Torpedo Level

Shop all torpedo levels from Johnson Level.

A torpedo level is a spirit level designed for use in tight spaces. Johnson Level offers torpedo levels made in the USA in lengths ranging from 6 to 12 inches. JL has the most varieties of torpedo levels in the world. Plumbers will find multiple selections of the magnetic level (made from rare earth magnets) – perfect for sticking to pipes. We also have a few levels made of Structo-cast, a non-conductive material, which is great for electricians. Some of our levels even glow in the dark!

Torpedo levels can not only find level and plumb, the third vial can find a perfect 45° angle.

Orange torpedo level from Johnson Level

How to Read a Torpedo Level

  1. Locate the bottom edge of the level. This sits on the surface you're trying to level.
  2. Inspect the body of the level and check for grabbing points where you won't block the vials with your hand(s). 
  3. Most levels feature a punched hole on at least one end for hanging above your workbench.
  4. The tube vial in the center of the level helps you find the true horizontal.
  5. Tube vials on the ends finds the true vertical.
  6. There is an angled tube vial to help find level at 45°.

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Torpedo level by Johnson Level

How to Use a Torpedo Level

  1. Clean the level, removing all buildup and dirt from the edges. 
  2. Place the level on the surface of the object for which you want to find the true horizontal. Make sure the spirit tube runs parallel to the object. 
  3. The bubble will float to the top of the spirit tube.
  4. Put your eyes at level with the spirit tube.
  5. Take note of where the bubble is inside the spirit tube. If it’s centered between the lines on the tube, your object is level. If the bubble is to the right of the lines, your object slopes downward right-to-left. If the bubble is to the left of the lines, your object slopes downward left-to-right.
  6. To find the true vertical or "plumb," repeat the same process vertically.

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Magnetic torpedo level from Johnson Level

How to Use a Magnetic Torpedo Level

  1. Clean off all edges of the magnetic torpedo level.
  2. Place the level on the desired magnetic surface to level.
  3. Release the level and wait a moment for the bubble to float to the top of the spirit tube.
  4. Get to eye level with the spirit tube and take note of where the bubble rests.
  5. If it's centered between the black lines, it is level. If the bubble is to the right, your surface is too high on the right. If the bubble is on the left, your surface is too high on the left. 
  6. You may now work hands-free and take the necessary steps to level the surface.

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For more helpful how-to guides, visit Johnson Level’s main how-to guide on levels and tools.

Shop all torpedo levels from Johnson Level.