When you’re looking to gather a tool box, you want all the essentials and one of those must-haves is a good 48 inch level.
Well, the answer to that is versatility.
Here’s the thing:
The 48 inch level enables you to do jobs with a bigger area.
They’re big enough to pave with, small enough to do framing jobs.
With carpentry, they’re great for marking out and levelling bigger timbers.
But the question still remains - which 48in level to pick?
Here’s the great news:
In this article, we’re going to look at the best 48 inch levels available.
Let's dive in...
Top 48 inch levels
Best for the money
Best magnetic level
1. Stabila-37448 - Best Overall
This is the very excellent Stabila 37448 48-inch spirit level.
You get all of the usual Stabila guarantees and all of the Stabila quality with this level.
The Stabila has a special epoxy coating that’s resistant to the adherence of mortar, concrete and other building products.
That’s really handy when you’re using outdoors, and it’s easy to keep clean and accurate.
Which all means that it’s great for site use!
All of the vials on this level are all covered by the Stabila lifetime guarantee - and you get three of them.
One horizontal and two vertical - enough for most jobs.
If you install timbers in both vertical and horizontal plains, then this is an ideal level.
End-to-end:We’re looking at robust end caps here. But the genius thing is:You can remove the end caps temporarily for when you want to scribe corners!
On the level?
What you get with the Stabila is a very sturdy level, made of strong box section and with very useful features.
I really like the handles on this level, and a great touch is the hole that’s built in to hang the level up for when you need to store it safely.
You really can’t go wrong in any situation with a level like this, and it’ll do all the jobs that you need it to do, without any problems.
2. IRWIN 2500 - A cheaper alternative
This specimen is a nice enough level, it feels good and it’s pretty light and strong.
Irwin have been around for a long. Long time and you can feel that this tool has some quality to it
The real deal:
The cost of this level, for what you get, is great.
The aluminum is thicker gauge than on a lot of levels and the result is stronger, and better to the touch
What a finish!
It’s so important with a spirit level. You want everything to fit together well and to be solid.
You get that here.
The paint finish is also clean and flawless. Which is great for when you’re doing intricate work.
Money where your mouth is:
Irwin think enough of this spirit level to give it a guarantee against going out of true. Which is great news for woodworkers.
Whether you’re an amateur, undertaking projects around the house. Or you’re a seasoned professional doing framing or site carpentry, this level will definitely see you right.
Irwin any good?
Well, I’m hard pushed to find too many faults with this great level. For the cash, it’s hard to fault it.
The handle cutouts are rubber-lined. That feature along with the weight make it a really great tool to use - on site or at home.
So, here’s another spirit level from a manufacturer that’s been around for a lot longer than your granny.
Stanley have been making tools for years, and during that time they’ve made some great levels.
The bad news?
This isn’t going to go down in history, like some of the other stuff they’ve made.
This level will work well for a limited time, and then it’ll bend. It’s as simple as that.
On the surface:
Yeah, this level has plus points.
One of them being the non-metallic construction - so it’s very handy for using on delicate surfaces and walls, that you don’t want to mark.
But that feature is also its achilles heel.
Because no matter how careful you are, this level will go out of true through use.
A lot quicker than its metal constructed counterparts. You just can’t get away from that.
The Stanley 42-470 does have some nice features.
The measuring scale on the body is really handy, and it’s lovely and lightweight for doing certain jobs - such as overhead work.
You also get an open vial position on this level, which further aids overhead work. It has its uses.
4.Stabila-38648 - Best 48-inch magnetic level
The Stabila 38648 is at the forefront of modern spirit level technology.
It just doesn’t get much better than this.
The price of these levels is steep - yeah. But you get accuracy that goes beyond the everyday, and you’d be hard pushed to find a more accurate reader anywhere - for any cost.
Excellence as standard:
Not only do you get the usual Stabila guarantee of accuracy here - for a lifetime.
You get accuracy guaranteed to Professional Standard.
Add to that the valuable refinements of removable rubbers everywhere - which makes measuring up a doddle, and you have an extremely useful tool indeed.
Not only is the Stabila 38648 magnetic, it uses a powerful and reliable rare earth magnet ensure that when it sticks - it really sticks.
If you’re doing steel work, or even if you just want to store this level out of harm’s way, then that’s a brilliant feature to have.
And you’ll be wondering how you ever managed without one.
Worth its weight?
Well, it is and it isn’t.
This is a level for someone that’s going to use it regularly, and demands absolute precision.
If you’re a hobbyist, then it may be difficult to justify this kind of spend for something that you’re only going to use occasionally.
If you’re a full-time serious carpenter, and accuracy is your game, then this tool is robust and well-engineered enough for any task you’ll ever throw at it.
5. DEWALT DWP611PK - Also Consider
It’s hard to go wrong with this excellent deal from Stabila. You get three levels here for near to the price of one, and they’re all Stabila, so what’s there not to like?
So, what’s in the box?
If you go for the Stabila 29824 set, you get a four foot, a two foot, and you also get a lovely little torpedo level as well.
This set will see you through most full projects - never mind through most tasks!
You’ve got all the sizes here that you’ll use on about 90% of jobs, and you’re getting them for the cost of a lot of individual levels.
Get your coat on:
All three spirit levels in the set have got electrostatic coating, so if you look after them, they’ll never get too dirty.
The vials are all guaranteed, as you’d expect with Stabila.
And because of the variety here in the three levels, you’ve got every vial orientation that you’ll generally need.
Is it a deal?
That’s going to depend on you.
It’s an amazing score to get three Stabila spirit levels of such excellent quality, all in the one package.
The torpedo level even has rare earth magnets and this is a crazy combination. It’ll see you through lots of complicated jobs. But the truth is:
This deal is only going to be worth it for you if you do enough work, regularly. Don’t jump in if you’re unlikely to need three levels.
What’s Your Level Best?
The undisputed winner of the 48-inch spirit level review was the Stabila 37448. Overall, this level just can’t be beaten in this category.
Well, for everyday use it’s amazing.
Be it on site in a professional capacity - day-in-day-out. Even if you’re a tradesman. Or occasionally at home lighter doing DIY work. Even if you don’t use it every day.
Maybe not even every week.
No other level fits the bill quite like the Stabila 37448.
And here’s why:
It’s more reliable - compared to other makes of level. With Stabila, you get guaranteed quality - every time you buy.
The feel and the quality is second-to-none - the construction oozes longevity and you can tell that this spirit level will stand the test of time, and take the rigours of regular use in its stride..
The price is right on the button - compared to other levels, even where some of them are cheaper, or you get a three-in-one deal, this level is best for the cost.
It’s the ideal level for all seasons, and all situations. And it’ll be a great addition to any tool box.