So Random: Pencil vs Mechanical Pencil

So I have recently started writing on paper again. After such a long time of just typing my thoughts out on a Word document, I was surprised that my hands still knew how to hold a pencil or how to write with one.

It was, as people say, just like riding a bicycle, which is a poor analogy as I don’t know how to ride a bicycle – poor hand-eye coordination, blah blah blah…

Anyway, as I said, I began writing with a pencil (just a good old pencil) and it made me wonder why I ever switched to a mechanical pencil. The simple answer would be pencil sorta became outdated in the mid-90’s (around the time I was in elementary school). I guess all the sharpening and lead breakage got on people’s nerves.

My early experience with a mechanical pencil was a frustrating one – NO ONE told me I was supposed to insert the lead from the side with the eraser, not trying to jam the lead through the tiny opening of the lead-clamp (the small metal piece that was supposed to clamp the lead in place. Let’s just say I broke a lot of lead and ended up with black fingers most of the time.

After I learned (finally) to operate a mechanical pencil, I never went back to the pencil (even though I was strangely gifted with a lot of very weird-looking and sparkly pencils) until these last two weeks, which leads me to this post.

What I like about using a good old pencil:

  • No hand-cramps – for some reason, my hand cramps up after about 10, 15 minutes of writing with a mechanical pencil
  • Nice and light – if you hold a good old pencil in hand and a mechanical pencil in the other, you’ll notice the difference in weight
  • Lead doesn’t break easily

Compare that to a mechanical pencil:

  • No need to sharpen every 30 minutes – a piece of lead can be used for quite a while but definitely need to watch out for the type of lead as not all pencil lead are made equal
  • The tip doesn’t become blunt which, in turn, makes the color of the writing lighter in color.
  • It doesn’t get shorter like the good old pencil – it can literally last forever if you treat it right

People may ask, “Why not use a pen, like a normal person?”

Well, unless your thoughts are perfectly clear and not jumbled like mine, go ahead with a pen. I am sticking with the pencil so I don’t have to use a whiteout on every other word I write.

13 thoughts on “So Random: Pencil vs Mechanical Pencil

  1. I love mechanical pencils. One of the reasons is that you can get softer and larger diameter leads for them. I usually use an 0.7. But I used 0.9 leads for a long time. The office supply places usually only sell the 0.5-mm pencils and HB (hard) leads, unless they also carry drafting equipment. Too hard and narrow for my taste. You can find the range of leads online from drafting suppliers… though handwork seems to be a lost art.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Nope, I wish I am a lefty. My left hand is my good hand right now after having carpal tunnel surgery done on it 3 years ago. My right hand cramps up now and then. Very annoying when trying to write.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Interesting. Sophomore year of college, I had to have my right shoulder wired back together early in the first quarter, so I learned to write left-handed. By the end of the second quarter, I had beautiful writing… but it looked very different from my right hand.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I mostly write with a pen, i scratch a lot but i don’t mind. If i really have to choose between a good old pencil and a mechanical one, i’ll go with the mecanical one, mostly because i hold it very hard and usually break the lead a lot. Great post by the way! Never thought i’ll be so entertained by someone talking about pencils!!!! :):):):):)

    Liked by 1 person

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