Originally pre-released under the brand name Accutrax, the new SpeedTac mechanical Sharpdraw carpenter pencil system uses snap off flat lead that resembles a 9mm snap off utility blade. Indeed, the 9mm snap-off carpenters pencil may not be a new idea, but the SharpDraw has one of the best implementations of the technology we’ve yet seen.
SpeedTac SharpDraw Carpenter Pencil Features
First and formost, this is a tool for carpenters and contractors. It’s a pencil that you never need to sharpen. That means you can draw a nice crisp line every time you use it, and you never have to whip out your Kershaw Link 1776 knife to sharpen a dull point…Come to think of it that may be a detriment—I like using my folding knives!
The SharpDraw is also very attractive, and the form factor is familiar—it feels just like a standard carpenter pencil in your hands. While the pencil can be painted or stained, ours came in what looked like a natural oak. It even has a beveled tip that looks like it’s just been professionally sharpened.
The SpeedTac SharpDraw was introduced to us by Bob Cumings. Bob is the force behind the Prazi Beam Cutter. SpeedTac will also soon launch two new versions of a patented retractable folding “dual-use” utility knife called QuickDraw and the QuickDraw-XLR. The QuickDraw-XLR will be able to hold & retract all new utility blades that are 75% longer than a typical utility blade. These 75% longer utility blades are simply called XLR, which is short for X-tra Long Reach.
But back to the SharpDraw carpenter pencil. This tool has the same familiar clicking slide mechanism you’re used to with snap-off blades. It’s just that, instead of a blade, the SharpDraw uses a flat #2 HB lead that gets automatically sharpened each time you drag the tip against a straightedge.
I used it extensively to mark lines for a recent decking project, and the lead always stayed sharp and gave me crisp lines. The lead snapped off cleanly every time, and the rough edges that marked the break line were easily smoothed out on the first use—not that they had to be. Simply using the SharpDraw carpenter pencil guarantees a sharp line due to the thinness of the lead itself. There’s simply no way to get a dull line unless you drag it sideways (which is actually difficult to do).
I’d keep my eyes peeled for these SharpDraw mechanical snap-off pencils to pop up everywhere. Bob told us that SpeedTac is also marketing the SharpDraw so that anyone’s company name/logo can be added to the pencil—making for a great marketing tool or easily-branded add-on item. The estimated cost for each SpeedTac Sharpdraw pencil is just $5.95.
While the SpeedTac isn’t alone in the market—there’s the Swanson Tool CP216 refillable carpenter pencil and the Striker 77629 mechanical carpenter pencil—it does add a twist that seems to leave the other products wanting.