Scribing refers to marking an area on your work-piece with a metallic sharp-edged rod or pencil. A best scribing tool is a craftsman’s best friend.
Not every one of us is familiar with scribing and its area of application. So for all the DIY enthusiasts out there, we will try to break it down for you. Scribing tools are mostly used to curb moldings, countertops or cabinets. More often than not we find the edge of our furniture to be of wavy shape after a few years of use. Even worse sometimes they attract bugs which can dent the piece of wood you dearly love. Now you need a mold to even out the shape. That is where scribing tools come in. If you try to perform this operation with a regular compass it might not hold up or not give you the precise marking you want.
Things to Consider Before Buying Best Scribing Tool
We now know that a professional scribing tool can make all your DIY goals way easier. But still there remains a question, what to look for in a high-quality scribing tool? How can you tell the difference between a well-built scribing tool and a cheap piece of junk? First of all, you need to know the brands that craftsmen prefer. That way you reduce the risk of purchasing a shocker.
Fastcap, Trend UE, Thingamejig these are trusted brands amongst craftsmen all over the world. Secondly, we should consider the built quality and the materials used. For instance, thingamajig uses tungsten carbide blade which allows precision cutting of metals, laminates and painted items alike. We should also consider add-on functionalities such as fastcap’s adjustable grip which allows regular pencils to be used.
Types of Scribing Tools
- Wood Scribing tools: Wood scribing tools usually have flexible mount option so you can either use a pencil or a metal head to scribe. These are designed in a specific way so that wooden marks appear smooth and seamless.
- Scribing tools for curves: For marking carved surface these tools are used. Suppose you have a kitchenware which needs to stick out of tiles. If you curb too big a hole the aesthetics of your kitchen would be compromised. In this situation, you need a scribing tool especially made to mark curves.
- Scribing tools for flooring: This is a very specific type of scribing tool usually used to demark width from 2” up to 16”. This tool has the most applicability in flat flooring where the ground or wall may not be even.
- Scribing tools for logs: Scribing tools for logs usually use two rotational axis which holds two different pencils. The base can also move forward or backward so the tool can access maximum area of the workable field.
- Carpenters scribe tool: Similar to wood scribing tools.
- Metal scribe tools: Metal scribe tools look like pen mostly. They are made of tungsten carbide for the muscle power need to demark metals.
Our Recommendations For Best Scribing tools
1. FastCap Accuscribe Scribing Tool
As stated earlier Fastcap Accuscribe is our number one pick for a variety of reasons. First of all, it’s practicality. When you buy a scribing tool you want to get the maximum use out it. It’s not every day that you buy a tool for marking. So once you make the purchase you would want to make sure that it fits all your criteria and needs. Fastcap Accusribe is just that. Do you want to use it on paper? Fine! It marks paper smoothly. Do you want to use it for woodwork? No problem! The firm grip allows you to mark a diagonal or vertical line with great ease. Do you want to use it on tight corners where most other fail? Peace of cake! Adjustable grip and swiveling design allow you to reach any corner with supreme precision.
The scribing tool is made of an indestructible polymer that ensures practically life-long usage. If maintained properly you would not need to go to the supermarket for a scribing tool again.
- Adjustable grip to attach regular pencils along with metal markers
- Seamless integration ensures parallel surfacing
- Polymer construction consolidates the body
- 5-3/4 inches in length
- Adjusting the pencil holder can be tricky for some
Where to use
- Kitchen cabinet
- Architectural moldings
For the practicality and amazing built quality ranks the Fastcap Accusribe at the top of our list.
2. Trend UE/SCRIBE EasyScribe Scribing Tool
Trend UE/SCRIBE EasyScribe is a bit different to Fastcap Accusribe. It is designed to be held in the hands so its operation is much more hands-on in a way. So for personal use, it is ideal. Also, the small size makes it easy to carry it in the toolbox. One unique feature of the Trend UE/SCRIBE EasyScribe is its sliding steel mechanism. It allows the tool to be adjusted on to any surface while keeping the marking lead end still. Basically, the steel can move forward or retract according to your need via an adjustable wheel placed in the middle. This feature is very useful in tight spaces.
- A handheld tool that allows greater flexibility
- Adjust wheel for accurate fitting
- Usable as marking gauge
- Adjustable steel guide plate for maximum reach
- The lead used for marking is not the strongest
Where to use
- Setting hinge recess depth
Trend UE/SCRIBE EasyScribe is a handy little tool designed very specifically for very specific needs. If the tight corner is all that you are looking for then Trend UE/SCRIBE EasyScribe is the best for you.
3. Thingamejig Precision Tools SC-IM Scribing Tool
Thingamejig Precision Tools SC-IM is one of the more versatile scribing tools out there. It has adjustable blades so you can reach up or lay down according to your preference. It is specially designed to allow single-handed reach of the triangular blades to corners which is almost impossible with other scribing tools. The tungsten carbide blades are super rugged and durable with an extensive amount of usage.
Both metric and imperial measurement options are available, to the ladder that can go up or down giving you access to high or low scribing points accurately.
Another excellent feature available to Thingamejig Precision Tools SC-IM is the ability to retrace lines. The fixed height of your tool allows you to retrace the same line in pin-point-accuracy while the protective padding doesn’t leave any mark on the wall.
- Tungsten carbide blades
- Single handed use
- Able to retrace lines
- Reduced chipping
- A bit heavy
- No pencil usage
Where to use
- Painted items
- Soft Metals
Not using pencil has its pros and cons. Blade curving means that the cut is pretty obvious and traceable. So, one should really be aware of that. On the other hand objects like laminates mark really easily and it is more convenient than a pencil. In a nutshell Thingamejig Precision Tools SC-IM is really versatile and its patented technology proves that. It is beautifully designed and has an amazing consumer experience.
4. Dictum Parallel Marker Scribing Tool
This no-nonsense scriber is the real deal. It does exactly what it describes, no more no less. It has a simple design yet it is as essential a tool as one needs. Craftsmen would agree. The body is made up of plastic so it is very lightweight, although it feels sturdy in your hands. There is, of course, the adjustable wheel to tighten the pencil or your preferred marking tool.
- Removable point for marking circles
- Opening 4mm-75mm
- Simple yet durable
- The design may look too simple
Where to use
- Marking Built-ins
- Base trim
- Circular marking
Do you want nothing but the vintage scribing tool with no fancy attachments and add-ons but great quality? Then Dictum Parallel Marker is the right option for you.
5. General Tools 88CM Tungsten Carbide Scribe and Magnet
General Tools 88CM Tungsten Carbide Scribe and Magnet has long been the industry standard for scribing. This is pen-shaped carbide tipped heavy-duty scribing tool for all your crafts. The carbide tip performs flawlessly even on the hardest metals.
Scriber point reverses for safety so that while marking your fabric you don’t accidentally poke a hole.
On top of the pen, there is a powerful alloy magnet, which can be used to retrieve small metal pieces, clips, shavings from hard to reach places.
- Tungsten carbide tip
- Magnate for picking up a small object
- Scriber point reverses for safety
- Replaceable tip point
- Shaped like a pen for easy handling
- Not the best tool for precision marking
Where to Use
- Stainless steel
- Hardened steel
General Tools 88CM Tungsten Carbide Scribe and Magnet is clearly a well-rounded scribe tool that can perform any scribing work. Although, if you are looking to mark a straight line this might not be the tool for you. None the less the flawless design, amazing built quality and sheer usability that you will get from this tool would certainly entertain craftsmen and DIYers alike.
How to Use a Scribing Tool
Using a scribing tool depends on two factors, the shape of your scribing tool and the surface you are working with. Suppose you have a pen-shaped scribing tool, then working with it is pretty simple, you just mark your desired surface the way you would with a pencil. If the tip is carbide then it is best not to use it on soft objects.
If you are using something like Thingamejig Precision Tools SC-IM Scribing Tool then you have to adjust the height at first. There is a metric and imperial counter for your convenience. Once you set the height you can run the triangular carbide blade right on you desired to mark the surface.
If you are using FastCap Accuscribe Scribing Tool you essentially can use it as a compass and can draw circles. Then again there is an adjustable scribing handle, with which you can bend it to your preference to achieve the desired result.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- How do you scribe a counter top to a wall?
Ans: First you should use a measuring tape or slide calipers to measure the thickness of the counter-top. Then use this measurement in your scribing tool to mark two parallel horizontal marks on your wall to a height you deem optimal. Those two horizontal marks would simulate the countertop thickness and this way you can add your counter top to a wall perfectly.
- What is a carpenter’s scribe?
Ans: Carpenter’s scribe is designed especially for wood etching. Thingamejig Precision Tools SC-IM Scribing Tool would classify as a carpenter’s scribe.
- How would you scribe a Cabinet to a wall?
Ans: Similar to a countertop you should first measure the area of your cabinet first. Then place it on the wall. After that, you can either use the cabinet itself for projection of the mark, or you can use a steel scale and follow the scribing tool along with it. As you know the area of the cabinet (height and width) you can correctly position the steel scale until your desired area on the wall is marked properly.
- How does a scribe help a doctor?
Ans: General Doctors and dentists usually work with various molds to replicate an organ or instrument. To carve the molds accurately one must need a scribing tool.
- Can a scribing tool be used for rock?
Ans: Of course! Scribing blades made of tungsten carbide are super strong and can be used to etch rock, although it is not recommended.
Essential Safety Tips
As we all understand that scribing tools are not toys, so we should be careful in using them. Many of the scribing tools consist of small metal parts, so we should obviously keep them away from children. While using carbide blades we should be extra cautious, because if they come into contact with your skin they can cause significant cut or injury. Always use the safety caps on blades or marking tips that way you reduce the chance of getting hurt. Use reverse tip if available when working with fabrics.
Scribing tools are an essential piece of tool for workers, craftsmen, traders and Enthusiasts alike. There is really something magical about doing the work that you love and very precisely at that. In your search for precision, there is a variety of options to choose from. We have tried to enlist the best ones for you. So what is the best scribing tool of 2018? Now you know the answer.
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