Alternatives To The 'Bubble Level'

Are you tired of relying on the trusty old bubble level for all your dimensional measurements?

Well, you're not alone. As technology continues to advance at an astonishing pace, it's time to explore the alternatives that can revolutionize the way we measure and level.

Whether you're a DIY enthusiast or a professional contractor, this article will open your eyes to a world of innovative tools that not only offer precision but also save you time and effort.

So, get ready to bid farewell to the bubble level and embrace a new era of dimensional measurement that will leave you wondering how you ever managed without it.

Use Cases

Bubble levels are commonly used for dimensional measurement in various applications. Some of the use cases include:

  • Aligning shelves
  • Hanging pictures
  • Leveling an RV

Alternatives to the Bubble Level

There are several alternatives to the traditional bubble level that can address its limitations and provide more accurate dimensional measurements. These alternatives include:

  • Digital levels
  • Laser levels
  • Smartphone apps
  • Ultrasonic distance meters
  • Laser distance meters
  • Digital angle finders
  • High-precision spirit levels
  • Measurement apps

Digital Levels

Digital levels use electronic sensors to provide a more accurate reading than traditional bubble levels. They can also provide readings in multiple planes simultaneously. Some drawbacks of digital levels include:

Drawback: Digital levels can be more expensive than bubble levels.

Laser Levels

Laser levels project a laser beam onto a surface to provide a visual reference for levelness. They can be used over longer distances and are not affected by surface imperfections. Some drawbacks of laser levels include:

Drawback: Laser levels may not be appropriate for outdoor use in bright sunlight.

Smartphone Apps

Smartphone apps utilize the phone's built-in sensors to provide a level reading. While not as accurate as dedicated tools, they can be a convenient and inexpensive alternative. Some drawbacks of smartphone apps include:

Drawback: Smartphone apps may not be accurate enough for professional use.

Ultrasonic Distance Meters

Ultrasonic distance meters use ultrasound to measure distances. They are highly accurate and can measure distances in hard-to-reach places. Some drawbacks of ultrasonic distance meters include:

Drawback: Ultrasonic distance meters are not recommended for use on channels less than 6 inches wide or where steam, foam, turbulence, or floating debris/oil/grease are present.

Laser Distance Meters

Laser distance meters are more accurate than bubble levels, especially over longer distances. They are faster, easier to use, and can measure a wide range of distances. Some drawbacks of laser distance meters include:

Drawback: Laser distance meters can be more expensive than bubble levels.

Digital Angle Finders

Digital angle finders provide a more versatile and precise alternative to traditional bubble levels. They offer automatic computation, a bubble level feature, compact size, magnetic base, and digital readout.

Some drawbacks of digital angle finders include:

Drawback: Digital angle finders can be more expensive than traditional bubble levels.

High-Precision Spirit Levels

High-precision spirit levels conform to specific standards and offer high accuracy for applications that require precise measurements. They are custom-made to cover specific measuring ranges and sensitivities.

Some drawbacks of high-precision spirit levels include:

Drawback: High-precision spirit levels can be more expensive than traditional bubble levels.

Measurement Apps

Measurement apps utilize smartphone cameras and sensors to measure real-life objects. They can be used for various measurements, including distances. Some drawbacks of measurement apps include:

Drawback: Measurement apps may not be as accurate as dedicated tools.


Q: Are bubble levels completely obsolete?

A: No, bubble levels still have their uses in certain applications where precision is not a critical factor. They are simple, low-tech, and affordable tools that can be effective for basic leveling tasks.

Q: Can laser levels be used outdoors?

A: Laser levels may not be appropriate for outdoor use in bright sunlight as the laser beam may be difficult to see. However, there are laser levels specifically designed for outdoor use that have brighter laser beams.

Q: Are smartphone apps accurate enough for professional use?

A: While smartphone apps can provide a convenient and inexpensive alternative, they may not be accurate enough for professional use that requires high precision. They can be useful for casual measurements and quick references.

Q: Can ultrasonic distance meters measure all types of objects?

A: Ultrasonic distance meters are capable of detecting most objects, including metal or non-metal, clear or opaque, liquid, solid, or granular, as long as they have sufficient acoustic impedance. However, they may not be suitable for use in certain conditions, such as narrow channels or when there is steam, foam, turbulence, or floating debris/oil/grease present.

Q: How do digital angle finders compare to traditional bubble levels?

A: Digital angle finders offer greater accuracy, versatility, and convenience compared to traditional bubble levels. They provide automatic computation, bubble level feature, compact size, magnetic base, and digital readout, making them popular among professionals and DIY enthusiasts.

Q: Are high-precision spirit levels worth the investment?

A: High-precision spirit levels are custom-made for specific measuring ranges and sensitivities, offering high accuracy for applications that require precise measurements. They are more expensive than traditional bubble levels, but their accuracy makes them valuable for professional use.

Q: Can measurement apps replace dedicated tools?

A: Measurement apps can be useful for casual use and quick measurements. However, they may not be as accurate as dedicated tools and can be affected by factors such as the phone's flatness and the presence of buttons and ports.

Summing up the main ideas

Hey there, fellow DIY enthusiasts! Today, I want to talk about something that has been a staple in every toolbox for decades: the good ol' bubble level. You know, that trusty tool we all rely on to make sure our shelves are straight, our pictures are hanging just right, and our DIY projects are on point.

But let's take a step back and think for a moment. Is the bubble level really the only option we have? Are there any alternatives out there that can challenge its reign as the go-to tool for dimensional measurement? Well, my friends, the answer might surprise you.

One alternative that has been gaining popularity is the laser level. Yes, you heard me right, a laser! This nifty gadget emits a straight line of light that serves as a reference point for your measurements. It's like having an invisible assistant guiding you along the way. Plus, it's super easy to use and provides precise measurements without the hassle of balancing a bubble.

Another intriguing alternative is the smartphone app revolution. In this digital age, there's an app for everything, including leveling. With just a few taps on your phone, you can transform it into a virtual bubble level. It utilizes the built-in accelerometer to detect any tilting, giving you a visual representation of whether your surface is level or not. It's convenient, portable, and always at your fingertips.

Now, before you dismiss these alternatives as mere novelties, consider this: technology is constantly evolving, and so are our tools. Just like how the bubble level replaced the plumb bob and the spirit level before it, these new alternatives might become the norm in the near future.

So, next time you reach for your trusty bubble level, take a moment to ponder the possibilities. Are we on the brink of a dimensional measurement revolution? Only time will tell. In the meantime, embrace the advancements, explore the alternatives, and who knows, you might just find a new favorite tool in your arsenal.

Remember, my fellow DIYers, the world of dimensional measurement is vast and ever-changing. So, stay curious, keep experimenting, and never be afraid to challenge the status quo. Happy leveling!

Looking for a bubble level?

Choosing a bubble level can be very difficult if you know nothing about them.

So I created this quick, newbie guide to help you:

The best 'Bubble Level' and how to choose one for you

Is Your Bubble Level Really Leveled?

Tip: Turn on the caption button if you need it. Choose 'automatic translation' in the settings button if you are not familiar with the english language. You may need to click on the language of the video first before your favorite language becomes available for translation.

Links and references

Related articles:

Troubleshooting a 'Bubble Level'

Creative uses for your 'Bubble Level' that you haven't tried yet

Things I wish I had known before I bought a 'Bubble Level'

Where is the 'Bubble Level' normally used

What is a Bubble Level and how does it work?

Mastering Layout Tools for Dimensional Measurement

Private note to self: (Article status: abstract)

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