I wish we could do this with a Japanese Moleskine book like the one we used for a guestbook at my wedding in 2003. But the web will have to do. Maybe if we type with the end of a pencil, it will work better than if we coldly type with our fingers? Just this once…

So, tell us something: what kind of pencil you like to use best, and what you use it for? Your favorite writer who used/uses pencils? A good pencil joke? Free pencils you want to send me (lol)? Suggestions? Etc.?

207 thoughts on “Guestbook”

  1. my favorite pencil is the Mongol. my dad used to always have stubs of the No. 2’s that were totally rounded. his boss kept the new, whole ones for himself and let his workers have the old, short ones.

    sadly, these pencils don’t seem to exist anymore. a kind friend found me some No. 2.5’s on ebay, but they have the flat sides.

    fun site, by the way!

  2. There’s nothing wrong with mechanical pencils:) I think it would be a mistake to exclude them just because there’s no wood, the way that pen snobs won’t go anywhere near a ballpoint pen:)

  3. It is Dixon Ticonderoga all the way for me baby!! You cannot top the way that they feel, write and smell. How can you not love the green top? And those erasers… I am in love.

    There is no other pencil.

  4. I love natural unpainted cedar pencils… I don’t have a favorite brand, though.

    Have you thought about reviewing mechanical pencil sharpeners?

    note: I posted a reply earlier today, but when I came back it wasn’t there! So, I’m re-posting…

  5. Seigun, we definitely plan on reviewing some mechanical sharpeners. The first review of pencils this week will be of some unfinished cedars!

    [Note: Something must have been up with Blogger yesterday. I saw your comment disappear, too, along with this morning’s post. Sorry about that:)]

  6. I don’t have a favorite type or brand of pencil. But I do know what I don’t like.

    Have you ever seen those pencils where the “wood” is really white? I don’t think that it’s even real wood. Maybe it’s some kind of wood by product. They also have really soft graphite that’s no fun to write with. They’re horrible. I also don’t like mechanical pencils that don’t take .5mm lead, but I’m not sure why. And I’m against electric pencil sharpeners. The sound is grating.

  7. That white stuff might be plastic. It used to be a cheaper way to make pencils, but it’s really lost its popularity, at least in the US. I’ve only seen it recently on promotional pencils and other give-away gear. You can actually bend that crap; terrible for pencil fights:)

  8. The finest pencil you are likely to find is the Mitsubishi HI-UNI. The lacquer is on so thick it is like one of those chinese jewel boxes and the lead (B is best) writes like buttah. They still use fragrant Incense cedar wood and shun the inelegant eraser plug. Difficult to find in the US, so the best pencil stateside is the Faber-Castell Goldfaber. Forest Choice is your best environmentally friendly pencil.

  9. my favorite pencil is the Caran d’Ache Technograph F, you can go from a light fine line to really dark heavy shading.they’re not so cheap but really worth it.
    another really good sketching pencil is the Koh-I-Noor Hardmuth 8B, this is great for loose drawing
    I love these pencil discussions :)

  10. The Dixon Ticonderoga is a child’s toy or a tool of cromagnon man. Mirado Black Warrior is a weapon of distinction. Elegant, streamlined and natural in the hand; unlike the Ticonderoga, you don’t have to turn it for optimal positioning. Hard but distigished lead. Pink, God’s designated color for erasers. Gold leaf lettering (perhaps that’s 14k?) and two subtle hearts symbolizing the love of a writer and his/her pencil.
    Look for yourself.

  11. the black coated Mirado is really the only pencil worth owning. It holds up to the abusive of living in a backpack and most noteworthy of all… it is already sharpened! ready for use and durable. Ticonderoga’s are best left for chewing on.

  12. Math people love pencils too! My favorite kind of pencils are the mechanical ones that are big and fat with twist out erasers and you can refill the lead.

    In class, I would show off my pencil and my classmates would oooo and aww at the great pencil!

  13. I hoard pencils. Especially soft lead pencils. I fuss at anyone who takes a pencil from my desk and doesn’t return it to the special cup where they reside. I collect pencils from places I visit, especially historic sites and museums. They love to give pencils away that have the name of the museum or site — or sometimes they charge a quarter for them, in which case, I’ll buy four. Usually museum pencils are number 2s. Funny how some number 2s are better than others. It goes to the density of the lead, I think. I just stumbled on this site and must say it is quite charming. I would much rather use a pencil than any kind of pen (gel, fountain or ballpoint) and I agree that pencils are, indeed, very forgiving. Bless the creative who established this place. It is just too, too cool!

  14. I just received my orange Palamino pencils–looo-ooove them! Especially the dark HB mark they make. And the General point protectors fit them perfectly!!

    I have a new obsession for orange that these triggered too. Double addiction!

  15. your site is great keep on going like that and let脗麓s face it almost everyone of us and in the whole world wrote our first word with a pencil and like you say you’re not promoting any natural devastation is like saying that we must starved to death and in that way save animals and vegetables lives!
    i love pencils and they will be my only writing tool i don like pens(except my mont blanc fountain) or mechanical pencils and is my own way of thinking if someone else says that pens or mechanical pencils are the future and the only tools for writing tha should be used well is they call but for all pencil lovers and defenders of the world have the right to share their they feelings and satisfatcion of using a pencil in particular and nothings beatas the feeling and aroma of a pencil and as i said before almost every peson in the world wrote its firts word with a pencil so let us be and i hope and wish a long live to pencilrevolution and to all pencil lovers in the world!!! let’s enjoy this wonderful site!!!
    from M脙漏xico Arturo Aceves Sierra

  16. What a beautiful web site, devoted to a beautiful tool, the pencil. I use pencils almost exclusively at work, keeping seven sharpened and ready to go in my drawer at all times. There’s nothing like the feel of a fresh pencil in your hand as you take notes at a meeting.

    I admit that I don’t carry pencils with with me much outside the office, succumbing to ink for convenience, but at work it’s lead all the way.

    I can’t say that I have a favorite, although I do know that I wasn’t too happy with the Black Warrior primarily because it kept rolling off my desk. Right now I find that I like the Staples generic brand No. 2 HB pencil because it has what I consider a prerequisite: a good eraser. I hate erasers that smudge. The Staples eraser is perfect in my humble.

  17. This site has made be reevaluate my choices of writing implements. I’ve been struggling with the eternal battle between pen and pencil. But I am glad to see the remark above that mechanical pencils are okay around here, because if I switch to pencils full-time, it’s going to have to be mechanical. (So I can keep it comfortably in my pen loop and not have to carry a separate sharpener.)

    Hmm… Finding the perfect mechanical pencil… Looks like I have another project!

    Great site.

  18. I like your site and appreciate the work. I am a metal sculptor. I use pencils to draw out my ideas and always for first drafts of any essay in my notebooks. Drawing is a form of writing, which, in itself is a form of thinking. When I draw an idea, the act of drawing it sharpening my opinion on the subject, the same as when I write an essay on a topic. I may know I have a general view of something, but putting it to paper is the actual “thinking about it.” I generally use a #2 mechanical pencil with a .5 or .7 lead on nothing-fancy-lined notepads, typing paper, or in moleskin note books.
    Most mornings I spend about a half hour drawing/doodling/”thinking out loud” with a pencil on paper. I date the drawings and file them by year. I can go back and mine ideas from my past when I’m feeling blocked.
    Joel Haas, sculptor
    Raleigh, NC

  19. What a great web page! I have gotten in the habit of checking back regularly for your updates.

    As for my favorite pencil, I usually gravitate towards the basic yellow Ticonderoga, HB. Mirado Classics and Black Warriors also make me happy, but there’s something visually satisfying about a Ticonderoga that completes the experience of writing with the pencil.

    One thing I am eager to explore is the wealth of new products (especially the Palomino pencils) that I have been introduced to through this site. Thanks for your hard work!

  20. I fish, I overbuild crazy things around the house but mostly just for my workshop, I design things like boats and such, or handy items for my life that no one has mass-produced yet. I dream all of these things up but without my pencils the first step to realizing these little dreams would never get taken.

    The Pencil is the Genesis of Genius- at least mine.

    I just started drawing this crazy lodge I plan to build someday, somewhere. I told my wife that now that I have started putting it on paper it has taken the first step toward reality.

    Question for each of us to personally deliberate: When should a pencil be discarded? When is it’s life used up? When I can barely hold on to it?… but when it is that small it fits great in a watertight flybox in my fishing gear.

  21. My favorite pencil is the Zebra M-402 0.5mm. I can’t use anything else for note taking. Once you get the right pencil, it just becomes a part of how you work.

  22. I really like this site. I would like to try some of the pencils I read about, but is turned out to be really hard to find most of then in Holland where I live. Does anyone know if and where I can buy for example the palomino or the black warrior in the Netherlands? The only ones I could find are those from Faber-Castell.
    Also I tried a pencil from Bruynzeel, does anyone of you know these pencils? It is a Dutch company (which also produces kitchens), so maybe these pencils are not available in the US. I could review them, but this would not serve any purpose if you could not try them yourselves.

  23. Hi!
    Thank you for your very well made site.
    I live in Brazil and here it’d kind of difficult to find this pencils, but one of the biggest Faber-Castell’s manufacturing is situated here, so we have “the brazilian version” of almost all faber castell pencils(900, 2001…), and we have many brazilian brands too( almost all are a little bit too cheap), if you are interested about this pencils just send me an email and I can send them too you…

    Daniel Venosa
    sorry for my poor english

  24. Hi I am looking for a way to get pencils from as many places as I can for my 7 year old granddaughter she has been collecting for 2 years and would love some from other states or anywhere. Any suggestions let me know , thanks from Louisiana.

  25. Howdy, Teresa! I would first post something in the Classifieds at The Pencil Pages. Also, perhaps you can get a membership for your granddaughter to the American Pencil Collectors Society; in addition to their newsletter, there are opportunities to trade pencils with folks from all over the country:)脗聽 I’ll email you with the details.

  26. dixon ticonderogas are an amazing pencil. the tri writes (3 sided pencils) are amazing. they cut down on writers cramp so much. but with california cedar wood and soft velvet graphite, theres no wonder y the ticonderoga makes the best pencil in the world. just stay away from dixon orioles, they’re the cheap dixon pencil and a complete waste of money

  27. I am writing from Panama on a visit. School is about to start here (as opposed to September in Canada). All of the stores use graphics of pencils to advertise back to school items – even clothing and shoe stores. Interesting how the pencil has become so strongly associated with school.

    Back in Toronto a TV station is running the old Columbo movies from the 脗麓70脗麓s. I notice that Columbo always uses a pencil to take his copious notes. Usually after a fitful search through his rumpled raincoat.

  28. At the early age of my life, I entered in Pencil business, now its nearly 32 years and pencil making has made me to learn lots of things in real life as good as in business!
    Many times when I think, what I would have been doing if not entered this business? Its hard to get the answer from my heart…
    Truely, everyday in my life, I learn something new as I am in this business! Whenever I have time, I read, I surf, I explore…. everything related to pencil!
    Now this has become my habit, addiction to keep learning about pencil.
    I always say: “Everything begins with a Pencil”
    Can you imgaine how is the life of mine in this industry??
    Its just like walking and dancing on ‘sharpened pencil points’
    Just a small wrong step and you are hurt with sharp point of pencil!
    I am fortunate to gather lots of information about pencils…
    I dont mind in sharing it; but, with the right person.
    Let us share our knowledge so that it can be helpful for coming generation!

  29. As a cartoonist and illustrator, pencils are a necessity. Fortunately, about 30 years ago, I was able to acquire several boxes of unused pencils from the 50’s and 60’s so I have not needed to purchase pencils in a long, long time. Want to see a photo? click here

  30. First off, great site guys. Great reviews, great comments. The best pencil related site I have seen. Anyways, I was thinking that maybe you should write a review on the Mirado Black Warrior, and maybe the Focus (a good pencil). I am glad you have the Ticonderoga, and I am glad I am not the only one who loves them. Also, I am glad I am not the only one who thinks PaperMate pencils are horrible, but I geuss that is why they arne芒鈧劉t called PencilMate. Also, after looking online, I am happy to say I found KUM wedge sharpeners online! The only place I found them was at It is my favorite sharpener, mostly because it is all metal and so seems like it sharpens better just from looking at it芒鈧?if that makes sense.

  31. Thanks for this site. I love my Retro51 Tornado fountain pen and my G2s, but you inspired me to go out and buy some pencils. I got some Dixon Tri Conderoga Blacks and some Mirado Black Warriors and I love them. I am looking forward to ordering some of the beloved Palominos and taking those out for a spin. So I have a plethora of writing instruments for my Moleskine (and I ran out and got a pocket sketchbook so I can use my pencils for that as well!)

    Keep up the good work.

  32. I’m afraid for writing and drawing I much prefer the immediacy of a ballpoint pen, but I’ve got to say this site is fantastic and you have shamed me into sharpening all those pencils lying around the office. I will have to try drawing on egg shells if nothing else. Great stuff.

  33. My favorite pencil is the black Ticonderoga. I was disappointed to find out this week, when I received my latest shipment of them, that they are now made in Mexico! I guess it had to happen sooner or later.

  34. First of all, what a fabulous resource of a web site! Reading about pencils on a web site is the same marvelous paradox as listening to the radio via RealPlayer!

    For me, the Sanford’s Draughting pencil is tops! The line is a beautiful, uninterrupted solid black. The lead is quite soft, however, so I carry small sharpeners with me. The Draughting is great for journaling, note-taking, margin-annotating, and certainly for drawing.
    They can be bought online through Utrecht- or for Boston area folks- at Bob Slate’s on Harvard Square.

  35. ah, Bob Slate’s!
    It’s a vibrant throwback of a stationery store, always swarming with customers and scurrying salespeople. It’s the antithesis of Big Box, where you can buy one of this, and one of that, and make a conversation out of the whole thing!
    Pencillers in New England are highly encouraged to make the pilgrimage!

  36. My favorites are the Palamino HB for the pure sensual pleasure of smooooooth pencilling, and the Castell 9000 HB for the honor of using THE flagship of the pencil universe and joining the fellowship of the famous. I also never use a mechanical sharpener (no need with a quality pencil) but carry a brass, bullet-shaped German hand sharpener which delivers a perfect 2 cm. cone and a needle point every time.

  37. One last thing:

    I think this Blog needs a mascot or “patron saint” of sorts.

    I nominate Charlie Brown who, back in the 1950’s, gave the world the “Pencil-Pal” and re-defined the paradigm forever.

    Good Grief!

  38. Most of my pencil use is with the Ticonderoga, although I do buy Mirados, both in black and yellow colors. Would it be sacreligious on this site to say I also like writing with high-quality Parker pens? (By high quality, I mean ordinary pens, but the refills cost about $5.00 apiece) However, I almost entirely write with pencils. At my job, I write a lot of notes off the phone, so always have 3 or 4 pencils sharpened and ready: usually two Ticonderogas of different lenghts, a Mirado Classic Black, and an up-to-now unused 4B General Pencil I found in the back of the drawer. Haven’t broken a point with any of them yet, despite sometimes fast scribbling of phone numbers with names and all kinds of various pressures exerted by me.

  39. Very interesting & informative site. I am a pencil collector who would like to correspond with pencil collectors.
    My favorite pencil would be the Ticonderoga and all the variations. :))

  40. While in Paris last year, I came across a little gem of a stationery boutique in the Latin quarter, and thought I’d died and gone to heaven. I espied a pencil, tried said pencil, and bought said pencil, saying, “This is the perfect pencil I’ve been waiting for all my life.”

    Nearing the end of my pencil, and now in Australia, I have been searching for its identical successor, but alas, to no avail. Yet.

    I believe my pencil is Faber-Castell’s aptly-named Perfect Pencil, which makes a match with its silver ‘UFO’ extender. It is a smooth-barelled, fixed eraser pencil, marked as #330. It’s still perfect for me.

    If anyone knows any stockists in Australia, please let me know. Help me and the perfect pencil stay together forever…

  41. I have no favorite pencil but i have a favorite pencil author. He even made a plaque on which he hung a pencil stub. The incription reads “With this pencil I wrote the MS of ‘The Emerald City.’ Finished Oct. 9th, 1899” The book was published in 1900 under the title “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”
    the first of 14 Oz books by one of my personal pencil heroes L. Frank Baum

  42. this site is like an oasis. It feels like home. Thank you Comrades all.

    And thanks also to the fine folks at Faber-Castell in Germany and then Australia, who helped track down a local stockist of The Perfect Pencil. A timely find, because my one-and-only pencil has just passed the point where it can rest on that cushiony bit between index finger and thumb while writing. (I wonder, is there a word for that bit of the hand, or for the state of the pencil when its end gets there?) This made me think about our Comrade’s question above, “when is the right time to discard a pencil?” I have decided to keep the stubs of my Faber-Castells, to count how many go through my hands in a (part) lifetime…

  43. This site is amazing, it convinced me to stray from pens and give pencils another shot. Now i have converted from a hardcore pen user to a pencils only girl. I love everything California Republic, Musgraves and Ticonderogas. I mentioned that “i finally got my stuff from California Republic” to my friend and she was very surprised when i pulled out Palominos and not a handbag!

  44. I have a suitcase full of mechanical pencils and the newest one is over fifty years old and I love every single one of them.

  45. this has to be my new favorite site! i’m returning to drafting stories by hand again (as I did when I first started writing for myself in high school almost ten years ago) and i’ve been looking for quality pencils to write with. i’ve had a box of wax-like pencils sitting in my desk for years now that have went untouched since i felt they smudged like crazy and were too soft since I tend to press rather hard on the page. i went out and bought a box of dixon oriole 2/HB’s from the local art supply and they’ve been rather pleasant but i’m anxious to move on to something a little smoother and darker. thanks so much for the reviews and info!

  46. Niciest pencil site, I guess I find my community. My gears: Staedtler Mars Lumo(6B), Faber 9000(6B), Lamy Scriblle(lead m43 4B), Koh-I-Noor Hardtmuth (4B)Mech pencil and french BIC (2B).

  47. -Have you guys thought about opening a pencil CASE section in this site? Anyways, this is a great site! Am also a pencil fan!

  48. my learned colleagues and i are incredibly interested in your revolutionary site. i happen to be the producer of a new stationery company, Stationary Stationery. Our prime product is Padded Pencil, finely tailored to suit all pencil needs. The benefits are three fold, firstly the padded design increases comfort, reducing the risk of nasty callous芒鈧劉, secondly the opportunity for fashionable designs, and thirdly thanks to the padding, the danger of breaking leads when the pencil is dropped decreases beyond measure! Some defactors may argue that the encasing of a pencil restricts it to a claustrophobic environment but we all know how silly that is because pencils have no central nervous system. they are but a communicator of our own souls as they flow from mind, to pencil, to paper. anyhoo…we are very proud to know that others care as much as we do about the industry. much love, hugs and kisses, Arnold Phattie, CEO of Stationary Stationery Inc, Australia.

  49. Our Ninth graders are going for the world’s tallest free standing pencil tower. Guiness World records approved out request so—– watch the news because we are practicing

  50. I am a musician and use pencils constantly in my work. I bought a 3pack of Foray graphite pencils and was over ths moon with the performance.I went back to Office Depot and bought another 3pack. Then after a couple of weeks my pencil just stopped writing. Nothing arrived at all. I binned it and started with another one. The same thing has happened. NOT GOOD. Is this usual? :-(

  51. Help! My husband’s favorite pencil has an oversized eraser and the words “bonded,” “Herald Square,””Georgetown, Ky” and “Mallard Pencil Company.” Can someone help me find this pencil type?

  52. Awesome site… my favorite pencil was the RoseArt U.S.A. Gold pencils, the eraser on them is really nice. But I bought a pack of Dixon Ticonderoga Blacks and I think that will be my new fav. I like the look(I like to be different and not have yet another yellow pencil), but what I notice most is how comfortable the Ticonderoga fits in my hand. It writes nice too. I use pencils for pretty much everything, mostly writing notes, sketching, and drawing.

  53. Hello, I found this website as a link from the lines and colors web site. I’m also a (hobbyist and beginner) pencils fan. I don’t have a preferred one pencil to tell apart from the Faber-Castell ones. If you can suggest me some good books on learning the techniques of pencil drawing it’s appreciated. Regards Andrea (Italy).

  54. Love Pencils, since sketching the human figure is one of my main loves. Being an artist for Disney, we love the pencil, red, black, or blue, we use them all.

  55. I have been to this website many times, but now I am brave enough to leave a message. I love all of you pencil lovers very deeply. I find refugee in your cookiness, and it nurtures me. Thank you. Pencils are awesome… there is no question about it, but I must say that for me, mechanical pencils are the best. I currently have a Sponge-Bob themed mechanical pencil with Patrick and Sponge Bob at the beach together (available at CVS and all fine stationary suppliers). It makes me really happy.
    Peace and carrots to all my pencil loving buddies!

  56. I’m so facinated with your pencil review. I never seen such marvelous pages ever. How can I be a pencil reviewer? If you contact me, I would like to send some pic of unique pencils from my collection.
    From Korea

  57. I spent hours on this site– I hope there will be more posts coming soon! My current favorite wooden pencil is Dixon Ticonderoga, but from what I’ve read here that could change quickly.

  58. hello this is by far the most amazing pencil site ever created. i think the point ur trying to make really is working. ticonderoga is taking more pride in the pencils they produce, and companies like california republic (who produces the palomino) are becoming more popular. keep up the good work and in response the the thought of this revolution being over because of the success youve had: NO WAY! keep goin, its about time something like thishas happened. your friend and pencil lover, -BEN-

  59. Hi,

    I love reading, especially the sorts of books that require notes in the margins and a supplementary handwritten index.

    This involves picking up a book, a pencil and a tiny ruler before curling up comfortably in an armchair.

    Wouldn’t it be great if I could pick up all three in one go? In other words, if my book contained a flat pencil, sheathed in a ruler-like bookmark.

    Does such a product exist? If not, who’s going to invent it?!


    Supporting more curling up time!

  60. Thank you for helping me to rediscover the wood-cased pencil. I was a fan of mechanical pencils and leadholders and had forgotten the satisfaction of wriing with a traditional pencil. There really can’t be another product in the world, which is so cheap and can give so much enjoyment.
    Here in Germany Pentel and Tombow wood-cased pecils are unknown but we cannot really complain as Faber-Castell 9000 and Staedtler Mars Lumograph are widely available in grades from 6H to 8B.
    I havn’t seen mention yet of sharpening with a knife. It is a simple and satifying skill and enables one to put a finer taper on the point than with most sharpeners, hence longer intervals between sharpening. Any small flat-ground pen knife or kitchen paring knife is ideal.
    BTW the 50c Standardgraph point protectors will extend the length of the pencil by at least 2cm and are not as obstructive as other lengtheners.

  61. Great site! I love pens & pencils both, & collect both. I’m not faithful to any particular pencil, and I just discovered mechanicals in the last couple of years–oh, my Sheaffer’s Delta Grip (discontinued) totally rocks. I am a pencil snob & only use high-ends for actual writing, but I collect cute ones that I don’t use. I once bought my dad a box of cedarwood pencils made by the Blackfoot Indians (the box was also cedar)& have been looking for some for myself ever since!

  62. I have in my possession a box of graphite pencils which were recently given to me by my mum and dad. they havehad them since 1968. the box has written on it 1 gross graphite pencils/ silver. from bohemia works-czechoslovakia. are these good pencils, would anyone be interested in them. these are also personalised with TARAX-SPARKLING SOFT DRINKS-TARAX. different coloured outers blue,silver,gold,green,pink.
    the box is not full so i imagine there would be around 100 pencils inside.
    I appreciate your comments on this. thankyou sandra.

  63. OK, now you’ve got me hankering after your Palominos & other exotics I’d never heard of before! Here’s a tip for using your good pencils practically down to the ferrule: You can either buy a “pencil extender” for an art supply store for about $3, or look for a cheap ballpoint (not retractable) pen cap & stick that on the end of your pencil. Also, if you like carrying non-mechanical pencils with you, you can sometimes get one of those cheap pen caps to fit over the pencil tip. Also, I highly recommend Henry Petrosky’s book “The Pencil” to everyone!

  64. My favorite pencil for everyday writing is the Grip 2001 #1-2B using on Levenger Pad. I am in research so I write a lot and the Faber has a great grip.

    For meetings I use the Faber Castell all black design pencil. It really looks smart in meetings and many people think it is a pen.

  65. Anybody interested in gaining pencils? mainly advertised pencils and some pencils with looney toons and rugrats? Are these even collected?

  66. I really miss the reviews and updates of this site. Did Matt go away to school or have a life changing event. I hope all is well, and will continue to check back for the updates. Thanks for the hard work.

  67. Magnificent Web site. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    Sorry; I can’t name just one favorite pencil yet. I’m extremely fond of Tombow’s Mono Pro B pencils (still want to try the Mono 100s in 2B), as well as Caran d芒鈧劉Ache’s Technograph in B (although 2Bs are on the way from Pencil Things), and芒鈧€漮f course芒鈧€漨y few Blackwings.

    I’m a journalist/free-lance writer. Although I must turn in stories via computer and E-mail, I still try to write rough/first drafts in longhand in pencil. I too used to be a (sort-of-cheap-) pen junkie, and still have a lot of them. But芒鈧€漷o me芒鈧€漰encils provide a far more sensuous writing experience.

  68. Who knew there were others?????
    Does anyone know about the Nava short and squatty mechanical pencil with very fat graphite? My daughter bought me one and I can bear to use it because I have no more lead..anyone know where to buy another/more??

  69. Great site. My affection for the mighty pencil began when I worked as an intern at The Washingtonian Magazine and was asked to research the origins of the materials that went into making Mongol pencils.

    As an aspiring novelist, I’m always interested in finding out about the favored writing instruments of famous writers. In “Journal of a Novel,” John Steinbeck notes that he prefers round pencils (forgot which brand), because that don’t “cut into his hands.”

  70. My favourite type of pencil is the HB pencil. Does anyone else share my compulsion to sharpen pencils until they’re really small? I guess it’s pretty stupid but at least I can tell which pencil is mine at the end of the day! “Yup, that’s Dan Moroney’s Pencil!” I often say, to the amusement of those around me!

  71. I teach 3rd grade and our pencils are driving me crazy. They don’t sharpen well and then they immediately break. Out of each batch I sharpen, several are so off that you can’t get them to come to a usable point. I was beginning to hate pencils. Ah, but then I found your lovely site and revelled in the remembrance of pencils that work. Although I have to fight pencil wars at school, I can now read about peaceful pencils and relax. Smiles.

  72. okay. . . ever since i read this i have had an urge to buy and use wooden pencils. i love them . . . one of my favorites has to be the Mirado Black Warrior. i havent found the perfect notebook yet but i guess that is what i will be searching for next. i love this site.

  73. Help. Is anyone familiar with a black pencil that has one piece of lead coming out at the end that has the following colors: red, yellow, green, blue, violet? On the side of the pencil are the words Black Pal Made in Japan KN06 100. I love this pencil and bought 3 in a store in southern England and can’t find them anywhere. Many thanks

  74. I love pencils. My 3rd graders love pencils. I was rewarding them with fancy pencils but the pencils turned out to be nothing but painted trash. The pencil lead is cracked and as they are sharpened it just falls right out. Now I reward them with Mirado Black Warriors…the kids love them too.

  75. hey can someone pleaseeeee forward me a site link to the “focus” brand pencils. im desperate and ive looked everywhere!

  76. Was recently very excited to acquire an SDI 153 pencil sharpener! Up until now i have been in the extreme predicament of getting through sharpener after sharpener and never being entirely satisfied with their results. The SDI 153 displays that rare ability to combine ‘retro’ design with modern specifications and results. It truely takes pencil sharpening to the next level! TOIGHT!

  77. I like those pencils that you can push the new tips in from the top. Dull end? Plunk! A new sharp tip! A pencil’s use is always in the hand of the beholder. 脗隆Viva La Revolucion! 脗隆Viva Lapices!

  78. The best mechanical is the Pentel.5mm P205. It has an extra length of tubing along the lead to prevent breakage. Alas, the Mongols of my childhood are gone, but the Dixon-Ticonderoga is excellent. I love the scratchy little noise pencils make as they dance along the paper.

    I agree with Johnny B. The crappy Chinese plastic “wood” pencils are total crap. And did you notice many erasers are now plastic, not rubber?

    One of the problems today (I’m 60) is that chains such as Staples are not interested in carrying quality supplies any more. Only price matters. the other problem is that many thing are no longer manufactured in the USA.

    I live in NYC, and THE office supply for about 100 years (literally) was Goldsmith’s. It was pure heaven to shop there. I still have two of their file cabinets, 35 years old, of high-quality steel, all the edges smoothly rolled, and 100% of their paint intact. And a little metal tag “Steelmaster – Art Steel Co. NEW YORK,” not “Beijing.”

    The chains put Goldsmith’s out of business about 20 years ago. ‘Nuff said.

  79. I feel that the Dixon Ticonderoga #2 is the supreme wooden pencil. i am always on the look out for them, as in on the floor, in classrooms, or other places. i don’t ever think i could buy one seeing that i find them quite often, but they way it writes is like excalibur in King Arthur’s hands. I the irony of when i find these pencils is that i never use them. i just like to have then in my presence b/c it is such a marvelous utensil. the only draw back to a wooden pencil is that you have to sharpen then and when the led is shorter than you like at the end of the pencil you writing becomes a bit messy. i am more of a mechanical pencil person but i never turn down an opportunity to own or be in the presence of a Dixon Ticonderoga #2.

  80. Is there a proper way to sharpen a colored pencil? I’m not kidding?

    By the time mine are sharp, the lead falls out; then I start all over again and end up with a useless stub.

    What am I doing wrong?


  81. After resisting computers throught the 90s I finally fell onto the bandwagon in 1999 (secretly hoping Y2K might put pay to my new beast) … it’s now 2007 and I feel I was sold a false bill of goods. The computer is just a big time waster and I’m seriously thinking of returning to the PONA fold. I like a 2B lead (I tend to use a mechanical pencil for my illustrations) and a harder one (2H or harder) for transferring the 2B art to watercolor paper. Then I use ink … fountain pens and thin Rapidographs mostly. I have been doing a fair bit of coloring in with Photoshop but that could change with the blink of an eye. Or not … I’m thinking about it (at last). David

  82. “Minutes of the Lead Pencil Club” is a nice collection of essays. Also, Bill Henderson had an essay “Power to the Pencil” in the 12/01/97 issue of Forbes ASAP. The best pencil site is The brand Finest-quality pencil 901-T-812-2 is a fine pencil for a great price — $1.79/dozen. It is the Dixon “Executive” pencil (normally $3.55/dozen) branded for Quill. Better than the Ticonderoga, which seems a bit too waxy in the lead. Write on! Oh that reminds me, does imprinted pencils.

  83. Way back in 1958 ( i think) the greatest homage to the pencil was penned by Leonard Read. It’s simply titled “I, Pencil.”

  84. Hi,
    My favorite pencil(s) (I don’t have “a” favorite… yet) are the Mirado Black Warrior HB and the Dixon Ticonderoga 2 5/10 medium. I just got the Black Warriors today, and I really like them, in some ways more than the Dixons. For instance, I don’t think the Warriors smear as much as the Dixons. I am a writer/photographer student at Idaho State University (studying English) and write a lot in small 3 by 5 memo books. It usually takes me two to three weeks to fill up a 100 page notebook–on both sides, and I notice that the Dixons, after that all that in and out of pockets and backpacks that it smears a lot. I end up with something that looks like a background of shaded graphite with faint remnants of words and letters (if you at it upside down it could be called modern art). I have yet to fill up a notebook with the Warriors, but so far when I write on a page and then rub the pages together, the Warriors haven’t smeared.
    By the way, I am always curious about what other writers use for notebooks. I tend use whatever I can find (Mead is good), which usually changes from buy to buy, but I’d love to hear suggestions from the “Comrades” as to a good high quality notebook.


  85. My favorite pencil is Tombow Mono-RH grade H endcapped pencil. I love the H because I tend to have a stronger impression and sweaty hands and anything darker than HB smudges. Unfortunately, Mono-RH is only available in Japan, so everytime I get a chance, I buy 4-5 dozens of them. I’ve tried many different kinds of pencil, but I must say Japanese pencils are the best! Staedtler is good too.

  86. I love to write with pencils, especially in small, paperbound notebooks like the Moleskins or the USGPO green-bound notebooks we had in the military.

    I always try to note the texture of the graphite going onto the paper: is it creamy and smooth, with just the right proportions of graphite and clay? In the past, I have used the Berol Mirados and the Dixon Ticonderogas, but there are others I have used and like better but cannot now remeber their brand.

    It always struck me that pencils were an important part of the effort in WWII. What sergeant or company commander didn’t need their stub of pencil to make all-important notes upon their maps, or write the sad letters home to those killed in action. Remember the scene in “Saving Private Ryan” where Tom Hanks, in reply to the corporal asking if he needed his typewriter, wordlessly held up a pencil… .

  87. I am an author writing a novel called
    ‘ Pencil ‘ where the main character is trying to write a story that will finish at precisely the moment that the pencil has been sharpened down to its final point. as research for the novel, I am inviting people to send me a word, a thought, a memory, a poem, a passage – anything inspired by the idea of ‘ pencil ‘. I’d be delighted to hear from any of you .Thanks, Sally Crabtree

  88. Great job on the site. Too bad there haven’t been any updates recently.

    Sadly, I noticed that PaperMate has swapped out the Pink Pearl erasers on their Mirado Black Warriors for a latex-free version. Why can’t manufacturers leave well enough alone? I’m all for improvement, but anymore it seems like all the major brands are interested in is cutting costs…

  89. Just to say HELLO from Rio de Janeiro, Brasil. I have been deeply interested about pencils and sharpeners since childhood (a lot of time ago, I must say), and they’re still a part of my life: I am a teacher!!!
    I enjoyed everything here, but specially the reviews about different sharperners.

  90. Sally,

    In these times of computers and printers just remember you can always rely on the original N0. 2 printer. They never need to be plugged in except to a sharpener and they are definitely more reliable.

  91. I enjoy your site, also I am surprised at how many pencil fans there are. Pencil is definitely the way to go, no worries about inking your fingers or running out of battery life. If you kind revolutionaries can help me find the identity of my new favorite pencil, I’ll be one grateful and happy person. using the descriptions on the site, it is this:
    Material: I strongly suspect a cedar, probably incense, same color, sharpens skin-smooth without sanding.
    Shape: Round, 7.6 mm diameter
    Finish: None at all, bare skin-smooth wood
    Ferrule: Silvery with a hint of a brassy tone
    Eraser: Pink firm rubber
    Core: HB-like graphite.
    Markings: None whatsoever, no indents to indicate sanding or rubbing off the paint either.
    Because this pencil, about which I received too long ago to remember anything about packaging or purchase info, has no identifying marks, I can’t figure out to replace it. And it is the only one I have like it I’ve seen in all the pictures online or in my possession.
    Again, thank you for this resource, and 脗隆viva la revoluci脙鲁n!

  92. My pencil of choice is the RoseArt 2 HB natural.
    I am a poet at times, and work multiple revisions.
    Fortunately, I purchased several dozens of these while they were available.
    It seems RoseArt has been bought out by a company called Megabrands, the pencil looks the same except for the brand.
    The graphite is vastly inferior.

    I do admit to having a brief affair with the Ticonderoga tri-write, and I always carry a Mars and spare leads in my jacket.

    The RoseArt Naturals will carry me to the end of my writing. The lead involved has that particular friction I
    crave, and is so responsive to variations of pressure and rotation as to make it calligraphic.


  93. Hi! I read your 2008 intro blog about not having time to reply to questions so I hope this one question reaches the Pencil Editor and community for answers:

    I am a non-traditional applicant for law school and will be sitting for the 4-hour LSAT exam in October. I have discovered that the administration will only allow 芒鈧搑egular #2芒鈧 pencils instead of mechanical pencils (what I am used to). My coach has requested I practice only with regular pencils so I get used to it.

    I am looking for a pencil that will write well on crappy test paper (thin, yellow, and fibrous), writes quickly, and thickly. Also, I guess I would like one that also doesn芒鈧劉t have an eraser so it 芒鈧揵alances better芒鈧 according to the blog.

    Any suggestions? Any suggestions of where to buy in huge bulk for practicing? It is estimated I will need 10 pencils for each practice test (6) and a lot more for practicing so affordable would be nice if anyone can also suggest where to buy them.



  94. great site – was looking for decent sharpener without success until i tried the KUM 2-step long point sharpener reviewed here – i sharpen Black Warriors with it and hope to try Palominos soon..

  95. I never realized until tonight that there were other pencil freaks out there like me. All this time I was the source of ridicule and mockery. hahah Pencil lovers UNITE! They are a piece of history fading away. Lets keep them relavent and alive.

  96. I recently purchased the Palomino Graphite from HB, and i can tell you, I have never looked back! I just love the way that it flows across the paper and the way that it makes me feel while im using it. I havent felt this good since well… never! It has really turned my life around, good stuff you guys.

  97. No more wool trousers – no more all cotton shirts – no more polishing shoes – and . . .
    Well – these things are still out there – if you have more money than brains! But in the meantime – my favorite –
    Derwent Graphic 3B (England)
    After hundreds (and I mean it!) of trials of presumed heirs to the venerable Blackwing, this one – in my humble opinion – comes closest. But no square eraser!

  98. The pencils they used to have out for the guests at the Ritz-Carleton. I have one in my pocket now, and a half-dozen in reserve at home. I’ll be sad when they’re gone. The old Mirado Black Warrior, before Papermate bought the name, was also a darned fine pencil.

  99. I came across your site in a search and think you may be the last resort I have in finding a certain pencil that I purchased a little over a year ago.
    It is one of the best pencils I have ever used for my drawings.

    Unfortunately when I went back to get more, the store did not carry them anymore. I am down to My last one [[ after initially buying a few boxes of it ]].

    I am hoping you or someone may know who the manufactures of this pencil is.

    The pencil writes in a VERY light gray, perfect for shading because it doesn’t get any darker. They all were packaged the same way in the box. Metallic GOLD with a small black triangle pattern in the gold. A black topper holding a white eraser.

    There are no marking anywhere in the pencil.
    If anyone has seen this kind of pencil or knows anything about it, it would very much appreciated. I am down to my last one!
    Much Thanks and good site.

  100. My favourite pencil has to be between the Tombow MONO 100 B and the Mitsubishi HI-UNI 4B (does anyone know where to find these anymore? has stopped selling them).
    I usually write with pencil but have occasionally fallen into the fountain pen rut….
    Write on!

  101. ..mary lawson, im sure they dont make the harold square oversized eraser pencils anymore; but i have a pack u’re welcome to.

  102. I’m looking for good non-smudge pencils for my lefty son. He drags his hand through his writing and is frustrated with the smear. I found a great pen recommend, but can’t find any pencil ideas? Help? Please? Thanks!

  103. Hi all fellow pencil lovers!
    I’m a Piano Teacher in the UK, and use pencils everyday to note things on music for pupils, so I couldn’t be without them!!
    I don’t have a particular favourite, though I confess I don’t bother buying ones which don’t have an eraser on the end now.. as I use those a lot too!! :-)

    I also have a Yard-o-Led propelling pencil, which someone gave me when I was a kid.. in the 60’s I think. It’s a lovely thing to have, but I don’t use it on a regular basis!

    I like to use a standard pencil sharpener, where you just turn the pencil yourself. It’s pleasing somehow! I have a nice heavy, metal one, shaped like an upright piano.. which seems very appropriate for me!! :-)

  104. Quality German or Japanese pencils HB,F, and 4H hand sharpened with a razor neatly contained in a pencil box with eraser.

  105. I have noticed that it’s now nearly impossible to find #1 pencils. The world is lousy with #2s and even some #3s, but extra soft pencils can’t even be found in the large office supply stores. Even art supply stores offer “soft” sketch pencils (at high prices) but nothing marked #1.
    … I am carefully guarding a box of #1s bought 5 years ago. But soon the #1 will be as extinct as the passenger pigeon.

  106. Well, I’m normally a fountain pen collecting/using fiend, but this week I picked up a couple packs of pencils. Staedtler Mars Lumographs (HB lead) and Faber-Castell GoldFabers (currently using a 4B lead one). It has been so…well, refreshing to just use a plain wood pencil… Especially these “European-style” ones, not even encumbered with an eraser…

  107. Hi there!

    Wonderful reviews – formatting and analysis et al!

    I am wondering if you might have any info on Sanford’s Turquiose series? They were originally Eagle pencils, and I’d gotten quite attached to the Turquoise Filmographic E1 leads.

    Unfortunately, no one seems to carry thse anymore!


  108. Can anyone tell me the history of Blackfeet Indian Pencils. When were the black ferrules stoped? Was there ever a difference in the paper box that would allow someone to differentiate black and silver ferrules with a SEALED box?

    Thank you for any assistance you can provide me.

  109. So many, many years ago, maybe the 70’s or 80’s, my dad stockpiled hundreds of boxes of new pencils. I recently found them and have been using them and LOVE these pencils. But i do not know much about them or where (if) i can get some more. The pencils i have found are has follows.

    Berol Ensign
    Berol Electronic Scorer 350
    Berol Eagle

    If anyone knows anything about these pencils. please let me know.


  110. Please help! I came across your site while searching for a new style of pencil for my husband. He uses the kind with the pencil/cap end that pulls out. The lead is always then dumping out (to be stepped on later in your bare feet) and the cap is lost. I’d love to find him a pencil that has a screw in cap/lid so curious the little fingers in our house can’t pull them off quite so easily. Can you suggest a pencil? Sorry, I am not well-versed in pencilage and am a novice to this newfound graphite kingdom you rule so well. There may be a zillion options like this, I just haven’t see them out there in my limited pencil-shopping experience. I’d sure appreciate your advice. Thank you!

  111. I am looking for a review on wooden pencils. i work in the elementry school system and for the last 2 years i have noticed that the wooden pencils are broken before sharpened what i mean is the lead is broken before you sharpen the pencil so you just grind your pencil away trying to get an point that doesn’y fall off? Anything out there?

  112. Someone told me a really interseting story they had read. While we in the U.S. spent million$ developing a pen that would write in spcae, the Russians decided to write in space with pencils!!

    I will try to verify this.


  113. Dear Blogger,
    I have a great pencil sharpener called The Classroom Friendly Pencil Sharpener that I would love for you to review on your site. I will gladly send you a free one. Please email me at and let me know where to send it. It is getting great reviews from teachers and home schoolers. I’d love to hear what you think about it.

  114. I love this website. I had no idea that there was anyone out there who loved pencils as much as I do! I completely agree with your review of the Ticonderoga. It is definitely the best pencil out there!

  115. my favorite is the usa gold pencils. they have very high quality cedar wood that sharpens in like 2 turns of a sharpener and they write extremely smooth. one of these pencils can last you at least 2 weeks of constant use.

  116. Thank you for the review of the Classroom Friendly Pencil Sharpener. I bought one last week and absolutely LOVE it! So glad I stumbled across your site.

  117. i really love my pencils! I never share my pencils, and sharpening them, feels great! right now I use Nataraj Fluorescent pencils. they are BRIGHT.this site is great!!

  118. Does anybody remember the Mallard Pencil Co’s Cadillac brand?

    It had a big eraser.

    I used to buy them in the 1960’s as a kid at the local mom & pop neighborhood pharmacy.

  119. Hello form Calif.,
    I recently purchased a couple Czech made leadholders. An architect I work with had one and I admired its quality immensely. As a result I also purchased a couple of Moleskines to jot my thoughts on paper.

    Favorite writers are Dickens and Shakespeare.

  120. Ohto 9000 pencils are the all-time favourite of mine and amount my artist colleagues but it’s not known outside the Asian country because of its limited exporting. I will suggest people to try it out if you can get a hold on one! The softness and the texture of the pencil are just beautiful:)

  121. Congratulations with the revolution once more – I’ve been reading almost from the start – this is a friendly spot on the big WWW. I really enjoy it – keep up the good work. oh, BTW this lady thinks it time for a pencil revolution too :-)

    “Schradinova” from the Netherlands – I know nothing further, but it seems a great pencil video.
    Kind regards Henrik

  122. The Mirado Black Warrior was the best pencil for me until I recently purchased a Palomino Blackwing 602, after reading all the raves about it…gotta say I may be spoiled for life. Everything else now feels like I’m using an old toothpick to write with. The smooth graphite, thick lacquer paint. The $20 bucks a dozen doesn’t seem so outrageously expensive to me as it did before trying it. On a side note, I love the feel and smell of any pencil I use…thanks.

  123. Thanks for your great blog. I’m a lover of fine stationary and writing implements, and your blog has renewed my love for traditional wooden pencils.
    Cheers from Cape Breton, Canada,

  124. I have been using the same koh-I-noor .7mm drafting pencil since I was in grade 10, 30+ years. I am a shop teacher now, cabinet maker before, and the thing has been in my shirt pocket mostly every day for a long time. I went on-line looking for erasers since my local staples doesn’t carry replacements any more, and discovered that I am now using an antique!

    There have been a couple of cold-sweaty days when the thing has gone AWOL, but it has always made its way back to me.

  125. I loved the “Leslie” pencils in early grades. Later I liked the Dixon Oriole. I also had a Pentel .9mm mechanical pencil made in Japan that I loved. I miss the Faber Castell pencils of the 1980’s.

  126. Even though most of my writing is done on a computer keyboard, I have a rather anachronistic affection for writing instruments – fountain pens and pencils of all sorts.

    My first love was an Itoya mechanical pencil a friend turned me onto and it used it when I was writing computer code.

    My next pencil delight was a Staedtler 782 Mars – Technico which I used for layout work when I was a pipe organ builder. A coworker showed me how he used sandpaper to form a chisel point which you could then hold precisely next to a straight edge to form a perfect straight line.

    I have since Pentel mechanical pencils .5 mm leads, and Bic Magic grips using .7 mm leads. My current favorite old fashioned pencil is a Dixon Ticonderoga #2 HB in black with a black eraser – very edgy.

  127. Hi!

    I stumbled upon your site while searching for reviews of the bullet journal, and I saw yours. I’ve been using a somewhat similar system for a few months now and I think it’s a cool system for me. I’ll probably tweak it a bit, but I’ll definitely use bullet journal for my 2014.

    As for your site… WOW! A perfect place to meet people with penchant for pencils.

    My dad used to teach art and drafting so I grew up with fascination towards pens, pencils and other coloring materials. I’m a pen and pencil hoarder. Whenever I go to a mall, I cannot help myself from buying a pen or a pencil. I have lots of pens in my daily pencil case, but I prefer using a pencil for my daily notes and planner. Though at the moment, I’m using a mechanical pencil with 0.7 2B polymer lead because it’s convenient to throw it inside my bag without worrying about breaking off the graphite tip. But I do have a lot of Mongol, Faber-Castell and Staedtler pencils on my office desk which often get “borrowed” by my colleagues. So I would keep one or two in my secret pen/pencil box for my own use.

    I read one of your blog posts about the test of time between graphite/pencil markings and ink. I think graphite markings fade because of the friction between pages. But I’ve yet to test that haha. From my experience though, I have a poetry journal that got soaked in flood water. The 75 percent of my entries that was written with pencil remained intact, while those I wrote with ball point pen practically disappeared.

    Well, thank you for your site. I love what you’ve done with the place.

    I actually meant to just say “Hi!”

    Warmest regards,

  128. Great site. As an artist using various pencils I’ve been having difficulty with sharpeners for soft lead pencils like charcoal or pastel pencils. I’m not sure if you’ve tried it but you might want to take a look at the Stabilo Art. Nr. 4514 Sharpener. It’s designed for the soft pastel Stabilo Carbothello pencils but works better than anything I’ve seen for any thick soft lead pencil. It “looks” like your average small sharpener but has a wider gap and doesn’t jam and break the tips off soft pencils.

  129. I no longer have a blog so don’t know if this will go through… I heard about this blog via NPR today… found many of your posts and archives very helpful. I’d give my eye teeth for a good calligraphy pen… had a lot of trouble with Sheaffer loading their cartridges that leak all over the place.
    I’m disabled and have found that pencils are my preferred method of creating… I like a 1-2B pencil that can hold a good point as my drawings become quite intricate at times. The only other medium that could do that was steel nib pens but you need a light table for the inking. So when you come right down to it, nothing is better for drawing… and thus for seeing.. is a #1B or #2B pencil.
    Hope this goes through.

  130. Hey esto es un gran poste. Puedo utilizar una porcin en ella en mi sitio? Por supuesto ligara a su sitio as que la gente podra leer el artculo completo si ella quiso a. Agradece cualquier manera. febbeedaggde

  131. Hello! My favorite pencil as of late is General’s Carbo-Weld Supreme 550, which is only sold at university bookstores (mine was obtained at 30 cents each).

    Maybe one day I will send a few your way.

  132. Good morning! I’m glad I stumbled across your blog today. As a university researcher, I’ve found my favorite pencils are the Rotring 500 (0.5 mm) and Fabre-Castell Grip 2001. Happy Sunday!

  133. I like so many. Writing with the giant 鈥榤y first Ticonderoga鈥 makes me smile. Any red and blue 1/2 and 1/2, koalas and ferbys.

  134. Just finished going through all of the archives (yes, ALL of them). Great blog! I love it. Mostly, I like to see pencils in action, in various stages of length, getting ready to be used (school, camping), etc. How come you never show a dull point? Sharp, sure. Even broken. Dull pencils are something to be proud of, too. Again, great blog!

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