Why You Need a Level in Your Toolbox

A level is a pretty simple tool that has a large number of uses for farming projects. Here's why you should have a level in your toolbox.

by J. Keeler Johnson
PHOTO: HomeSpot HQFlickr

If you’re like me, you always look for new tools that could come in handy for farming projects. You appreciate quality tools that can help you get jobs done quickly and efficiently, and you respect a well-built tool that will last for years or even decades. If you feel this way, then you definitely need to have a level in your toolbox.

A level is a pretty simple tool—as you probably know, it’s a long, narrow unit made of wood, plastic or metal, and it contains one or more small tubes with bubbles inside. These bubbles want to rise as high as possible within the tubes, which means that if you carefully orient the level so that it is perfectly vertical or perfectly horizontal, the bubbles will locate themselves in the exact center of the tubes, rather than at one end or the other. This signifies that the level is, well, level—you’ve found horizontal or vertical, depending on which you seek.

This ability is important for all sorts of construction projects, which is why a level is a great tool to have. Of course, levels come in many sizes, ranging from a few inches long to many feet long, and some offer extra amenities such as built-in rulers or tape measures. But even the most basic one can be a big help.

As an example, I frequently use a level when working on fencing projects, such as replacing worn-out fence posts or building a new fence line. The tool is perfect to ensure the posts are truly vertical and not leaning in any direction. While it might not be critical that posts be 100 percent vertical for some types of fencing, it looks messy and unprofessional to have posts leaning slightly in numerous directions, and leaning posts make it more difficult to properly attach the fencing material itself, whether you’re using boards, mesh wire or strands of wire.

A level is similarly useful if you need something to be perfectly horizontal or flat in all directions; in fact, I used one when constructing a brick walkway last year, saving myself from winding up with a path that slanted awkwardly from left to right.

Considering how useful they can be, you might want to have multiple levels in your arsenal of tools—perhaps a small one for easy carrying and for use in tight spaces, and a larger one for the definitive orientation of larger objects.

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Is there a level in your toolbox? Let us know some of the ways your level has helped out with your projects.

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