Best Pencil Reviews 2023

Pencils are no doubt an important stationary tool, and there is a plentitude of them. Choosing the best pencil may seem like a walk in the park, but, if you want best results, you’ll quickly realize that a little research is important. That’s where we come in. We’ve found the top 5 pencil makers in the market today and reviewed one pencil from each of them. If you aren’t satisfied with our compilation, you can check out their other pencils. We also have reviews on electrical pencils, colored pencils, and even electrical sharpeners that you can check out, too.
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Our Top Choice
Fun Express Stacking Point Pencils
With a product line of over ten-thousand fun yet functional products, Fun Express is your one-stop shop for trendy educational supplies.
50 pencils per pack. Each pencil comes with eleven stacking lead pieces and an eraser cap. Does not require pressure to write well. Durable. Great color variety.
Some patterns may not match your child’s aesthetic.
Multicolored; eraser cap
0.35 millimeters
6 inches
50 pieces
Best Value
Pentel Twist-Erase III 0.9mm Mechanical Pencil
Pentel is a multinational company making superior-quality, innovative products that deliver maximum value down to the last cent.
Twist-out eraser. Comfortable rubber grip and large refillable eraser. Latex-free. Sturdy and durable. Available in ten colors.
May have difficulty retracting lead after use.
Twist-out eraser
0.5, 0.7, or 0.9 millimeters
7 inches
1 piece
Dixon Ticonderoga Wood-Cased #2 Pencils
Dixon Ticonderoga makes and sells an average of half a billion pencils per year, known for smooth writing and a classic design.
Smooth performance. Comfortable to write with. Well-balanced lead. Made from pleasantly aromatic cedar wood. Eraser doesn’t smudge or harden.
Some pencils may contain broken lead.
. Eraser top
0.5 millimeters
7 inches
12 pieces
BIC Xtra-Fun Ultra Solid #2 Pencil
Since their inception, BIC has sought ways to focus their manufacturing process on what’s important: delivering products that are efficient, practical, and modern.
Fun colors. Long-lasting, break-resistant lead. Sharpens to and keeps a fine point. Flexible yet durable. Functional, smudge-free erasers.
Pencils require pressure for writing to be clearly visible.
Multicolored; eraser top
0.5 millimeters
8 inches
8 pieces
Paper Mate SharpWriter Pencil
Paper Mate strives to provide the widest range of writing and correction instruments. They create reliable and affordable products so that you never lack a tool for self-expression.
Break-resistant lead. Shock-absorbent tip. Easy to use. Smudge-resistant eraser. Classic appearance.
Neither lead nor eraser is refillable.
Twistable tip
0.7 millimeters
6 inches
3, 6, 12, or 36 pieces

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Watch Our Pencil Review

What is the Best Pencil?

A pencil shouldn’t grip the paper, skid as you write, or smudge. The best pencils write smoothly and are comfortable to grip for long periods of time. With the information you’ve gleaned from our guide, we believe you’ll be able to recognize which pencils are best for you.
Our Top Choice
The Fun Express Stacking Point Pencils is a bulk pack of fifty colorful pencils. Each one comes with eleven stacking lead pieces and an eraser cap. For an extra touch of cuteness, check out the Fun Express Stackable Plastic Bear Pencils.

Fun Express Plastic Stacking Point Pencil Assortment – 50 Pieces, Assorted Colors

Fun Express is all about taking regular, everyday items and making them interesting conversation starters without compromising their efficiency or usefulness. Their product selection includes more than ten-thousand items, designed by first-class artists and designers, which range from today’s trends to traditional favorites.

The Fun Express Stacking Point Pencils come in a bulk pack of 50 pencils. They come in a varied assortment of fun colors and patterns, including animal prints, camouflage, smiley faces, solid colors, and more. Each six-inch pencil is made of durable plastic and comes with eleven stacked lead pieces. Once your pencil point gets dull, you can easily replace it with a new lead that is sharp and ready for use. There is also an ample, color-coordinated eraser at the end of each pencil cap, so you won’t need to hunt for a separate eraser when you make a mistake.

Other Fun Express pencils include:
  • Fun Express Deluxe Pencil Assortment, 100 pieces
  • Fun Express Colored Block Brick Party Favor Pencils, 24 pieces
  • Fun Express Tie-Dyed Pencils - 24 Pieces
  • Fun Express Wooden Paw Print Pencils - 24 Pieces
  • Fun Express Cowboy Print Pencil with Boot Topper – 12 pieces
Best Value
The Pentel Twist-Erase III Mechanical Pencil is a 0.9-millimeter pencil with a twist-out eraser and a comfortable rubber grip. The refillable eraser is about 1.25-inches tall and latex-free. If you’re in the market for a superb mechanical drafting pencil, we suggest the Pentel 0.5-millimeter Sharp Automatic Pencil.

Pentel Twist-Erase III Mechanical Pencil – Available in .5 And .7mm; Assorted Colors

When Pentel started out in 1942, they made a commitment to excellence. They are the only producer of writing materials to win the Deming Award, and every product that bears the Pentel name is manufactured in their own factories. They support equal access to education and regularly donate their products to schools, libraries, and establishments of need.

The Pentel Twist-Erase III Mechanical Pencil is made of sturdily-crafted plastic. Its weight is well-balanced, not too heavy or too light, and just right for comfortable writing or drawing. The pencil also features a latex-free rubber grip to ensure that long writing sessions won’t hurt your fingers. The refillable twist-out eraser is a striking 1.25 inches, and the 0.9-millimeter lead is easy to replace as needed.

Pentel’s other pencils include:
  • Pentel Quicker Clicker Automatic Pencils
  • Pentel Sharp Mechanical Pencils with Metallic Barrels
  • Pentel Sharp Kerry Mechanical Pencils
  • Pentel Limited Edition P205 Gilded Series Mechanical Pencils
  • Pentel Twist-Erase Automatic Pencils
The Dixon Ticonderoga Wood-Cased #2 Pencils come in packs of twelve. Their manufacturer’s exclusive graphite formula provides an extra smooth performance, perfect for writing or doodling. For pencils specially designed for young children starting school, we recommend the Dixon Ticonderoga Beginner Pencils.

Dixon Ticonderoga Wood-Cased #2 HB Pencils – Available in Multiple Pack Sizes

Dixon Ticonderoga was established all the way back in 1795, and has maintained their presence in the market by embracing and pioneering change. They were one of the first manufacturers of mechanical pencils, and have earned a place in the hearts of millions of customers over the years.

The Dixon Ticonderoga Wood-Cased #2 Pencils come in packs of twelve, with bulk boxes available for affordable prices. The well-centered lead produces a smooth, dark line with even the least bit of pressure, while the soft, pink erasers clean well without smudging the page. The wood casing is made from reforested cedar trees, which can easily be sharpened for a fine pencil point.

Here are some other pencils available from Dixon Ticonderoga:
  • Dixon Ticonderoga Noir Black #2 Pencils – Holographic Design
  • Dixon Ticonderoga Pre-Sharpened #2 Pencils – Box of 30
  • Dixon Ticonderoga Black #2 Pencils – Box of 24
  • Dixon Ticonderoga #2 Pencils – Box of 10, Assorted Colors
  • Dixon Ticonderoga #3 Pencils – Box of 12
The BIC Xtra-Fun #2 Pencil comes in packs of eight. Each pack includes an assortment of colored pencils with classic gray graphite that is long-lasting and break-resistant. Interested in fun patterns to complement your solid-colored pencils? Check out the BIC Xtra Fun Stripes #2 Pencils.

BIC Xtra-Fun Ultra Solid Break-Resistant #2 Pencils – 8-Count

BIC believes that solutions to everyday problems should be convenient, long-lasting, and, of course, affordable. They manufacture products with simple, easy-to-use designs that deliver great results and offer a consistent performance without putting a strain on your budget.

The BIC Xtra-Fun #2 Pencil comes in sets of eight colorful pencils that are reminiscent in style of old-school comic book characters. The interior of each pencil is a different color than the exterior coating, giving them some fun, mismatched flair. The pencils are pre-sharpened and are ready to use on arrival, playfully flexible, and contain tough, break-resistant lead. At the head of each pencil is a white, latex-free eraser that won’t smudge.

BIC has more pencils available. Here are a few of them:
  • BIC Xtra Strong Mechanical Pencils
  • BIC Xtra Sparkle Mechanical Pencils
  • BIC Xtra Precision Mechanical Pencils
  • BIC Xtra Life Pencils
  • BIC Velocity Mechanical Pencils
Paper Mate’s SharpWriter is a mechanical pencil with a 0.7-millimeter lead, a shock-absorbent tip that reduces lead breakage, and a pink, smudge-resistant eraser. If you’re going to be writing for long periods of time, it’s a good idea to consider a mechanical pencil with a comfortable rubber grip. Take a look at the Paper Mate Comfort Mate 2-Count Pencils!

Paper Mate SharpWriter Pencil – Available Multiple Pack Sizes; Assorted Colors

Paper Mate was established in 1940 and is committed to creating reliable and affordable products to keep tools for self-expression accessible. Whether you are young or old, a student or a professional, Paper Mate has pencils (classic or mechanical), pens (ballpoint, gel, erasable, and felt tip), markers, and correction tools for you.

The Paper Mate SharpWriter, at first glance, can be easily mistaken for the classic, yellow pencil; it’s the perfect shade of iconic yellow, with a pink eraser and a light beige tip. However, when you take a closer look, you’ll notice it’s actually a plastic mechanical pencil. They come in packs of twelve, each with a durable construction and a shock-resistant tip that prevents lead from breaking. The lead easily twists out of the pencil tip, so you’ll never need to sharpen it, and the pink eraser makes it easy to correct any mistakes.

Here are some other Paper Mate pencils:
  • Paper Mate Clearpoint Mechanical Pencil Starter Set
  • Paper Mate Mates Mechanical Pencils
  • Paper Mate Mirado Classic Pencils
  • Paper Mate Quick Flip Mechanical Pencils
  • Paper Mate Mirado Black Warrior Pencils

How Do I Choose the Best Pencil?

No matter how the world’s technology evolves, there are certain things that will always be necessities; things like love, laughter and pencils. Pencils allow us to experiment, to attempt without fear, because they are forgiving of our mistakes and allow room to start over. Their simplicity is a great equalizer. Everyone can use them, whether they are young, old, an amateur, or an expert. They were even the preferred writing utensil for early space travel!

Pencils can be used by artists to sketch a design before permanently marking a material with markers or paint. Students use them to write notes, solve math problems, and draw graphs. Pencils are also used by technicians, architects, and many other professionals. They come in different shapes, colors, and sizes, with a variety of lead options as well. Speaking of lead – a quick disclaimer: pencils do not actually contain lead. When using the term ‘lead’ in this guide, we are actually referring to graphite mixed with clay, wax, or oil. With the many uses of pencils in mind, it’s best you know exactly why you’re getting one so that you don’t spend more or less than is necessary.
Pencils can be found for prices that range from $2 to $30 or more; it all depends on the brand, the number of pencils per pack, and the features. You’ll pay more for a mechanical pencil with replaceable lead and erasers than you will for a simple wooden pencil. You’re sure to find pencils that promise more for less, so, we’ll take the time to tell you right now that if you’re looking for a superb writing or drawing utensil, then cheap pencils aren’t worth your time or money.
What do you intend to do with your pencils – sketching or taking notes? Knowing this will determine what features your pencil should have. We’ve listed some of the important ones below:
  • Type: wooden or mechanical
  • Design: stacking, refillable, or non-refillable
  • Size: dimensions of the pencil
  • Lead grade and size
  • Material
  • Count: number of pencils per pack
  • Extras like grips, scent, etc.
Construction and Design
What makes a pencil the best is dependent on your intended use and personal preferences. If you’re an architect, you’ll probably need a mechanical pencil with fine lead for consistent and accurate markings. For an artist, a wooden pencil is a better idea because you can control how thick the marks are by simply increasing or reducing the applied pressure.

Wooden pencils generally share a common structural design. They can come with or without erasers, unsharpened or pre-sharpened, and with varying decorative elements, but the differences usually end there. With mechanical pencils, there are a few more options. Some contain lead in stackable tips, while others may have twisting tips or side buttons.

Superior-grade wooden pencils are made from Incense-Cedar while mid-range pencils are made with Poplar, Fir, or Basswood. Pencils made from Incense-Cedar have smooth, straight grain and a smooth finish. The wood is soft and sharpens easily without forming splinters or wearing out the sharpener. The Basswood, Fir and Poplar pencils aren’t as easy to sharpen, but they are better quality than pencils made from other woods that often splinter or sharpen unevenly.
Performance and Ease of Use
The lead used in pencils comes in different shades of black. To differentiate them, the powers that be have taken the time to separate them into the grades. So, pencil lead ranges from 9H to 9B (there is also a 10H and 10B but they aren’t as popular). “B” refers to the blackness of lead. The blacker the lead, the darker it’ll write. The higher the number before the “B”, the darker the mark the pencil will make. “H” refers to hardness of lead. The higher the hardness marking, the lighter the marks it’ll make. There are also leads marked “F” and “HB”, these are in-between grades. #2 pencils are usually HB and, since there isn’t a standard grading scale for graphite, the overall quality differs by brand. “H” pencils are great for making outlines and tracing while “B” pencils are better for writing.

Lead sizes are measured in millimeters and can be as tiny as 0.3-millimeters. The finer lead sizes create thin lines and perform best with light pressure, but can break easily if you apply too much pressure. The larger sizes are better suited to those of us who put a lot of pressure on our pencils; they’re tough and will handle it better. The lead size for a pencil is usually indicated on the pack. Most of them are refillable but there are number of them that aren’t.

The size and shape of pencils is also important. Smaller pencils are not as easy to control as pencils with a larger diameter, which makes the latter more suitable for young children. Wooden pencils come in round, hexagonal, and triangular shapes. The hexagonal or round ones are more popular while the triangular ones are touted to offer better grip. If you’re going to be using your pencils for long periods at a time, it’s a good idea to consider those with comfortable rubber grips. For an extra-sensory writing experience, you can check out scented pencils as well.

Get the Best Pencil of 2023!

You’ve made it to the end – yay! We hope you found your preferred set of pencils. Hurry along and place your order!

Our Top Choice
Fun Express Stacking Point Pencils
Best Value
Pentel Twist-Erase III 0.9mm Mechanical Pencil
Dixon Ticonderoga Wood-Cased #2 Pencils
BIC Xtra-Fun Ultra Solid #2 Pencil
Paper Mate SharpWriter Pencil