Stuart previously wrote about the FastCap long nose pattern marker, but they cost $6 and are hard to find locally. I found an alternative – the Dixon Reach marker, and you can buy it at Lowes or Menards for half the price.
As you can see in the picture above, the marker has a thin tip metal tip that extends 1-3/8″ from the plastic base of the marker. This thin tip allows you to either mark inside recessed holes, or trace very close to the edge of a pattern. The marker uses a special ink that Dixon claims can successfully mark most surfaces.
The thin metal tip is stepped, rather than being straight. I’m guessing it has something to do with how far the tip material can draw the ink from the well in such a narrow tube. It might also be for strength.
At it’s thinnest, the tip measures 0.1″ in diameter and extends 7/8″. Further up, the tip flares out to 0.18″.
It comes with a neon yellow cap that completely covers the tip, and has a closed belt loop. If you find that you strongly prefer a pocket clip, maybe you could modify the loop with a strategically placed opening.
Unlike the FastCap marker, the Dixon Reach marker doesn’t have an additional chisel point on the opposite end.
The Dixon Reach marker is available in black, blue, green, and red on Amazon for between $7 to $15, But you can pick up one of the black Dixon Reach markers at your local Lowes or Menards for just $3.
Buy Now (Reach Marker via Lowes)
Buy Now (Reach Marker via Menards)
Buy Now (Reach Marker via Amazon)
Compare (Fastcap Marker)
The main reason I purchased one of these markers was for outlining tools on some Kaizen foam I bought to organize my tool drawers. Wanting to get started on the project rather than waiting for a FastCap marker to ship, I lucked out and found this Dixon Reach marker at Menards.
Tracing tools with a marker like this can get a little messy, as you get ink on the bottom of the tools, but I found that the ink cleans up well with a little isopropyl alcohol.
Having the marker in my shop, I soon found myself using it to mark some holes in the bottom of screw holes that would have been too deep for a standard Sharpie or an Inkzall. If didn’t have the marker, I probably would have used a transfer punch, but that was more precision than I really needed and the marker was handy.
I was always wanting something like this, specifically for hole mounts on PVC electrical boxes. I then came across Dixon’s Reach Pencil. It’s exactly what I wanted. Leaves just enough make so I know where to make a hole. Highly recommended.
I might look for them the next time I’m in Lowes at $2.99 – too pricey at Amazon at $7.26 – but that’s with “free” shipping. So I guess Amazon could also sell it for $2.99 – but then would have to tell you that shipping it actually costs $4.27.
BTW what annoys me about Amazon’s Prime pricing/shipping model is that they already include the cost of shipping in most prices- so Prime seems a bit less valuable. Worse yet, if you are buying an item in multiples of one, not only don’t you get a discount but you may actually be penalized because the shipping cost that was included in the price of 1 item is not adjusted for a bulk purchase. I know its marketing 101 that folks don’t like to pay for shipping – and think that they are getting a bargain with “free shipping”. I also realize that it can get complicated (what with multiple warehouses and different carriers) if the shipping costs were taken out of the price – and then calculated at checkout based on what was being shipped from where and to where and how. But at least, it would be nice if Amazon provided some discounted prices based on bulk purchase.
On Amazon, it’s only sold through 3rd party sellers.
When a company or small business sells on Amazon, Amazon gets a cut, driving the price higher.
I have found that, for most things, Amazon does NOT bake a shipping cost into a price. Most of the time, the prices compare with or beat retail prices, or prices at online retailers that don’t offer free shipping.
It really depends on the product.
Your diatribe on shipping costs being included in Amazon’s prices does not belong here, nor is your claim even close to 100% accurate. Your post is best suited directly in an Amazon comments section. What is appropriate to post here is what I might expect from your usage of and/or comments/questions about the above product.
Back to Amazon’s prices including shipping costs. This is not an exaggeration. I could cite numerous & grossly inaccurate examples. But, here I’ll just make one good one to open your eyes. I was flabbergasted my self by the following savings.
Firstly, I’m PRIME so I never pay shipping. I purchased a specialty drill press on Amazon for $450.00 – shipped to me for FREE (the product weighs 88lbs), and a very timely arrival.
Same Drill at Home Depot was $475. 00 + $60.00 shipping thus a total savings of $85.00 w/o tax. Same Drill at Lowes $480.00 + $80.00 shipping thus a savings of $110.00 w/o tax.
Them there’s some humongous savings. What’s your claim about Amazon again? Maybe you’re not ordering enough to feel like your saving with free shipping. In the last 2 years I estimated I have saved between 600 or 700 dollars by purchasing from Amazon.
I had a heck of a time finding them at Lowes, I probably should have asked (although I find Big Box Store employees can usually answer my questions correctly about 20% of the time).
They were at the far end of the store by one of the lumber checkouts.
20%? Man you must have the premier lowes in the country…
I’ve always found them by the other markers in the tools area.
They also make a pencil that’s very useful.
The pencil is a pain, if you want to sharpen the lead, I have to take it out of the holder because it just spins. Also as the lead is used, extending the holder of doesn’t let it lock back into place in the carrier making it easier to lose.
Oliver (six-point socket)
Curious if they are a licensed re-branded product from the original maker: http://www.pica-marker.com
Also curious as to why they changed from the very practical clip (with the barbs) to a belt loop. (If they’re licensed) The original can be clipped inside all types of pockets and the sheath will remain where it was clipped to when the pencil or marker is pulled out.
Maybe they found that the pocket clips were breaking off too often?
I use the Pica dry pencil every day and it never broke, the clip has bent a little outward but that’s all. I also have the marker although I don’t use it as often as the pencil, but I find both very useful especially for transporting holes on an underlying plate.
Ah, I forgot, I’m in EU and both pencil and marker are waaay more expensive than the Dixon’s.
Hello. I don’t know which one where first (Dixon or Pica). But look at the pica-marker.com the have the same invention, and also automatic pencil with colored inserts. Water resistant and watersoluble. Maybe someone produces for the other. but still this marker is pretty good idea. In my case i used it to mark drilling points on walls and tiles. But this marker in my case has one problem. If surface is full of very tiny dust (like from sanding gypsium board, or dust from cutting…any way dust from building material) the head can be ruined after dust dry out on the marker tip. So after work you need to look at tip and cleaned it up if neccesary Of course in Pica you can rotate the tip. But only once.
Menards add a $2.80 ‘processing’ fee. Whatever the shit that is.
I bought one of those FastCap markers from Lee Valley and use the long part quite often. A Sharpie does the work of the fat end so if I could order these Dixons online at $2.90 it would be great.
lowes.com seems to be offline (or maybe they don’t like foreigners).
If anyone uses a lead holder it will perform the same function, just extend the lead, then retract when done.
Sort of. If you trying to mark on a plastered brick wall then that lead will break.
2mm pencil lead has nearly zero lateral strength. In holes and against templates that aren’t perfectly smooth, that lead isn’t going to remain intact without extreme caution and soft handling.
awesome find – thank you. which lowes carried the green one for the same price.
I like keeping black and green in the garage.
I originally purchased a FastCap pattern marker and was very disappointed when ink had leaked. I ended up with ink on my hands and the work before noticing. I wiped it down and tried storing the marker in various orientations but it leaked regardless. Could be it was just a defective unit. But it was annoying enough that I have been looking for alternatives.
I am glad there is an affordable choice. I found the Dixon marker at my local Lowes store for $2.99. I also found a Dixon graphite mechanical pencil that has the same form factor as the marker. It comes with a circular container that holds 12 replacement leads. There is a sharpener in the end cap. The price at Lowes was $8.99. I have not yet used the pencil version. I see in the earlier comments that some did not care for it. I figured it was worth giving it a try.
I REALLY like the pencils, they are good substitutions for carpenter pencils.
FYI, Pica is the original inventor of the Deep Hole Marker while Dixon is one of the younger competitors.