Monday, January 9, 2012

Stabila Levels: Tool Review

Tool Review: Stabila Levels
You can have the best carpenters in the industry framing and building your home, but if they are using an inferior level then your walls could end up out of level regardless of their skill.
Stabila makes a level that will take all the guess work and error out of using a level when framing walls. Stabila has a level that is 6 ft long and has an interior extension that pulls out to 10 ft. It has metal standoffs at each end that hold the level ¾” off the wall. What this does is allows the level to touch the bottom plate of the wall and the top plate of the wall. In a lot of wall studs they have a small crown in them, so depending on which way the crown of the stud has been turned you are either levelling on the crown or into the belly of the crown. The higher the wall the worse the crown can be and this can put your walls out of level up to one inch depending on high they go. The stabila level allows you to level from plate to plate, giving you the true level of the wall. The levels being able to reach the top plate and bottom plate allow a person to stand on the ground and not have to use a ladder to check the level of a large wall. If you want to check the straightness of the ceiling, just set the level against the framing and extend it to where you want to check. No more finding a straight piece of lumber that is long enough to do it. These levels save time and money; they also help take the human error factor out of it.
Stabila levels are 3 inches thick, this makes them very sturdy and allows them to take a pounding which can happen when you are building houses.
Stabila makes a variety of levels, different sizes for any application but where they standout is the framing level.
Stabila levels come with a life time warranty. As long as you don’t bend them, which means standing on them or driving overtop of them you can get them fixed for free. The current Stabila level that we have has been with us for 3 years and has been used almost endlessly for those three years. The level still reads true and the bubbles have never fogged or cracked. We had some problems with the extensions about a year ago and the tool dealer that we purchased it from came out to our site and repaired it for us free of charge under warranty in under an hour.
What you need to understand about Stabila is that with such a good warranty you are paying for it when you buy the level. They are one of the most expensive levels on the market, but YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR! When building custom homes if you don’t get the walls completely level you can end up into problems and extra charges later. If the walls aren’t level in the kitchen then the kitchen guy will have trouble hanging his cabinet’s straight, if the walls aren’t level in the walk in shower the tile will look awful. If you get it right when standing it up then it will stay true for the life of the home.
Remember to get it right you need the right tools; the right level is the stabile level.
Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc

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