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When I first ran across the Stanley-Bostitch clamping level in Popular Science, I didn’t think much about it because it was pictured just sitting on a surface. Later I came across a picture of the level hanging off the bottom of a 2×4 and thought, “Hey, now that’s pretty cool!”  It’s funny how much difference the choice of picture influences our perceptions of a product.

From the composite picture above you can tell that the clamping mechanism works two different ways.  When clamping the level to 2x stock the whole clamping mechanism bites into the wood, while on wider stock smaller, yellow legs pop out of the level to hold onto the wood. Stanley-Bostitch doesn’t come right out and say it, but the clamps are probably spring-loaded. The take-away is that by clamping this level to the piece you are trying to position, your hands are free to maneuver it.

The center vial is magnified so you can see it easier and is bridged so you can use the level as a continuous straight-edge. The bubble vials are accurate to 0.00005in/in and Stanley-Bostitch even makes one of the vials rotate so you can duplicate angles other than the common plumb, level, and 45° found on other levels.

Clamping Box Beam Level [Stanley-Bostitch]

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15 Responses to Bostitch Level: “Look Ma, No Hands!”

  1. Gil says:

    That’ll come in handy for building decks, but there is one thing it needs… lasers!

  2. Bob says:

    and sharks!!!

  3. fred says:

    Looks like it will fill a niche – and beats carring around a separate clamp:

    http://www.toolbarn.com/starrett-cc-24.html

  4. jeffrey immer says:

    i got something similar from swanson called a wood magnet, it will give level or plumb wraps around a 2x
    http://www.amazon.com/Swanson-T04424-Wood-Magnet/dp/B000RPZ0FI
    i thought it worked great

  5. Dan says:

    I don’t like the way it’s hanging below the face of the board in the upper picture.

    If the manufacturer can’t do it right…

  6. mr. man says:

    Read: set yourself above the competition; build a level deck. Interesting but a bit gimmicky. I’d be pissed if this thing fell on my pointed head. When I want a level to stay put, I use a wood clamp or tape.

  7. paganwonder says:

    If the clamps are durable this would be handy for some uses when you don’t remember the clamp or the tape fell out of your bags. I usually burn a couple zip ties for the day when building a deck or some such.

  8. Brau says:

    I can see these being very handy for erecting fences.

  9. philm says:

    I’ll place the level on top of the board and let gravity hold it on thanks. If these clamps slip the slightest bit you’ve got an unreliable reading. Use a Velcro® strap to secure the level tight if you want to go freehand. You can see white space showing between the 2×4 and the top of the clamp in that one photo above which validates my “slipping” point. I’ll label this “gimmicky”.

  10. ShopMonger says:

    Yeah this would be interesting to see but i would need one first, i agree with Philm that this could be an issues if it slips, but if each side slips one tooth then it would be OK, because we are talking about framing here…. off 1 degree is ok unless the house is hundreds of feet long, Decking would be a great application..

    ShopMonger

  11. Rick says:

    It all depends on how good the clamping system actually is. After all the Stanley name is on that tool. Not exactly a name that inspires quality these days.

  12. GZB says:

    Can we say RIP to the laser jokes? Har de har har. Let’s replace them with something funnier and more original, like jokes about foreign taxi drivers and airline food.

  13. Exitao says:

    This would also be useful when using a skreet on a surface that needs to be exact.

  14. soxfan622 says:

    I have a Wood Magnet from swanson. This works great and is a LOT less expensive. http://www.swansontoolco.com/t04424.cfm

  15. Harvey says:

    I am interested in the specs on the bubble vials. Does anyone really believe this level, or vial, is accurate to 5 one-hundred thousandths of an inch even over just one inch of the level? I have seen similar specsmanship with Empire. I don’t believe either the level or the human eye can calibrate to that minute dimension. At what temperature – I know that type of accuracy changes with temperature. I honestly want to know your opinions. To me the whole product loses credibility when I see this type of thing quoted.

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