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Level Accuracy

Updated: Jun. 30, 2017

Try this simple, one minute accuracy test

FH08DJA_LEVACC_01-2Family Handyman
A one-minute level accuracy test: Level or plumb in one direction. Then flip it around and test the level or plumb in the opposite direction. Adjust vials as needed.

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Checking a level's accuracy

Level accuracy test

Put sheets of paper under the level until you get a level reading, then switch ends to see if you get the same reading.

If you drop your level or doubt its accuracy, the best way to check it is to place the level on a relatively level surface. Shim up the low end until you get a level reading. Make sure to stand perpendicular to the vial when looking at it. Once you get a level reading, turn the level around 180 degrees. If the vial still shows level, you're getting accurate readings.

Check the vial that gives you a plumb reading by placing the level against a door frame. Tape paper shims to the jamb until it's plumb, then flip the level upside down and check for plumb again.

Some levels have vials that can be adjusted. But our advice is to buy a new level if yours is out of whack.

Required Tools for this Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.

  • Level

Required Materials for this Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here’s a list.

  • Paper for shims