Sola Magnetic Torpedo Level - Canadian Woodworking Magazine

A very durable frame, easy-to-read vials, super strong magnet, and a lifetime warranty make this an appealing level


Sola Magnetic Torpedo Level

Sola is an Austrian company, founded in 1949, which began marketing its products in North America around 2008. I reviewed their pencils in April 2012, and was impressed with the quality and pricing.
Recently we had the opportunity of trying their Magnetic Torpedo Level (MM5-25). The Sola MM5-25 doesn't have the traditional streamlined torpedo design that typifies this line of levels. Rather, the bottom of the level is flat along its full length, making it looks somewhat more like a small mason's level.

Horizontal, vertical and 45° vials 

At 13 ounces in weight, and almost 1" thick, the Sola MM5-25 has a commanding presence in the hand. The body is cast from aluminum, and has a a smooth epoxy coating that both protects the level and makes it easier to clean. The top of the arms are beveled, making the level easier to slide into a tool pouch or apron pocket.
There are three large vials - horizontal, vertical, and 45°. The round vials are 1-1/8" diameter, while the center horizontal vial is 1-3/8" wide. I really like larger vials, particularly as my eyes grow older. These vials are encased in solid unbreakable acrylic glass and equipped with a magnifying lens, which increases the bubble size by about 30%, making them easier to see - so you'll make fewer errors.
According to Sola, the MM5-25 is guaranteed to function perfectly in a temperature range from -20°C to +60°C (-4°F to +140°F). As well, the vials won't become electrostatically charged, due to the unique properties of the liquid used in the vials.

Magnified horizontal vial glows in the dark        

You'll notice that there aren't any indicator rings - the outer edges of the vials have been coated with ink on the inside of the vials, which is intended to increase readability. I didn't mind these inked in indicators at all, finding them just as easy to use as the more conventional rings. Either way, reading a level is somewhat subjective, and takes a bit of experience before you become adept at it.
The horizontal vial has a fluorescent illuminated lining that makes it easier on the eyes when using the level in less than ideal lighting conditions. I really liked this feature. What I didn't particularly like is the absence of a bridge across the top of the vial, leaving it exposed to scratching or damage (tossing it into a too box, for example).

Mighty magnet and V-channel       

The neodymium rare earth magnet on the bottom edge of this level is extremely strong, providing a secure grip - you won't have to worry about the level inadvertently falling. However, it's not so strong that you'll have to struggle to release the grip.
The V-channel is convenient when leveling metal or plastic piping - it keeps the level from slipping around too much.

Illuminated dial is easier to read  
Hands free operation
While the Sola MM5-25 might be priced somewhat higher than other torpedo levels, it has some appealing features - solid presence in the hand, practically unbreakable body, easy-to-read vials, illuminated and magnified horizontal vial, super strong magnet, and a lifetime warranty.


  • 7/8" x 1-7/8" x 9-7/8"
  • 13 ounce weight
  • Cast aluminum housing with epoxy coating
  • Milled measuring surface with V-groove
  • Horizontal, Vertical, and 45° vials
  • Magnified acrylic vials
  • .029° accuracy guarantee
  • Fluorescent backing on horizontal vial
  • Neodymium rare earth magnet
  • Lifetime warranty

Available From:Grainger
Retail Price:$49.99
Model #:MM5-25
Made In:Hungary
Carl Duguay, May 2012

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