We learned at NPS16 that Milwaukee was planning to compete in the premium box level market with their new Redstick box levels.
The time is here, and they’ve officially announced the release of the Redstick line. This release includes box and compact box levels in both magnetic and non-magnetic versions.
These levels are slated to be available in January 2017, but several retailers have ship dates of late November and early December.
All Redstick box levels incorporate two different technologies: an all-metal Backbone, and Sharpsite vials.
Sharpsite is the name of Milwaukee’s vial technology which focuses on accuracy, visibility, and durability. The vials are made from high-impact polymer acrylic and are touted to be 10x more durable than competitive block vials.
The vials are accurate to within 0.029° and come with Milwaukee’s lifetime accuracy guarantee:
In the unlikely event that the end user experiences an issue with vial accuracy, the level can be replaced.
The vials have black bands for high-contrast edges and a magnified bubble that can be read from the top, side, or anywhere in between.
Backbone is an internal rib structure that sits in the center of the cut away section, but it doesn’t run the entire length of the level because it would make it too heavy. It protects the open vial and reinforces the frame to prevent frame deformation.
The top and bottom of all the levels are precision milled. The levels also have high-density, removable endcaps. While in place they protect the ends of the level from damage, but they can be removed for use in tight spaces or corners.
Shown here are the Redstick compact levels, missing from the photo at the rop of the page. The compact levels don’t have hand-holds so they aren’t as tall as the full box levels.
The compact levels are also thinner and lighter. According to Acme Tools, the box levels are 1.20″ wide, while the compact levels are 0.95″ wide. As for weight, a 48″ Redstick compact box level weighs about 2.6 lbs while a standard 48″ box level weighs about 3 lbs.
The magnetic version of the box and compact box levels will have amplified rare-earth magnets.
Milwaukee will sell the both the non-magnetic and magnetic Redstick box levels in lengths of 16″, 24″, 32″, 36″, 48″, 59″, 72″, 78″, and 96″. They also are selling combination sets with two different sized levels. The first contains a 24″ and a 48″ level, while the second has a a 78″ and 32″ level.
The compact Redstick box levels will come in both magnetic and non-magnetic versions in 24″, 48″, and 72″ lengths. They will also sell a set with 24″ and 48″ levels — you can buy either a magnetic or non-magnetic set.
These levels aren’t going to be cheap. For instance ACME Tools has a 48″ Redstick box level listed for $129.
If you want to see the presentation on the Redstick levels I saw at NPS16, check out this video from our friends at CopTool.
Stuart’s Note: It shouldn’t be a surprise that Milwaukee came out with their own levels. They first came out with small levels in 2012, and then in 2014 Milwaukee Tool purchased Empire Level. They’ve been pumping money into Empire, revamping a lot of their existing products and launching new ones. Milwaukee bought a level company and then launched a full line of premium box levels. Makes sense to me!
Milwaukee RedStick Sizes and Models
16” REDSTICK Box Level (MLBX16)
24” REDSTICK Box Level (MLBX24)
32” REDSTICK Box Level (MLBX32)
36” REDSTICK Box Level (MLBX36)
48” REDSTICK Box Level (MLBX48)
59” REDSTICK Box Level (MLBX59)
72” REDSTICK Box Level (MLBX72)
78” REDSTICK Box Level (MLBX78)
96” REDSTICK Box Level (MLBX96)
24”/48” REDSTICK Box Level Set (MLBXS48)
78”/32” REDSTICK Box Level Jamb Set (MLBXJB)
16” REDSTICK Magnetic Box Level (MLBXM16)
24” REDSTICK Magnetic Box Level (MLBXM24)
32” REDSTICK Magnetic Box Level (MLBXM32)
36” REDSTICK Magnetic Box Level (MLBXM36)
48” REDSTICK Magnetic Box Level (MLBXM48)
59” REDSTICK Magnetic Box Level (MLBXM59)
72” REDSTICK Magnetic Box Level (MLBXM72)
78” REDSTICK Magnetic Box Level (MLBXM78)
96” REDSTICK Magnetic Box Level (MLBXM96)
24”/48” REDSTICK Box Level Set (MLBXSM48)
78”/32” REDSTICK Box Level Jamb Set (MLBXJBM)
24” REDSTICK Compact Box Level (MLCM24)
24” REDSTICK Magnetic Compact Box Level (MLCMM24)
48” REDSTICK Compact Box Level (MLCM48)
48” REDSTICK Magnetic Compact Box Level (MLCMM48)
72” REDSTICK Compact Box Level (MLCM72)
72” REDSTICK Magnetic Compact Box Level (MLCMM72)
24”/48” REDSTICK Compact Box Level Set (MLCMS48)
24”/48” REDSTICK Magnetic Compact Box Level Set (MLCMSM48)