February 12, 2014

Simple Scribe - Review

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We split our scribing needs between a set of dividers and whatever block of wood we have on hand. Honestly, unless we need to be precise to the 1/64th, we generally opt for a block of wood. This method may not carry with it the finesse of the dividers, but it provides a stable surface to hold the pencil against and it's very easy to keep the pencil tip in line with the scribed surface. Dividers are definitely more precise but if you accidentally shift the angle of your hand, things can go awry. The needle end can also get hung up on things from time to time and there's the potential for the adjustment to slip, especially if you're keeping them set for multiple scribes. On top of all this, they're delicate, so some caution has to be taken with their storage.

Well some smart dude recently took the wooden block idea and ramped it up to Ferrari status with something called the Simple Scribe. It's a very oddly-shaped tool that completely stabilizes the pencil and lets you choose between seven different scribe distances. About a month ago, they sent us one and while it may not fulfill 100% of our scribing needs, it handles most of them with ease. To the point where it has even secured a coveted spot in the toolbelt.

To set it up, just thread any round (standard-sized) pencil through the hole in the center. The threading actually bites into the pencil a little so there is absolutely no wiggle room. Once the pencil is in, it's not going anywhere.

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The strange shape of the Simple Scribe is due to the fact that all seven sides have a different off-set from the center point of the pencil. These are in 1/8-inch increments from 1/4 to 1-inch. So to use it, just pick a side and run it along the surface. It's painless.

It's also accurate and stable. The long sides of the tool are nice and flat and glide easily over whatever surface you're working with. If you're trying to hit a mark that is between the increments, it's easy enough to just tilt the back end of the scribe up and glide it along on the front corner a little.

And when we said that this thing was durable, we really mean it. This tool would have no problems getting run over by a truck. It's that level of durability that makes it such a nice counter-point to the dividers.

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It's not the best tool for really tight situations and inside corners, but if you're running 300 feet of baseboard for a remodel and you need to scribe everything to the saggy baggy old floors, you're really going to like this tool.

Basically, it's a really slick item and it only costs $10. It's really not much to pay for such a useful tool. There are a bunch of videos over at the site with more thoughts on how to use the scribe, if you're interested.

At Simple Scribe

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Posted by Doug Mahoney at February 12, 2014 12:06 PM

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