Why You Should Add Some Chalk Sticks To Your Toolbox

Chalk deserves fair respect as an all-around marking tool. However, it brings other surprising functionalities beyond just mapping out your measurements on a wall. Chalk can function as a rust deterrent, anti-slip coating for screwdrivers, filler material for wall cracks, wood sanding enhancer, and more. This diverse assortment of applications makes chalk one of the essential tools to have in your home and your DIY toolbox.

Before finding its way into classrooms and lecture halls, chalk has long been used in construction sites, going as far back as ancient times. They serve to temporarily mark out spots or create guidelines on floors, walls, ceilings, pavements, lawns, and even trees. The mineral is relatively easy to remove and does not damage or stain surfaces. For visual contrast, pigmented chalk can be applied for better visibility or as a labeling system. While this alone gives chalk a well-deserved spot in your toolkit, its lesser-known uses will likely impress you even more.

More uses of chalk in everyday handiwork

Stashing a few sticks of chalk in your toolbox is one of the ways to prevent metal tools from rusting thanks to its moisture-absorbing capabilities. According to a 2018 research paper by geology experts from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, chalk demonstrates physicochemical interactions that weaken the effects of water. By sucking the humidity inside your toolbox, the chalk will prohibit rust from forming, keeping your tools sharp, shiny, and loose-jointed.

If your screwdriver keeps on slipping off the screw grooves, you can enhance its grip by rubbing its tip with chalk dust. This is similar to how gymnasts cover their hands with powder to improve their grip on the bars or how billiard players rub chalk on their sticks before striking the cue ball. Chalk can also be an enhancer when sanding wood. Before sanding, first cover the wood surface with a layer of chalk. As you sand off the chalk dust, it will leave behind a smooth, even finish that is perfect for staining or varnishing. Chalk can be used for minor wall repairs as well by rubbing chalk over small holes or cracks as a filler material.