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Pencil Buying Guide

Looking for the pencil that's right for you? We've created a pencil buying guide below to help you find which pencil best suits your needs. Just click on a specific category to expand the selection and browse the recommendations.

Everyday Writing & Office Use

The Blackwing 602 features a firm and smooth graphite core that is ideal for writers and everyday users who don't like to sharpen often. Includes Blackwing's signature pink extendable eraser and unique ferrule design. Inspired by the past, made for the writers of tomorrow. Each box contains 12 firm and smooth premium graphite pencils, crafted from Genuine Incense-cedar.

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The Blackwing Natural pencil features an exposed Incense-cedar barrel with a subtle clear matte finish and our popular extra-firm graphite. Every Blackwing Natural features a gold imprint, grey eraser and the iconic square Blackwing ferrule. Blackwing Natural pencils come in packs of 12.

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The world's first FSC-certified pencil, ForestChoice #2 (HB) graphite pencils are made from FSC-certified Incense-cedar, which means it comes from responsibly-managed forests. Saving the planet never looked so good. These everyday pencils are great for use at your school, home or office.

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Golden Bear #2 pencils are made in the USA out of Genuine, California grown, Incense-cedar and are durable enough for everyday use in the office, at school and at home. These high-quality #2 pencils feature a quality graphite core for a smooth writing experience and bear (pardon the pun) the PMA seal, making them safe and certified non-toxic. Golden Bear #2 office and school supplies are the perfect writing instrument for students, aspiring authors, journalists, office workers and everyday users.

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The Palomino pencil you love, in our classic orange. 12 premium quality, eraser-tipped, HB graphite pencils made of genuine Incense-cedar.

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One of the most important components of a quality pencil is the wood, and the General Pencil Company knows this better than anyone. Each General's Cedar Pointe No. 1 pencil features a natural finish, black imprint, black ferrule and black eraser. Each pencil also features a #1 (B) graphite core that is perfect for test taking and note taking.

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Professional Grade Drawing

This soft and smooth graphite core is the ideal gift for artists, musicians or anyone who sometimes seeks a more natural existence. The graphite core is the softest of the standard Blackwing pencils.

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Caran d’Ache Grafwood drawing pencils represent the pinnacle of Swiss pencil design and innovation. Each pencil grade, from 4H to 9B, features a different shade of grey as its lacquer finish, allowing you to distinguish between the different grades instantaneously.

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Staedtler Mars Lumograph pencils are premium pencils great for writing, drawing, or sketching. Choose from grades 4H-4B.

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Available in 16 different graphite grades ranging from 6H to 8B, Castell 9000 pencils lay down a smooth line and are a testament to Faber-Castell’s highest standards of quality, technology and tradition.

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Extra smooth, extra rich, extra intense. It’s not James Bond – it’s General’s original charcoal drawing pencils. Available in HB, 2B, 4B, and 6B and made in the USA with genuine Incense-cedar, General’s original charcoal drawing pencils are available in classic black or cool white. 2 pencils per package.

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The Tombow MONO Drawing Pencil Set includes an HB, B, and 2B pencil.

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The Koh-I-Noor Triograph is a jumbo sized triangular pencil that is great for creating dark lines. Its size makes it very comfortable and easy to hold.

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School Use & Test Taking

Golden Bear #2 pencils are made in the USA out of Genuine, California grown, Incense-cedar and are durable enough for everyday use in the office, at school and at home. These high-quality #2 pencils feature a quality graphite core for a smooth writing experience and bear (pardon the pun) the PMA seal, making them safe and certified non-toxic. Available in orange and blue finishes, Golden Bear #2 office and school supplies are the perfect writing instrument for students, aspiring authors, journalists, office workers and everyday users.

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Ten-hut! General's Semi-Hex Graphite Pencils, in classic yellow, are perfect for an all-night study session or jotting notes in class. Made in the USA with Genuine Incense-cedar, you can pencil with pride.

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Dubbed "The Original" test scoring pencil, the General's #580 Test Scoring Pencil features a soft, dark graphite that was specifically formulated for Scantron testing. Pencil aficionados go nuts over test scoring pencils because of their ability to lay down a dark line, and the General's #580 Test Scoring Pencil is no exception. Even if you don't have any tests in your future, the General's #580's dark line and Genuine Incense-cedar casing make it the perfect tool for everyone from crossword puzzle enthusiasts to people looking for a solid everyday pencil.

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A test taker’s companion, the Musgrave Test Scoring 100 test pencil is made in the USA and features an electro graphite core that is specially designed to be picked up by test scanners. Its ultra-reflective lead is also great for everyday use and ensures that you’ll make your mark, no matter the task at hand.

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The world's first Forest Stewardship Council Certified pencil, ForestChoice #2 (HB) graphite pencils are made from natural, FSC-certified Incense-cedar which sharpens smoothly and easily while protecting the core from breakage. Write with a clear conscience and a sharp pencil.

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This is one train you don’t want to miss. Musgrave Choo-Choo jumbo pencils are made in the USA and feature a 10 millimeter diameter that is just the right size for learners and anyone who prefers a larger pencil. They feature a medium-soft graphite core, jumbo pink eraser and classic yellow finish, and are perfect for home, the office or the classroom.

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Crafting & Woodworking

The Blackwing Natural pencil features an exposed Incense-cedar barrel with a subtle clear matte finish and our popular extra-firm graphite. Every Blackwing Natural features a gold imprint, grey eraser and the iconic square Blackwing ferrule.

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From sketching out delicate calligraphy, to drafting building plans, General’s Flat Sketching pencils do it all. An extra-wide graphite core lets you work in broad strokes, and is easily sharpened to a point with General’s Flat Pencil sharpener. Now that’s one versatile pencil. Made in the USA. Available in Medium (2B), Soft (4B), and Extra Soft (6B).

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Don't let the shape fool you - this is one pencil that won't let you down flat. ForestChoice flat carpenter pencils are extremely versatile and can draw a wide variety of line widths. Don't have a flat-tip sharpener on hand? ForestChoice flat carpenter pencils are strong enough for your toughest job, but soft enough to be sharpened with a knife blade. All ForestChoice carpenter pencils are made from natural FSC-certified Incense-cedar.

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The Wörther Wood Cherry is made in Germany using locally sourced wood. Each pencil comes in small and elegant gift box. The Wörther Wood uses 3.15mm graphite refills, and can even use a ballpoint pen insert.

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Faber-Castell's GRIP 2011 mechanical pencil takes cues from their award-winning GRIP 2001 graphite pencils. Each mechanical pencil features the GRIP line's signature ergonomic triangular shape and unique Soft-GRIP-zone dots, and comes pre-loaded with a 0.7mm lead and a twist-out eraser. GRIP 2011 mechanical pencils are available in silver, grey and pink.

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Color Pencils

Designed for people seeking creative balance away from the daily grind, each Blackwing Colors pencil features a unique soft and smooth color core designed specifically for coloring. Each pencil features the same semi-hexagonal barrel found in our graphite pencils and a metal end cap that adds a bit of weight, giving the pencils a comfortable, balanced feel.

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Don't be fooled by the natural finish; our eco-friendly Forest Choice Color pencils are bursting with vivid colors and are FSC-certified. The twelve pack includes Yellow, Orange, Pink, Vermillion, Carmine Red, Light Green, Green, Blue, Dark Blue, Violet, Brown and Black.

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Based in Portugal, Viarco has been making quality pencils since 1907. These pencils are still made using traditional methods and tools, just as they were in the early twentieth century. The packaging is also a faithful recreation of the packaging used between 1940 and 1960. The limited edition vintage design is used to tell the story of the flagship brand that views simplicity as a representation of its identity.

The Viarco Vintage Coloring Pencils feature 12 color pencils in a classic style box.

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The Staedtler Ergosoft Colored Pencils contain 12 triangular color pencils in a variety of colors. The lead is especially soft and richly colored and the pencils are packaged in a stand up box for easy access.

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Some may swoon over a dozen red roses, but we'd feel pretty giddy if someone special gifted us with this vibrant collection of richly pigmented Coloursoft Color Pencils from Derwent. The soft textures make it easy to blend and shade, while remaining firm enough to hold even the finest point.

Available in packs of 12, 24, 36 and 72 colors.

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Superior-quality watercolor pencils for the superior artist. Each Caran d’Ache Supracolor Watercolor Pencil features a soft, water-soluble 3.8mm core that lays down like a color pencil, but can be washed, brushed and smudged like a watercolor when water is added. Available in 120 different colors, so you can find that perfect shade for your happy trees.

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Eco-Friendly Pencils

Don't be fooled by the natural finish; our eco-friendly Forest Choice Color pencils are bursting with vivid colors and are FSC-certified. The twelve pack includes Yellow, Orange, Pink, Vermillion, Carmine Red, Light Green, Green, Blue, Dark Blue, Violet, Brown and Black.

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Caran d’Ache Grafwood drawing pencils represent the pinnacle of Swiss pencil design and innovation. Each pencil grade, from 4H to 9B, features a different shade of grey as its lacquer finish, allowing you to distinguish between the different grades instantaneously.

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Don't let the shape fool you - this is one pencil that won't let you down flat. ForestChoice flat carpenter pencils are extremely versatile and can draw a wide variety of line widths. Don't have a flat-tip sharpener on hand? ForestChoice flat carpenter pencils are strong enough for your toughest job, but soft enough to be sharpened with a knife blade. All ForestChoice carpenter pencils are made from natural FSC-certified Incense-cedar.

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The world's first FSC-certified pencil, ForestChoice #2 (HB) graphite pencils are made from FSC-certified Incense-cedar, which means it comes from responsibly-managed forests. Saving the planet never looked so good. These everyday pencils are great for use at your school, home or office.

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Two-hundred and fifty years of German pencil engineering and countless sketches, drawings and studies from artists around the world have helped make Faber-Castell’s Castell 9000 graphite drawing pencil one of the world’s premiere drawing pencils. Available in 16 different graphite grades ranging from 6H to 8B, Castell 9000 pencils lay down a smooth line and are a testament to Faber-Castell’s highest standards of quality, technology and tradition. Pack of 12.

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