The Best Carpenter Pencils for Your Projects

Keep your cuts neat and your lines straight with a handy carpenter pencil designed for the workshop.BobVila.c

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Keep your cuts neat and your lines straight with a handy carpenter pencil designed for the workshop. and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

The Best Carpenter Pencil Options


A carpenter pencil may just look like an odd-shaped regular pencil, but it’s so much more than that. These precision tools are designed for the workshop. They have a rectangular, or elliptical, body so that the pencil doesn’t roll away while you are cutting or repositioning material. This body shape also gives you a larger surface area to grip, which makes it easier to hold and control. Even the core of the pencil is typically stronger and more durable than a regular writing utensil.

So the next time you’re working on a project, instead of reaching for a regular pencil that is bound to break or roll off into a corner somewhere, invest in a tool that was designed for the workshop.

The basic features of a carpenter pencil tend to stay the same between products, but there are still some characteristics and extra features that might affect which model you choose. It’s important to evaluate these characteristics to find the best carpenter pencil for your needs.

For example, you might want a certain color of pencil, either because of personal preference, or maybe a brightly colored pencil would be easier to locate in your workshop. Also, consider the number of pencils that come in a pack. Some include over 50 in a bulk package, while others may only have one or two. You might also want to choose a mechanical carpenter pencil that doesn’t need sharpening, just a new tip.

Our Top Picks

The top-rated products below are some of the best carpenter pencils on the market based on quality, price, and reputation. Any of these pencils would be an excellent addition to your workshop and a great tool for your next project.

Best Overall

The Best Carpenter Pencil Option: GRAPHITE Carpenter Pencils, #2 Pencil Lead, 72 Pcs

This bulk pack can keep your busy workshop supplied with high-quality carpenter pencils for months or even years, depending on the frequency with which you use, sharpen, or lose your pencils. Use these carpenter pencils on wood, concrete, stone, and flooring with the #2 pencil lead to leave highly visible black marks that make it easy to indicate drill holes, saw lines, simple measurements, and other necessary project information.

The rectangular shape of the pencil prevents it from rolling away and provides more surface area for your fingers to comfortably grip. The strong and durable solid graphite core won’t break and splinter when it’s time to sharpen, and if you are concerned about losing your carpenter pencil or just want to add some color to your workshop, you can choose from ten different colors, including neon orange, yellow, black, and red.


The Best Carpenter Pencil Option: DIXON Industrial Carpenter Pencils, 6-Pack

DIXON has been in the industry of making carpenter pencils for years, and this product shows why. The exterior of each pencil is a sleek black, reflecting its professional grade. The medium-density graphite core is both stronger and more durable than the more commonly used #2 pencil lead and better for use in a construction environment, laying down a smooth, full black line for easy reference.

With this package, there are six individual carpenter pencils, each with a rectangular ergonomic shape that won’t leave your hand cramped after extensive use. The shape also keeps the pencil from rolling away, so that you can be certain it will be where you left it when you need it. To sharpen these pencils, just grab a utility knife and trim down the wood exterior until you have the sharpened graphite tip that you need to keep working.

Honorable Mention

The Best Carpenter Pencil Option: BUSHIBU Flat Premium Quality Carpenter's Pencil

The BUSHIBU Carpenter Pencils have a unique design feature that makes them stand out from the crowd. Written on one broadside of each pencil is a quick reference ruler that you can use to take short measurements so you don’t have to get out your tape measure. However, the ruler is only fifteen centimeters in length (decreasing with each sharpening) and it includes only metric units in 1-millimeter and 1-centimeter increments. Imperial measurements are not included.

The set of ten pencils must be sharpened with a utility knife, but the #2 pencil lead cores are durable enough to prevent splintering. Use these pencils on many different materials, including wood, plywood, cardboard, concrete, plaster, and brick, and you will get a very clear and visible dark line to serve as a reference. The lead is rectangular shaped to match the pencil, which gives you the ability to draw a broad, thick line when held one way and a thin, precise line when rotated.

Best Bang for the Buck

The Best Carpenter Pencil Option: 24 Pack Misprint Carpenter Pencil Set

This bulk pack of 24 carpenter pencils is perfect if you use carpenter pencils regularly in your profession and don’t care so much about the color or logo so long as you get a functional pencil that gets the job done. The 24 Pack Misprint Carpenter Pencil Set lets you take advantage of misprints by offering a mismatched bundle of quality carpenter pencils at a bargain price.

Each pencil has a durable wood exterior and uses a #2 pencil lead core, so it can be used in tough construction environments and effectively mark stone, brick, wood, and other rough surfaces. However, there is no guarantee as to the color, writing, or quality of the paint job on the pencils. You may get 24 of the exact same model, or each of them could be different.

Easy Sharpening

The Best Carpenter Pencil Option: OX Tools 10 Pack Carpenter Pencils with Sharpener

One big problem many people run into with carpenter pencils is being able to properly sharpen them without cutting off too much lead, breaking the lead, or putting themselves in danger by having to use a knife in the first place. The OX Tools 10 Pack Carpenter Pencils with Sharpener comes with a unique pencil sharpener designed to be used with OX Tools’ carpenter pencils, so you can put away the utility knife. This sharpener also lets you get a longer life out of your pencils by removing only the amount of lead and wood needed to get a finely sharpened point.

The pack comes with ten carpenter pencils with a green exterior that is broad enough to offer a comfortable grip during use and to prevent the pencils from rolling away when you put them down. The medium-density lead core is more durable and better suited to a construction environment than the softer #2 pencil lead core and is able to mark wood, stone, brick, and other rough surfaces without a problem.

Best Non-Mechanical

The Best Carpenter Pencil Option: IRWIN Carpenter Pencil, Medium Lead, 6-Piece

The IRWIN 6-Piece Carpenter Pencil Set is a bundle of non-mechanical carpenter pencils that have a dark blue exterior with vibrant yellow writing that makes them easy to find in a hurry. A non-mechanical carpenter pencil is a traditional design that uses a single piece of lead encased in solid wood and that must usually be sharpened with a utility knife. While some may find this method of sharpening to be difficult, or even dangerous, others prefer the traditional style.

The broad, rectangular lead shape lets you mark fine, precise lines when held one way or coarse, thick lines when the pencil is rotated, which makes it perfect for marking rough surfaces like wood, stone, or brick. The medium-density lead core is durable and strong, ensuring that each one of the six included carpenter pencils will last long and provide accurate, clear lines.

Best Color Variety

The Best Carpenter Pencil Option: Pencil-Pusher Carpenter Pencils, Bag of 12

Choose from one of eight colors with the Pencil-Pusher Color Choice Carpenter Pencils, including neon green, neon pink, black, blue, red, white, yellow, and natural wood coloring to brighten your workshop and make sure you never lose a pencil again. The bundle comes with 12 carpenter pencils in your chosen color with blank exteriors so you have the option of adding custom lettering with a rotary tool.

The rectangular carpenter pencil fits easily in the hand, giving you more control and accuracy with your markings. Each pencil has a solid wood exterior and a single piece of medium-density graphite as a core. This durable combination makes it an effective tool in many professional construction industries, including carpentry and masonry.

Best Mechanical

The Best Carpenter Pencil Option: Swanson Tool AlwaysSharp Mechanical Carpenter Pencil

If you like the idea of a rectangular-shaped pencil that won’t roll away, but you don’t want to deal with constant sharpening when you’d rather be working, then the Swanson Tool AlwaysSharp Mechanical Carpenter Pencil Set is for you. The set includes two rectangular mechanical pencils made of plastic and loaded with eight graphite tips. An additional eight tips also come with the package so that you can refill when you run out.

Replacement cartridges come in black or red graphite and can easily be loaded into the back of the carpenter pencil so that you never again have to worry about wasting graphite while sharpening. Each pencil also has a pocket clip on one broad surface so you can clip it to your pants, your tool belt, your bag, or anywhere else it will fit. Each tip is sharpened and shaped like a traditional carpenter pencil so that you still get the precise and dual marking edges you need.

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