Why a carpenter’s pencil is square and flat?

Have you ever wondered why a carpenter’s pencil is square and flat? If you think it’s because it just looks cool and rests perfectly behind your ear you would be incorrect.
There are some things that a carpenter’s pencil can do that just might surprise you.

#1 Won’t Roll

It may be a little obvious but a number two pencil will roll. But a carpenter’s pencil is flat so that when you’re working on an incline it stays put.

#2 Spacers

Your pencil can be used as a measuring device. A carpenter’s pencil measures across exactly a 1/2 inch (12.7mm) and the thickness of a carpenter’s pencil is 1/4 inch (6.35mm).
For example, I’m working outside of building a deck and I want to space my planks a quarter-inch apart. I’ve got my carpenter’s pencil it’s the perfect spacer. And I’m able to space my planks a quarter-inch apart consistently with this pencil.

#3 Scribe

I have a number two pencil and it can only be sharpened one way and that is to a point and a center point.
Carpenter’s pencil is different because it has a few different ways to sharpen. And depending upon how you’re going to use the pencil kinda directs you on how to sharpen it.
You can sharpen your carpenter’s pencil to be used as a scribe tool. You can’t do that with a number two you can only do that with a carpenter’s pencil.

#4 Rough Surfaces

A number two pencil isn’t designed to mark on stone or anything like that. A carpenter’s pencil is meant for material like this. I can mark all day long. And it’s not going to chew the latter way like on that number two pencil. You only need to sharpen it to have a blunt edge.

#5 Precision Marking

If I need an accurate marking, I sharpen my pencil with a utility knife and do the flat side and I take off a nice chunk. And I do it again and again until I get a good sharp edge. You can get a nice fine line with a carpenter’s pencil. It takes a little practice to get it perfect but you know pencils are cheap.


Let me just give you one other tip that I use. I always carry two carpenters pencils when I’m working outside. And the reason for it is well it’s that spacer thing but beyond that, I always sharpen both ends. And that way I have two pencils that can do four different kinds of marking tasks. Keep that in mind. Who knew that a carpenter’s pencil had so many cool uses.