Bosch 48” Digital Level

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Bosch GIM 120 Digital Level Review

Bosch GIM 120 Digital Level

Manufacturer: Bosch
Model number: GIM 120
Power source: 4 AA Batteries
Weight: 1.5 lb
For centuries, the level has been ubiquitous with job site accuracy and precision. Digital levels have taken that accuracy to a different, well, level. Bosch has taken this approach and released the GIM 120 Digital Level, a tool packed with features that should appeal to trim carpenters, installers, inspectors, and anyone else looking to increase the precision of their work (honestly, who isn’t).

First Impressions of the 48″ Bosch Digital Level

The Bosch 48” Digital Level comes with a nice carrying case with a shoulder strap and a pouch for extra batteries, and is powered by 4/AA batteries (included). The first thing I noticed was the fit and finish of this level. This thing is really nice. Constructed of aluminum, it is lightweight but still has a robust, substantial feel. Everything is nicely machined with a Bosch-blue stripe running down the center. If having good looking tools matters to you, in my opinion, this is definitely the nicest looking level I have come across.

Specifications of the 48″ Bosch Digital Level

  • Accuracy – Up to 0.05°
  • Battery Voltage – 1.5V (4-AA)
  • Dimensions – 49 x 1.06 x 2.3-in (1250 x 27 x 59 mm)
  • Material – Aluminum
  • Weight – 1.5lb

Accuracy of the 48″ Bosch Digital Level

This level is extremely accurate and easy to calibrate, even in the field. It has tolerances of ±.05°. Calibration is also a breeze. To calibrate the level, just set it on a fairly level (less than 5°) surface, and press the “CAL” button. When CAL1 appears, rotate the level 180° and press the “CAL” button again, and CAL2 will appear. Repeat this process for the other surfaces of the level (plumb) and you are once again calibrated.

Durability of the 48″ Bosch Digital Level

The Bosh GIM 120, has a robust housing that is rated to IP 54 standards for water and dust. The level is well-built and the machining and finish are really fantastic. One issue I have with the level is the open digital readout. I am fairly hard on my levels as I use them on virtually every job. I think every day rigors of a tough job site might, eventually, damage the readout.

Features of the 48″ Bosch Digital Level

This level is packed with features. The illuminated display is designed in a way that allows easy visibility from all angles. The display also automatically rotates depending on the direction of the level. This allows for easy readability in above-head use.

There is also an audible indicator (think rotary levels) that allows the user to find level without actually looking at the level. Although this took some getting used to, once I figured it out, this might have become my favorite feature. Being able to adjust level/plumb while focusing on the work instead of the level, was extremely helpful, particularly while working alone.

The GIM 120 reads in degrees, percents, or feet/inches. The hold/copy function allows the user to check repeated values. This is particularly helpful for inspectors and carpenters who need to check work continuously to comply with building codes.

Improvements to the 48″ Bosch Digital Level

As with almost every tool, there are a few minor issues that I would like to see redesigned. I think the display is a spot of potential weakness in that it is completely open. There is really no protection from job site hazards. Again, I am VERY hard on my levels and need them to be able handle a beating on the job site every day.

I would also like to see vials on both ends of the level. When using the level, I often found myself looking to find the end with the vials and was immediately annoyed at having to do this.

Overall Impressions of the 48″ Bosch Digital Level

I have been using this Bosch level on the job site for a couple of months. It seems to be one of the tools that continually makes its way out of the truck and onto the job site. I have used it to cut handrails to a very precise degree, measure roof pitches for porch add-ons and to check new sidewalks to comply with current ADA codes.

This level may not be one to choose for everyday framing or anyone who does not need extreme precision and durability, but for those who regularly check different pitches and angles or who needs the most precise level, the Bosch GIM 120 is worth the price tag.

Bosch GIM 120 Digital Level

About the author

Will Endicott

William Endicott is a licensed contractor in the State of Missouri and is the principal of a custom home building and renovation company. After attending the University of Kansas, he began working full time in the trades and soon after, started his own company. As a second generation carpenter, William grew up around job sites and discovered his love of tools. He now enjoys finding tools that help give his clients the best possible quality, while also helping to keep his company productive and profitable. In his spare time, he enjoys woodworking projects, fishing and spending time with his wife and three children.

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