How Sharpen a Carpenters Pencil (for Electricians)


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In this video, I’ll share with you how to sharpen a carpenters pencil.

Hey, it may seem easy, but I saw a lot of new apprentice electricians struggle with it!

Also, here’s my favorite knife video for electricians!

How to Sharpen a Carpenters Pencil (for Electricians)

What We Cover in this Article:

  • Why Electrician’s Should Use a Carpenter’s Pencil
    • What About a Regular Pencil?
  • Why Electrician’s SHOULD NOT Use a Sharpie When Bending EMT Pipe!

Why Electrician’s Should Use a Carpenter’s Pencil

A carpenter’s pencil is a very powerful writing utensil on a construction jobsite for more reasons than just writing down notes or measurement numbers.

  • First, a carpenter’s pencial has a FLAT design, which means it will not roll when you set it down on a slanted prints table!
  • Second, a carpenter’s pencil has LOTS of LEAD, so you don’t have to sharpen the pencil as often!
  • Third, it’s A LOT STRONGER than a normal pencil and won’t break easy! (This gives you a great experience when bending pipe, or writing on wood to center your light, or even if writing on concrete!!

What About a Regular Pencil?

Honestly, I kept both a carpenters pencil and a regular pencil in my coveralls (watch video).

Coveralls vs. Pants as an Electrician
Regular Pencil, Carpenter’s Pencil, Pen, Sharpie, Volt-Tick, Note Pad, and Phone..
I was ready to rock! 🙂

A regular pencil was really useful for normal writing like if you were doing a material’s list, or on the phone and had to write down a name or phone number.

Also.. a regular pencil has an eraser.. it’s REALLY valuable when you need it!

Why Electrician’s SHOULD NOT Use a Sharpie When Bending EMT Pipe!

Here’s a golden rule about using permanent markers when bending EMT pipe.


When you are bending pipe that will be hidden, it’s not a big deal to mark up the pipe with a Sharpie when measuring with a tape measure, because no one will see it once dry wall goes up!

But, if you’re SURFACE MOUNTING EMT Pipe (also known as exposed piping), you want to make sure it looks nice, which means you SHOULD NOT use permanent markers, but pencil (with light markings), that can easily be removed by rubbing them off to keep your exposed piping looking good!

Surface mounted pipe should not have kinks or deficiencies like that.. it should show a sign of craftsmanship and the quality of your work!

Conclusion – Sharpening a Carpenters Pencil

I hope that helps you understand why a carpenter’s pencil is so awesome for construction electricians bending conduit!

Pencils allows us to remove our measuring markings easily on the pipe.

A carpenter’s pencil is better than a real pencil because it lasts longer, won’t roll away on you, and is much stronger and harder to break the lead!

I still like to have a regular pencil around for normal writing (in more of an “office setting”), because it also has an ERASER!

And finally, if you forgot and used Sharpie on exposed EMT piping.. just remember, PERMANENT MARKER CAN ERASE PERMANENT MARKER if you write over top of it, then rub it off. (Try it out!)

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