Kapro’s 905 Condor box levels have easy-to-read vertical and horizontal vials and shock-absorbing end caps.
Kapro’s 905 Condor box levels have easy-to-read vertical and horizontal vials and shock-absorbing end caps.

I adore the term ‘whiskey stick’ and the association it has with guys hand-nailing the houses that we, with our modern power tools and need for speed, now envy the craftsmanship of. (I’m told that the term refers to the clear vials in old spirit levels that were filled with colored alcohol to keep them from freezing.) But we probably wouldn’t want their old, easy-to-knock-out-of-true levels.

Enter the dialed-in and detailed-looking new Kapro 905 Condor series of contractor box levels. Like the rest of the spirit levels in the Kapro lineup, the Condor line has the kinds of features that I look for—and rarely find—in a level.

Obviously, I want the level to stay true, and this box level is fitted with solid-acrylic shockproof vertical and horizontal vials that look like they meet industry standards for this class of level. The company says that its horizontal Optivision Red vial is easier to read accurately than the standard vials on other levels, thanks to its highly visible red bubble edges, high contrast ratio between the bubble and vial liquid, and tilted angle, which offers a direct line of sight.

The company’s Plumb Site Dual-View vertical vials provide both a front view of the actual vial and a unique reflected view that the company says provides a true plumb reading without parallax error. This is a welcome feature, as I know I’ve misread vials before when looking at them from an angle. Kapro claims that the vials are accurate to 0.5mm per meter, or 0.0005 inches per inch.

Another feature I look for in a spirit level is the ability to use the edge of the level to mark into a corner, say, for laying out shelves in a linen closet (I’ve never understood the value of an inset end-stop). Kapro’s shock-absorbing bi-material end caps and built-in bridge at the horizontal vial provide a continuous marking edge all the way to the end of the level. And the beams have crisp, square edges, rather than beveled ones, which keeps my pencil from straying off course. Perhaps best of all, I found the non-magnetic 72-inch version of the Condor for less than $60 on Amazon (24-inch and 48-inch magnetic and non-magnetic versions are also available). kapro.com