The Squid woodworker’s centering punch, from a company called Blokkz, is a simple yet ingenious device that allows you to mark the center of round, square, and rectangular pieces of wood in just one step.
No more drawing intersecting lines connecting corners (or as close to the corners as you can get), or using a center finder tool to find where multiple lines cross. With the Squid, you just line up the tool and tap it with a hammer. The Squid will automatically center itself and leave a punch mark at the exact center of your workpiece.
The Squid can find the center of round stock up to 2-3/8″ in diameter, square stock up to 2-3/8″ wide, and boards up to 1-5/8″ thick.
The four evenly spaced legs force the center punch in the middle of the material as long as the Squid is held perpendicular to the face you are marking, and as long as your stock is square. The legs are also notched along their entire length to capture the corners of rectangular materials, which does make it easier to hold the squid in the correct position.
A little misalignment probably won’t throw the center accuracy off by much, but it’s something to keep in mind in case you were hoping to use this on odd-shaped stock with uneven surfaces.
Blokkz manufactures the Squid in the USA. They make the body from high-strength polycarbonate, and the 3/16″ diameter punch is made from stainless steel. The body can be disassembled so that you can sharpen the punch.
Take a look at the video below to see a demonstration of the Squid being used. It’s interesting to note that when the guy in the video uses the Squid to mark the center of some square stock, he lines the legs up against the edges of the wood and not the corners. Evidently the tool is accurate being used either way.
The Squid is priced at $20. You can order it direct from Blokkz with free shipping (USA only), and it’s also available from Amazon through 3rd parties with shipping starting at $6. It’s also available at local wood supply chains, such as Woodcraft.