How Pencil Sharpeners Work

Pencil Facts: How Pencil Sharpeners Work

Image courtesy of We’ve explored the mechanisms of pencils and erasers, and now it’s time to discuss how pencil sharpeners work.  If you’re exploring the site, chances are you understand just how essential our pencil sharpeners can be.  There’s nothing quite like a well-pointed pencil tip!  For many, the appreciation stops there – the […]

Pencil Facts: How Erasers Work

We know pencils work thanks to graphite molecules breaking off and catching onto the fibers of paper.  Today, we’re going to figure out how erasers work to remove those bits of graphite when you make a mistake.  As it turns out, erasers work using complicated chemistry.  Because this is a pencil blog, we’ll try to avoid too much […]

The History of the Bullet Pencil

Bullet pencils, as the name suggests, are pencils whose casings are made from spent rifle cartridges. They originated on battlefields in the early nineteenth century, and were sold as souvenirs. .303 British rifle casings were the most commonly used. As British colonialism spread in Africa, the industry of battlefield souvenirs boomed. Opportunistic scavengers-turned-entrepreneurs picked over […]

Bonded Lead

Obscure Pencil Terms and What They Mean

If you’ve spent time lurking through the Pencil Internet, you’ve probably come across some terms that have made you scratch your head. Like most enthusiast scenes, the pencil world is full of obscure pencil terms and jargon that can intimidate the novice pencil hobbyist. We’re going to pave your entryway into the world of pencils by […]

The Rise and Fall of the Yellow Pencil: Part 2

The historical intent of painting a pencil yellow as a reflection of high quality is considered out of date and yellow pencils are increasingly viewed as a low value commodity segment.   – [Source] In Part 1, we discussed the yellow pencil’s rise to national icon.  We found that the now-common writing staple once had quite […]

Choosing the Right Pencil Shape

Hardness and material are important aspects to be considered when choosing a pencil.  Pencil shape, however, is often overlooked.  Though it may seem cosmetic, pencil shape affects grip, comfortability, and, for learners, writing style and technique. Picking the right pencil shape is not as daunting as it sounds.  We’re going to guide you through the […]