Optical Equipment FAQs
What Is the Difference Between Hand and Automatic Leveling Equipment?
Optical leveling equipment consists of a telescope with crosshairs and an interior level to
measure height and distance. Our field leveling optical supplies and instruments include both
hand and automatic levels with a range of features that let you choose equipment that best
suits your needs.
Hand levels give a preliminary assessment of elevation and distance in relation to a reference
point. They are faster to use than automatic levels because they do not have to be mounted
on a tripod. Automatic levels are more precise than hand levels. They self-adjust to maintain a
consistently level position along the line of sight. Automatic levels must be mounted on a
What Are the Advantages of Hand Levels?
Hand and sight levels are small, lightweight and fit easily into a backpack or pocket. They look
like a small telescope with a spirit level inside. Hand levels are often used by land surveyors
or for projects that do not require precise measurements, such as installing lawns or fencing.
However, they are not as accurate as automatic levels.
What Are the Advantages of Automatic Levels?
Automatic levels offer precision to the millimeter. They are used to establish grades, lines and
leveling points and check elevations. They are used by builders, engineers and land surveyors
in applications that include building construction, road construction, landscaping and
excavation. Although they are highly accurate, they must be mounted on a tripod because
they require a stable foundation. The combination of tripod and level is bulkier and heavier
than a hand level
What Features Should I Look for in an Automatic Level?
Automatic optical equipment for leveling offers a variety of standard features, including
image stabilization, large apertures that gather more light, automatic level compensators and
Automatic levels are tested for their resistance to dust, water and solid objects. This
resistance is described as an ingress protection rating. Most of our automatic levels are rated
as IPx6, which protects against dust and jets of water, such as driving rain. They are built to
perform well in extreme temperatures.
Different models offer varying levels of magnification, allowing you to select the
magnification required for your needs. In contrast to transits that only move vertically,
automatic levels rotate 360 degrees horizontally.
Superior Instrument's construction leveling supplies offer the most advanced technology in
the industry. Our products include several models of builder's and engineering automatic
levels by Nedo and Topcon, respected brands in the industry.