Top Tools 2012: Johnson 9500 Magnetic Aluminum Box Level

Thanks to its magnetic edges, which provide an extra pair of hands, Johnson's box level stands apart.

Johnson 9500 Magnetic Aluminum Box Level Review

Photo: One Project Closer

Why You’ll Love It: Levels don’t carry many bells and whistles, but they are important tools for every project, from building a shed to hanging a picture frame. The Johnson 9500 Magnetic Aluminum Box Level features powerful rare-earth magnets that lock onto any magnetic surface, and the precision milled edges are great for scribing straight lines, unlike the beveled edge found on some competitors’ models. The 9500 has replaceable end caps for protection, and it’s proven job-site tough.

Johnson 9500 Magnetic Aluminum Box Level
The Full Scoop: Even the novice do-it-yourselfer needs a high-quality level to ensure objects are level and plumb, and a good level can double as a straight-edge and even a screed board. 

Johnson has been producing measuring and layout tools since 1947, and many of their products are made in the US. The 9500 is accurate up to 0.5mm, and the accuracy is guaranteed for life!

Available in 24″, 48″, and 78″ models, the level features extremely powerful rare-earth magnets that hold to ferrous metal surfaces and can act as an extra pair of hands.

The anti-slip and anti-shock removable end caps can be replaced, and they protect the frame from drops and rough use. Furthermore, the solid block acrylic vials won’t leak, break, or fog over. The 9500 features rubberized hand grips securely screwed to the aluminum frame.

The 24″ level is a great addition to any tool tote, and you can expect it to cost approximately $40 depending on the retailer.


Author Bio: Ethan Hagan is the primary editor at One Project Closer; visit to read additional tool reviews, expert project guides, and more. OPC is unique in that just about every how-to article features the work of an experienced professional contractor.