mdutcher Posted 20 Feb 2007 , 6:30pm
post #1 of

I have always used the small leveler (the one with the "wire"). I've never had problems with it, but it's kinda too small for the 1/2 sheet cakes, so I bought the Large Cake Leveler. I couldn't wait to use it! It looked so sturdy, nice and serated, etc. Well I leveled my first 1/2 sheet cake, and much to my surprise, the side I ended with was a good 1/4 inch lower than the side I started on! I applied even pressure the whole way! So thinking it was just a fluke, I leveled my next 1/2 sheet cake. SAME THING!!!!!!!! icon_evil.gificon_evil.gif What's up with that? Anyone else have this problem? I'm so mad at the stupid thing, I want to take it back! What's the point of having a "Cake Leveler" if the D*@* thing makes a perfectly UNlevel cake?!?

45 replies
KimmysKakes Posted 20 Feb 2007 , 6:35pm
post #2 of

Unfortunately, the same exact thing happened to me! I can't stand that thing. They should've just made a larger "wire" leveler. My only advice is to just cut VERY slowly so the feet don't lift off of the table. I've just learned to work with it the best I can.

boosqmom Posted 20 Feb 2007 , 6:36pm
post #3 of

I've had the exact same problem but I thought it was something I was doing wrong. If I keep the cake in the pan and use the pan's edge as a guide it's fine but if I have a cake on a board that I want to torte or level, I find I have the same issue that you have described.

tnt320to Posted 20 Feb 2007 , 6:36pm
post #4 of

Yes. I absolutely HATE it. I have stopped using either of the levelers. My large one just started going crooked. I think the blade has bent over time so it has a dip in the middle. I just us a knife and my eyes now and everything comes out fine! Good luck if you stop using them too!

chelleb1974 Posted 20 Feb 2007 , 6:39pm
post #5 of

I had the same problems with mine!! I didn't realize it right away and had used it to many times to return it. It's because there is not tension on the blade (like there is on the wire of the small one). I ended up reading on CC about levelers and checked out the leveler Agbay products. It's awesome! It is a bit pricey ($150), but I bit the bullet and bought it and have never regreted the decision since! I threw out my Wilton large leveler the first time I used the Agbay. I think the website is www.agbayproducts.com The shipping isn't too bad either ($15). I live in Mass so I got my super quick, but it's awesome! If you decide to get it, I would get the blade cleaner also. I didn't and have shredded more sponges than I care to think about. I am seriously thinking of ordering the blade cleaner to save my sponges!

~Chelle

mdutcher Posted 20 Feb 2007 , 6:40pm
post #6 of

Whew, I'm glad it's not just me! I still have the packaging it came in--only used it that one day--, would it be wrong for me to try to return it?--bought at Michaels.

srodge1 Posted 20 Feb 2007 , 6:43pm
post #7 of

I have the large Wilton leveler and have experienced your same problem. icon_mad.gif My cake would not end up being level. icon_cry.gif Through trial and error, this is what I've learned. icon_biggrin.gif

When you start leveling your cake, only level about 1" on the first side. Rotate your cake 1/4 turn and level about 1" on that side. Again, rotate your cake 1/4 turn and repeat this process until you've done all 4 sides.

When you get back to your starting point, repeat the process . . . only cutting in about 1"-2" at a time. As your 'cut points' get closer together, the blade will 'fall' into the previously cut tracks.

Hope all this makes sense . . . it works pretty well for me. Good luck!! thumbs_up.gif

chelleb1974 Posted 20 Feb 2007 , 6:45pm
post #8 of

If you still have your packaging, I would return it - tell them it's a defective product if they ask! It's a leveler and it doesn't level!! If I had still had my packaging I would have considered it and I used mine for a few months before realizing what was happening!

~Chelle

mikko Posted 20 Feb 2007 , 6:49pm
post #9 of

I heard that leveler was bad also so I never bought it (so glad)
I use toothpicks to make sure that i get everything level with a knife.
Just use a ruler & stick toothpicks around the sides & when you cut try to stay just above the pick, or take it out as you go along.
A sheetpan wont fit in my oven so i haven't tried it with that yet, but if you use a long knife i don't see why not.

Hope i explained that right icon_confused.gif

TheCakeGirl87 Posted 20 Feb 2007 , 6:51pm

It would not be wrong if you returned it. It didnt do what is was suposed to.

mdutcher Posted 20 Feb 2007 , 6:54pm

Thanks, everyone! I'll take it back tomorrow!
Mikko, thanks for the toothpick trick, I'll try that next time!

MomLittr Posted 20 Feb 2007 , 6:56pm

Wish I stll had the packaging. I didn't try to level my cake til the next day when it was completely cooled - was not a good idea. I do plan on writing Wilton and letting them know this product basically sucks. Being I am stuck with it, will try again with a warm cake, the next time I need to do a sheet cake anyway. If enough of us write Wilton, maybe we might get some sort of product correction? Plan on telling them I would be willing to product test a new type! icon_lol.gif

deb

eriksmom Posted 20 Feb 2007 , 7:01pm

I hate my leveler. It is so far from level, and i'm glad to read this post. I, too, thought it was just me. I've tried the rotation thing and all.
so here's what I do now, and I have very little problems with leveling.
When I do a sheet cake or a 12" anything or larger, I use 2 flower nails as heat conductors, one on each side of the pan. If I'm doing a 10", I only use 1. I rarely do an 8", but I use the strips for those if I feel like messing with it.

When i pour the batter in the pan, the nails are already in place. I then lift my pan a few times and let it drop lightly on the counter to get the air bubbles out. I bake at 325 instead of 350, and just bake 5 - 15 minutes longer, depending on cake size. I just keep testing it.

AS SOON AS it comes out of the oven, i take a clean potholder and lightly compress the top of the cake all around until it appears level. This way, I don't worry about doming, and if one side is slightly lower than the other, i work the higher side more to level it out. I rarely have to cut anymore. Once I compress, i let the cake cool, with the nail still in. Then i flip the pan, remove my cake and the nail, and wrap it in plastic wrap. I then let it set upside down so that it levels out even more.

So far, i've had no problems with this method. I read about the compressing thing in a thread here once, and its the best tip i've gotten yet. I don't get to make cake balls out of the scraps, but it saves my waistline!

I hope this helps. If its confusing, pm me and i'll try to do a picture tutorial and post it in articles.

Yours in frosting,
Becky

rhopar33 Posted 20 Feb 2007 , 7:06pm

This is the leveler I want to purchase when I get some extra "doogh" (no pun intended) : http://www.agbayproducts.com/

It's gotten some really good reviews.

mdutcher Posted 20 Feb 2007 , 7:16pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by rhopar33

This is the leveler I want to purchase when I get some extra "doogh" (no pun intended) : http://www.agbayproducts.com/

It's gotten some really good reviews.




OMG!!!!!!!! Did you see that video?? Holy cow that would save a lot of time! Thanks for sharing!

eriksmom Posted 20 Feb 2007 , 7:18pm

Oh my! I have to have one of those! How much do you think they run?

chelleb1974 Posted 20 Feb 2007 , 7:20pm

They are $150 plus $15 shipping. I have one and love it!!!

~Chelle

indydebi Posted 20 Feb 2007 , 7:26pm

I noticed the blade on the Wilton leveler has some give-n-play in it. If you watch it, the blade will angle up or down just slightly ..... but enough to make a 1/4 to 1/2 inch difference when cutting.

As I'm cutting, I'm keeping and eye on that blade to make sure it holds steady. Cutting slow helps, too.

I'd like to have the $150 one, but there are too many things ahead of it on my wish list.

Lejla Posted 20 Feb 2007 , 7:37pm

Hmmmm??? Thats interesting.And I always tought that my cake leveler is the best thing that ever happend to me.I could never get my cakes to be leveled no matter how hard I tried.But the day I got that leveler it was like a heaven on earth.I just love the thing,I never had any problems with it.I really don't know what to think of it.Maybe if you really,really slow you would get better results.Interesting!!!

indydebi Posted 20 Feb 2007 , 8:03pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lejla

Hmmmm??? Thats interesting.And I always tought that my cake leveler is the best thing that ever happend to me.I could never get my cakes to be leveled no matter how hard I tried.But the day I got that leveler it was like a heaven on earth.I just love the thing,I never had any problems with it.I really don't know what to think of it.Maybe if you really,really slow you would get better results.Interesting!!!




Oh don't get me wrong! I'd cut off my left arm rather than give up the leveler! You just have to watch it once in a while! thumbs_up.gif

khoudek Posted 21 Feb 2007 , 4:38am

I've had my Wilton leveler since they first came out and haven't ever had issues. When I teach how to use one I tell students to make sure your cutting surface is level, you have the sides of the level fixed to the same height and you "saw" slowly, with short, even strokes. Also, when storing it make sure the blade isn't free of anything that would bend it as there is give to it.

mdutcher Posted 23 Feb 2007 , 4:55pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by srodge1

I have the large Wilton leveler and have experienced your same problem. icon_mad.gif My cake would not end up being level. icon_cry.gif Through trial and error, this is what I've learned. icon_biggrin.gif

When you start leveling your cake, only level about 1" on the first side. Rotate your cake 1/4 turn and level about 1" on that side. Again, rotate your cake 1/4 turn and repeat this process until you've done all 4 sides.

When you get back to your starting point, repeat the process . . . only cutting in about 1"-2" at a time. As your 'cut points' get closer together, the blade will 'fall' into the previously cut tracks.

Hope all this makes sense . . . it works pretty well for me. Good luck!! thumbs_up.gif




OK. So I decided to give it one more try before I take it back. I used this technique (sort of). I went into the cake just far enough for the blade to disappear and rotated the cake as I sawed just the outer perimeter. Then once I had "scored" it I sawed through the cake and was able to keep an eye on where the blade should be. This way, I was able to adjust the "pitch" to keep it on track with the score marks! Perfectly level! I guess I'll keep it after all! Thank you so much for this tip! icon_biggrin.gif

Chef_Stef Posted 23 Feb 2007 , 5:02pm

I thought it was just me...my leveler does the same thing! I just go slow and watch it carefully, but it will cut downward and very unlevel if I'm not really careful. I only use it when I'm in the mood to fuss with it. bleh Love my wire one, though it's too small for bigger cakes.

I'm going to try the "scoring" idea and see if that helps. Good tip!

indigojods Posted 23 Feb 2007 , 5:10pm

I used it once and had a horrible time getting my cake level as well. I will try srodge1's advice and give it another shot too! Thank you!

PistachioCranberry Posted 25 Feb 2007 , 12:50pm

This is funny as I just bought my leveler used it on 4 cakes yesterday and didn't have any problems and then I stumble upon this thread while looking for a thread for my cake scraps other than cake balls. It's good to know that if I ever get tired of my Wilton one there is another kind that out there.

rhondie Posted 26 Feb 2007 , 2:36pm

somehow my leveler got tweaked....improperly storing it? Maybe it was the many moves I've made and the number of times it has been packed. It's a booger trying to keep it straight. I do as the other poster mentioned and rotate and cut to ensure levelness. No matter how many times I bend it to where I think it looks straight it ends up having a mind of it's own.

bobwonderbuns Posted 26 Feb 2007 , 2:59pm

Okay, I have a question: The two biggest cakes I have coming up which need to be torted are a 14 inch round and a 12 x 18. I (thankfully) don't own the big leveler, but don't want to spend $$$ on the spiffy one, how would y'all suggest I cut those cakes evenly? Any tricks?

mdutcher Posted 27 Feb 2007 , 4:03pm

bobwonderbuns,
Try using this technique:

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikko

I heard that leveler was bad also so I never bought it (so glad)
I use toothpicks to make sure that i get everything level with a knife.
Just use a ruler & stick toothpicks around the sides & when you cut try to stay just above the pick, or take it out as you go along.
A sheetpan wont fit in my oven so i haven't tried it with that yet, but if you use a long knife i don't see why not.

Hope i explained that right icon_confused.gif


cb_one Posted 4 Mar 2007 , 2:33am

Wow! I thought I was the only one! I hate using it myself. I always try to convince my customers to round cakes instead of sheet cakes.

When I get some extra dough i'm going to get one of those! Did you all see that 11 layer cake?!?

Cakerer Posted 4 Mar 2007 , 3:22am

I've heard so many CC's say they didn't like the large leveler....but I absolutely love mine...however, I only use it on sheet cakes. It did not work well on my rounds. I love, love, love the smaller wire one also. So far, both have held up well, but if the large one bends or I have trouble, I will probably buy another.

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