Veritas just came out with two new Japanese-style scratch awls. The two awls, in small and large sizes, feature removable (and replaceable) hardened A2 steel points, stainless steel bolsters, and high temperature-treated maple wood handles.
Pricing: $19.50 for small, $22.50 for large.
Buy Now(via Lee Valley)
Awls are typically used for marking and starting holes for drill bits in wood, and scratching layout lines in wood, plastic, or metal.
You can buy an awl for $5-10 via Amazon, so why spend so much more on one of these? In my mind, the hardened steel points make them worthwhile. Awl points are easy to damage and can be difficult to sharpen. Plus, a lot of awls have thin tips and shafts, whereas these Veritas awls look exceptionally robust.
If you’re unsure as to whether you’ll see benefits from this style of awl, stick with an inexpensive basic model until you make up your mind. This is really more of an upgrade-to tool, rather than a first.