By Henry Caron
Wooden pencils are the traditional, classic writing option that have soothed the hand of many an author. With the introduction of mechanical pencils, the sanctity of the archetypal calligraphic instrument is being threatened worldwide. However, there are many reasons why wooden pencils are better than their plastic rivals.
Wooden pencils and their lead are far more robust than mechanical pencils could imagine. They have none of the complex, finicky parts that mechanical pencils have (like springs, buttons and lead holders). Instead, they have a firm wooden body with strong, chunky lead embedded. This sturdiness makes the pencil more durable to falls and drops; this is no iPhone! The lead of mechanical pencils is a nightmare. If one presses any more than a few hundred pascals, they will hear the infamous snap and the lead will fall to the paper. This flimsiness can lead to large smudges on the paper, as well as graphite shrapnel laying across the paper and desk. Pencil lead almost never breaks because it is sturdy and thick, allowing for none of the trauma of broken lead. Although enthusiasts argue that the tiny lead remains sharp permanently, if a person uses one side for too long, the lead can become dull on that side.
Beyond the lead, the baggage needed for a mechanical pencil is not worth the use. A person must constantly refill lead to their pencils, a slow and fiddly process in which even the most sure-handed cannot succeed. When the pencil runs out of extra lead, a user must go to their “lead pack,” an expensive extra case. To make matters worse, a person has to ensure that the lead used is the right width, because for some reason different pencils have different thicknesses. This creates problems when asking others for lead, as they may have extra lead to lend of the wrong size! None of these problems occur with wooden pencils, which are an all-in-one package and are highly reliable.
Mechanical pencil users may argue that their pencils are better because they have lead that is always sharp, and traditional wooden pencils require constant sharpening. However, one must consider that pencil sharpeners, which take mere seconds to use, are in every room in school. If a person cannot find one, there are portable ones to use also. Regular pencils remain sharp for while, and it can take hours for them to become dull, especially for the light-touched. The dullness that can come from regular pencils also are a good thing for artists, who can use the dullness to create shadows and thicker lines.
There are also some quirky benefits to using a traditional pencil. They are incredibly customizable, with many erasers, colors, designs, and sizes. This allows a user to find a pencil that works for them and customize it. Also, if a friend needs a pencil, it is easy to break a wooden pencil in half and sharpen the end. Two pencils in one! What would happen if you did that with mechanical pencils?