Channellock Levels - Review
Channellock, known specifically for things like pliers and wrenches have recently made a leap and expanded their line to include levels. Their first release in this area consists of three torpedo levels. One of each of them showed up on the doorstep, courtesy of Channellock, and we brought them to the site and handed them out in order to get some feedback. Here's what we got....
As for functionality, the torpedos (Channellock only officially refers to one of them as a torpedo, but we use the term for any small level, so we'll use the term in a general sense) all have three vials; level, plumb, and 45. They've also all got a groove running down one side, making them nice for plumbing up pipes. All in all, they seem like nice, functional levels. One of them has laser pointer functionality (the one not pictured), which could help if you have to install a couple windows to the same height, or something like that.
So the function seems fine, but the strange thing about these tools is the design. We're a bit befuddled, actually. The industrial design of Channellock tools, to us at least, is superior due to its simplicity. Their hand tools are very basic, but that sparse feel bleeds quality and durability. Take their linesman pliers for example: there isn't a single item, bend, or flourish on those pliers that plays a role beyond the function of the unit as a tool. Everything you see is necessary, nothing is unnecessary. On these levels, Channellock has added a layer of aesthetics that is not only unnecessary, but is also kinda cheesy.
Most egregious is the plastic in-fill piece in the center. A big blob of plastic?..on a Channellock tool? Huh? Add to that the bizarre pattern on the plastic part and you've got us completely confused. And the larger of the two levels looks like it was designed to be a superhero's mask and not a construction site tool. At least those were our first impressions. We were reassured when the fellas at the site thought the same. The carpenters said things like, "gadgety," "plastic," and "looks sorta silly" and "huh?"
So like we said, they seem to work fine, but as far as the look goes, we'd be happier if Channellock stuck with the vibe that made their name. Maybe we're just being bitchy, you tell us.
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Posted by Doug Mahoney at August 25, 2011 5:42 AM
Thank you for being honest and not being polite because they sent you free samples. I love Channellock and always buy their hand tools over other brands as I find they are the best quality you can get for the price and they have not sold out to china.
But the first time I saw a link for Channellock levels I was excited at first then quickly realized they were weird looking offshore junk with the channellock name stamped on.
It doesn't matter what a level looks like, it has to be functional, durable and accurate. That is it.