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As I’ve said before, old-school levels are sweet.  They have a different vibe that’s difficult to replicate with today’s materials.  Though the classic Rosewood levels are out — there just aren’t many rosewood trees left any more — I think mahogany fills the modern role with class and style — like in the 48″ brass-bound mahogany level above.

Though wooden levels are less accurate than modern metal ones when challenged head-to-head via micrometers and a full testing staff, they can serve quite nicely at the jobsite or in the shop.  They’re also stunning to look at.  The wooden levels do, however, show damage from falls and rough treatment quicker than their new metal, box-beam cousins.

So it’s really a matter of trading beauty for accuracy. For $50 if you’d rather have a mahogany beauty than a laser-straight metal wonder, you can — even today.  Just watch out for warping and don’t get it wet.

What do you think? Are wooden levels just too hot to stay gone, or do the aluminum box-beams cool down your need for wood?  Let us know in comments.

48″ Brass Bound Mahogany Level [Univesrsal Level Co.]
Street Pricing [Google Product Search]


4 Responses to Hot or Not: Brass-Bound Mahogany Levels

  1. Rob says:

    well as I see it wood levels are always great they are both functional and decorative

    but if you use it everyday on a job site you need a Stanley fat max or something like that to take the abuse but I have a nice wooden level in the shop at home I how ever rarely need anything bigger or more accurate than my Greenlee torpedo on the job

  2. PutnamEco says:

    Crick levels are definitely jobsite worthy. Though not mahogany, laminate construction , more durable.
    Keep it oiled well, and concrete won’t stick to it.
    A lot easier on the hands when you leave it laying out in the hot sun.


  3. Old Donn says:

    Didn’t we visit this subject recently? I’ve got Dad’s old wood with brass trim level downstairs and it’s as functional as it is nice looking. But when there’s work to do, I reach for my metal 36″ or Craftsman laser level.

  4. Roscoe says:

    Putnam- I’ve always wondered why masons still prefer wood levels, almost exclusively. Your point about it keeping cooler makes a lot of sense for a trade that is almost always outside.

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