37 Types Of Pencils You Should Know

Pencils are one of the most important tools that students need to succeed academically. When you look at a pencil, you might think that it looks like just another simple writing utensil. But, the humble pencil has so many uses and benefits that it deserves a little more respect than that!

The differences between pencil and another pen

A pencil is different from other writing utensils because it's typically thin and long. It's also less dense which makes it possible for the writing to be erased. In order to write with one, you need some form of an eraser on the other end of the pencil to remove what you don't want written.

There are a lot of different types of pencils, but we'll focus on 16 different types that are commonly used  in school and more.

A brief history of pencils

The pencil was invented in 1565 by a man named Kaspar Faber from Germany. It wasn't until 1858 that the pencil became popular when an American named Hymen Lipman patented his own type of pencil lead. Before that time, most people relied on quills and ink to write.

Since then, pencils have evolved into more than just a simple writing utensil. They are now available in all kinds of shapes, designs, colors, and help students learn how to write by providing them with feedback when they draw or write something incorrectly. You can even buy special ones that are made from recycled materials!

Common pencil types

1.Staedtler 2-in-1

This type of pencil is made by Staedtler and it has a 0.5 mm HB lead and an eraser on the other end. It's great for writing notes, homework assignments, and exams because the point of this pencil is very smooth and it's easy to erase mistakes.


The Ticonderoga pencil is also made by Staedtler, but this one has a broader lead than the 2-in-1 pencil (it measures 0.7 mm). It's mainly favored by students who are working on math assignments because the broad lead makes it easy to erase and make corrections.


This pencil has a lead that measures 0.5 mm, which is also the same as the 2-in-1 pencil. The eraser on this one will last longer than the one on the Ticonderoga pencil because it's made of synthetic rubber.

4.Faber-Castell Albrecht Dürer

This pencil has a 0.5 mm HB lead that's made of graphite and wax (for smooth writing). It also has an eraser on it, but the eraser is not evident at first sight because it's covered by a white cap.

5.HB Pencil

The HB pencil is used in most schools because that's the grading standard for schoolwork and exams. It's thin enough to write very fine lines, but not so thin that it breaks easily.

6.Colored pencils

Colored pencils are unique because they're filled with powdered pigments instead of graphite and wax. They're not used for writing, but coloring; thus, they have a soft lead that wears down quickly.

7.Ricoh Wood Lead pencils

When you look at this type of pencil, the first thing that stands out is the eraser! It's a small part that measures just 0.3 mm wide and it doesn't have much graphite on it. So, it's not even used for writing; students use this one to erase their mistakes and then write again with the other part of the pencil.

8.Pentel GraphGear 500 Automatic Pencil

This type of pencil was designed specifically for students because it has a 0.5 mm lead that's automatically sharpened as you write or draw with it. It can be refilled so there are no waste or sharpenings.

9.Faber-Castell 9000 Mechanical Pencil

This pencil was also designed with students in mind because it has a 0.5 mm lead that's automatically sharpened as you use it. You just have to click the top part of the mechanical pencil to extend more lead when you reach the end of what's already on the pencil.

It also has an eraser that's very easy to use because you just push it down and erase away! The lead is replaceable so there are no waste or sharpenings involved, either.

10.Uni Mitsubishi Pencils

This type of pencil is very popular with students because it's refillable (with new leads and erasers). It has a 0.5 mm HB lead that's wrapped in paper that's attached to the top part of the pencil with an adhesive glue.  So, the paper is not easily removable and it will protect the pencil lead as you write.

11.Derwent Drawing Pencils

This type of pencil is very similar to the Koh-I-Noor and Faber-Castell Albrecht Durer because it also has a 0.5 mm lead that's made of graphite and wax (for smooth writing). It's used for drawing rather than note taking or homework assignments, though.

12.Bic Mechanical Pencils

The Bic mechanical pencil is the easiest one to use when you're in a hurry because it has an eraser that's right next to the lead so you won't have to waste time or motion getting them out.  The lead is made from graphite that's wrapped inside of small pieces of wood which are then attached to the core with a metal band.

13.Correction Pencils

Correction pencils have a very hard HB lead and they're used for correcting written work. They're quite thick, so they usually don't break unless you apply too much pressure to them.

14.Pencil extenders

Pencil extenders are a decorative addition to pencils that extend the length of your pencil by several inches. People who own extenders only write with their extended pencils when attempting to achieve a fancy or long signature or writing an apology letter.

15.Cheese pencils

Cheese pencils are a type of pencil that make your writing smell like cheese when you use them. This is a popular marketing tool among food companies, and very rarely used outside of the food industry.

16.Jewelry Pencils

Jewelry pencils are just as they sound; jewelry, shaped like short sticks of pencils, that you wear on your body. They're usually worn on rings or hanging from necklaces (sometimes they can be inserted into long fingernails), and they are very popular with teens and young adults.

17.Pencil nubs

Pencil nubs are those stubby little pencils that we use to draw with, when all of the lead has been sharpened off. They're used to sketch and draw when you don't want to risk smudging your drawing. Pencil nubs are also used as chewing toys for toddlers, and are occasionally confused with crayons.

18.Spark pencils

Spark pencils are children's pencils that have electrodes at the ends, so that if you put them near paper or another surface, they will spark like a tesla coil. These are banned in most schools because of their dangerousness.

19.Prismacolor pencils

Prisma color pencils are stunning colored pencils that come in an array of rich colors. These are used by most artists for coloring because they come with a convenient color guide, and are pre-sharpened.

20.Graphite pencils

Graphite pencils are used by many artists for drawing because they produce bold lines. The graphite is also used in some automotive pencils and for the tips of scissors, to make them glide more smoothly across paper.

21.Soft Candy Pencils

These are exactly as they sound; sweet-smelling candy on the end of the pencil that you can either suck on or crunch up and chew while you take notes. This is a useful tool for students who have trouble concentrating and chewing gum or candy helps.

22.K-12 Pencils

K-12 pencils are used in schools throughout the US (and most other countries) to keep track of all the students through their years in school, from kindergarten to 12th grade. They're very bright in color and often have silly sayings, so that when you drop a pencil or the teacher hands it to another student, they can tell what class the other person is in.

23.Marking Pencils

Marking pencils come in two forms; one is used for writing on chalkboards or white boards, and other for writing on paper. Both types of marking pencils come in a range of colors and some even have an eraser at the end so that you can erase your mistakes with them.

24.Keychain Pencils

These are exactly as they sound; tiny little pencils that you attach to your keys to keep you from losing them. The basic ones are made of simple wood, and the fancier ones have little plastic handles and colorful designs that are very popular for children's pencils.

25.Handcuffs Pencils

Handcuffs pencils look just like real handcuffs with a keyhole on one side, but there is no key, only a pencil stub. These are sold as novelty items and occasionally used in school by students who want to get attention for being funny.

26.Infinity Pencils

These are your typical wooden pencils that have an 'infinity' symbol on them; one side is colored while the other has only a sliver of colored wood and the rest is white. They are used by teachers in their classrooms mostly to make it obvious who's pencils they are handing out, since so many of them look alike.

27.NHS Pencils

NHS pencils were first created as a way to help children learn about what is going on in their bodies inside, but they've evolved to also be used by adults. 

They're shaped like regular pencils, with a colored eraser and everything, but on one end it has three tiny holes that can detect different types of things inside your body, such as blood sugar levels or cholesterol. The pencils come in an array of colors and are very useful for people who have to take their cholesterol or glucose level regularly.

28.Safety Pencils

Safety pencils are used by construction workers and other people who have to walk on high, dangerous surfaces because they come with a small clip that can attach to your belt loop, keys, or whatever else you want so that if you slip, it will pull the pencil away from you rather than towards you. They are made of strong plastic and are very durable.

29.Teaching Pencils

These pencils come in sets of dozens and have different colored ends depending on what grade they're for; red for grades one through three, blue for four through six, green for seven through nine, yellow for ten or eleven years old, purple for adult learning centers, and orange for math. Sometimes teachers give these out to students to help keep track of who has which pencil and what class they belong to if they lose theirs.

30.Dissection Pencils

Dissection pencils are used by students and teachers alike for cutting open and examining animals so that they can learn more about them. They're very durable so the blades don't break off when you cut through anything hard, and have many different tips on one end to pick up, slice, or dissect with.

31.Electric Pencil Sharpeners

Electric pencil sharpeners are common in schools around the world and have saved many teachers valuable time over the years. They work by simply putting your pencil inside and hitting a button, rather than having to hold it with one hand and use a knife or other utensil to cut off just enough of the wood for it to write with.

Other Pencils

There are so many different types of pencils out there that they've been known by names other than just 'pencil'. Here is a list of some of the more interesting ones you might find:

32. Bone pencils

These are made from the bones of animals such as whales and can be quite expensive, but they last a lot longer than normal pencils since your writing doesn't wear down the wood. They come in many different shapes and sizes.

33. Crayon Pencils

A crayon on one end and a pencil on the other, these are used by students when they want to write on a colored page.

34. Ruler Pencils

These pencils have lines that can be used as guides for measuring and drawing straight lines.

35. Bandage Pencils

Bandages shaped like actual bandages, but covered in plastic so your writing or drawing doesn't smear it. These are most commonly used in hospitals and other places where a lot of wounds occur so that doctors can quickly patch up their patients without having to worry about them drawing or writing on the bandage.

36. Spider Pencils

Pencils with very long eraser tips, meant for people who like to draw or write while lying down or in bed.

37. Blacklight Pencils

Uses a special type of lead that glows under black light so you can use them to doodle on walls and other surfaces without having to spend time cleaning it off.


Pencils have been around for thousands of years and will most likely be in use for thousands more to come. They're used by millions of people every day, no matter what their age or rank is. Whether you're a student, a teacher, an office worker, or any kind of professional person, pencils are there to help you write down your thoughts and ideas.


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