C.H. Hanson Precision Ball Level
After a slew of interesting and successful releases last year, C.H. Hanson pretty much went dark. Now, with the release of their Precision Ball Level, we can assume that those missing months were spent deep in their mountain fortress experimenting with the design of the level. After seeing what they did to the utility knife, the measuring square, the chalk line, and the pencil, we're not surprised that they took on one of the most basic and old-fashioned of all tools.
What they've done here is replaced the common vial and bubble with a black and white ball, creating something like you'd see in the cockpit of a plane. It looks like the ball is weighted and free floating in a liquid, so the horizontal line is always at level and the vertical line always at plumb. What this change does is add a whole new dimension to the tool. Now, instead of simply seeing if your cabinet is out of level, you can see to what degree or what pitch. This means that the level can now be used during roof construction and other situations where you might need framing at odd angles. Also, the black and white ball takes some of the guess work out of reading the level. No more, "well the bubble looks centered...kinda....sorta...."
We're curious to see how this ranks against our tried and true Stabilas. From what we've experienced Hanson makes some very durable tools and to be a level worthy of a job site, long-term durability is key. We also wonder how accurate the level is if the level itself isn't plumb, but the edge of it is against a plumb surface. For example, checking across the corner of a door jamb. If the level has any meat to it right where is connects with the ball, this could cause a problem.
The Ball Level will be sold for about $50 for what looks like a 2' length. The Stabila 2' goes for about $60.
More information at C.H. Hanson
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Posted by Doug Mahoney at May 29, 2009 9:00 AM