STRIKER Mechanical Pencil
STRIKER Mechanical Carpenter Pencil
The Flat Carpenter Pencil is a long time favorite of carpenters, roofers, woodworkers, and other tradesmen in the construction industry. The flat carpenter pencil is often given out by lumber yards and building supply houses as a way to market their business. Introducing the STRIKER Mechanical Pencil.
The popularity of this pencil type is due primarily to it’s durability and functionality. One of the main reasons many contractors favor the flat carpenter pencil is that it will not roll off of the work surface or materials being worked on. Another reason is its girth make it less likely to snap and break when marking rough and uneven surfaces such as plywood, masonry and rough sawn lumber.
The problem with wood pencils is that they still break and often dull quickly, often at the very moment that you need to use it. Mechanical pencils were not the panacea either. Mechanical pencils do have their place with delicate finish work but never on the job site where conditions require a tough pencil.
Now there is a mechanical carpenter pencil that is shaped like the flat carpenter pencil and is claimed to be sturdy enough for the job site. Its a mechanical carpenter pencil made by Striker and is claimed to be able to be tough enough to withstand being run over by a 3/4 ton truck on concrete. See the video…. Now that’s tough!!.
STRIKER Mechanical Pencil Review
I was curious about this pencil so I wrote the folks over at BISS Products and they agreed to sent me their Striker Mechanical Carpenter Pencil to evaluate.
Below is the pencil and three Dura-Lead colors. The pencil comes standard with black. All of the colors are packaged in durable storage tubes.
The “lead” is really a clay and graphite mixture called DURA LEAD. The red is preferred for marking masonry, the white is ideal for marking black pipe and the black for everything else.
The Striker Mechanical Carpenter Pencil looks similar to a wood carpenter pencil in shape and length. The body was red and made of a high impact, abs plastic to help it withstand job site abuse.
I liked the length of the Striker Mechanical Carpenter Pencil. Its roughly the same length as a new wood pencil. The beauty of a mechanical carpenter pencil is that this length always stays the same. No more searching for that stubby pencil buried deep in your tool bag.
The only thing about the design I was hesitant on was the plastic pocket clip. Most carpenters will be sticking this pencil in a tool bag not a pocket. I like the idea but think that it will probably break over time.
Adjusting the Dura-Lead was easy, straightforward and accomplished by pressing the cap of the pencil to advance the lead.
I immediately took the pencil to the shop to test it prior to binging it out the the job site. In the shop I purposely made repetitive, hard pressed lines on rough plywood. I really beat on this pencil to see if I could break it.
Out of approximately fifty lines I was only able to break the lead once, the stick of Dura-Lead broke inside the shaft. This necessitated working to get the little piece of Dura-Lead out before adjusting the pencil again.
I simulated squaring a board as well as made layout marks. [See photo below]
The Striker Mechanical Carpenter Pencil performed well and made consistent clean lines every time. I pressed as hard as I could and could not get the DURA lead to slip.
Striker has three colors, black, white and red, depending on what your marking up. I tried all three colors and I really liked the red.
One of the nice features of having a mechanical carpenter pencil is you can adjust the lead with one hand. This can be a huge time saver if your holding a tape or other object and your wood pencil tip breaks or is dull. Normally you would have to put everything down and pull out a utility knife or portable carpenter pencil sharpener.
Unfortunately if your not careful when adjusting the Striker’s tip the Dura-Lead can come out too fast and fall out, see photo below. This was a minor thing and I viewed it as a “learning curve” with using this mechanical carpenter pencil. In the future I will not tip it down to adjust.
The Striker Mechanical Carpenter Pencil performed well in the field but I did break the Dura-Lead inside the shaft a few times. Like many mechanical pencils, I found that the Dura-Lead has to be a certain length before the Strikers jaws can grasp and hold it so there is some waste.
Below I am laying out a stud wall on a pressure treated sill plate.
I liked this pencil, it fit in the same slot as my old wood pencil and its red housing made it easy to find when dropped.
The plastic housing was definitely durable, I left it on a sub floor and stepped on it a few times to see how it withstood my weight. It will no doubt stand up to the repetitive use and abuse of the job site.
Having a reliable and efficient pencil at hand that marks consistently each and every time is a plus. This pencil can save you time in sharpening broken or dull carpenter’s pencils tips.
There were times when I needed an ultra sharp tip. Striker recommends sharpening the Dura-Lead tip by rubbing it on sand paper or course surface like concrete. I found my utility knife worked fine too.
I can see this tool used both at home and at the job-site. It retails for approximately $ 2.49.