Which Pencil Should You Use?

Pencils have been used by people for a very, very long time. From simple doodles to complex architectural plans, the pencil has seen a wide variety of applications. It can be used to jot down a physics equation, record a phone number, or pen a private love letter. Even with the keyboard taking on most computerized work, the pencil still finds its way to the hands of people willing to use it. It’s good to know what pencil to have if you use it extensively.


If you’re going to get a pencil for heavy use, check out its grading. The grading is usually near the end of the pencil, opposite its writing end, and consists of a letter or a number plus letter. The numbers range from 1-9 and the letters are H, B. So you can have a grading like 3B, 2H, and B.


The letters on a pencil grading whether it’s soft/black (B) or hard (H). The softer a pencil is, the blacker it is and easier it tends to smear. The harder a pencil is, the lighter it writes and the harder it tends to smear. The numbers increase how soft or hard a pencil is. A 5B is softer than a B, and a 5H is harder than an H. The ‘average’ pencil, as the letters suggest, is the HB pencil. Occasionally you have a pencil labeled F, which means ‘fine’ and is similar to HB.



Soft pencils are great for artwork. They make black marks easily on the paper. You don’t have to press hard on a soft pencil to darken your strokes. so you won’t distort the surface you’re writing on. As a bonus , soft pencils are easy to smear, giving more artistic options than simple lines. Hard pencils are better for detailed and precise work, like cartography and technical drawing. They’re not as dark as soft pencils, but they smear much less as well. This is useful when you want to draw something as neat and as accurate as possible. They also need less sharpening because they don’t run out as fast as soft pencils, so they last longer.

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