My wife and I run a small property investment/renovation business. We buy, renovate, rent out, and sell urban/surburban residential properties in our area. I’ve been using a transit level for purposes related to this business for three years, and this particular DeWalt model for the last two weeks.
I simply couldn’t be happier with it.
A major oversight in the description here is that it does not include the fact that the instrument comes in a strong plastic case with basic tie-down/lashing points and a locking point. The case also includes a compartment for the directions. Since such a case is an absolute must with any instrument of this type, I’ve included pictures of it here. Not to insult anyone’s intelligence, but for first-time buyers, while the case is sturdy, it is not weatherproof, and this sort of instrument should never be left out in the weather.
A second nice surprise was that the instructions are printed in English, French, and Spanish, and the French and Spanish are quality literate translations of the English. This has already proved useful even for our little business.
On to the review proper:
This is a straightforward basic transit level. It is made for general use by two people, a trained operator and a rodman, someone with minimal training who holds the leveling rod properly for the operator to take sightings on. This is a two-person tool for the majority of its traditional uses, and one member of the team has to study up quite a bit to fully realize the versatility and value of a transit level. Without training or significant self-education on the part of the operator, much of the value of instruments of this type can’t be realized. With that training, a transit level becomes a versatile workhorse of a tool with multiple applications in multiple industries, and it is enormously useful even in a smaller property business like ours. We have unfortunately found that several more specialized high-tech alternatives to this classic instrument are not as versatile and can fail spectacularly at the very worst possible time. It's much better to invest in one dependable tool and training for it than to invest in a variety of tools with less training that don't always get the job done.
This DeWalt level is clearly built for those who need a workhorse, much more ruggedly than others of the type that I’ve used in the past. It is made for regular use, and can sustain the wear and tear of such use better than others. This level travels around with us as we go to different jobsites and look at possible property investment opportunities. It’s in and out of the car on a regular basis. It might spend three days at one jobsite, or might visit four potential property buys in one day. This transit level can handle that.
The measuring rod is more precisely manufactured than two others that I’ve used in the past. This is a real benefit to accuracy, especially in most of the shorter-distance applications we typically use the transit level for.
All in all, from my point of view, I can easily recommend this level to new users. If you’re in almost any aspect of the renovation or remodeling business or planning on getting into it, you’ll need a builder’s level soon enough, and a transit level’s additional abilities will probably be advantageous quickly afterwards. This is a great transit level to grow with, and its biggest advantage over others of its kind is that it can take more of the everyday wear and tear than many other transit levels much like it.
Durable, All In One, Sturdy, Accurate, Strong, Long-Lasting