Durability, quality and precision have made Johnson Level & Tool Co a trusted brand for professionals worldwide.
Johnson Level & Tool Mfg. Co., Inc has been producing high-quality tools and levels for over 70 years, initially out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1947. The company started as a lumber-level factory, and since then has grown to become the leading supplier of high-quality tools both for professionals and hobbyists.
As you would expect, durability, quality and precision have made Johnson Level & Tool Co a trusted brand for professionals worldwide, and it’s great to see another good-quality option here in Australia.
Six levels make a big part of the product line up, including the Heavy-Duty Box, Box Level, and I-Beam, all available in both 1200mm and 600mm. But there is also a collection of other tools we had a play with onsite, including framing squares, combo squares, and T-bevels.
After doing some research and spending time with a good collection of products, we’re impressed with the technology, impressive design and quality manufacturing combined to create Johnson’s extensive portfolio of products. It’s great to see that manufacturing precision tools that will stand up to harsh worksite conditions is the main focus for Johnson Level & Tool Co.
TEST#1: 1200MM HEAVY DUTY ALUMINIUM BOX LEVEL
The Heavy-Duty Aluminium Box level is the workhorse of Johnson’s level line.
These heavy-duty levels are versatile enough to tackle any job, from rough carpentry to finish work. The levels feature heavy-duty aluminium frames for strength and durability, and push-button removable endcaps for flush work. They are designed to stay accurate even when knocked around on a worksite.
SurroundView is a Johnson patented technology which makes their vials reflect ambient light to maximise visibility, even in the brightest settings. To ensure accurate, 320-degree readings, the vials are set in an acrylic block.
To help out with this test, I caught up with one of my oldest friends, Ben Fox. Ben shared: “The green-liquid vials are some of the easiest-to-read I have seen. They are also UV-resistant and proven to be one of the most visible colours to the human eye. The levels are built very solid. We are currently installing framing and sliding-door frames.
The levels were great to use, with excellent visibility of the bubble from a pile of angles. Even better, these crystal-clear vials won’t leak, break, crack or fog, but above all, they will remain accurate and durable due to the solid construction of these heavy-duty levels.”
Other great features include large handholds to allow for gloved use, with rubberised grips for safety and comfort. The addition of removable, shock-absorbing, anti-slip end caps is much welcomed.
Oh, and did I mention the bright-orange colour looks great? And there’s a lifetime guarantee on vial accuracy?
TEST#2: 1200MM ALUMINIUM BOX LEVEL
This level comes with all the same technology and features of the heavy-duty model, except it comes in a slightly different metal-frame construction.
Versatility is key with this level. It can be used in any number of jobsite applications, such as framing, finish carpentry and concrete work.
Ben’s thoughts: “This level has all the accuracy and technology in the vial, but perhaps is more targeted to the DIY market, making it perfect for those looking to tackle projects on their own at home. Tradies working on busy worksites would go for the heavy-duty option.
“In saying that, this level was just as good to use, with excellent performance and accuracy.”
TEST#3: JOHNSON 300MM HEAVY-DUTY STAINLESSSTEEL COMBINATION SQUARE
A good combo square is a must for many trades, particularly those working with wood, metal, and stone. Ben’s specialty in his dayto- day is constructing high-end dentist surgeries with unique details, so his opinion on this tool is exceptionally valid.
“This 300mm combo square felt great in hand,” he told us, “and it was awesome to use. You can feel it is going to last and perform extremely well. With the autolock blade assembly and very well-etched graduations, getting precise measurements with this combo square is going to be very easy.”
Ben continued, “The heavy-duty cast zinc head with black, chip-resistant e-coating finish and CNC-machined square head give greater accuracy. It also features a durable acrylic vial and hardened, screw-in scriber that won’t fall out. This combo square can withstand even the roughest jobsite abuse.”
THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY
There is plenty of good, maybe even great, to report here, and definitely nothing ugly. These products all look the goods and perform equally as well, if not better, than they look.
A few other products worth mentioning we had onsite to test were the 400mm x 600mm Big J Pro Metric Aluminium Framing Square and the the 254mm Professional Aluminium T-Bevel with heavy-duty adjustable stainlesssteel blade.
From our initial testing, quality and precision is the order of the day with this range, and the already discussed features should win over any Australian tradies who give this range a crack!