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The Reflection

Mechanical Pencils versus Wooden Pencils

77 votes

Mechanical Pencils are better than wooden ones

Mechanical pencils. Let’s face it. They last longer, they are always sharp, and they don’t require you to get up in the middle of a test to sharpen a pencil. All a mechanical pencil requires is a little click, and you’re in business. Mechanical pencil lead can also be retracted, preventing either being stabbed in the leg or a bunch of pencil lead (mislabeled, it’s actually made of quartz) in your bag.

Mechanical pencils also display our desire for precision, and the ease of writing. Writing stuff isn’t easy. Getting the right tools for it should not be difficult. With wooden pencils, you need a sharpener, which can cost a lot of money, as well as being ridiculously noisy, particularly when you’re performing a task where silence is important. With mechanical pencils, all you need to worry about is running out of lead, in which case you just need to remove the eraser and insert more. Can it get any simpler?

While most tests push for the use of wooden number two pencils, more and more pencil companies are creating mechanical pencil lead that is composed of the quartz in number two pencils. Thus, it’s becoming more tempting than ever to use a mechanical pencil. Who knows? Maybe eventually we’ll have mechanical pencils that use the same mechanisms as the ballpoint pen.

And everyone knows that pens are so much cooler than pencils.


By Luke VanDeWeert


The old school utensil is cooler

The wooden pencil represents the greatest part in all of us: our ingenuity.  Sure, it may require more work at times with sharpening and such, but the lead in a pencil is far better supported by wood than by plastic.  I recall many times when I would repeatedly break a mechanical pencil’s lead from just doing math homework.  Plus, a mechanical pencil’s lead must constantly be bought and replaced, whereas a wooden pencil will stick with what is given to it down to the last inch of its lifespan.  Finally, getting up to sharpen a wooden pencil is far less annoying than the constant “click click click click” of a mechanical pencil expending its lead.

A mechanical pencil shows the laziness in all of us: We don’t want to get up, so we spend more money on lead than on actual pencils.  Wooden pencils require greater effort for greater durability and rewards.

As far as mechanical pencils lasting longer, it’s not always the case.  When the fragile lead of a mechanical pencil constantly breaks and snaps, then they really don’t last quite as long.

If one is worried about the safety of a wooden pencil, then maybe the source of the problem isn’t with the tool, but rather the user.  People who put their pencil in their pocket are just being ridiculous with their safety.  Putting a sharp point in one’s pocket is never a good idea, so why don’t we have mechanical scissors to put in our pockets?

Mechanical pencils may have precision, but it is so much more difficult to shade with mechanical instead of wooden pencils.  Like previously said the lead seems to always break.

The cost of a sharpener should add up to about how much lead one must buy in a mechanical pencil.  Constantly having to buy more and more lead can put a dent in one’s finances.

It’s crazy to think that mechanical pencils will take over the practicality of a wooden pencil.  Like many novelties, a mechanical pencil is flashy and requires less work, I’ll admit that.  However, it is absurd to think that it will outlast the timeless wooden pencil in ingenuity and tradition.


By Nic Smith


My name is Luke VanDeWeert. I love to write and am rather talented as one. I decided to join the newspaper--er, "news site" staff this year in order to have more people read my work, considering I wasn't getting enough attention with just essays in classes. I am currently writing an action novel, and have some desire to be a screenwriter and maybe a historian, My personal favorite is Michael Crichton (it's pronounced liked "frighten," by the way, to those who say it like, "cricshton"), and greatly aspire to be as good as, if not better than, him.Other than that, I like to write reviews and opinion articles. Expect some more of my writings on the website.


  1. Debi

    Nice argument guys. Just a few points. Pencil lead is made from Graphite and clay, various degrees that give the hardness or softness of the pencils ranging from 9h to 9b. Standard mechanical pencil lead come in some degrees, I use a 2b with my .07. Also any artist can tell you about clutch pencils which come in thick 2mm lead with all the degrees. As an artist I find the clutch pencil more consistent with drawing because the size and weight of the pencils never changes as it does with a wooden pencil. And no lead breakage. Plus non wooden pencils are much more environmentally friendly.

  2. hannellie

    I am just using these wooden pencil right now for a homework and they suck I don’t even have a sharpener to sharpen this pencil that is not pointy the led of the pencil is almost wasting worst of all my mom doesn’t let me use them becaue she thinks i don’t know how to use them and she said i gotta wait till I get older so that I can use them in high school! All of the kids in my class uses them so why not me? im only 11 im in 6th grade and im in middle school and gotta wait 6 MORE YEARS to get to uneversity

  3. pete

    “Like many novelties, a mechanical pencil is flashy and requires less work, I’ll admit that. However, it is absurd to think that it will outlast the timeless wooden pencil in ingenuity and tradition.”

    It is definitely more time efficient (not lazy) but how is a mechanical pencil a novelty? A wooden pencil is inferior in every way; it will be used up within a month of writing (wont last decades like mechanical), loses its sharpness and becomes dull after a few scribbles (remedied by a cheap pocket size pencil sharpener; something the writer of this article apparently never realized existed) and is also prone to snapping or breaking the lead head while writing. The wood case also tends to get bumps or scratches and the paint flakes off when used for a long time.

    I’ve never had any of the problems you mentioned using hundred’s of different mechanical pencils for years throughout school and college in any class. A entry level mechanical pencil is not expensive to buy (4 dollars tops, less than a sandwich) and the packet of lead is relatively cheap (around 3 dollars at a convenience store)

    If the lead breaks for a mechanical pencil you can
    a) not extend the lead so far out
    b) use a composition of lead with a stronger grade graphite
    c) lighten the force when writing on paper
    d) add a small plastic nub on the inside of the pencil head to stabilize the graphite from wiggling and breaking
    e) get a mechanical pencil with a bigger lead size 0.7 or 0.9 recommended for heavy writers

    “everyone knows pens are way cooler”
    Not even close to cool. You cant erase your writing as easy(need special polymer pen eraser) and the ink tends to bleed through onto the backside of the paper or blotch when writing. I also view people writing with pens as schmucks who are improvising with their writing tools because they have nothing else. I always get the impression they would use an old newspaper as a writing pad. Not a good impression!

    For anyone looking to buy mechanical pencils check out: pentel, staedler and tul pencils. Those are good quality brands. Avoid papermate pencil products.

  4. h98i

    ughhhhhhhhhh go fudge off

    • Sivangi


      • A Human

        Silence you five year old. I agree, but your grammar is horrible.

    • Person Here

      I agree with you mostly, but I want to make one comment. The stronger lead grade aspect can mean different things, but if one must use HB, I believe it would be better to say which companies to use. As Dave of Dave’s Mechanical Pencils says,”With leads there is a very clear and very easy rule … buy Japanese lead. That’s it. Sorry to the Germans, but the Japanese are better. Full stop, or period as you say in the USA. There is an enormous difference in the strength of a piece of 0.5-mm Japanese lead versus cheap Chinese rubbish.” The best one I will suggest for balance is the Pentel Ain Stein (sounds like Einstein) lead refills, especially since it is available in 0.2 mm.

  5. Shashwat Shrivastav

    Actually,mechanical pencils are better than regular pencils.I like the clicky sound they make.

  6. Kian

    Coming from a person who writes smaller, I prefer mechanical pencils any day. A mechanical pencil never shortens due to a wooden sharpener, keeps a consistent point (even more consistent with the Uni Kuru Toga), and allows a user to have access to more features (lead indicator, bigger eraser, different grips).


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