A new spin on the traditional carpenters pencil, the Swanson AlwaysSharp contains eight replacement tips in the body, so you can ditch the sharpener. When a lead wears out, just pull out a replacement and swap it with the old one. The tips last longer, too, since they’re not ground up in the sharpener, and a plastic cap protects the tip when you’re not using it.
The AlwaysSharp costs a bit more than traditional pencils: about $2 for two.
The traditional framing square serves its purpose well, but a few things could be improved. You can’t fit your square into your toolbox — unless we’re talking a large job box or a truck box, it ain’t happening. How about laying out repeatable angles? Yeah, it can be done, but it takes a bit of practice. Swanson designed their $30 Framing Wizard layout tool not only to address these issues but also to replace five tools:
- Framing square
- Try square
- Miter gauge
- Angle Finder
- Saw Guide
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