The Best Pencils for Your Home Office Needs

Find the best pencils for your home office to write, sketch, draft, or doodle.

By Savannah Sher | Updated May 10, 2021 10:56 AM

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The Best Pencil Options


In our digital world, pencils may feel like a relic of a bygone era, but they come in handy. Whether completing the Sunday crossword, taking a standardized test, or drawing a doodle, using the best pencil improves the experience.

While choosing the best pencils may seem like a simple decision, you must weigh a number of considerations while shopping. While some are crafted for sketching and shading, others are designed to create thin, precise lines. This guide provides choices by category for some of the top pencils on the market.

Our Top Picks

These top picks take into account the key features to consider when shopping for the best pencil in addition to overall quality and value. Keep reading to discover some of the top options on the market in a variety of categories.

Best Overall

The Best Pencil Option: Arteza #2 HB Wood Cased Graphite School Pencils

ARTEZA’s wood-cased pencils have a hexagonal shape and a satin matte coating—a design that helps make sure the pencils are easy to grasp and comfortable to hold. The high-density graphite core resists breaking and produces marks that won’t smear or smudge.

Pencils like these have a soft core with a higher ratio of graphite to clay, producing a smoother script, making them ideal for everyday use as well as drawing and sketching. Note that this type of pencil is mandatory for many standardized tests, including SAT and AP exams, making them a smart pick for high school students.

The medium-soft eraser is latex-free and wipes the page clean without damaging the paper. This pack contains 48 pencils.

Runner Up

The Best Pencil Option: TICONDEROGA Pencils

Ticonderoga’s pencils are inexpensive. They have the iconic yellow casing that harkens back to the classrooms of yesterday, and their hexagonal shape is considered ideal for a comfortable, secure hold.

These pencils make smooth, dark pencil marks, and they come pre-sharpened, so they’re ready for writing right out of the box. Additionally, their latex-free erasers remove pencil markings completely, without leaving behind smudges.

Best Mechanical

The Best Pencil Option: uni Mechanical Pencil Kurutoga Pipe Slide

uni’s pipe-slide pencil uses 0.5-millimeter lead, which is difficult to break because the interior pipe shortens as the core is reduced. This sophisticated lead-rotating mechanism ensures the tip remains sharp. Meanwhile, a spring-loaded clutch twists the lead with each stroke, which makes this pencil a great pick for those looking to produce ultra-thin lines. The pencil tips also retract, so you can store uni’s mechanical pencils in a bag or pocket without having to worry about the potential for lead stains.

Best for Artists

The Best Pencil Option: Staedtler Mars Lumograph Art Drawing Pencils

When drawing and sketching, artists often prefer to use an assortment of different pencil types. This kit from STAEDTLER includes 12 pencils with a plethora of core sizes, providing options for creating sharp, precise lines, for shading large areas, and for everything in between.

Each pencil’s lead, which measures 2 millimeters in diameter, is designed to resist breaking. Note that these pencils do not have erasers.

Upgrade Pick

The Best Pencil Option: Blackwing Matte Pencils

Thanks to their soft graphite core, these Blackwing pencils are famous for producing smooth, dark lines. In addition, Blackwing’s pencils boast an elegant black casing, with a gold ferrule that’s flattened into a distinctive shape. The incense-cedar casing is durable and produces a pleasant scent when sharpened. The eraser has a unique rectangular shape and is replaceable. These pencils are available in packs of 12.

Best for Precision

The Best Pencil Option: TICONDEROGA Woodcase Pencils, #4 2H Extra Hard

Architects and mathematicians often prefer extra-hard pencils that produce light, precise markings and don’t require frequent sharpening. These Ticonderoga pencils work admirably well for precisely that sort of detailed work and technical drawing. They’re made of premium wood which was harvested through responsible forestry practices.

The latex-free erasers make corrections without leaving smudges behind or damaging the paper. The pencil’s hexagonal shape and smooth, satin finish ensure comfort while writing.

As an added feature, these pencils contain Microban, which prevents the growth of microbes and bacteria. These pencils, which come in a pack of 12, are unsharpened.

Best for Kids

The Best Pencil Option: TICONDEROGA My First Pencils

While hexagonal pencils are ideal for adult users, round pencils are more manageable for younger children. These pencils, which come in a package of 12, have a 13/32-inch diameter to fit small hands. While their graphite cores produce smooth, dark marks, these pencils are made of nontoxic materials, and are coated with an antimicrobial agent, making them safe for use even if they end up in little ones’ mouths.