The ability to accurately mark out stock is critical. Unfortunately, not all marking knives are created equal. I’ve been using the Pattern Pilot from Czeck Edge for a few months now and have grown to love it. It’s not perfect for every task, but it excels at those for which it was designed.
The Pattern Pilot has a 1-3/4″ long blade made from 0-1 tool steel. The tip forms a 65 degree spear-point from dual 40 degree bevels. The steel takes a very nice edge, and the blade is long and thin enough to fit into the tightest of places. The handle is turned from gorgeous cocobolo, and feels very nice in your hand. It quickly became my go-to tool for marking out dovetails.
The Pattern Pilot isn’t perfect for every task. For example, I prefer a knife with a shorter, more robust blade for marking across wide boards. My only other complaint is that honing these small spear-point blades is a chore. I think that is a skill that will improve with time.