Mechanical Pencil Vs Wooden Pencil: Which One to Choose

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In terms of pencils, we see people using both mechanical and wooden pencils. But if you want to settle down with only one between these two, then the comparison between mechanical pencil Vs wooden pencil comes into a great question.

It is unnecessary to say none of them are useless. Both these two types of pencils have their own advantages and disadvantages. However, through their comparison, you might resolve what to pick.

Their Primal Differences

No matter how much you use the lead of your mechanical pencil, it will never lose its shape and be duller. But you will see a different scenario when it is the traditional wooden pencil. The lead of it gets duller and wider as a user draws with it thoroughly. As a result, the precision a mechanical pencil can provide easily, your wooden pencil struggles to provide that precision.

But in terms of hardness, wooden pencils are a thousand times better than mechanical pencils because of their solid structure. However, a wooden pencil mostly intends for drawing whereas a mechanical pencil intends to give precision, lines, and consistency in graph works mostly.

What Is a Mechanical Pencil?

A mechanical pencil is quite different from a traditional pencil with its replaceable and uncased lead, and assembled parts. You can disassemble the parts of a mechanical pencil and the best part of a mechanical pencil is the lead can be extended. That’s why your job of sharpening a pencil has long gone. It also comes with an eraser and for protection, it comes along with an eraser cap too.

Basically, there are three types of mechanical pencils that people recognize. These types are done based on their uses in different sectors. As there are different types allotted for wooden pencils, you will see the same happening with mechanical pencils.

General Purpose Mechanical Pencil

You can already assume by the name that this general-purpose mechanical pencil is for general uses like writing, lining for graphs, or sketching. The lead of this pencil is either 0.5mm or 0.7mm. That’s why the preciseness of the lead is all you can ask for from this pencil.

It’s easier to draw a thin line on graph paper with a 0.5mm nib of the lead. Besides, people adopt this pencil for geometry and other projects where the thin lining is important. People recognize this pencil by other names like clicky, propelling, double knock, or automatic pencil.

Then again, if you want to feel the vibe that a ballpoint pen offers, then their 0.7mm general-purpose mechanical pencil is legit trustworthy. This mm lead assists in more general works and is a little bit stronger than a 0.5mm general-purpose mechanical pencil.

Clutch Mechanical Pencil

Many people think that mechanical pencils are all clutch pencils and they are not wrong to some extent. As any mechanical pencils hold lead in them, they are in one way or another named clutch mechanical pencils. However, you will not see a regular push-button setting in this pencil.

That’s because the clutch pencil is a little bit old model mechanical pencil and the push-button mechanism works to release the lead freely unlike the new model of mechanical pencils. For this reason, you will also hear people calling it to drop clutch mechanical pencil as well.

Normally, a clutch pencil comes with 2mm lead and this width is perfect for artists for their drawing jobs. But you will find some other types of clutch mechanical pencils too.

Drafting Mechanical Pencil

This kind of drafting mechanical pencil is highly professional and for professional hands too. For high-quality technical drawing, scaling, writing, and sketching, this pencil has no alternatives. It comes with a long sleeve for lead and extra top-notch features than an ordinary mechanical pencil. However, you can also have several mm diameters of the lead.

There are 0.3, 0.5, 0.7, and 0.9mm diameters of lead pencils available in the name of drafting mechanical pencils. With this, you will get an indicator for grading the built-in lead. However, because this pencil is professional at technical drawings and sketching, people also call it a technical pencil.

What Is a Wooden Pencil?

Wooden pencils are simply made of wood. The core of it is made of graphite though most people mistake it for lead. Many manufacturers use incense cedar wood to make wooden pencils. A wooden pencil is pretty much different from a mechanical pencil. Besides, the realm of wooden pencils is not recent.

It is almost an ancient creation of people. Nowadays, we see the use of wooden pencils from the very beginning of our mental growth. It is just graphite enclosed with a wooden structure. You will see wooden pencils with different grades and darkness. The proportion of clay and graphite determines if that wooden pencil is going to write darker or not.

There are no specific types allotted for wooden pencils. However, wooden pencils come with a grading chart. And this chart determines how dark your wooden pencil will write and how hard the lead will be that is incased in wood.

Grading Chart of Wooden Pencils

There are two or three grade leads available for the grading chart of wooden pencils. They are “H”, “B”, and “F’”. For the hardness of the lead, it is symbolized as “H”, and for the darkness “B”. Then again, for the firmness, it is symbolized as “F”. Now we will inspect pencils under these grading charts. We will go from less dark to darker.

From 9H to 6H: These pencils are less dark than other “B” graded wooden pencils. These pencils are relatively harder. People use this hardness of pencil for more serious jobs like map-making. For drawing or writing, you will not get enough blackness from them.

From 5H to H: If you want precision in your mathematical graph paper and linings, then grab pencils from 5H to 3H. Pencils, within this range, come with precise and very hard lead. Therefore, you will get consistency. Also, people low-key use H and 2H pencils for the same purposes.

B to 3B: For a little blackness, B to 3B pencils are great. People adopt these ranged of pencils for free-hand writing. But these pencils are not hard like the pencils from H to 9H. Yet, the lead of these pencils can stand the struggle of free-hand writing to a great extent.

4B to 9B: These pencils come with great blackness and they offer great sketching for artists who rely on wooden pencils. Some texture that a graphite-made wooden pencil can give, a mechanical pencil with a large diameter cannot provide. 9B is the blackest and most sensitive one. One has to handle it with professionalism and care.

The problem with “B” graded pencils is that they get smudged easily. However, in using “F” graded pencils you will get firmness in the lead and good at performance too. Then again, HB pencils are also almost the same as the F pencils.

Mechanical Pencil Vs Wooden Pencil: The Differences

There is no confusion that the differences between mechanical pencils and wooden pencils are prominent and undeniable. Nowadays, we see people using both mechanical pencils and wooden pencils simultaneously to fulfill different purposes. Because of the differences, they both come as useful in one way or the other.


The most prominent difference that seeks everyone’s attention is in the basic structure of both wooden pencils and mechanical pencils. Whereas the former comes with a very traditional look, the latter looks very professional and mechanical too.

Wooden pencils carry graphite that is encased within a thin oval-shaped wooden structure. But mechanical pencils carry the lead within a plastic-made structure. Besides, there is no scope for wooden pencils to be disassembled. But you canassemble and disassemble the mechanical pencil to some extent.


The next important difference is their sharpening condition. We see the traditional wooden pencil does not come with the advantage of sharpening. To use this pencil, the user must sharpen it with an extra tool, for example, a sharpener or blade.

On the contrary, a mechanical pencil does not require sharpening. Therefore, you are saved from making a messy situation that the wooden scalp or dust makes.


On a deeper level, consistency is one great difference that we think is a very serious issue. It’s because, to some people, it is consistency till the end that matters the most. However, in this case, the wooden pencil fails to continue its consistency and the graphite gets dull over time. Therefore, you need to sharpen the pencil quite frequently.

But a mechanical pencil is a genius in this case as it manages to continue its consistency till the end. The nib will never be dull and you can write or draw with the same width of the lining.


In terms of hardness, wooden pencils are rather more trustworthy than mechanical pencils. Because the lead of a wooden pencil is tightly encased, the hardness of the lead is legit and evident. But in mechanical pencils, the hardness depends a lot on the size of the lead diameter. If the diameter is too small, then its hardness of it is also less.

Environment Friendly

Wooden pencils are environment-friendly and mechanical pencils contribute to damaging nature. As plastic is not natural, it affects badly nature as well. Therefore, it is a great drawback of a mechanical pencil. Conversely, wood is hundred percent natural, and thus a wooden pencil is more environmental-friendly.

User Friendliness

It’s not like both these pencils are great troublemaker while using, but comparatively, their user-friendliness can be measured. In this case, a mechanical pencil is more user-friendly than a wooden pencil. You don’t have to sharpen it frequently to make the lead sharp, unlike the wooden pencil.

Besides, you just have to press the end of the mechanical pencil to insert or out the lead for more use. You will not get this option available in wooden pencils.

Types and Purposes

We have already mentioned the types of both mechanical pencils and wooden pencils. From that, you can already assume that they vary in type. Wooden pencils vary in hardness, blackness, and firmness mostly, whereas mechanical pencils vary in lead diameter size.

Even though, both mechanical and wooden pencils are able to fulfill all types of writing, drawing, or sketching, people use the former for the work of graphs or mathematical charts and the latter for free-hand drawing, sketching, and all.


Mechanical pencils, because of their high-quality professional look, precision, and consistency are more expensive than wooden pencils.

Wooden Pencils Vs Mechanical Pencils: The Similarities

There have some basic similarities between wooden pencils and mechanical pencils. That’s why many people stick to only one type of pencil rather than buying both.

Survival Ability: We see in terms of survival, both wooden pencils and mechanical pencils can survive the struggle of writing, drawing, or sketching.

Eraser: From the outer structure, both wooden pencils and mechanical pencils carry an eraser at the end. You will get a cap for the replaceable eraser in a mechanical pencil.

Break Down Ability: You should also learn the fact that both mechanical and wooden pencils are breakable. If you press unnecessary pressure on them, they will break down easily.

Leads Are Enclosed: The leads of both wooden and mechanical pencils are encased. So, there is less chance that the lead will get hurt in any way.

Mechanical Pencils Vs Wooden Pencils for Drawing

For free-hand drawing, most pro artists would follow wooden pencils because of their immense flexibility. You can sharpen the lead and give different diameter shapes to the nib for the necessity of the drawing. For this, you just have to spend extra money on buying different types of sharpeners.

Conversely, you cannot shape the nib of a mechanical pencil as it comes with a fixed diameter size. But for amateurs or learners, making lines to learn drawing is the first step. And from this perspective, mechanical pencils are masters at giving a proper and precise line.

But in the end, it depends on the choice of the user as both these pencils come with drawbacks. If you think wooden pencil gets dull and smudged easily, then mechanical pencils are there for you and vice versa.

Do People Prefer Mechanical or Wooden Pencils?

Most passionate people adopt both mechanical and wooden pencils as both provide numerous styles of writing or sketching. However, there is no such answer whether they prefer mechanical or wooden pencils. Both these pencils have their worth and buying both is not an unnecessary act.

If you want something budget-friendly, there are many mechanical pencils of many brands that claim less money for a mechanical pencil. So, money is not a big deal always. Even if it’s a big deal, go for a wooden pencil without any hesitation.

Which Is Better for the Environment: Wooden or Mechanical Pencils?

Wooden pencils are definitely more environment-friendly because wood is close to nature. But a mechanical pencil is made of plastic mostly. Plastic is declared as harmful to the environment as its disposal is nearly impossible. And that’s why it is wooden pencils that do less harm to nature.

In the case of the core, both pencils use lead to some extent. As a heavy component, it is harmful to nature. But because the amount of lead is very little, it puts less harm on the environment.

Which Pencils Are Good for Children: Wooden or Mechanical?

Preschool or school-going children have the clumsiest hands and they are not stable. In this situation, wooden pencils are the best option for them. There are some jumbo-sized wooden pencils available in the market for children.

A mechanical pencil does not come in that size. Even though it has a better grip, it is for elder people.

Which Pencils Are Cheaper to Use: Mechanical or Wooden?

If you consider money, then wooden pencils are cheaper than mechanical pencils. But it gets finished easily too and you need to buy a sharpener along with it. Well, in the case of mechanical pencils, you need to buy extra leads too. So, in the end, it’s wooden pencils that require fewer pennies.

Final Words

In fine, the comparison between mechanical pencil Vs wooden pencil brought about some legit points. We encourage you to buy both and have a first-hand experience with both these types of pencils. They can easily complement each other and that’s why buying both is not a waste of money at any cost.

But if you think one type of pencil is enough for you, then pick one seeing its advantages and disadvantages.

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