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Which Pencils are Used for Writing?

Woman writing with pencil.

You’ll find many kinds of pencils available in the market. Some pencils are made from wood, metal, graphite, and other materials. In this article, we will talk about the best pencils for writing.

There is bound to be a pencil to suit everyone’s budget in this list, and the cheapest will be far superior to the cheap Chinese imports that you can find at Dollar Tree and Walmart. They are available in many different styles, colors, and sizes. 

Related: Which Pencils are Used for Shading? | Which Pencils are Used for Sketching?

Blackwing 602 Pencils

PALOMINO Blackwing 602 Original Soft Pencil, 12 Count(1 Dozen) Gray Art, Eraser, Writing Instrument

Famous Blackwing users include Ernest Hemingway, Faye Dunaway, and John Steinbeck. Famous poets and musicians have also used the Blackwing pencil. 

Modern versions are made in Japan from California incense cedarwood. Erasers are still held in a flat golden ferrule. This black pencil makes a dark mark similar to a traditional B-pencil. It is not the type of pencil you’d typically buy for everyday use. But if you’re looking to indulge in a bit of luxe and want to unleash your inner writer, this is one of the most expensive pencils that money can get.

These are my favorite luxury writing instrument. I love to feel in my hand, the way they glide over paper, and the smell of the wood is a wonderful treat. 

Amazon Reviewer

Mitsubishi 9800 Pencil

Mitsubishi Pencil Co., Ltd. 9800 pencil dozen (12 pieces) HB K9800HB (japan import)

Widely regarded as one of the best pencils globally, the Mitsubishi 9800 Pencil is a premium pencil that carries a premium price. Therefore, it is not the average person’s pencil for school work or everyday writing. Instead, they use the Mitsubishi 9000 pencil. A pencil with a top-quality finish that rivals western premium pencils.

I’m a pencil person now! I used to hate writing with pencils…I thought they were smudgy, messy, and required too much pressure to read dark enough for my liking. These have none of those issues! The lead is soft enough to read dark without a lot of pressure, but stacked pages and closed notebooks don’t smudge. And they erase completely with ease (You’ll need to buy erasers for these—I like the Tombow plastic eraser and Papermate Arrow caps. I also picked up a long point sharpener.) I use them for writing as well as sketching pencil lines for bullet journal layouts. Worth every penny! 

Amazon Reviewer

Tombow 8900

Tombow 51530 8900 Drawing Pencils, HB, 12-Pack. High Quality Graphite Writing Pencil

The Tombow 8900 is listed in the Top 3 of the best pencils, along with the Blackwing and the Mitsubishi 9800. It was first introduced in 1945 as a specialist pencil that artists could use to retouch photos.

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Today, it is Japan’s best-selling pencil for schools and office use. It would be considered a high-end pencil in the US because of its quality. They are available in grades 2B through 2H.

Glad to have found these.

This is the softer-lead grade of pencil I recall having in years past been commonly sold as average writing pencils. For me personally, the average writing pencil on the market today has become too hard, producing text too light and hard to read, especially when writing on paper formulated to be slicker, such as some calendars.

If you are buying this for a writing pencil, however, be aware there is no attached eraser — however they are standard width, so the standard eraser caps fit, as well as the standard pencil grips. 

Amazon Reviewer

Staedtler Tradition HB Pencil


Made by one of Germany’s oldest pencil makers, the Staedtler Tradition HB Pencil is the Number 1 pencil used in schools worldwide because of its break-resistant lead and its ability to sharpen into an excellent point.

While comparing it to these other HB pencils, though, I noticed that the Tradition again felt notably smoother. I switched back and forth a few times and confirmed that, indeed, the Tradition writes with a little more of a silky touch than other HBs.

Polar Pencil Pusher

General Semi-Hex #2 Pencil

General Pencil Semi-Hex Graphite #2 Pencils 12/Pkg-2HB

The General Semi-Hex #2 pencil is considered one of the best for students and writers because of its point retention, plus the level of smoothness and darkness. Its ceramic/graphite composite core comes in B, HB, F, H, and 2H.

I like this product because when I write, the pencil has a smooth lead and when I erase the eraser erases. The eraser on this pencil is the best pink eraser I have ever encountered, the eraser is just as good as the white polymer erasers from Pentel. The second reason why I like this pencil is that when I sharpened the pencil, the lead did not break and that made me very happy. By the way, I used the Staedtler pencil sharpener to sharpen this pencil. This pencil sharpens with no problems and again that makes me very happy, so, this brand of pencils will stay on my shopping list for now on.

Amazon Reviewer

Faber-Castell Grip 2001 Pencil

Faber-Castell Grip 2001 Pencil 2H by Faber Castell

Made by another of Germany’s oldest pencil manufacturers, the Faber-Castell Grip 2001 Pencil is popular among writers. They love the ergonomic triangular-shaped barrel and the unique, soft, non-slip grip because they can concentrate on their work. In addition, the graphite is highly break-resistant, with durable construction that makes it strong enough to handle strong hand grips.

I like pencils that write a dark line but can be used for day-to-day writing (only 2B and 4B for me), and the Grip 2001 fits the bill, for me, better than any pencil around.

Pencil Revolution

Dixon Ticonderoga #2 Pencils

TICONDEROGA PENCILS, Wood-Cased #2 HB Soft, Pre-Sharpened with Eraser, Yellow, Six 30ct Packs/180 Count Total (X13830)

The Dixon Ticonderoga #2 pencil is made by America’s oldest and largest pencil company. Its iconic design has been familiar to every generation of schoolchildren since 1812. They come in three sizes, making them easy for small children, teens, and adults to use. You can also get them in four hardness levels, #1 being the softest and #5 being the hardest.

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The lead is excellent and especially easy to erase fully. I can tell when others use inferior pencils when I have to make corrections, and they will not easily erase.

Amazon Reviewer


We’ve provided a list of the most popular pencils in the world, along with the reason(s) why so many people enjoy them. Of course, you may be familiar with several of the brands. If not, click on the links and check them out. You might add a new pencil to your writing arsenal!


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