Great Gear: Get to the Point

Most folks say “you get what you pay for” when discussing pricey items like hand and power tools. But this universal idiom also applies to the humble pencil. Typical #2 pencils emblazoned with an office supply store logo are sometimes bowed, with broken lead inside, making them difficult to sharpen. But Ticonderoga pencils are consistently straight and sturdy. The premium graphite inside is more durable and can be sharpened to a very fine point when necessary for accurate layout. I’ve found the black-bodied pencils easier to spot than Ticonderoga’s traditional yellow among the dust and shavings in my shop.

While you’re at the office supply store, pick up a Mars eraser by Staedtler. This soft plastic eraser does its job without smearing, leaving behind a bunch of rubbery bits, or crumbling during use. Staedtler also makes decent inexpensive pencil sharpeners. You may feel like you’re stocking up for a standardized test, but really you’re outfitting your shop with essential layout tools.
—Chad McClung

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