How to Level Without a Level: 6 Best Ways

How to Level Without a Level: 6 Best Ways

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When it comes to building and construction, one of the most important things that you need to pay attention to is how level, straight, and flat all of your final constructions are. Whether we’re talking about laying floors, building walls, making a fence, or making furniture, how level and straight the various components are will decide what the overall quality and look of the final product is.

Of course, a bubble level is a great tool for this task, and even better is the laser level. However, what happens when you don’t have either of those tools? Well, there are some ways to level surfaces without a laser or bubble level. Let’s talk about the best ways to level without a level.

Is It Possible to Level Things Accurately Without a Level?

The fact of the matter is that yes, it is totally possible to level things accurately without a professional level. With that being said, of course, your eyes aren’t going to be good enough for this, so you will need to construct your own level or use various materials that can be used as levels.

If you expect to level something accurately, whatever method you are using needs to be tested, proven, and accurate. So as long as you use the right tools and methods to level without using a professional level, the results should be very accurate and precise. Let’s move on and figure out how to level something without a level.

6 Best Ways to Level Without a Level

You might not think it, but there are actually very many ways to level a surface without having a professional level. Many of these methods involve things that you might just have lying around your house.

1. Use a Round Object

Using Round Objects to Level One of the easiest ways to level a surface without a level is by using a round object such as a ball. Now, do keep in mind that this method only works for horizontal surfaces and not vertical surfaces. For this leveling method, all you have to do is to place a round ball on top of the horizontal object being leveled.

If the ball stays in place and does not move, then the object is level. If the ball rolls to a specific side, then you know that there is a correction that needs to be made. It really doesn’t get much easier than that. Of course, you can use any number of round objects that will roll.

2. Use a Square

Using a Square to Level Whereas the above method was for leveling a horizontal surface, this method can be used to level both horizontal and vertical surfaces. This method is a little bit special because if you are to level a horizontal surface using a square then you need to have a vertical surface that is already plumb. On that same note, if you are going to plumb a vertical surface then you need to have a horizontal surface that is already leveled. This is because squares measure 90-degree angles.

So, for instance, if you have a floor that is totally level and you want to see if the walls are plumb, particularly in comparison to the floor, then what you would do is hold the square to the wall and the floor. If the wall diverges from the long part of the square, then you know that there are corrections that need to be made.

3. Use a Water Bottle with Water

Another super-easy way to level a surface without a level is to use a bottle filled with some water. Now, this really only works for horizontal surfaces.

What you want to do here is to fill a water bottle up to a specific point. Then, place that water bottle onto a horizontal surface. Compare one side of the bottle to the other in terms of the water level. If the water is higher on one side of the bottle than the other, then you know that there are corrections that need to be made. This is perhaps one of the easiest ways to level a horizontal surface without an actual level.

4. Use Your Smartphone

Yes, we live in a modern world of technology. And yes, most of us all have smartphones. Well, smartphones generally have built-in levels. You could say that this is cheating or not, but the fact of the matter is that if you’re in a pinch a smartphone can serve as a level. Is there anything that a smartphone can’t do?

5. Use an Old Hose with Water

Another good way to level horizontal surfaces, especially over long distances, is by using a length of hose with some water on the inside. The way gravity works, the water is always going to be even on both sides, so if you lift the ends of the hose up, even if one end of the hoses is a foot higher than the other, the water level inside of both sides of the hose will be the same.

So, all you have to do is hold one end of the hose up and match the water level with the item being leveled. Then compare one side of the hose, the water level, to the other side. If both water levels are the same, then you know that your surface is level.

6. Measure from a Reference Point

If you need to level something like a cabinet or drawer, and you know that the floor underneath is level, then all you have to do is measure both sides of the item being leveled from the floor. If one side of the cabinet is an inch higher than the other, then you know that it’s not leveled.


As you can see, there are many different ways to level both horizontal and vertical surfaces without the professional level.

While you are most often better off just buying a level, these methods will serve if you cannot for one reason or another. If that’s the case, also check my article on how to make your own spirit level with materials you probably already have at home.