Thursday, December 16, 2021

Which are the best pencils?

According to the Wirecutter, the best pencils for writing and schoolwork are:

1) Palomino Golden Bear
2) Dixon Ticonderoga
3) Palomino Blackwing 602
honorable mention Faber-Castell Grip Graphite Eco pencil with eraser

I have to disagree with the author of the article right from the start. No doubt the pencils are great, and appreciated by many people, but saying the best pencil for writing and schoolwork is Palomino, Dixon or other brand is not true.

For writing, people will appreciate a no fuss approach. A pencil that needs sharpening on a regular basis, doesn't have a constant line width, makes a mess on your desk is far from being the best. In this regard any decent mechanical pencil will offer you a better experience to any of the pencils above. The lead advances at a push of a button, shake or automatic. There is no need for sharpening ever, because of this you don't have to carry a sharpener with you. Any mechanical pencil can store a multitude of leads inside, so you do not run out. You can swap the leads with different hardness ones. There are several widths available, from ultra-thin to normal tip size. In general, wooden pencils have a worse grip than their mechanical counterparts. Choose a mechanical pencil that suits you and is comfortable in your hand, and it will remain that way after writing with it, as the length of the pencil will stay the same virtually forever.

Saying that the best pencil for schoolwork and writing is a wooden pencil is the same as saying the best watch for timekeeping is a mechanical watch (insert brand name here). A $20 Casio will be a better watch in regard of timekeeping, or for that matter a cheaper no name digital watch will do a better job keeping time compared with watches that cost thousands of dollars.

I am not saying that wooden pencils or mechanical watches for that matter don't have a place in this world. Many like them, including myself, but I wouldn't go around saying that they are the best for writing or timekeeping. There are other reasons to praise these products and to appreciate them, the craftsmanship used in producing them, the quality, the feeling you get while using them. In some cases, these things are works of art.

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