Carpenter Pencils – Why do I Need That Old Thing?

What is a carpenter pencil?

Carpenter pencils have been around since the early 1500’s.    A Carpenter’s Pencil is large, flat pencil designed to mark wood for cutting.  A perk of using a carpenters pencil is the lead is just about the same width as a blade of a hand saw or circular saw. If you don’t sharpen it to a fine point it works very well to mark out the width of the blade when you are laying out your cuts on the boards.

Do you need an carpenter pencil?

Most of the time when remodeling your house it really doesn’t matter what you use to mark your wood or drywall before your cut it, but you will find most of the time a pencil is too brittle, a pen skips, and a felt-tip bleeds too much.  A Carpenter’s Pencil fixes all of these issues and makes marking most construction items easy.  The lead lasts, it doesn’t break easily, it’s cheap and will mark on most building materials.   The lead is easy to clean off the wood clean, especially if the wood you are using is really porous and will soak up the ink from a magic marker easily.

I use carpenter pencils a lot. I keep a dozen or so right with my tape measures. When they all get dull I like to use a carpenter pencil sharpener to sharpen them, but you can quickly use a utility knife out at the job.  I use the taper drill to mark and start holes and a carpenter’s pencil to mark cuts.

Using One

Each type of wood will require a different pressure to make the mark you want. If you are using pine you won’t have to use much pressure to make your mark but if you are using hard maple you will have to use more force to mark it. Try the your pencil on a scrap piece first. I use the carpenter pencil in combination with a square or straight edge (ruler). I lay the square where I want to make the mark and then pull the tip of the pencil along the edge of the square to keep the line straight.

I’ve selected four carpenter pencils for you:

I will let you decide how nice of an pencil you need. Here are three for you to choose from.  If you are buying the wood pencils, buy 6 to 12 at a time for the best deal.  You can click on the link and then order it from that website that pops up. The are dozens of companies that sell carpenter pencils but I only show you websites that I trust.  You know that my selections are based on many years of using tools both around the home and at work.

Basic Homeowner Grade – You use it every month or so – Good tool at a good price.

C. H. Hanson 206 Carpenter’s Combo Pencil And Sharpener

CH Hanson Company 00213 VersaSharp 10 Pencil Tube

Remodel/Construction Grade – You use it every weekend – Better tool, will last you years.

Swanson Tool CP216 Always Sharp Refillable Carpenter Pencil

Professional Grade – You use it everyday – When you only want the best.

Striker 77629 Mechanical Carpenter Pencil

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