Back in August, I saw that DeWalt was introducing a new line of spirit levels that were designed to be very light weight. We have been using the Stabila R Beam levels we reviewed back in 2014 and love them, but I’m always interested in trying a new tool, especially when that tool is lighter.
Carbon Fiber Cuts the Weight
This 48” box beam level weighs 2.09lbs (according to DeWalt) verses the Stabila 48” R beam level at 3.2lbs (according to Stabila). At 2.5” x 1.1”x 48” it is a small level too. DeWalt claims that even though this is a very lightweight tool, it is durable in part because of the box beam construction.
It has 2 vials for plumb and one for level and two small “hang holes”, say for hanging the level on a 16d nail. There are no hand holes and the level is black in color, but no magnets. The endcaps are small so you can draw a line almost right to the end of the level.
I’ll state right up front that as framer I use a laser plumb bob to plumb anything over 8’. We have an 8’ spirit level but don’t use it all that much. We use the 6’ level and laser plumb bob for almost everything. However after using the DeWalt 48” level to plumb the step downs for layout on a recent job, I really liked using a lightweight level and will be using it more often.
Sometimes I’m on a ladder and need to level a piece of fascia with one hand and drive a nail with the other hand. This is much easier with such a light level. Scribing a level or plumb line where one end of the level isn’t supported on anything is much easier when the level is light. Now there are cheapie levels that are light, but this level seems to be well built. We accidentally dropped it 9’ feet down onto a concrete slab and it didn’t seem to cause any damage. It is still straight and the vials all check out.
If you regularly use a 48” level I recommend this level. It is so easy to use and as I’m getting older, lighter is better for the body. As a framer, this isn’t a “must have” length, but I know I’ll be using it more often. I can already see using it siding and doing foundation work.
The list price for this level is $150, but I found it on Amazon for $89, with some limited quantities available. Other sites seem to sell it for $99.99. www.dewalt.com