Author Topic: Stabila level  (Read 3240 times)

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Offline ColossusX

  • Posts: 152
Stabila level
« on: December 25, 2018, 01:56 PM »
I'm wanting to get some stabila levels as I get more into cabinetry and fine trim.  Is there any reason not to get the Type 80 levels versus the Type 196s?  From what I can tell, the 80s will give me what i need in terms of quality and accuracy.   Are the 196s worth the 50% premium?

Festool USA does not pre-approve the contents of this website nor endorse the application or use of any Festool product in any way other than in the manner described in the Festool Instruction Manual. To reduce the risk of serious injury and/or damage to your Festool product, always read, understand and follow all warnings and instructions in your Festool product's Instruction Manual. Although Festool strives for accuracy in the website material, the website may contain inaccuracies. Festool makes no representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness or timeliness of the material on this website or about the results to be obtained from using the website. Festool and its affiliates cannot be responsible for improper postings or your reliance on the website's material. Your use of any material contained on this website is entirely at your own risk. The content contained on this site is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice.


Offline waho6o9

  • Posts: 1411
    • Garage Door Handyman.com
Re: Stabila level
« Reply #1 on: December 25, 2018, 04:10 PM »
I'm not sure of the different model numbers but the "R" type of levels are fun to use.

289429-0

Offline CADru

  • Posts: 68
Re: Stabila level
« Reply #2 on: December 25, 2018, 06:17 PM »
I'm wanting to get some stabila levels as I get more into cabinetry and fine trim.  Is there any reason not to get the Type 80 levels versus the Type 196s?  From what I can tell, the 80s will give me what i need in terms of quality and accuracy.   Are the 196s worth the 50% premium?

I prefer and own the Type 196 Stabila levels. The removable end caps, handle holds and size options would be my reason for choosing the 196 vs the 80 series. Consider the application you might find yourself in mostly. If you need that edge to inside corner or top edge to existing material the end cap can be an obstruction due to it being in a different plane then the aluminum frame edge. The removable end caps are a plus. The handle holds have come in handy as well. I think your size options are limited in the Type 80 series and I think they are metric lengths. Which ever type you choose the Stabila level is a good choice.

Offline pettyconstruction

  • Posts: 461
Re: Stabila level
« Reply #3 on: December 25, 2018, 06:18 PM »
The 196 are made heavier than the 80.
The 80 series is a home owner type level.
It depends on how long you plan on using them.
The “R” series is a bit stronger than the 196.
All have a great factory backing.
Charlie


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Offline gnlman

  • Posts: 177
Re: Stabila level
« Reply #4 on: December 25, 2018, 06:31 PM »
yes depends on what you are using it for. I have a 4 foot 80 series electronic I use in the shop...it's very straight, and has a audible alarm when you hit level which is great when you are down on the floor levelling something...although I have a good quality straight edge this works well also....don't think it would survive a fall off a roof like some of the other models they sell, but I have other levels for that type of work.

Offline RobBob

  • Posts: 1338
Re: Stabila level
« Reply #5 on: December 25, 2018, 07:32 PM »
I prefer and just bought the R300 series three level set.  Several unique features won me over.  For exmaple, ability to draw an uniterupted pencil line, wide base for no tipping over...

Type R300 series

Offline ColossusX

  • Posts: 152
Re: Stabila level
« Reply #6 on: December 25, 2018, 10:30 PM »
The R300 set is the same price as the t196 set.  The removable caps are a feature I hadn't noticed before.  I like the handholds in the t196, but I think the other features of the R series makes them very attractive.  My stanley fat max 48" has served me well over the years but I think I'm ready for a quality upgrade. 

Online Kevin D.

  • Posts: 918
Re: Stabila level
« Reply #7 on: December 26, 2018, 12:51 PM »
Pretty well all Stabila levels are very good levels, depends what you need them for, you need to decide what quality and features level you want.  I even have a four foot digital level that I just love and is especially useful working solo or in dark places.

Another brand I have some of their excellent levels that are just as good as Stabila imo that are made in Austria are SOLA levels.  Harder to find, but they are excellent levels that generally cost less than their Stabila equivalents.  They have homeowner/semi-pro and Pro lines.  The 'Big Reds' (I think that's what they're called) are the better Pro line.
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Offline Sparktrician

  • Posts: 3690
Re: Stabila level
« Reply #8 on: December 26, 2018, 03:36 PM »
Must say, as much as I like my Stabila levels, they're no more accurate or dependable than my old 4' Stanley magnesium-frame level that I bought 35 years ago. 
- Willy -

 "Remember, a chip on the shoulder is a sure sign of wood higher up." - Brigham Young

Offline estley

  • Posts: 115
Re: Stabila level
« Reply #9 on: December 26, 2018, 04:03 PM »
+1 on the sola, I have both and they’re both excellent


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Offline ColossusX

  • Posts: 152
Re: Stabila level
« Reply #10 on: December 26, 2018, 06:05 PM »
Protoolreviews did a write up on the Sola.  Seems like a great level. 

I'm looking to change because for years I've used whatever 48" level was cheapest.  My Fatmax isnt bad though.  I may just get some of the smaller levels from Stabila or Sola

Offline demographic

  • Posts: 395
Re: Stabila level
« Reply #11 on: December 26, 2018, 06:43 PM »
As a carpenter I don't have much use for four foot levels, seens a size I can do without.
Six foot levels are good for door casing legs, a two footer for door casing heads and a ten inch boat level for small stuff.
Having a four footer just takes up extra space in my van for very little benefit.

Can't say the Stabilas I've owned have been any better than the Stanley Fatmaxes and its also worth looking out for the ratings on them. More little stars on the lable means they can take a bit more hammer.

For my six foot level I have a Stanley Fatmax but I do really like my Stabila type 83 S girder level.
I don't like the idea of the R shaped levels cos I sometimes turn the level end for end when marking out long lines as it minimises error, the R shaped ones sit close to a wall on one side but not on the other so doing that wouldn't work so well.


Online Kevin D.

  • Posts: 918
Re: Stabila level
« Reply #12 on: December 28, 2018, 03:21 AM »
Must say, as much as I like my Stabila levels, they're no more accurate or dependable than my old 4' Stanley magnesium-frame level that I bought 35 years ago.

You likely don't abuse them like tradespersons do. 

That's the diff with levels that are from Stabila or SOLA, they can take abuse and stay true a lot better and have really nearly indestructilble vials that are super well set.  When they don't, they have a lifetime guarantee.

You get what you pay for.
Kapex, CT-SYS, SYS-Cart, Pro 5 Sander, CT36AC, TS75, MFT 1080, MF-SYS/2, PS300 EQ-Plus, Parallel Guides Set, LR32 SYS, RO 150FEQ-Plus, OF1400 EQ Plus, DOMINO 500 Q-Plus,  Domino XL, MFK 700 EQ-Set, FS-SYS/2, CT22 w/hose storage, D36HW-RS-Plus, FS 1900/2, FS 3000/2, FS 1080/2-LR32, FS 1400/2-LR32, Gecko, Festool Floor Mat, Festool Stein, Multi-Tool, tape measure, large and small Festool floor mats (foam rubber).

Offline Sparktrician

  • Posts: 3690
Re: Stabila level
« Reply #13 on: December 28, 2018, 08:53 AM »
Must say, as much as I like my Stabila levels, they're no more accurate or dependable than my old 4' Stanley magnesium-frame level that I bought 35 years ago.

You likely don't abuse them like tradespersons do. 


In my world, there are craftsmen and there are hacks.  The real craftsmen take very good care of their tools because they make their living using them, while the hacks abuse their tools, then bytch and whine about the fact that their much-abused tools are crap.  The work of both is quite evident, either in its quiet excellence or in its sloppiness and inconsistency.
- Willy -

 "Remember, a chip on the shoulder is a sure sign of wood higher up." - Brigham Young

Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 751
Re: Stabila level
« Reply #14 on: December 28, 2018, 09:25 AM »
Snip.

In my world, there are craftsmen and there are hacks. 

I run a business and own a business car. Would I abuse the car just because it is a car for business. No. I treat it just like another personal car of mine. Same maintenance and same TLC.

Offline ColossusX

  • Posts: 152
Re: Stabila level
« Reply #15 on: December 28, 2018, 10:38 AM »
I've worked with a lot of people who treat their tools like crap on my job sites and they complain because they're always replacing them.  I take care of my tools because they make me money and they cost money to replace.  But I see a lot of guys treat their stuff as disposable.  I dont know how they make money. I'm willing to invest in higher quality tools but I also dont want to throw my money away at a name like Stabila or Festool or whatever if they're not worth the price premium.

Also I've found I use a 4 foot level frequently, never really like the 6 footers, just too cumbersome for me, but I do plan to eventually invest in a good one.  I mostly use 2 and 4 foot levels and just looking for a quality replacement for the ones I have.  Nearly every review I've read has stated Stabila are one of the best and worth the investment.  I'm just trying to figure out which series is best for me to purchase.

Offline jobsworth

  • Posts: 5322
  • Does Anyone Know What Time It Is?
Re: Stabila level
« Reply #16 on: December 28, 2018, 11:32 AM »
I got a 2ft and 4 ft stabilia. I use the heck out of both. I want to (when the need appears again) pick up a 6-8ft one for hanging doors etc

Offline RKA

  • Posts: 1342
Re: Stabila level
« Reply #17 on: December 28, 2018, 01:18 PM »
It seems like the 80 series would be fine, especially on the shorter lengths.  Where I might be inclined to pay more for the 196 is for a 72/78" level, where I could see one end accidentally dropping to the floor while the other end is still hung up in your hand or on a shelf/counter/whatever.  I would speculate the weight and length might put enough stress on the box construction to cause it to bend and the added stiffness in the 196 might be worth paying for.  In my use (as a homeowner), it's rare that I will drop a level, but sometimes with the longer ones, one end might drop if I'm not paying attention (still rare). 

That said, I got the entire set of 196's and use them with this accessory...(I don't think it will work with the 80 series), but I'm not sure.
https://www.howfarout.com/

Edit...I see they have a few versions that will allow this to work on different levels.  I just have a direct mount.  There isn't a lot of detail on this page, so you might need to talk to the owner if you think this might be useful for your work. 
https://www.howfarout.com/installations
« Last Edit: December 28, 2018, 01:23 PM by RKA »
-Raj

Offline Sparktrician

  • Posts: 3690
Re: Stabila level
« Reply #18 on: December 28, 2018, 01:54 PM »
Snip.

In my world, there are craftsmen and there are hacks. 

I run a business and own a business car. Would I abuse the car just because it is a car for business. No. I treat it just like another personal car of mine. Same maintenance and same TLC.

You illustrate my point for me.  At the other end of the spectrum are those hacks that don't treat tools and equipment well because they don't own them or take pride in their workmanship.  One place I worked provided one and only one set of tools to the installers.  If they lost or damaged them, the company would immediately replace them, but the installer involved would find the cost taken out of his next paycheck.  That drives the point home more directly than a lecture. 
- Willy -

 "Remember, a chip on the shoulder is a sure sign of wood higher up." - Brigham Young

Offline rst

  • Posts: 2069
Re: Stabila level
« Reply #19 on: December 28, 2018, 07:08 PM »
I invested in three of the electronic Stabilas this spring.  Managed to get 2', 4' and 6' on sale.  I often am hanging mirrors and glass low to the floor level.  The electronics are visible from the top and also have audibles that let you know when low, high and level.  there also is a display that tells exactly how far out of level.  This function is especially valuable when I am replacing glass storefronts that are out of square.

Offline demographic

  • Posts: 395
Re: Stabila level
« Reply #20 on: December 28, 2018, 10:08 PM »
Just in case anyone missed it, Stabila make some very light duty levels that are often on sale in the UK.
They cost around forty pounds for a six footer, a two footer, a small boat level, a silly vial on a keyring and a pencil. Check out the ratings on the lables and you see they only have one star next to the hammer symbol.
The two short levels are ok but the six footer doesn't last long and I really do baby my six foot levels.

You cant just say that Stabila are bestest levels blah blah blah cos they have their homeowner range just like everyone else.
Personally I would say avoid their light duty six footer like the plague if you fit many door casings and then fit the doors afterwards.
If you don't then its likely ok and you dont need that level of accuracy or if you only fit the casings but not the doors you might not give a toss cos its someone else's problem. Mentioning no names but a bloke I used to work for did that trick. Git.

Offline aloysius

  • Posts: 325
Re: Stabila level
« Reply #21 on: December 29, 2018, 08:37 AM »
Although I've used 'em, I'm personally not a huge fan of Stabila levels.  I still have a few, but some things I don't like are that the yellow vial fluid eventually becomes transparent after extended sunlight exposure, the vials have square outers, introducing parallax difficulties, and they tend to be a bit weak in terms of bend resistance.

Plus, 9/10 of their levels are inaccurate from new!  Each new level should be checked for consistency in both horizontal & vertical planes in the store prior to purchase, irrespective of manufacturer.

Having said that, my personal preference is for Germany's "other" domestic manufacturer, Bayerische MassIndustrie (BMI).  Of these, my particular favourites are the 25cm super torpedo (3 magnified vials, one angle-adjustable, magnets),  80cm leveltronic (magnified quick action vials, magnets, different beeps for left & right adjustment), & the 200cm High Precision, with no magnets, heavy multi-chamber profile extrusion & 5 x "normal" precision.

Long magnetic levels will distort construction steel door & window frame profiles.  This becomes an issue with the longer levels in particular that have multiple powerful magnets.  For accurately finding roof pitch angles, it's best to use a shorter electronic level (the 80cm magnetic) held onto the longer 2000mm levels or a straight framing timber.

Torpedos, being pocketable are great for repetitive alignment & installation of multiple power outlets, longer levels can be marked off for regulation 300mm & 1200mm outlet & switch heights, and 2m levels are indispensible for general construction work.  I suppose a single level for general purpose use is feasible, but would personally drive me nuts.  Maybe a 600mm (2') cheapie?  I love the digitals, as they're quick, accurate, easy to calibrate or reset, measures angles as well as plumb & level, and can be sed safely, securely & accurately in low or no light, perfect for my own less-than-perfect eyesight.

For alignment work over longer distances, a line laser is useful, & getting cheaper every day.  Great for creating uniform window alignment, picture rails, skirtings etc.  For downlight layout on sloping ceilings, an initial layout on a horizontal floor surface can be quickly & accurately transferred to the ceiling with a plumb point laser.  For all these tasks, plus a whole lot more (roof drainage, horizontal & vertical alignment, drainage & landscaping slope measurement & layout +++), a ubiquitous rotating indoor/outdoor laser, detector & staff is all but indispensible in construction these days.  Virtually all tasks can now be accomplished solo.

The ultimate horizontal distance level, however, is still the water level:  a garden hose of any length with transparent lengths of tubing @ each end.  Just as accurate today as it was for the Egyptians of 5000 years ago (they used water channels) when they aligned their pyramid & temple bases & plinths to 0.5mm tolerances!

I've used dozens of different levels over the years from many manufacturers, but have found the BMI range to be consistently superior performers to all others apart from their rotating lasers, which seem to be a little dated in comparison to the best from the likes of Hedue, Imex et al.
FOG-wit since '95:  Some say since birth...

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 5303
Re: Stabila level
« Reply #22 on: December 29, 2018, 09:54 AM »
My largest complaint with the 80 series is they're less accurate when used upside down. The 196 series maintains the same accuracy right side up or upside down.

My 2nd complaint with the 80 series is the lack of hand holes in the longer length levels. Sometimes that hand hole is what allows you to hold up a 6 foot level with one hand while making pencil marks with the other hand.

Also don't forget to look at the 196 electronic series. They are extremely useful for many applications. I have the 14" & 48" models but am looking at the 6 footer.

Offline RKA

  • Posts: 1342
Re: Stabila level
« Reply #23 on: December 29, 2018, 11:10 AM »
That’s a great point!  I bought one 24” electronic level and just stack it over the longer level when needed.  They are too expensive to buy a full set.  The consistent milling on both edges of the longer levels is helpful here if I’m stacking the levels. 
-Raj

Offline Lettusbee

  • Posts: 60
Re: Stabila level
« Reply #24 on: December 29, 2018, 11:23 AM »
I bought the Stabila jamber set about 20 yrs ago and still use it.  It still reads true, despite living in pickup beds and tool trailers that entire time.  Yes the vials have gone clear in those two levels. 

I've added 7 more over the years in various lengths.  The digital 4 footer lives in the crossover box in a padded case and is mostly used for estimating and checking pitches on wheelchair ramps. 

All others have lived in the tool trailer, and all still read true. 

I'm planning on getting a 6' 196 series, and a 8 ft Rbeam.  Also need to add a 36"


Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 5303
Re: Stabila level
« Reply #25 on: December 29, 2018, 11:25 AM »
That’s a great point!  I bought one 24” electronic level and just stack it over the longer level when needed.  They are too expensive to buy a full set.  The consistent milling on both edges of the longer levels is helpful here if I’m stacking the levels.

I've done the same thing.  [smile]  I've stacked the 196 electronic 4 footer on an 8 foot 196 level when doing some grade work. The audible warning indicator on the electronic allows me to just use the level without having to look at it. [cool]

Offline ColossusX

  • Posts: 152
Re: Stabila level
« Reply #26 on: December 29, 2018, 12:42 PM »
That's a good tip about stacking a small electronic one on a larger one. 

I've been really looking into the jamber set.  I'm most likely going to order either the 196 3pc set or the R set or the jamber.  I should add a 6ft and maybe the 24" electronic to have a nice range.

Offline rst

  • Posts: 2069
Re: Stabila level
« Reply #27 on: December 29, 2018, 04:35 PM »
I still have the original two foot electronic level that came out and it still functions perfectly.  I installed dozens of automatic sliding doors over the years with it clamped to a 6' extruded track for the doors.  The new Stabilas can be read from above making it a no brainer for my 66 year old knees.

Offline ColossusX

  • Posts: 152
Re: Stabila level
« Reply #28 on: January 06, 2019, 10:31 PM »
Ended up getting the 3 piece R beam set with bag.  Only $199 on Amazon vs $250 everywhere else.  Should arrive in a couple days

Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 3646
Re: Stabila level
« Reply #29 on: January 07, 2019, 09:50 AM »
Don’t think anyone has mentioned the end caps. Stabilla end caps are the best I’ve seen. Just the right amount of grip to keep the far end of a 4 foot or longer level against the wall while you’re holding/adjusting the other end. That’s also a good time to have a small level sitting on top (or the electric level).

Offline lerabotperche

  • Posts: 12
    • What I do and how I do it :)
Re: Stabila level
« Reply #30 on: January 08, 2019, 06:38 PM »
I own the type 80 T and I'm very happy with it

https://www.stabila.com/fr/produits/details/niveau-a-bulle-telescopique-type-80-t.html

I might add a Type 106 T in case I've more buildt structures to do than today.

I own the LAX 50 G Laser too. Nice but batteries do not last very long. I might built something to plug it on AC/DC  [cool]

Festool USA does not pre-approve the contents of this website nor endorse the application or use of any Festool product in any way other than in the manner described in the Festool Instruction Manual. To reduce the risk of serious injury and/or damage to your Festool product, always read, understand and follow all warnings and instructions in your Festool product's Instruction Manual. Although Festool strives for accuracy in the website material, the website may contain inaccuracies. Festool makes no representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness or timeliness of the material on this website or about the results to be obtained from using the website. Festool and its affiliates cannot be responsible for improper postings or your reliance on the website's material. Your use of any material contained on this website is entirely at your own risk. The content contained on this site is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice.


Online Kevin D.

  • Posts: 918
Re: Stabila level
« Reply #31 on: January 08, 2019, 10:56 PM »


I own the LAX 50 G Laser too. Nice but batteries do not last very long. I might built something to plug it on AC/DC  [cool]

I assume that's a green laser.  Green lasers eat a lot more juice than red lasers.
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Offline lerabotperche

  • Posts: 12
    • What I do and how I do it :)
Re: Stabila level
« Reply #32 on: January 09, 2019, 04:53 AM »
it is  [smile]