OT: Who makes a good shirt-pocket level?
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  1. #1
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    Default OT: Who makes a good shirt-pocket level?

    Good Afternoon, All --

    A shirt-pocket level has been "everyday carry" for me for the last fifty years, but I have yet to find one that pleases me. My dissatisfaction is not with the precision -- which is consistent with carpenter's and mason's levels -- but with workmanship.

    Of the brands I've tried, Empire has been the best, as vial bubble is centered when the base in level BUT the molded-plastic stocks are either curved when viewed from above, and/or the two halves of the case are not fully bonded together. Most of the other brands haven't had the crooked-or-split case problems, but their vial bubbles aren't well centered when the stock sits on a level surface. The 1970s Stanley shirt-pocket levels were probably the most satisfactory of the bunch, but their stamped-and-folded-aluminum stocks badly needed deburring, and besides, I haven't seen a new one in probably 30 years.

    I'll be grateful for your suggestions,

    John

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    I have (2) Stabila pocket pro's that I love.

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    What job would one be doing that required them to always carry a pocket level?

    Stuart

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    Quote Originally Posted by atomarc View Post
    What job would one be doing that required them to always carry a pocket level?

    Stuart
    Mechanical clock repair people find them necessary to assure clocks will run well. And professional decorators need them for hanging pictures.

    Larry

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    Smart phone level app?? Fits in a pocket. Can be calibrated. Probably not better than to, at best, .1 degree.

    There used to be pocket-level-sized laser pointer/levels with a bubble indication that was half decent. Likely still are. The bubble on mine will move just noticeably with a sheet of paper tucked under one end. About the size of a AAA pen light, with a flat on the bottom, a shirt clip, and 0-5" marked one side and 0-12cm the other.

    John's post was a reminder to change the batteries in mine. Now good to 2035 if you can believe the Energizer lithium-version bunny.

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    How good are smart phones as levels. Some must be better than others in sensitivity.
    An level to what, is the case zero? Some attachment of nice ground steel to use and flip flop to get zero?
    Someone must surely have written an app for this.
    Bob

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Garner View Post
    .............. The 1970s Stanley shirt-pocket levels were probably the most satisfactory ...............
    There are two for sale on eBay.

    Take out "Stanley", click on Used, and there are a whole big bunch of all metal ones in the under $15 or so range.

    Steve

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    Quote Originally Posted by CarbideBob View Post
    How good are smart phones as levels. Some must be better than others in sensitivity.
    An level to what, is the case zero? Some attachment of nice ground steel to use and flip flop to get zero?
    Someone must surely have written an app for this.
    Bob
    There are likely a dozen apps. And, typically, something resident with an Apple iPhone (compass app has a level) and Samsung. Most read to just one degree. Some to 0.1 degree and can be calibrated. But, by using a known flat surface in the ones I've seen.

    Flat on the back with a 360 faux bubble is one implementation. You're right that finding a consistent edge to use can be a problem. Still, better than nothing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by atomarc View Post
    What job would one be doing that required them to always carry a pocket level?

    Stuart
    Inspector in a fab shop, mechanical contractor, decorator, appliance installer, equipment rigger....there's lots of places that a quick check of level or plumb (or deviation from) is handy but doesn't require a full size level.

    Sent from my SM-G973U using Tapatalk

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    Quote Originally Posted by L Vanice View Post
    Mechanical clock repair people find them necessary to assure clocks will run well. And professional decorators need them for hanging pictures.

    Larry
    So it would be safe to say, that not only do we have 'practical machinists' on the forum, but horologists and interior decorators as well.

    My question was meant as a serious one, and it's been answered, thanks.

    Stuart

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    flange wizard tape measure holder. it is bigger than a thumb drive, good vial, crazy strong magnet. Their old style pocket pro is the nicest work level I have used (have not used new one so no reference). Feels right too.

    Magnetic Tape Holder | Flange Wizard

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Garner View Post
    A shirt-pocket level has been "everyday carry" for me for the last fifty years, but I have yet to find one that pleases me.
    In 50 years you haven't found one that you like? Maybe you just don't like them?

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    I found wearing bib overalls, I can get much more stuff in the front pockets.

    Hell, you should be able to comfortably fit a starret 15" master level in there....

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    Don't have mine in front of me to check, but highest quality one I've ever seen looks like the Starrett No. 135. On Amazon new for $31. I've always bought them used in pristine condition for around $5. But there's not a lot to go wrong.

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    You'd think in this day, when they have sniper rifles that can be assembled from a half dozen pieces in a suitcase, and shoot something a half mile away with the first shot, that they could some up with a level in a tiny suitcase that could be assembled in a minute and get a precision level out of it

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    https://www.amazon.com/Johnson-Level...strial&sr=1-52

    these pen/levels are a little hit and miss on accuracy but I have seen good ones. free returns anyway.

    https://www.amazon.com/Screwdriver-P...strial&sr=1-72

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    Quote Originally Posted by HuFlungDung View Post
    You'd think in this day, when they have sniper rifles that can be assembled from a half dozen pieces in a suitcase, and shoot something a half mile away with the first shot, that they could some up with a level in a tiny suitcase that could be assembled in a minute and get a precision level out of it
    We have some at work. Basically a 6" level that has extensions that can be added. Theyre attached via captured thumb screws and doweled for location.

    Sent from my SM-G973U using Tapatalk

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    When I need something portable/pocket-able I grab a 1" round bubble level.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cole2534 View Post
    I have (2) Stabila pocket pro's that I love.
    I second this. I have the magnetic version and it's a really nicely made piece.


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