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Magnetic levels

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WHAT IS A MAGNETIC LEVEL?

Magnetic spirit levels are – as the name suggests – spirit levels that have one or more magnets fitted to the underside, so that they can be easily attached to metallic surfaces. Depending on the manufacturer, model and length of the magnetic spirit level, up to three vials are fitted for horizontal and vertical measurement. 

WHERE ARE MAGNETIC LEVELS USED?

Magnetic spirit levels are used to help set up, align and adjust ferrous structural elements, where workers need to keep both hands free. For example, magnetic spirit levels are used when installing beams in metal and steel construction. Magnetic spirit levels with rare-earth magnets are in demand in this field owing to their extra-strong adhesive force, which enables them to hold securely to the structural element even if there are vibrations. Magnetic spirit levels are also used when erecting steel structures in scaffolding construction. The magnetic spirit level is also a great help for drywall installation as it ensures that wall and ceiling profiles can be accurately aligned. 

WHY USE A MAGNETIC SPIRIT LEVEL?

The crucial advantage of using a magnetic as opposed to a non-magnetic spirit level is that they can be attached directly to the object that needs to be aligned. This leaves the tradesperson or DIY enthusiast both hands free to adjust the structural element, whether it’s a metal profile or a steel framework, without the help of an extra person.

If the magnets fitted are particularly strong, the spirit level will hold firmly to the profile without slipping or becoming dislodged, even when exposed to vibrations.

WHICH MAGNETS ARE USED IN MAGNETIC SPIRIT LEVELS?

Previously, magnetic spirit levels were fitted with ferrite pole shoe magnets, which 
were strong enough to hold to metallic structural elements, but met their match when it came to coated surfaces. For this reason neodymium magnets are used. The extra-strong neodymium magnets are ‘rare-earth’ magnets and meet even the most exacting requirements for adhesive force. 

WHAT SETS SOLA MAGNETIC SPIRIT LEVELS APART?

Until now, the magnets have been built directly into the measuring surface. This installation method does, however, have the disadvantage that the recess for the magnet reduces its adhesive force, and also makes the spirit level harder to clean. This is because the recess tends to collect dirt and metal chips, which are difficult to remove and can lead to scratched surfaces. Heat and vibrations also impair the magnets’ adhesive force and, at worst, can cause them to detach and get lost. 

SOLA has developed a completely new method, specifically for magnetic spirit levels, where the magnets are inserted into the profile from the side. This method has the crucial advantage that the measuring surface is uniformly flat without being interrupted by built-in pole shoe magnets or plastic parts. This brings considerable advantages for the user in that they can clean the measuring surface quickly and easily, working is cleaner and the risk of injury caused by chips is reduced. The flat, clean measuring surface also prevents the surface of structural elements from getting scratched. Lastly, SOLA magnetic spirit levels with magnets installed in the side are particularly useful for work where the spirit level is exposed to heat generation or vibrations. This method makes it impossible for the magnets to loosen or be pulled out, as is the case with pole shoe magnets, and they stay securely installed at all times.   

What’s more, the new generation of SOLA magnetic spirit levels have an extra-strong neodymium magnet fitted. The neodymium/rare-earth magnets’ high magnetic force means SOLA magnetic spirit levels reliably adhere to even coated steel surfaces. Caution: Due to the strong magnetic force, direct contact with a credit card should be avoided as the card’s magnetic stripe may be damaged, which may in turn wipe data.