Sometimes, great woodworking tools come in very small packages , and at a very small price.
We just received a few samples of the “GripSharp,” a combination pencil grip and pencil sharpener that slides over the business end of any common pencil. With just a few twists, the sharpener removes wood from the pencil, but the blade doesn’t touch the graphite. While this leaves a long bit of the graphite extending past the supporting wood, you leave the GripSharp in place, and it supports the graphite.
If you pull the GripSharp off of the pencil, the marking end will look strange (and snap off easily), but why would you? The GripSharp provides a comfortable, ergonomic grip, and you’ll always have a sharpener handy , literally at your fingertips.
However, because the GripSharp removes only wood, it doesn’t provide a sharp pencil point on the graphite. So if you use a pencil for, say, marking out dovetails, you’ll still want a mechanical pencil (we like .5 mm, high-polymer graphite) on hand. But because it produces a thick point, the GripSharp is the ideal tool for turning any pencil into a marker for rough cuts.
It’s available in a range of colors, for only $2.89 each. For more information, visit the company’s web site (gripsharpco.com).