9 min. read

The Best Pencils of 2023

Whether you’re journaling, sketching, or writing, you deserve to use a great pencil.

The Best Pencils of 2023

A pencil is an essential writing instrument for both kids and adults. Whether it’s for taking down notes, doing crossword puzzles, sketching up diagrams, or jotting down a grocery list, it helps to have the best.

There is no shortage of the best pencils on the market. These pencils come in different sizes, shapes, and colors perfect for meeting everyone’s needs. However, if you’re serious about improving your drawing skills or you enjoy using pencils, it makes sense to invest time and effort in finding the perfect set.

Here are some great tips for finding a good pencil alongside our best choices.

 

 

 

How We Picked

  • Lead Grade

    Graphite makes some of the best pencil leads, and quality leads are important for artists or writers. The hardness, softness, and darkness of the lead determine the coloration, smoothness, and even smearing resistance of the pencil.

  • Type of Barrel

    The design, quality, and material of a pencil’s barrel often affect how it looks, feels, and weighs. It also determines the durability and strength of the overall product, so it’s important to look into this factor.

  • Eraser

    Not all erasers are created equally. Some do their job well, while others leave a mark you did not intend to see. If you’re particular about having a clean page, it’s a must to choose based on the eraser quality.

  • Price

    All writing and artistic utensils should be of high quality, but is it worth it if it’s too expensive? It is possible to purchase when you need something that proves itself in terms of top-notch quality yet remains affordable.

Our Top Picks

Best Pick

Blackwing 602

Made from genuine incense cedar and premium Japanese graphite.

The legendary Blackwing 602 pencils first appeared in the 1930s and are recognized for their flat, gold-colored ferrule that includes an adjustable eraser. These pencils have long been the favorites of numerous well-known writers, poets, and musicians. The wax in the leads makes them extra smooth to handle and produces velvety black markings.

Buy Now for $30.00

These pencils are sleek and feel luxurious in the palm of your hand.

Runner Up

Faber-Castell Grip Graphite EcoPencils with Eraser

These pencils have a fully bonded barrel for easier sharpening and minimal breakage.

Occupational therapists favor these graphite pencils for their convenient and ergonomic design. They have grip dots and a triangular form for maximum comfort. It has gotten praise for its distinctively textured grip region, which writes, sharpens, and erases about as well as our other pencils. You’ve got something to be excited about if you get this pencil in your hands.

Buy Now for $14.02

Everyone wants to have a feel of its distinguishable grip and form.

Most Cost-Effective

Dixon Ticonderoga (Yellow) Pencil

With its pink eraser and yellow lacquer, the Dixon Ticonderoga embodies the classic American pencil.

Even with their low price, these pencils don’t skimp on quality. They are made out of premium wood that comes from sustainably managed forests. The lead is the #2 graphite, which generates effortless writing performance. In addition, they are already pre-sharpened.

Buy Now for $5.85

These affordable, pre-sharpened pencils won’t let you down.

Everything We Recommend

Best Pick

Blackwing 602

Made from genuine incense cedar and premium Japanese graphite.

$30.00

Buy Now

Runner Up

Faber-Castell Grip Graphite EcoPencils with Eraser

These pencils have a fully bonded barrel for easier sharpening and minimal breakage.

$14.02

Buy Now

Most Cost-Effective

Dixon Ticonderoga (Yellow) Pencil

With its pink eraser and yellow lacquer, the Dixon Ticonderoga embodies the classic American pencil.

$5.85

Buy Now

Who This Is For

These products are for anyone who wants to improve their writing or sketching experience. Every person deserves a great writing utensil. Whether you’re an artist, a student, or looking to buy a few for your children, we’ve got you covered.

 

Why You Should Trust Us

There is no shortage of the best pencils on the market today. With in-depth research and an understanding of the different kinds, we know the factors to consider when purchasing one. We only want what is best for you, and we understand that quality is the benchmark.

 

How We Picked

Pencils are a personal writing instrument, and it’s difficult to find a set that fits everyone. Finding the greatest pencils is an extreme sport, especially with new kinds entering the market every day. We undertook extensive research, comparison, and analysis to identify the best one for you.

We evaluated the products recommended here using a variety of metrics. Top of the list are factors like lead grade, type of barrel, erasability, and price.

Lead grade and barrel shape

For lead grade, there is an actual number or letter to determine a pencil’s graphite hardness, and each pencil has its corresponding number on the known graphite grading scale. Factoring in the type of barrel distinguishes the type of wood used in the material. This is significant because of the type and construction of the influence on its performance. 

Eraser

On another note, we considered erasability because most pencils come with an eraser. The specific goal and function of erasing are to erase well, without smudges, but these vary per pencil.

Price

Pencils are not expensive; whether basic or premium pencils. However, price is still significant when choosing a pencil. We want to make sure you’re getting the quality, consistency, and comfort that you deserve for the price.

Other features

We also factored in the barrel shape, if it’s easy to sharpen, and if it’s pre-sharpened. These all reflect the grip and writing performance one would like to have. All things considered, we only want you to enjoy the simplicity and delight of using a good and effective pencil.

 

 

Our Picks For You

Best Pick - Blackwing 602

Best Pick

Blackwing 602

Made from genuine incense cedar and premium Japanese graphite.

The legendary Blackwing 602 pencils first appeared in the 1930s and are recognized for their flat, gold-colored ferrule that includes an adjustable eraser. These pencils have long been the favorites of numerous well-known writers, poets, and musicians. The wax in the leads makes them extra smooth to handle and produces velvety black markings.

Buy Now for $30.00

Who It’s For

Blackwing 602 is excellent for all those who appreciate the premium feel of stationery. It’s great for writing, drawing, and sketching.

Why It’s Great

The Palomino Blackwing 602 is expensive, but it has unrivaled quality. It features incense cedar wood construction and it comes with a removable eraser. You won't need to sharpen the 602 as frequently because its graphite is more durable. The end result is a beautiful deep black color with fine writing.

Potential Flaws

While many fans have praised this choice as being elegant and high-end, others have claimed that a single Blackwing 602 is not worth its comparable price tag.

Other Features

These fantastic vintage-looking pencils may seem quite expensive compared to your regular writing tool, but they have withstood the test of time. In the 1930s, the Eberhard Faber Company first released Blackwing pencils. Chuck Jones and John Steinbeck, who proudly utilized Blackwings to develop Bugs Bunny and many other Looney Tunes characters, belonged to the company’s cult fan base.

Runner Up - Faber-Castell Grip Graphite EcoPencils with Eraser

Runner Up

Faber-Castell Grip Graphite EcoPencils with Eraser

These pencils have a fully bonded barrel for easier sharpening and minimal breakage.

Occupational therapists favor these graphite pencils for their convenient and ergonomic design. They have grip dots and a triangular form for maximum comfort. It has gotten praise for its distinctively textured grip region, which writes, sharpens, and erases about as well as our other pencils. You’ve got something to be excited about if you get this pencil in your hands.

Buy Now for $14.02

Who It’s For

Faber-Castell Grip Graphite EcoPencils with Eraser is a great choice for adults who plan to use the product for a long time.

Why It’s Great

The ergonomic design of the 8mm dotted-grip pencil with a functioning eraser makes it easy and comfortable to write and draw continuously. Moreover, the pencil will not fall from the desk with its triangle shape and fully glued barrels.

Potential Flaws

The common criticism of this option is that the strokes are too faint and wispy to be seen clearly. A few say that the lead grade is too hard. Some have pointed out that these would be useful for adults but unnecessary for kids.

Other Features

Young adults or older consumers would certainly appreciate this impressive product, but writers and artists of all ages would undoubtedly want to own such a sophisticated and useful pencil. Its unique raised dot design, which wraps around the front of the barrel, makes it more comfortable to hold than most and keeps you from getting easily tired while writing.

Most Cost-Effective - Dixon Ticonderoga (Yellow) Pencil

Most Cost-Effective

Dixon Ticonderoga (Yellow) Pencil

With its pink eraser and yellow lacquer, the Dixon Ticonderoga embodies the classic American pencil.

Even with their low price, these pencils don’t skimp on quality. They are made out of premium wood that comes from sustainably managed forests. The lead is the #2 graphite, which generates effortless writing performance. In addition, they are already pre-sharpened.

Buy Now for $5.85

Who It’s For

The Dixon Ticonderoga (Yellow) Pencil is a classic tool that most of us have seen in schools and at work. They are practical for anyone and great for any form of writing. However, most people would say Dixon Ticonderoga is for those on a tight budget who still want a good pencil to write with.

Why It’s Great

All pencils come intact and pre-sharpened. The wood is solid, not at all frail. To top it all off, these pencils come from premium wood forests that are managed responsibly and sustainably.

Potential Flaws

This product is frequently produced because of its well-established reputation. Some have argued that they have changed from what was produced in the past.

Other Features

This pencil has a long service life. When you constantly need to sharpen or replace your tools, cheap pencils become time-consuming and expensive. However, with the Dixon Ticonderoga pencils, you get low-cost pencils that are also long-lasting and dependable. These are the best-selling office products on Amazon, and they're well worth the money, so get one for yourself.

Almost Made The Cut - General’s Cedar Pointe

Almost Made The Cut

General’s Cedar Pointe

Natural but not the most consistent

Buy Now

Who It’s For

This pick is a great option for anyone who loves the natural look and feel of wood. Given that they have a softer lead and make darker strokes, they allow you to write with minimal pressure.

Why It’s Great

The General's Cedar Pencil is made of wood and is hexagonal in shape. They have a rustic, natural feel to them because of their wooden color. The incense cedar wood is sustainably harvested, so you don't have to worry about damaging the environment. A black eraser, black in color, exemplifies the design and finish of the pencil. It appears to resist smudges reasonably well. It functions well and is still considered a satisfactory writing instrument.

Potential Flaws

If you’re used to high-end or soft pencils, you may be disappointed with this pencil. It does not allude to fancy, and instead represents something more simple and minimalistic. The pencils have a similar feel and sound to other pencils in their grade and price range when rubbing on the page. It's entirely up to you to determine whether the Cedar Pointe can be mistaken for a regular pencil.

Care and Maintenance

How and where to store when not in use

Pencils are, if not all, mostly and typically wooden. There is a way to properly care for and maintain our pencils. As a general rule, store the pencil upright in jars. To clean them, simply wipe them with a rag or an old towel. Before you place them in their respective locations, make sure they are free of dust, grease, and debris.

How to sharpen

Use a regular sharpener to keep your pencils sharp. Instead of settling for cheap plastic sharpeners, invest in a good handheld sharpener. Turn the pencil in slow 180-degree rotations while holding the sharpener in one hand, resulting in brittle curls of sharpened particles. Sandpaper is also another great way to achieve the perfect tip.