Are you in the market for a pencil?
I needed something exemplary to last me four years of grad school. My criteria was to find a pencil that would last four years, support good hand writing, and provide a feel of quality and confidence. My previous experience was using various mechanical pencils such as the BIC Xtra Smooth mechanical pencil with 0.5 and 0.7 mm HB#2. The BIC, and comparable competitors, write adequately well for note taking and for most assignments, however I became frustrated with imprecisions caused by the low-strength plastic sleeve. The engineer in me noted that the sleeve flexes with pressure of heavy writing and it became impossible to produce neat characters. I began my hunt.
Classes of Pencils
I invented these classes out of thin air. Students will note the practical differences between each class. The first four classes may be of particular interest to a graduate student while the last class of "other" includes pencils that they probably should not consider investing in.
- Light mechanical
- Professinal mechanical
- Drafting mecahnical
This class is charactarized by their low cost and plastic construction. Light mechanical pencils are almost always built for 0.5mm or 0.7mm HB#2 graphite and feature an uncovered rubber eraser at the top. The BIC Xtra Smooth and the Paper Mate SharpWriter are popular examples. The SharpWriter is great because the rotary lead controll allows Light mechanical pencils are great to keep around the home office and in the backpack because they're affordable and they get the job done. Don't fret if Janice from Calc forgets to return a loaner because you probably have 23 more at home. BIC gets my vote based on price.