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The Reflection

Mechanical Pencils versus Wooden Pencils

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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


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