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Dumpy Levels are the best bits of kit for taking accurate levels around building and construction sites. But if you are just starting out in the building and construction trade, choosing the right dumpy level can be hard. Dumpy level prices can cost from a few hundred pounds all the way to over a thousand pounds for the most accurate. You do not have to spend much to get a decent dumpy level. In this article I have selected 5 dumpy levels that are ideal for you if you are buying your first dumpy level or do not want to spend to much money.
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What is the best dumpy level to buy in 2021 for under £200.00?
This is my list of the top 5 best dumpy levels for 2021 that are currently available for under £200. This is a very difficult list to put together. Paying under £200 for a precision piece of equipment can be a risky thing to do. All the dumpy levels listed here are basic levels that are accurate over a range of about 30m. They are good bits of kit for Self Builds and small construction projects. But, if you are a site engineer or a surveyor, then you would be well served by investing in a more expensive dumpy level.
If you are buying your first dumpy level then please remember that you will also need a tripod and E-Grad Staff. Good quality tripod and staffs are essential to getting the best results from any dumpy level.
The best 5 dumpy levels for under £200 in 2021 are.
1.) Leica NA324
2.) Bosch GOL 20 D
3.) Stabila OLS 26
4.) Silverline 20X
5.) Huepar AL-32X
What are the selection criteria for being selected as the best automatic (dumpy) levels for under £200?
Well, the first criteria that these dumpy levels have, is that they must be available for under £200 Including VAT at the time of publishing this article. If you are buying your first dumpy level or are just starting out in building or construction then it is likely that you are not VAT registered.
The next criteria is they should be easy to use. This means that they are easy to set up and get level. The automatic compensator inside these dumpy levels means that they are incredibly easy to get level by turning the three foot screws.
And the final criteria is that you should be able to read the E-Grad staff clearly. For this they need to have a magnification of at least 20x. Reading the E-Grad staff is where most of the potential errors in levelling are found.
The Best Dumpy Level for Under £200.
1.) Leica NA324
The surprise on this list is the Leica NA324 and would be the one that I would buy and recommend for anyone buying their first dumpy level. Why am I surprised that it is on the list? Well it is priced under £200. The Leica NA324 is a very capable dumpy level with a magnification of 24x.
It also feels like a dumpy level that is worth more than £200. The Leica NA324 is a very robust level that can cope with arduous conditions for a number of years. In my experience these dumpy levels can handle a lot. They rarely become inaccurate, checking a dumpy level weekly is essential to getting the best results.
The Leica NA324 would also be on my list for dumpy levels for engineers looking for their first level, it’s that good for this price range. I would also consider the Leica NA320 dumpy level with the 20x magnification like this one on Amazon.
2.) Huepar AL-32X
The next best dumpy level for under £200 is the Huepar AL-32X. The Huepar AL-32X is like the Bosch GOL series of dumpy levels, it’s quite easy to see. It has the same body as the Bosch GOL series levels and most likely the same internal automatic compensator.
The Huepar AL-32X beats the Bosch GOL dumpy level into second place because it has a greater magnification and is also about half the price. The Huepar AL-32X has a lot going for it, and a price that is hard to beat.
The price of the Huepar AL-32x has risen in recent months. Last year it was available for under £100. The price of this dumpy level is still very good and would be my choice over the Bosch GOL Series everyday of the week.
3.) Bosch GOL 26 D
The Bosch GOL 26 D automatic (dumpy) level comes in third While it has a greater magnification at 26x than the Leica NA324, it has less than the Huepar AL32X. Not only is it lower magnification than the Huepar it also costs more.
I just cannot justify putting the Bosch GOL 26 D ahead of the Huepar AL-32X when they are effectively the same dumpy level. It does have a compensator lock for safe transport, however this could lead to levelling issues if it is not taken off prior to doing any levelling work.
Getting the Bosch GOL 26 D level is just as easy as levelling the Leica NA324 thanks to the eye level penta prism for viewing the circular vial on the body of the level. The Bosch GOL 26 D is still a very capable level. Even though you are paying more for the Bosch name.
4.) Stanley AL-24
The Stanley AL24 dumpy level is in fourth place. This has replaced the Stabila OLS 26 which is now over £200 so is no longer eligible. It has the same magnification as the Leica NA324.
The Stanley AL-24 dumpy level makes it into fourth place because it comes as a complete set up. You get the Stanley dumpy level along with a tripod and staff for around the £200 mark. This makes the Stanley AL-24 a great value dumpy level.
5.) Silverline 20X
The Silverline 20X dumpy level is in fifth place. It is a very old design of dumpy level. This is still a very cheap dumpy level. But there has been a substantial price increase for the Silverline 20X. At this price the Silverline 20X is a real budget dumpy level.
While it works well, this is the type of level that would be suited to somewhere that if it got damaged it wouldn’t matter. If you are going to be working in an area that a dumpy level may get damaged or stolen then this maybe the dumpy level for you.
The Top 5 Best Automatic (Dumpy) Levels for under £200 Including VAT. The Surprise of the list is the Leica NA324 and I think this represents superb value at this price. The Leica NA3XX series of levels are robust and well made and would serve any site well and would be my choice from this list over all the others.
The thing to remember is that with any automatic (dumpy) level that is around £100 is any repair work needed to them is going to be more than the level is worth. And as calibration costs keep increasing the cost of this will soon outstrip the cost of the level.