Desk Tools

Tool The Bookworm: Quill, Hand and Pen

I know, you rarely have time for books, and even then it’s safe to say you’re likely to pick up a Kindle or iPad instead of a paperback or hardcover. However, on that rare occasion you do read a book, it’d be nice to have a bookmark made of a digitally etched sheet of golden brass, wouldn’t it? Tom Dixon brings us the Quill, Hand and Pen, all of which would be quite at home in any of your favorite books.

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Purchase Information:

Price: $16.50
Available from: A+R Store

Wooden Rulers by HAY

Striped, random rulers are sure to cheer you up no matter what. Just look at those colors and lines! Whether you’re in the back-to-school mood or not, a few patterned rulers will surely come in handy, plus, a set of 3 will give your desk area a little flair (in a good way).
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Purchase Information:

Price: $40.00
Available from: A+R Store

NeoLucida Drawing Aid

If you’ve ever said you can’t draw, then you need this thingamajig. The NeoLucida Drawing Aid is a portable camera lucida and it utilizes a prism to project a desired image onto a piece of paper for tracing. This saves time, of course, as it helps you get the drawing right the first time around. Created by Pablo Garcia and Golan Levin, the NeoLucida is adjustable, compact enough to fit in a bag, and effective in all lighting conditions.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $48.00
Available from: MoMA Store

HAY Tape Block Dispenser

What to do with your favorite washi tape rolls? Organize them neatly upon the Tape Block Dispenser from HAY, that’s what. Simple beech wood dispensers have room for either 1, 3 or 5 rolls of tape, so you’ll be ready to tape up whatever package or envelope with no fussing about.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $26.00
Available from: Huset Shop

On a Roll Tape Dispenser

A tape dispenser is rarely described as anything other than just plain (snore) useful, but black + blum have certainly put their brains to use in creating one that is decidedly better than above average- and that translates into pretty damn good. Yep, you read it right, that’s a ‘damn’ in front of a ‘good’ and I’m talking about a tape dispenser.

Gravity removes the need for a separate spindle and the cast iron is heavy enough to use with one hand. So, it’s minimal, durable, and functional? Check, check, and check. And high five to you, black + blum, for creating an excellent alternative to the cheap and unattractive plastic versions found on too many desktops. If I shared an office with anyone other than my dog, I’d be hinting pretty hard that I’d want this for the next gift exchange.

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Purchase Information:

Price: $43.50
Available from: black + blum

El Casco Chrome Tape Dispenser

If you’re not particularly detail-oriented when it comes to your desktop/workspace aesthetic, then you won’t care at all about a tape dispenser. However, if well-designed desk accessories makes your heart all aflutter, then you’ll want to know all about the El Casco Chrome Tape Dispenser. It’s all metal, so it’s got a heft that will keep it in place when in use. Oh, and don’t worry about someone appropriating it for their own use at their desk- it has an individual serial number so you can prove your ownership (preferably by memorizing the number and spouting it off as soon as you suspect thievery).
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Purchase Information:

Price: $149.00
Available from: Big Ben

Magnet Tacks, Set of 3

Sometimes the simplest innovations have the biggest impact. Imagine the possibilities for storing your favorite (magnetic) things with these magnet tacks. Don’t worry, they’re strong enough for keys, pens, etc. You’d double the function of any bulletin board, for sure, or maybe scatter a few around on a regular wall to float odd-but-necessary things en masse.

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Purchase Information:

Price: $20.00
Available from: Emmo Home

Sheffield Kevlar Shears

Arm yourself with these shears and there will be nothing you can’t cut. Designed to cut through Kevlar (a para-aramid synthetic fiber, by the way), the Sheffield Shears will cut through practically any household material- tape, cardboard, thick fabric, you name it- as they’re extremely sharp and indestructible.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $36.00 - 76.00
Available from: Best Made Co.

Woodbar

Do you need a wooden paperweight in the shape of a gold bar? Maybe not, but that’ll change once you open your windows and papers go flying everywhere. The intention behind this design is to remind us all about the value of wood; it acts a clever option to hold a stack of paperwork at bay.

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Purchase Information:

Price: $39.00
Available from: Mookum

City Clips

City page clips! Produced to scale- and 5000 times smaller than the real buildings- these City Clips can keep your spot in a book or hold your place in a stack of paperwork. The New York set includes the the iconic Empire State Building, Hearst Tower, Chrysler Building and the New York Life Building; there’s also a Paris and London skyline set available as well.
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Purchase Information:

Price: £6.75
Available from: Another Studio

Ruler Stick

Can you believe that the United States has still not fully embraced the metric system? Do your part by using rulers that have both customary and metric measurements, just like this Ruler Stick you see before you. It has inches on one side, which you know and love, and centimeters on the other. Brought to the Cooper-Hewitt Shop by KIOSK.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $26.00
Available from: Cooper-Hewitt Shop

Craft Design Technology

What do you get the pickiest of design aficionados? Any item from Craft Design Technology, that’s what. How could you not fall head over heels for a collection of high quality work tools designed to be “beautiful, functional and enduring”? I want all of it (specifically, the scissors have been on my wish list ever since ’08). Available in the US from VETTED or peruse CDT’s shoplist for more options. More of the collection below.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $4.50 - 96.00
Available from: VETTED

Concrete Small Format Tape Dispenser

Sure, you’ve seen concrete desk accessories by Magnus Pettersen before, but have you seen the red and blue tape dispensers? Your life is simply not complete until you consider just how good red tape in a red concrete tape dispenser looks. I’m kidding, of course, but it does look pretty sharp, as does the blue. This version is a little smaller than the original version, fyi.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $20.00
Availability: Buy Concrete Small Format Tape Dispenser here

Brass Alphabet Bookmark

Midori just keeps making brass desktop tools that are hard to resist. And this one packs a double function: use as a bookmark and as a stencil. Even if your handwriting isn’t all that bad, a little block lettering now and then won’t hurt, right? It’ll most likely fit perfectly within your notebook.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $18.00
Available from: Baum-Kuchen

FIELD Magnifier

Don’t you dare say you have no need for a magnifier. What about those tiny hairs and freckles on your hand? The intricate markings of your own signature? The fuzzy anthers of a flower? Or the crisp text on that print out sitting on your desk? This heavy bronze magnifier designed by Daniel/Emma (in collaboration with Field) doubles as a paper weight and will keep your curiosity sharp.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $145.00
Available from: FIELD