Before getting to other information, there are some problems here which can leave a lot of questions.
1) The manufacturer uses "bazooka plumb bob" as their page to reach the accu bob. The link is here. That's the first thing erectors have said confused them. They thought they were clicking on a link to buy a Bazooka Bob.
2) Their web page lists the item as
'Bazooka / Accu-bob'. This would seem to be deceptive, at the very least.
Consider an assistant or purchasing rep who doesn't know the difference between a Bazooka Bob and an Accu-bob and it's easy to see where confusion begins. Or a foreman ordering using a cell phone. In daylight, small screen, in a hurry... sees "Bazooka" and orders. Only to get something different than he thought.
If you know the difference between the two items and mean to buy an accu bob, this isn't a problem. If you don't know the difference, it's easy to see a problem can occur.
About the Accu Bob.
Retail price $439.50
The accu bob has a foldable design and opens to 10ft. 4 magnets are used to secure the unit to the column. It has a plastic body with steel hinges and clasps to lock it in the open position.
The first thing troubling is that the accu bob is advertised as a precision tool BUT- in order to calibrate it(per the manufacturer's instructions) first find a surface you know is plumb, then calibrate to zero. This means that if you're on your first column and need to calibrate the accu-bob, you must first get another instrument to level the first column, then calibrate the accu-bob. You could use a Bazooka Bob to do that, but then why would you need the accu-bob? There is also no real "zero". The center whole is more of...."about there" hole. It won't give you an exact reading for accurate.
Many erectors pointed to a problem with broken strings. This stemS from the string being exposed when the Accu bob is folded in half.
After contacting some erectors who had purchased the accu bob either by mistake or by design, here are a some of their comments:
- When plastic meets metal(the hinges) the end result is never good.
- Cheap magnets and you have to clean each one before using or it throws the readings off.
- My guys won't use it. The strings constantly break because they're exposed when the unit is folded, making it easy to cut them accidentally and the pinch point does just that, it pinches. A lot.
- They make good paper-weights
- Amateurish build quality. Like it was made in someone's garage.
- I bought Accu Bob because I thought it was a Bazooka Bob from the wording on the site I purchased it from... I got plastic.
Not every erector was so harsh about the Accu-bob, but none of them raved about it either. The best thing anybody said about it was- "It's ok"
The Accu-Bob sell for $439.50 on the manufacturer's site
The ez-bob is a magnetic level used for measuring vertical accuracy on steel columns, walls, forms and more. Faster and easier than a laser level or transit, the Ez-Bob attaches directly to the work surface by way of a magnet and gives an instant readout for plumb using a linear gauge.
The Ez-Bob can also be used in high winds or inclement weather* that renders other instruments useless.
Compared to the Accu-bob:
The accu-bob is made of plastic or fiberglass, has a fragile hinge (which even the manufacturer cautions you be careful with) and can only be calibrated if you have a already level column to use as a gauge. So its accuracy can best be described as questionable.....at best. So you need another tool first to make sure your column is plumb so you can then use the Accu Bob.
Even if you get past it that the manufacturer of the accu-bob uses what can, at best, be described as "confusing" labeling by using the bazooka name wherever it can to sell their product, the fact is, the Accu-bob isn't by design a very accurate tool. It relies on the end user to make it accurate. Which can be time-consuming and expensive and even after calibration, there is no way to continue to assure its accuracy. Add to that it's plastic construction, problem with broken strings and questions about build quality.
It will probably work for you on applications that don't require great accuracy, but being that the Bazooka Bob and the accubob are similarly priced, the decision seems easy.
EZ-BOB Vertical Level for Columns
For steel, concrete, walls & more
Ez-Bob magnetic vertical level for columns is similar to a Bazooka Bob. It is used for measuring steel and other vertical surfaces for plumb.
The EZ-Bob is no longer available.
There are several other options out there for vertical leveling. Below is some information to help you decide and some information on important things to be aware of.
Pictures will be posted shortly but can be found on the respective manufacturer sites.
The Bazooka Plumb Bob
Around for 45 years or so, the Bazooka Bob is adjustable from 6ft to 12ft. Solid build with aluminum and steel construction.
Better accuracy than most lasers and a single powerful magnet which cleverly enables you to release the Bazooka Bob from the column with just a lift & a twist. Minimal contact with the column (less than 1sq inch) means little chance of imperfections effecting readings
Features & Specs:
Accurate to .001"
Adjustable from 6-12ft
Easy to use
Never needs calibrating
Lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects
They also have what appears to be a new attachment for precast, walls & more, but minimal information is on the manufacturer's site at this time.
The Bazooka Bob sells for about $400.
Discounts for quantity can be found on the manufacturer's site as well.
You can get info or order here:
Having now heard from more than a few erectors that they received an accu-bob when they believed they had bought a Bazooka Bob, you might want to contact the manufacturer of the Bazooka Bob(contact info below) directly to be sure of what you are getting. It seems that even some dealers who are honestly trying to sell a Bazooka Bob to their customer, have wound up supplying an accu-bob.
To contact the manufacturer:
BPB Mfg Co- (856) 673-1997.
or click the button above to go to their site
You can purchase directly from them on the site