Review of the Kapro Shark Mason's Level
My favorite go-to level when precision is required
The Kapro Shark Mason's Level is an outstanding and precise level. It most assuredly is NOT just for mason work. This is the one that I grab when precision is required.
I own a fair number of different kinds of levels. I own a 4 foot construction level, a torpedo level, a couple of line levels, combination squares with built in levels and so on. However, when I'm doing work that requires exactness, the Kapro Shark Mason's Level is the level I reach for.
The Kapro Shark Mason's Level has a pleasing and ergonomic construction. When I first picked it up, I wasn't quite sure what to make of it because instead of having the standard 2 rail system, which of course allows a level to be inverted, this level can only be used via a single edge. Its non-traditional shape, being roughly triangular, was not something that I immediately expected to like. Despite my initial misgivings, the more I handled the Kapro Shark Mason's Level, the more I appreciated the elegance of its design. Its unconventional shape actually lends to it being far more comfortable in the hand than a more traditional style level. It also allows for a more precise lifting of the level when one is trying to estimate a new angle. This is hard to describe in print but one can easily rotate the level up using the knife edge of their hand as a fulcrum while pulling up with their thumb and forefinger with precision.
The level includes some rubber grips that I quite like. Some might suggest they offer dubious utility but I like the little extra friction resistance they offer, particularly when measuring plumb.
Another very positive aspect of this level is the ability to easily see the bubble-vials from almost any angle. Not only are the view ports VERY clear (something not found in every level on the market) but Kapro has also opted to include a periscope like mirror arrangement for the plumb measurement vial so that it can be seen from the "top" of the level when gauging vertical angles.
Despite this level being called a mason's level, I personally treat it more like a little princess. I've never dropped this level and I would be rather afraid to do so. I couldn't say for sure if it would break or lose its gauging capacity, but there's just something about it the makes me pay extra attention to detail and forces me to be more careful with this level than any of my others. I absolutely don't want to leave the impression that the level is either flimsy or chintzy. It's my opinion that it's quite the opposite. I guess I'm just trying to convey that this level conveys a real sense of precision and just as I would not toss my Starett combination square or my Bridgecity Toolworks tri-square into the bottom of a toolbox, neither would I risk this tool with even the slightest amount of abuse.
As noted previously, I use this level whenever I want to make REALLY sure that things are exactly plumb or level. I've used it frequently when constructing shelves, framing small doorways and setting critical posts. It has also been used extensively for such mundane things as hanging pictures and shadow boxes. I also used it for its intended purpose when I built a retaining wall in the backyard out of interlocking stones. It has never failed to do exactly what's expected of it.
I've had the Kapro Shark Mason's Level for well over half a decade now. It's never failed to perform exactly the way I want it to. I would buy it again, if I had to.
Click to view theKapro Shark Mason's Level with Plumb Site on Amazon.com.