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The carpenter’s pencil hasn’t seen much innovation in the last 300 years, primarily because it works pretty darn well. But C.H. Hanson claims to have found room for improvement, resulting in their Superpencil — which they say lasts seven times longer than the standard shop pencil. We recently got our hands on a Superpencil in the Toolmonger test shop and gave it a go. Read on past the jump for our experiences and lots of pictures.



The Superpencil doesn’t come in a box or fancy wrapping. It doesn’t need any. It’s a freakin’ pencil. So we picked it up.

It’s around ten times heavier than a standard carpenter’s pencil, which turns out to feel quite good in your hand. The shape is that of a standard shop pencil — flat for a “no rolling” effect. However, the real feature that sets the Superpencil apart from other writing implements is that its made entirely from graphite compound. That’s right: there’s not a bit of wood on it anywhere.


We were a bit freaked out by this at first because you can bend the pencil easily without exerting much force. We were certain this would have an ill effect during testing, but it turns out it was a non-issue.

Also a non-issue: our concern that a pencil sans-wood couldn’t possibly stand up to the standard four-foot-drop-off-the-bench test that most shop pencils go through at least twice a day. To our surprise the Superpencil held up just fine — even after we slung it across the shop.

Our fears of a super sub-standard pencil abated, we headed into the testing.

Read on to page two for our in-use testing.

pages: 1 2 3


13 Responses to Hands-On: C.H. Hanson’s Superpencil

  1. newguy says:

    I just started using a mechanical carpenter’s pencil from Husky, Love it!

  2. Tom says:

    I don’t care if it lasts a long time, because any pencil I am using disappears as soon as I put it down.

  3. Yuppers says:

    Doesn’t seem like you could get a nice sharp line.

  4. Chet says:

    Well said Tom! I’ve never ended a project with the same pencil I started with….especially when my father-in-law helps out. “Hey I need a pecil, gimme yours!”

  5. Steve Thompson says:

    Um….wouldn’t sharpening the pencil be the FIRST thing you would do?

  6. Tony Clifton says:

    In re: the disappearing pencil mystery:

    When I was in music school, I used to lose pencils all the time; everyone uses pencils to mark their music, take notes, etc. I’m pretty forgetful, so I’d leave pencils sitting in the practice rooms all the time, and I’d loan pencils out all the time and never get them back.

    My solution was simple: I went to OfficeMax and bought an entire gross of relatively nice, solid wood, #2 pencils. It wasn’t very expensive (I think $6-7), and from then on I didn’t have to worry about pencils walking away on me, because at 4 cents a piece, who cares? Whenever I loaned pencils out, I told people to keep them; after a while, I noticed that I was losing fewer and fewer pencils.

  7. Dave says:

    I’ve done the same thing Tony, except I just grab a box of golf pencils. They’re short so they fit right behind your ear, pre sharpened, and nobody wants to steal them. If you’ve got the time to sharpen a whole bunch of pencils, then get the regular ones and cut them in half, then you have 2 gold pencil sized pencils, and one has an eraser. During college, I used a drafting lead holder almost exclusively. If you don’t make mistakes then you don’t need an eraser.

  8. Ken says:

    Hey Dave i just cut all the erasers off all the pencils in the house and it’s driving my other half nuts.I tell her i am perfect.

  9. eschoendorff says:

    Same here, Tony. Except the mechanical pencils were my weapon of choice in music school (still are). Bought a metric crap-ton of those.

  10. I’m with newguy, I thik a mechanical pencil it the way to go, just buy a cheap multi-pack, and litter them all over your shop so you have one everywhere you look.

    1) You also don’t have to worry about rolling because they have a pen clip.
    2) Wasting time sharpening pencils is a thing of the past.
    3) You can push the lead back into the pencil and use the metal barrel as a scribe.
    4) The small 0.5mm lead is great for accuracy.

  11. David says:

    I hate pencils, but I found a writing utensil that uses liquid graphite. It’s just like using ball-point pen, but with graphite instead of ink. Probably not the best woodshop item, but with its uses nonetheless.

  12. Other tools you could use are PDA’s! Why bother with pencils when IT can help all the construction industry including sub contractors from estimating to managing staff!
    Check out http://www.xsien.com for some of the best construction management software available.

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