May 8, 2021

How to Sharpen a Carpenter Pencil | Tips and Tricks

I am building a new piece of furniture, and one of the tools I will use for it is a carpenter’s pencil. Carpenter pencils are large versions of regular pencils. They are great for marking, but you need to sharpen them to make a mark. Before you start sharpening, you first need to remove the eraser from the pencil.

Carpenter Pencil White Casing Red/Black Lead Pack of 12

A carpentry pencil is a special pencil you can use to draw plans. It would help if you had these before any project starts because they show you how things look and how big they are. These pencils are excellent at not rolling around or becoming stuck while drawing them on paper. Before carpenter’s pencils, many people used regular pencils, but these did not work and often got caught when drawn on paper.

These pencils usually are bigger to promote a more comfortable and efficient grip. They have an elliptical or rectangular shape that offers excellent stability when you begin drawing. 

How does a carpentry pencil help?

Dealing with bold lines can be tricky for regular pencils due to the same thickness and quality. For someone who wants to do a professional job in carpentry design, it is essential to have the best tools available. 

Carpenters' Pencils, Flat, Medium Lead, Pack of 72

Carpentry pencils are much stronger than regular pencils and can be used on irregular surfaces. It does not always have to be paper because you will draw on the wall before you drill with this pencil. 

Many of these pencils are often wood-based and made to display extreme durability. It is not a regular lead that you will find within this pencil but a unique and denser type of lead. Can you imagine using a regular pencil to draft a particular mark on a piece of stone or concrete? It sounds pretty impossible, although, with a carpenter pencil, it starts to become more feasible. 

In the article today, we will be looking at one of the best methods that you can undertake to sharpen your pencil. These steps will be straightforward, allowing you to do the best job possible.

Steps to sharpen a carpenter pencil

 Since this is a much stronger pencil than the one you will find in a stationery store, it is not sharp and very quickly. You will not be able to poke it into a round-shaped sharpener. Instead, this method must be undertaken by hand. It will therefore require a beginner’s precision and accuracy to achieve the best results. It is important to note that you must avoid over-sharpening the pencil because this only erodes its quality over time. Due to the high costs of purchasing such a product, you must avoid wasting it. Let us begin.

  1. Setup the pencil for sharpening

We want to start by ensuring that we have a firm grasp on the carpentry pencil, ensuring that the thumb of your hand is very close to the area where you want to shop. Try to make it as stable as possible without compromising your safety concerns. 

Many people will use a knife or chisel, depending on your availability. This is because you do not wish your finger to be close enough to the knife when you begin sharpening, just in case you cut yourself. To check the stability of your grip, move the pencil around in your hand and see if it feels loose. 

  1. Remember your angles.

This part is vital because you must know the angle you intend to sharpen the pencil. The recommended tip is 45 degrees, and you should stick to this. If you want to cut the pencil at any other angle, you will likely break the lead or begin to waste unnecessary timber. 

Another essential thing to remember is to ensure that the knife is in your dominant hand, with the pencil in the secondary hand. Doing so will help prevent any unnecessary accidents from occurring. Another critical safety note is always to maintain the sharp end of the blade directed away from yourself.

  1. Start sharpening.

We will want to begin carefully slicing off bits and pieces of the narrow sides of the pencil. It is crucial to start with the thin side because it will dictate the path you are supposed to follow while sharpening. Remember to be consistent in your motions, allowing you to use this pencil more efficiently once you are done. 

Ensure that you are placing the shop end of the blade away from yourself rather than towards yourself as you are cutting. Continue to repeat the process, ensuring that you are mainly cutting the wood, not the lead. The lead itself is tough to sharpen and will only break.

  1. Sand the pencil.

Now that we have sharpened the pencil, we want to give it a more professional and sharper-looking feel. Get a piece of sandpaper and sand the edges after cutting them with the blade. Any sandpaper will do because the wood is not that strong. Once you are done with this, the pencil should look quite refined and new. 


In conclusion, sharpening a carpentry pencil is not as straightforward as one might think. This is a complex workers tool that allows for precise and accurate drawings, even on rough surfaces. There are a large number of safety protocols that you must ensure while you are sharpening this pencil. 

Always keep the sharp end of the blades pointed away from yourself. It would help if you made consistent motions every time you peeled off a piece of wood. It is also an excellent idea to sand off all the wood once you provide a professional look to the pencil. With a pencil ready, find out How to Carve A Whistle & How to Sharpen Cuticle Nippers with a Dremel.

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