I’m back! There was a much needed break that needed to be taken from writing, but here I am again, offering the hard-hitting writing you have longed for in the world of pencils.
Wood Cased Pencils vs Mechanical Pencils. Some people have very strong opinions about which kind of pencil they use. Others don’t care quite as much. I fall somewhere in the middle – I hate using a mechanical pencil myself, but I won’t judge someone else for using one. At least it’s not a fountain pen.
Things I like about mechanical pencils
The first thing that I like about mechanical pencil is the reason most people use them – you don’t have to sharpen them like you do a wood cased pencil. Just click the end of the pencil or whatever lovely mechanism is part of the pencil, and VOILA there it is – a freshly sharpened pencil.
And…. that’s about it. David Rees has the best words on mechanical pencils in chapter 11 of his books, How to Sharpen Pencils, but since this is a family friendly blog, I will not quote it directly. To put it less crudely, mechanical pencils are the equivalent to the dung of a bull. The lead is too thin and breaks too easily. Of the ones I have used, the erasers aren’t very good. You can get a pack of them for the same price as a pack of good quality, semi-cheap pencils. Which leads right into why I like wood cased pencils.
Things I like about wood cased pencil
With the exception of a few, you can get a dozen really good pencils for about $5 for a dozen. One of my current favorite pencils is just $.50 a pencil! I write a good bit, and I can make a pencil last about 3 weeks if I can make myself only use one rather than switching pencils everyday.
Sure, you can get a cool, shiny looking mechanical pencil from the school supply aisle, but I have yet to see a mechanical pencil that tops the look of a Blackwing 602 or a General’s Cedar Pointe.
The full experience
While it is easy to just click a button and have a sharp pencil, in my opinion, there is nothing better than sitting down with a fresh, or dull, pencil and a pencil sharpener and sharpening a pencil. It makes me more attached to the tool that I am using. The physical work of sharpening a wood cased pencil is one of my favorite aspects.
It makes me happy to see someone using a wood cased pencil, even if its a cheap, store brand one. However, even if it is a mechanical pencil, it doesn’t matter to me. As I have said many times on this blog, find what you like, and use it. We can still be friends even if we have differences of opinions on things.