Graphene layers have been produced from multi-walled carbon nanotube (MWCNT) bulk materials by friction when polished on ground-glass, offering a novel and effective method to produce graphene layers, which, more importantly, could be transferred to other substrates by rubbing. Field emission scanning electron microscopy, Raman spectroscopy, atomic force microscopy, transmission electron microscopy and selected area electron diffraction confirmed the formation of graphene layers. They were thought to be peeled away from the MWCNT walls due to friction. The reflection spectra showed that absorption of as-produced graphene layers decreased with wavelength in the range of 250–400 nm, compared to the MWCNT bulk material having strong absorption at 350 nm. Nanoscratch test was used to determine the mechanical properties of graphene films, suggesting the tolerance of as-produced graphene film to flaws introduced by scratch.