Best Pencils for Writing

We may live in a digital age, but many years must still pass until handwriting will become overrated. From pupils learning to write their first letters to play writers, musicians, and beyond, there are many instances when you need a piece of paper and a pencil.

However, not all pencils were created equal. Avid writers undeniably need the best pencils for writing. These instruments usually have a larger diameter, to be easier to grip, and softer graphite that doesn’t require too much pushing down against the sheet.

In terms of shape, hexagonal or triangular pencils are very accommodating for most hands, although some people do prefer the round ones. Mechanical pencils are another excellent choice for writing, often preferred by teens and adults.

No matter what you’re after, finding the right pencils for writing can be a hassle if you don’t know what to look for. That’s why we selected some of the most popular models. Check them out below.

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Palomino Blackwing 602

Palomino Blackwing 602-12 Count
  • PENCILS WITH HERITAGE – First created in the 1930’s, Blackwing built a cult...
  • PERFECT FOR WRITERS AND EVERYDAY USE – With our firm and smooth Japanese graphite...
  • UNIQUE ICONIC DESIGN – Blackwing’s unique and iconic rectangular erasers are...

// Last update on 2021-08-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

  • Brand: Blackwing
  • Pencil hardness: 2B
  • Color: Grey

From all pencils for writing out there, the Blackwing is undeniably an icon. Introduced for the first time by the Eberhard Faber Company in the 1930s, their production has been briefly discontinued until the Blackwing brand reinvented itself under Palomino.

Used for calligraphy as well as sketching – including the creation of Bugs Bunny and Looney Tunes characters – the Blackwing pencils have a whole cult behind them. They served generations of writers, musicians, and artists, and the Palomino Blackwing 602 promises to stay by your side for all writing or artistic projects.

This pencil is made from genuine, Californian incense-cedar and boasts a firm and smooth premium Japanese graphite developed for writing and drawing.

A hexagonal shape enhances grip, making the instrument a great choice for users of all ages. Furthermore, the iconic rectangular ferrule with a removable eraser is the cherry on top of this sumptuous pencil design.

As you can expect from a high-quality pencil, the Palomino is easy to sharpen evenly with a manual or electric sharpener. No matter your choice, rest assured the graphite will unlikely break, and that the pencil will always maintain its refined look.

Another highlight is the 2B lead, which is softer and darker than a #2 – more visible on paper as well as easier to write with, especially for the youngsters. Coming in boxes of 12, these pencils are also a true bargain. Just what you need for seamless writing.

Pentel Twist-Erase III Mechanical Pencils

Pentel Twist-Erase III Mechanical Pencils (0.5mm) - Assorted Barrels: QE515A, QE515C, QE515D,...
  • Sturdy, well-balanced barrel. Four assorted barrel colors.
  • Protective tip design
  • Latex-free grip

// Last update on 2021-08-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

  • Brand: Pentel
  • Pencil hardness: HB
  • Color: Black

Boasting a super-hi polymer HB lead, the Pentel Twist-Erase III is an excellent choice for students, writers, musicians, and artists. Its main advantage is undoubtedly the lead, which is designed specifically for writing and drawing.

The fine 0.5mm tip is suitable for calligraphy as well as drawing technical lines, while the graphite delivers consistent density on paper.

Another highlight of this mechanical pen is that it never needs sharpening. Just keep a pack of leads in your case, so you can refill it whenever needed.

Design-wise, it looks just like a pen. The barrel has a good diameter and is very comfortable to hold by users of all ages. However, it’s more recommended for teens and adults rather than kids, as some removable parts are easy to ingest and can pose a choking hazard.

Producing clear dark lines, this pencil also brings outstanding value for money. It comes in a set of four with differently colored barrels, so you can either share them with your beloved ones or change color according to your mood or preference.

We also like the protective tip design that stabilizes the lead to reduce breakage. No doubt, a pencil designed to serve you well for a long time.

TICONDEROGA Dixon Wood-Cased Pencils

// Last update on 2021-08-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

  • Pencil hardness: HB
  • Color: Black

Available in different sizes and with various kinds of graphite, TICONDEROGA pencils suit everyone, from preschoolers to adults. Dixon is their standard model, a writing pencil developed with adult users in mind. Medium-soft lead hardness and hexagonal design make it a pleasure to hold and write with.

It comes in a set of 12 and is made from high-quality cedar wood, it’s also very easy to sharpen when the lead goes dull, while the latex-free eraser at the end delivers further value.

While this pencil may look like any regular pencil, the satin-smooth finish that enhances writing comfort makes it stand out. The tip resists breaking beautifully, and the eraser is not only resistant, but it also erases errors without leaving pink residues on paper.

Boasting recognizable quality and a competitive price tag, these pencils are perfect for teachers, pupils, as well as anyone else looking for an affordable writing pencil.

STABILO EASYgraph Handwriting Pencil

STABILO EASYgraph Handwriting Pencil Left Handed - Petrol Pack of 2
  • The EASYgraph is the first ergonomic handwriting pencil with versions for right...
  • Its triangular shape and moulded grip zones promote children to hold the pencil with...
  • The vanished moulded grip zones along the whole shaft ensure a relaxed hand posture.

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  • Brand: STABILO
  • Pencil hardness: HB
  • Color: Graphite

Designed for kids learning how to write but perfect for everyone, the STABILO EASYgraph surely knows how to stand out as one of the best writing pencils. What makes it different than all others is the ergonomic grip developed specifically for right- or left-hand users.

An attractive look includes a triangular design shaped specifically for little hands. Color coding at the end of the pencil also makes it easy to figure out which to pick based on your dominant hand, but keep in mind that it lacks an eraser.

Not only this pencil will make you want to write as much as possible. The colorful barrels available in five vibrant hues also make it super-easy to satisfy everyone, from picky kiddos to sophisticated adults.

Made from sustainably-sourced wood, these pencils also boast a medium hardness lead that produces clean lines. More than suitable for writing but also great for drawing, they also boast non-slip grip modules that promote a relaxed hand posture as well as a space for adding the owner name. No doubt, an excellent gift for your beloved ones or yourself.

Staedtler Mars Micro Precision Retractable Mechanical Pencil for Writing

Staedtler Triplus 338 Fine Pen Blue 1 Piece Blue Fine Pens (Blue, Blue, Triangle, Water Based Ink,...
  • Mechanical pencil for drawing and writing
  • Non-slip rubber grip zone
  • Cylindrical lead sleeve ideal for use with rulers and templates

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  • Brand: Staedtler
  • Pencil hardness: B
  • Color: Multicolored

If you feel that a mechanical pencil is a better choice for you than a traditional model, check out the Staedler Mars Micro Precision. This retractable mechanical pencil is perfect for writing as well as drawing, while smart design elements make it an excellent choice for smaller as well as bigger hands.

As you could expect from a quality pencil, the Mars Micro Precision is ergonomic and impresses with a rubberized grip that enhances comfort. A convenient eraser mounted in the cap also makes it easy to cancel any mistakes.

Like all mechanical pencils, this one will never need sharpening, while the retractable tip reduces breakage.

Designed to provide you with uninterrupted lines, this pencil boasts smooth B graphite, which comes preloaded. We also like the convenient clip you can use to secure the pencil to a notebook or pocket. Compatible with all 0.9mm graphite refills, this pencil is also extremely versatile. Perfect for use at school, home, or office.

Graphite or Mechanical Pencils for Writing?

An illustration of different pencils

Whether you’re looking for pencils for writing for your youngster or to use at the office, one of the main doubts comes when choosing between graphite and mechanical pencils. From a technical standpoint, both types are equally suitable for writing.

Graphite pencils are often preferred by teachers due to their low cost and ease of use. They are perfect for children, as all it takes is to quickly sharpen them when the lead dulls, but the lead is much more resistant to breakage.

Mechanical pencils, on the other hand, appeal to teens and adults. They are more aesthetically pleasing and harder to lose, as you can clip them to a pocket or notebook. Mechanical pencils don’t require sharpening, which is a great advantage when you’re doing a lot of writing, but the lead can break if you press it too hard against the paper.

Furthermore, due to removable parts, they can pose a choking hazard for younger children; thus, graphite pencils are a better choice for them. For all the other age groups, it’s only a matter of preference.

Why Use a Pencil?

Pen or pencil? That is the question. Some people argue that pens are better. However, the truth is that pencils have many more advantages.

To begin with, ink can’t be erased. If you make a mistake, let’s say in the middle of a homework page, you’ll have to tear that page off the notebook and start again. You won’t have this issue with a pencil. Simply erase the mistake and continue with your chore.

Pencils also offer a smoother writing experience. The feel of carbon on paper can easily surpass even the best pen around.

More dependable than pens, pencils can also be used in all environments and on virtually all mediums. Graphite won’t smear like ink, and it is hard to wash off with water. Without a rubber eraser, your writing is almost indestructible.

These are good enough reasons to ditch the pens in favor of an old-fashioned – or mechanical – pencil.

How to Choose the Best Pencil for Writing

A pencil might be a better choice than a pen, but not all pencils were created equal. To make sure the one you pick is indeed the best pencil for writing for you, check out the features below.

Hardness and Color

The most important thing to check when buying a pencil for writing is the hardness and color of the lead. Lead characteristics vary from soft and very black to very hard and greyish. Softer pencils are usually preferred by artists. Their lead gets dull easily, and the graphite might smear a little, but they allow you to create artistic lines and a variety of shadows and effects.

Hard and grey pencils are ideal for technical drawing. They require you to press them harder against the paper to draw the line, but the resulted line is sharp and well defined. You can also expect little to no smearing and a longer-lasting lead.

In-between these two varieties, there are HB, B, and 2B pencils. They have an intermediate softness and blackness and are ideal for writing. They require minimal push against the paper, don’t smear, and the softer graphite is easier to erase should you make a mistake. These pencils are available in both graphite and mechanical types, and suit everyone, from children to writers, musicians, as well as artists.

Pencil Thickness

Another thing to check is the thickness of the barrel, especially if you’re buying the pencil for a child. Thicker, chubbier pencils are easier to hold by little hands. So, the thicker the pencil, the more suitable it is for kids who learn how to write.

Pencil Ergonomics and Shape

Some manufacturers propose ergonomic designs specific for right-hand or left-hand writing. Typically, right-handed children won’t have difficulties using a standard triangular or hexagonal pencil.

However, left-handed kids have more difficulties in developing their fine motor skills, and a specific pencil might help them.

Furthermore, some pencils may also have easy-grip patches that improve maneuverability – an important thing for all writing pencils, whether they’re designed for kids or adults.

Richard Hammond

I am the founder of 9Mousai and am deeply interested in creativity and what inspires it. My main passions are writing, film and music but I have huge respect for all the arts. I'm also an animal lover and have a little cat called Winston and enjoy the occasional whiskey or two...

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