Because of this, we had to rate it very low on our list.
This level has 3 different bubbles for the most common angles – 45°, 90°, and flat. This is about average. The magnets on this torpedo level are quite good. They are not the absolute best. However, this level does stick to most metal surfaces.
The main problem with this level is that it isn’t level. In many cases, there are multiple bubbles inside the vial instead of one massive bubble. This can make it extremely difficult to read. It is one of the most challenging options to read on the market, which is why we rated it so low. You have to shake and spin it regularly to encourage a single bubble to form, or you just can’t read it.
In many cases, the lower price just isn’t worth it.
7. WORKPRO W062035A Torpedo Level
While the WORKPRO W062035A Torpedo Level looks very fancy, it is not the best option on the market. We had to place it so low on our list for a variety of reasons. It does come with 4 angles, which is a bit more than many other options we reviewed on this list. The bubbles are pretty easy to read, and you can read them from multiple angles, thanks to the mirror on the top. The aluminum body is fairly durable and high-quality.
Alongside these apparent benefits, there were a few negatives as well. Firstly, the magnets are not very strong in the least. They do not stick to a wide variety of surfaces and are generally not as powerful as other models we’ve reviewed. The magnets also tend to pop off very quickly. There are many cases of them coming off on surfaces and having to be glued back on.
Furthermore, this level is also made in China. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. However, we did find that this level is a bit flimsier and less accurate, likely because of where it is manufactured.
8. Stabila 25100 Die-Cast Torpedo Level
The Stabila 25100 Die-Cast Torpedo Level has an exciting design. It is also extremely expensive – way more expensive than many of the other options on this list. Because of the too high price, you might imagine that this torpedo level is exceptionally high-quality as well. However, this is simply not the case.
This one doesn’t have any particular features that we liked, especially at this price level. It only includes 2 angles, which is the lowest on this list. Nearly all of the other levels on the market include at least 3 levels. This lack puts this one at an obvious disadvantage. It does use high-strength magnets, which is a substantial benefit. However, that in itself does not justify the high price.
We also found that defects are prevalent for this level. The magnets sometimes stick out, which makes the level not level at all. They are also not resistant to falls, as they are not covered in rubber at all. Furthermore, some are not nearly as accurate as they could be.
9. Dewalt DWHT Magnetic Torpedo Level
DeWalt usually makes very high-quality tools. However, the Dewalt DWHT43003 Magnetic Torpedo Level is not high-quality. It does have an aluminum body, which helps strength and durability. The aluminum is also relatively lightweight, which makes carrying them around much easier as well. The stable block vials are quite durable as well and decently accurate. This level does read 3 different angles, which is the average.
For whatever reason, some of these levels don’t work. They are way off in some situations. This was one of the main reasons we rated this one so low on our list. A level that cannot accurately read angles is not going to be very helpful. This torpedo level can also scratch finished surfaces. You have to be careful when using it if you’re working on something you don’t want to scratch up.
The horizontal bubble is also not put in a great spot. It is not well protected, which means it will quickly get scratched up and possibly seriously damaged.
10. Johnson Level & Tool Magnetic Torpedo Level
Out of all the torpedo levels we reviewed, we disliked the Johnson Level & Tool 1435-1200 Magnetic Torpedo Level the most. It isn’t terrible, it does have powerful magnets that can hold to both flat and round surfaces. With 4 different angles, it can read more than most of the levels on the market. The aluminum frame is enormous at 12 inches and built very solidly.
However, there were quite a few things we didn’t like about this level as well. Firstly, the magnets don’t seem to stay in as well as they could. They tend to fall out, and you may need to re-glue them multiple times over the lifespan of this tool. They are decently robust levels, however, so they aren’t all bad.
Secondly, it is a bit lower-quality than many other options currently on the market. This is likely one of the big reasons the magnets don’t stay in very well.
Torpedo levels may seem pretty simple on the outside, but they actually can be quite complicated. Some are accurate, while others aren’t in the least. Others are durable, while some break from small falls. All of these features are important to keep in mind when choosing the best level for your needs.
Below, we’ll guide you through the essential features to keep in mind.
Features to Consider
There are a variety of features to consider when choosing a level. Some of the most important features will be reviewed below.
A level is not going to be very useful if it isn’t accurate. Because of this, the very first feature you need to consider is accuracy. As you might imagine, it can be difficult to judge the accuracy before purchasing a torpedo level. You may need to rely heavily on reviews like ours to figure out a particular torpedo level’s accuracy. We took a look at the accuracy of all the torpedo levels we reviewed, so you should be able to find a suitable level there.
You can also look at the overall quality to determine the accuracy of a torpedo level. Generally, the more high-quality the level is overall, the more likely it is to be accurate.
These levels aren’t expensive. You don’t have to worry about durability as much as more expensive machines, which you can’t reasonably purchase a second time. However, you still don’t want your level to break prematurely. To prevent this from happening, you need to ensure that any level you purchase is made out of durable material.
Preferably, the level should be made out of aluminum. This material is lightweight while still being exceptionally durable. Because of this, it is the best material for levels like this. We also prefer levels that have rubber wrapped around their ends, as this prevents them from busting when dropped.
Most torpedo levels aren’t costly at all. However, some on the market are exceedingly expensive. Luckily, the exceedingly expensive levels are typically not exceptionally high-quality. In many cases, there is little reason to purchase them. You’re often just paying for the brand name – not for the actual quality of the tool. In general, we recommend sticking with moderately-priced tools, as these are usually plenty for most users.
Number of Angles
Most levels on the market can read 3 angles. Some can read 4, and others can only read 2. Which one you purchase depends on what angles you usually work with. Typically, more angles are usually better, as it makes the tool more versatile and allows you to use it for a broader range of projects.
For this reason, we rated most torpedo levels higher if they showed 4 angles.
You should also check for the visibility of the torpedo level. This includes the color it is painted. Some are painted black, which is not highly visible. Others are painted a much more suitable color like orange or yellow.
On top of the coloration, you should also check to see if there are any top-viewing windows. These allow you to see the vials from multiple angles, which is extremely useful. You rarely use levels straight-on.
For most people, we recommend the Klein Tools 935AB4V Torpedo Level is the best option. It can read 4 different angles and isn’t expensive at all. The windows also allow you to view the vial from the top-down, which is extremely useful. The magnet track is well designed and works very well in most situations.
If you need a very inexpensive option, the Stanley 43-511 Torpedo Level is our favorite option. It is much cheaper than most of the other options on our list, while still being one of the highest qualities.
Hopefully, this article helped you choose the best torpedo level for you. Our reviews are the best place to start if you’re browsing for the perfect level, while our buyer’s guide can help you sort through all the different options out there.
More related articles that may be of interest:
- A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
- The 10 Best Torpedo Levels – Reviews 2021
- 1. Klein Tools 935AB4V Torpedo Level – Best Overall
- 2. Stanley 43-511 Torpedo Level – Best Value
- 3. Sola MM 5 25 Magnetic Torpedo Level – Premium Choice
- 4. Swanson TL043M Magnetic Torpedo Level
- 5. TACKLIFE MT-L03 Alloy Magnetic Torpedo Level
- 6. DOWELL 9 Inch Torpedo Level
- 7. WORKPRO W062035A Torpedo Level
- 8. Stabila 25100 Die-Cast Torpedo Level
- 9. Dewalt DWHT Magnetic Torpedo Level
- 10. Johnson Level & Tool Magnetic Torpedo Level
- Buyer’s Guide