How to choose pencils for yourself?

Table of Contents

Speaking of pencils, everyone is familiar with them. When I was young, almost everyone used a pencil to write the first word in their life. Many things in the world originated from a pencil. For example, make a building or an artwork was drafted with a pencil. But do you really understand this stationery that is closely related to our lives? Today, let me give you some popular science.

1. The history and origin of the pencil


People accidentally discovered the world’s purest graphite deposits in a mine near Cumberland, England, and they began to mark them. Slowly, people discovered that graphite is an ideal material for writing. It is not only easy to draw dark marks on paper, but also can be used for more precise work by sharpening it, and it is not easy to break.

Initially, graphite was sold in its original form, so it had many shortcomings, such as easy soiling of hands, fragility, and so on. So in response to these problems, many private inventors have modified them. They clamped a thin graphite rod between two grooved wooden strips and then processed the square wooden rod pencil into a more beautiful octagonal or round shape, which became the embryonic form of today’s pencil.

18th century

With the increasing demand for ink throughout Europe, the British began to realize that graphite would not be inexhaustible, so they strengthened strict control over the graphite market.


The French used drying technology to develop graphite with different hardness. This manufacturing method produced the best quality brushes in the world at that time, and the lines drawn had different levels of depth.


The Anglo-American War broke out and Britain imposed an embargo on pencils. It was also because of this embargo that the United States produced the first modern pencil. At that time, furniture carpenter William Monroe and his assistant invented the machine capable of manufacturing standard lengths, creating the prototype of the world’s first modern pencil. Since then, the United States has begun mass production of commercial pencils.


A Philadelphia inventor named Heyman Lipman made the last improvement to the pencil by attaching a small eraser head to the tip of the pencil.

2. The ingredients in the pencil lead

Nowadays, the graphite in pencils is made of a mixture of more than forty materials. As we all know, “lead” is poisonous, but in fact, modern pencils do not contain lead. The main component of the pencil lead is graphite, which is made by mixing graphite and clay in a certain proportion. The lead pencil lead that meets international safety standards does not contain metallic lead.

However, it is not ruled out that unscrupulous merchants cut corners and mix other substances in the lead core, which may contain heavy metal elements. In addition, the paint on the surface of the pencil barrel may also contain metal lead, mercury, arsenic, and other heavy metal elements, which will have an adverse effect on children.

Therefore, you still need to pay special attention when buying pencils.

3. Pencil specifications

Pencil specifications are usually represented by H and B. “H” is the initial letter of the English “Hard” (hard), indicating the hardness of the pencil lead. The larger the number before it, the harder the lead and the lighter the color.

“B” is the first letter of English “Black”, which represents the blackness of the pencil lead. The larger the number in front of it, the softer the pencil lead and the darker the color.

To be honest, many people don’t understand what these symbols represent when they are young, and many people mistakenly think that these symbols are signs of high or low prices. It was not until later when I was learning to sketch that I learned that different specifications of pencils can be divided into soft, hard, and neutral. They can draw different effects and have different uses.

4. Selection of pencils

Regardless of the ordinary appearance of pencils, in fact, there is a lot of knowledge in the choice of pencils. In addition to age, there are also useful and occupational points. The point of sale and price also directly distinguish the class.

A. Choose according to age

Different specifications of pencils require different strengths due to the hardness of the pencil core. This may not have much effect on adults, but it is not for children.

Because children’s hands are weaker and less powerful, using a pencil with a harder lead will make the children’s wrists fatigued and even injured.

Therefore, younger children are recommended to buy “B” or “2B” pencils, which are softer and easier for them to write. Compared with the common circular and hexagonal penholders, choosing a thick triangle pen can help children to form a good pen holding posture.

In addition, the motor function of children’s fingers is not as mature as adults think, and ordinary long pencils will cause writing obstacles to them. Because children have weak fingers and small hands, they will naturally move toward the tip of the pencil as they write, and the weight of the longer part protruding from the upper end will make the power to hold the pencil out of balance.

Therefore, when purchasing, parents may wish to buy “B” or “2B” pencils especially for children under the age of six. They can also cut long pencils into two or use short pencils that are used by children. It is the best pencil for “children’s use”, which can virtually help children improve their writing ability.

The following pencils are recommended

(A) HB Triangle Pencil

Natural wood Triangular pencil
Natural wood Triangular pencil

(B) Hole Pencil

Triangle Hole Pencil
Triangle Hole Pencil

(C) Short HB Pencil, good for Kids.

short HB pencil
short HB pencil

(D) Jumbo pencil

Jumbo pencil
Jumbo pencil

B. Choose according to the purpose of the pencil

According to different uses, pencils will have different classifications. For example, pencils for sketching are different from ordinary pencils:

Ordinary pencils have more impurities and particles and are less classified. Commonly used are HB and 2B;

Pencils for sketching are relatively delicate and are divided into 8B, 6B, 5B, 4B, 3B, 2B, B, HB, H, 2H, 3H, 4H according to the hardness of the lead core. The sketch pens made of different graphite in different countries will also get different shades and texture effects when they encounter paper of different thicknesses and sizes of fiber. In addition, the use of different specifications of the sketch pens is also different. 4B, 6B, 8B are mostly used for shaping and up-tuning to draw dark surfaces; 2B and 4B are used for drawing gray surfaces; HB, 2B are used for drawing bright surfaces and details.

The following pencils are recommended

(A) Sketching Pencil Set

12pcs Sketching Pencil Set
12pcs Sketching Pencil Set

(B) Amazon sketching pencil set, you can choose 2B or HB, H …

Amazon sketching pencil set
Amazon sketching pencil set

C. Choose according to occupation

In many professions, pencils are also indispensable, such as architects, painters, photographers, etc., and even students and working people studying the industry and advertising related courses, all need to use pencils, and more than ordinary pencil design Simple, to give people a sense of stability and professionalism.

These pencils are mostly mechanical pencils rather than wooden pencils. Not only are they more industrial in appearance, but the design of the pen body is also more precise, heavier than ordinary pencils, and is more stable when used to draw lines. Of course, the price is much more expensive than ordinary pencils.

Some pencils come with an eraser and are suitable for students to use so that they can be used when there is no eraser around them when they are in a hurry to make corrections.

However, after using pencils for nearly 20 years, I learned that the more professional and high-end pencils, there is no eraser attached to the end of the pencil, because erasers are another type of specialized stationery; to be more correct, Some pencils used in specialized occupations do not have an eraser attached.

Recommend as below :

(A) Palomino Blackwing, known as the best pencil in the world, has its iconic eraser at the end of the pencil, which can be replaced after use

(B) Student ordinary pencil,

5. Pencil purchase tips

There are a wide variety of pencils on the market, and there are still many fake and inferior products. But many people don’t take it seriously when they buy pencils. In fact, the quality, structure, and design of pencils affect us deeply. Especially parents, when choosing pencils for their children, they should pay more attention to it. Below, we will introduce to you some tips on how to buy pencils.

(1) The first step “look”

Check the trademark, place of origin, and certificate of conformity on the pencil packaging. Check whether the pencil shaft is stiff and the lead core is located in the middle of the shaft. Normal writing pencil lead core diameter is generally 2.2mm, and inferior pencil lead diameter is only 1.7mm or 1.8mm. It also depends on whether the lead core is fragile. At the same time, the quality of pencil wood is also judged by “seeing”. If the color is too white, it may be bleached. If the wood is too red, it is very likely that a dye is added. This kind of pencil has more harmful substances. Parents can give priority to log pencils, which have a natural texture and do not contain bleaching agents and dyes that are harmful to the human body.

(2) The second step “touching”

By touching the pencil, feel whether the pen body is smooth, whether there is roughness, and determine the hardness of the pencil body.

(3) The third step “smell”

Through sniffing, feel the fragrance of wood, whether the pencil smell is pungent, whether there is paint smell, etc.

(4) The fourth step “write”

Try to write with a pencil to feel the smoothness of the writing.

(5) Step 5 “Sharpen”

Use a pencil sharpener to check whether the pencil is easy to curl, and check the adhesion of the pencil shavings. The lead ink of a high-quality pencil should be connected to the wood of the barrel, and the lead should be even.

(6) The sixth step “check”

The most important step is to check the inspection standards passed by the pencil manufacturer, including production standards and safe use standards. At least pencils that meet the national standards should be selected. The priority is to choose more stringent requirements for various metal elements. International standard brand pencils.

From the history of pencils to the purchase of pencils, do you have a deeper understanding of pencils? Do you have more judgment on the quality of pencils?

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