Pencils are very small tools and they sometimes tend to be forgotten as they are just tucked somewhere in our hairs or just in the pouch. However, pencils are very important, especially for people who write a lot and those who deal with technical stuff that needs drawing. There are different types of pencils and their uses are just as diverse.

In order to understand the types of pencils, one has to be a very keen observer because even though a person claims that he can tell the difference between the types of pencils and their uses, it is not that easily decipherable. These are the different types of pencils and their uses.

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Two Major Pencil Types

First of all, there are two types of pencils and their uses are just diverse. There are hard pencils and soft pencils. Hard pencils will always be followed by H after the number like 5H to show that it is a very hard pencil. Soft pencils, on the other hand, are indicated by the letter B after the number, like 2B. The number indicates the degree of hardness or softness of the pencil.

Where a series of numbers are used, high numbers will always indicate a hard pencil while low numbers will indicate a soft pencil. For example, in the equivalencies, number 4 stands for the 3H pencil and 1 for 2B.

Specific Pencil Types

  • Charcoal Pencils
    These produce darker hues than the graphite pencils and they are used in drawing like to shade the hair and they can be messy because they cause smudges.
  • Colored Pencils
    Mostly used by children in drawing, they contain china clay and wax and other pigments that make them have plenty of colors and good for shading. They need to be sharpened although one does not need to put a tip on them.
  • Water Color Pencils
    These are soluble in water and are used to paint on soluble surfaces and leave behind nice shades after the water has dried out.
  • Cosmetic Pencils
    They are used to shade the eyebrows and as lip liner.
  • Carpenter Pencils
    These are specially formulated to work well on wood. They are for marking points on wood when the carpenter is at his work. They are made in peculiar shapes that are rectangular or oval so that they do not roll away on the surfaces and fall to the ground.

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  • Stenographer Pencils
    These pencils are usually sharpened at both ends in order for the stenographer to keep going even if one tip is dulled. They are made of stronger lead and they are made to suit the shorthand writing technique stenographers use.
  • Mechanical Pencils
    Mostly referred to as lead pencils, clicky pencils, or propelled type pencils, these are the most practical pencils because one does not need to sharpen them. When you click the button at the top of the pencil, a graphite point extends outwards and when you are through using it, you can take it back by pressing the same button. The best mechanical pencils can be gotten from renowned makers such as Zebra pencils, Cult pencils, and of course, the all time great manufacturer Staedler. Bic and Pentel are also nice pencil brands.