Why I Prefer a Wood Cased Pencil Over a Mechanical Pencil

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

Cost effective

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.

Aesthetic appeal

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.


In Conclusion

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.

2 thoughts on “Why I Prefer a Wood Cased Pencil Over a Mechanical Pencil

  1. I can completely agree with you on this. I do make a few exceptions though and that is mostly the Rotring 600. Christ that is a sexy mechanical pencil that just feels tactile and perfect. I don’t nock too hard on mechanical erasers because a lot of pencils have awful erasers too. We won’t name any names *cough*blackwing*cough*. The way I look at it is it is kind of like a lazy man’s pencils. Wood pencils are so appealing because of things like sharpening, the smell, and all the reason you listed but a good drafting pencil is hard to put down because of how quick you can get the point you need and the ability to hit a .3mm, .5mm, or .7mm consistently is pretty sweet. I love my wood pencils but damn are there some good drafting mechanical pencils out there you know?


    1. Can’t argue with you in the awful Blackwing erasers. Even the new ones aren’t that good. And I’m going to have to try a drafting pencil. I’ve not used one, and they might change my opinion some! Thanks for the response and for reading!


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