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Unread 09-09-2020, 05:10 PM   #1
Shady at Best
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I need a new level, what size? 78" or 96"

I am looking for recommendations for a new level or maybe even a set of levels. This might come as shock to you all but i don't own an 8 foot level. My longest is 6 feet. And i also don't currently own any stabila levels. I don't think a stabila is in my future unless i can find a set for a really good price.

I install a lot of prehung doors and i am really leaning towards a jamber kit. That usually includes a 78 and a 32 inch level. Both of which can be used for setting tile. Whereas an 8 foot level seems really limited besides plumbing walls for tile. Although I could really use an 8 foot level right now trying to level out these 2 exterior lights that are 7 feet apart. The 8' also has storage issues.

I think i am leaning towards the Empire jamber kit for $100 https://www.homedepot.com/p/Empire-3...JAMB/207024933
And also looking for a decent 8 foot that i will not be too upset if it gets bent in a year. I am looking at the Ox 8 foot level. OX Tools 96"/8 foot Tradesman Box Level with Magnified Vials, Removable Shock Absorbing End Caps, Aluminum, Blue https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07RYNKLZG..._QbwwFbG02B6QJ

Anyone use Ox tools? I have seen their stuff in person and it feels like quality.

Any other level recommendations besides stabila? Unless of course you have the inside news on a good deal.

Thanks




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Unread 09-09-2020, 05:41 PM   #2
smifwal
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I have a empire 96", empire 72", a empire 48" digital, a empire 24" digital, a empire 12in tool box level and a husky 9in digital. (Seeing a pattern here)I wanted the empire 16" digital but I just couldn't bring myself to spend a $100.00 on it when the husky works just fine.

The digital levels are self calibrating and I check all of the levels against each other periodically to make sure they are still true. I wouldn't want to be without anyone of them.

You will use the 8 footer more than you think and if you have storage issues leave it at home until you need it

You want to talk lasers? I have a bunch of them too
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Unread 09-09-2020, 06:42 PM   #3
CaliGrown
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OX is great, our Emser dropped them when they changed to Troxell and had great deals. Bedrosians picked up a new line of tools called ODYN. really affordable picked up a box screed set with level and plum vials for $80 out the door and grabbed some heavy duty box levels. I don’t know if they carry a 96” but all their stuff is reasonably priced, specially the diamond blades.
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Unread 09-09-2020, 10:42 PM   #4
Tool Guy - Kg
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Do Stabilas still come with a lifetime warranty? That alone makes them cheaper than a $100 set if it ends up needing to be replaced down the road. But when did Stabilas shoot up in price? I got my jamber set for $140. Geez, now that I think of it, that was back in 1999. But now that I think of it, that was a year after I bought another brand that tooted itself as being as good as a Stabila. It wasn’t. Had I not bought the cheaper level, the Stabila set would have been even cheaper.

I just looked up my local hardware store that has regular sales on Stabilas and a jamber set is $199, as opposed to many others that are selling the same for $260.

Sorry, but less expensive tools have a persistent habit of costing more in the long run than “expensive” tools. I don’t care to over-spend, so I wish you the best on another brand.
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Unread 09-09-2020, 11:02 PM   #5
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I've never tested the warranty on any of my levels, Kurt, and have no idea what they might or might not be. Only times I've ever damaged one I know just what was wrong and just who was responsible and couldn't have, in good conscience, have made a warranty claim. They replace the ones some idiot drives over with a truck, do they?

The only Stabilas I have are a jamb set. All the others are Sands, which I still prefer. Well, except for torpedo sizes which might be any ol' brand at all and are frequently replaced, it seems.

I've never owned a level longer than 78 inches. Comes time I need a level longer than that I'm known to tape a shorter level to a long magnesium straight edge and call it a long level. Tape a spacer to each end of an 8-foot straight edge with a level taped to it and you've got you a fine tool for plumbing walls, which I do seldom enough that I've never felt the need for an 8-foot level. An 8-foot straight-edge, on the other hand, is useful for a good number of tasks.
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Unread 09-10-2020, 04:35 PM   #6
Tool Guy - Kg
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The warranty for a Stabila Level has been an immediate trade for a new level off the shelf. Unfortunately, I’ve seen a severely beaten level be traded out by the rep from masons who use the levels to beat bricks into position. That’s some nerve by the mason. That jacks up the cost for everyone. But this is at an Ace Hardware store that specializes in working with contractors. I don’t think it would be this easy at most other stores. All 4 of my Stabilas live in padded cases when not in use, so they have little chance to get beaten up. So, when I swap them out, I feel it’s a proper use of the warranty.

Stabila epoxies their vials into position. I’m baffled as to how the vial can change over time. But it’s happened 3 times in 21 years.
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Unread 09-10-2020, 05:38 PM   #7
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I have been using Empire levels for about ten years, only because I couldn't find a Sands when I was in a pinch. I like the sharp edges the Sands have and they don't have a end cap. Makes it very easy to transfer lines from wall to wall.

Like Cx, I have magnesium edges that range from 18 inches to 12 ft. but I mainly keep the 6 and 8 in my truck unless we need the others. For setting screed sticks in my mud walls, I use a straight edge along with a laser.

If you're bending your levels, you're too rough on them.
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Unread 09-10-2020, 09:31 PM   #8
Shady at Best
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Thanks for all the info. I would surely buy a stabila jamber for $200. As for the 8 footer, i think i can pass. I could do the tape a level to a straight edge trick. It's too bad magnetic levels doing stick to aluminum or magnesium straight edges. Tape will do the trick.

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Unread 09-10-2020, 09:42 PM   #9
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I like the Stabilas and this tub kit is probably the ones that I use most of the time. But I don't hang doors.

Also, this Stabila kit is hard to beat. These are lighter than the normal Stabilas and the little tiny level is just plastic. But the rest are accurate like you'd expect from a great brand.
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Unread 09-10-2020, 09:57 PM   #10
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That three level kit is kinda scary, Jim. That's because the helper who can't read a tape measure now can't even tell the difference between your long level and your short level?

Can't tell him "gimme the long level" or "gimme the short level," you gotta say the black level or the white level? Surely glad I no longer build or remodel houses any longer.
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