10 Best Pencils for Students

A pencil is an indispensable familiar item for any student. So, have you chosen the correct pen type for your test, drawing, and sketching needs?

If you are wondering to choose the right pencil for you, consider the top ten pencils below. Maybe, you will be surprised by the quality of each product I introduce in the article.

We also provide in-depth guides on the factors to choose as well as the most frequently asked questions about this product for you to have an unbiased view.

Well, let’s explore these great options in detail below!

Our Top Picks

You can easily find a pencil model for students’ learning and entertainment. However, not all products can fulfill the above tasks well.

After experiencing a lot of products on the market, I have compiled the 10 best products that you should not miss. Scroll down for more!

1. AmazonBasics Woodcased #2 Pencils – Best for Overall

AmazonBasics Woodcased #2 Pencils


  • Dimensions: ‎7.4 x 0.3 x 0.3 inches.
  • Color: Yellow.
  • Number of Items: ‎150.

Product’s Highlight

AmazonBasics Woodcased #2 Pencils are a good investment for the budget. For only a reasonably affordable price, I got 150 high-quality pencils.

These pencils are also quite handy. The 150 pencils are pre-sharpened so students can use them to write legible lines or create long ones.

The only thing I don’t like about this product is that it is unsuitable for sharpening with a twist grinder. The reason may come from the fact that it has a relatively soft heartwood.

Today’s Best Deal:

Amazon Basics Woodcased #2 Pencils, Pre-sharpened, HB Lead Bulk Box, 150 Count, Yellow
  • Wood-cased pencils (150-count) for writing, drawing, or...
  • #2 HB medium-soft lead for strength, smooth writing, and...
  • Top eraser for easily removing unwanted marks; smudge-free...
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.3 x 0.3 inches (LxWxH)

What We Like

  • Comfortable.
  • Affordable price.
  • Limit lead breakage.
  • Supply pencils in bulk.
  • Available for both writing and drawing.

Things To Consider

  • Not suitable for grinding with twist-type grinders.

2. Ticonderoga Graphite #2 HB Soft – Best for Ease to Use

Ticonderoga Graphite #2 HB Soft


  • Dimensions: ‎24.3 x 27.71 x 25.3 inches.
  • Color: Yellow.
  • Number of Items: ‎20.
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Product’s Highlight

Ticonderoga has been one of the trusted pencil brands. Products from this brand are convenient and bring a sense of luxury. And Graphite #2 HB is no exception.

Its grip is quite comfortable. The pencil is also pre-sharpened, saving users time. In addition, I also appreciate the high-quality wood material with a clear origin.

The Ticonderoga Graphite #2 HB Soft is an easy-to-use, highly functional pencil model. Yet, because it’s exceptionally soft, it wears out quickly after a few months. It is also the only downside of the product.

Today’s Best Deal:

No products found.

What We Like

  • Easy to use.
  • High applicability.
  • Comfortable grip feeling.
  • Pre-cutting saves time for users.
  • High-quality wood material of clear origin.

Things To Consider

  • Wears quickly

3. BIC Xtra-Smooth Mechanical Pencils – Best for Note Taking

BIC Xtra-Smooth Mechanical Pencils With Erasers


  • Dimensions: 17.88 x 15.88 x 8.88 inches.
  • Color: Multicolor.
  • Number of Items: ‎1.

Product’s Highlight

The first impression I have of the BIC Xtra-Smooth Mechanical is that it is sleek. Its eye-catching colors and modern design are sure to win over any student.

But the BIC is more than just a sleek mechanical pencil. It also impresses with a series of advantages, such as an easy, smudge-free pencil tip.

In particular, its lead tip does not leave stains after erasing. Therefore, students can freely doodle and take notes without worrying about aesthetic problems.

However, these pencils still have some disadvantages. Its lead is quite hard, so the writing could be easier to see.

Today’s Best Deal:

BIC Xtra-Smooth Mechanical Pencils With Erasers, Medium Point (0.7mm), 10-Count Pack, Mechanical Pencils for School or Office Supplies (MPP101-BLK)
  • Selling Mechanical Pencil
  • One BIC Pencil = 2 ½ wood case pencils
  • Smooth-writing no.2 lead advances easily, does not smudge,...
  • Perfect for standardized tests - each pencil comes with...
  • Sleek, modern design with clear barrel and vibrant clip

What We Like

  • Attractive designs.
  • Can be refilled available.
  • The lead does not leave stains when erased.
  • Suitable for use when taking notes, drawing, and taking tests.

Things To Consider

  • The handwriting is hard to see.

4. TICONDEROGA My First Pencils – Best for Kids

TICONDEROGA My First Pencils


  • Dimensions: ‎‎3.53 x 0.63 x 8.96 inches.
  • Color: Yellow.
  • Number of Items: ‎1.

Product’s Highlight

As the name suggests, the TICONDEROGA My First Pencils are ideal pencils for children learning to write for the first time.

Unlike the names I introduced earlier, this pen model has a diameter equivalent to 13/32”. It is quite a suitable size for children to use for early literacy practice.

Besides small children, the TICONDEROGA is also an ideal choice for anyone looking for a high-quality pencil. It has a thick, sharpened graphite core and an easy-to-use latex-free eraser.

The Ticonderoga is a perfect pen. I wish it had a triangular case for a better grip.

Today’s Best Deal:

Ticonderoga My First Wood-Cased Pencils, Pre-Sharpened, 2 HB, With Sharpener, Yellow, 4 Count
  • ERGONOMIC DESIGN: Oversized pencil with large size diameter...
  • EXCLUSIVE #2 GRAPHITE FORMULA: Proprietary graphite formula...
  • PREMIUM WOOD: Harvested from responsibly managed forests,...
  • SAFE FOR KIDS: PMA certified non-toxic so you have the...
  • TRUSTED BRAND: Ticonderoga is part of the Dixon Ticonderoga...

What We Like

  • High quality.
  • Thick graphite core.
  • Previously sharpened.
  • The eraser is easy to use.
  • The large diameter is suitable for writing letters.

Things To Consider

  • I need to improve the feeling of holding.

5. Ticonderoga Wood-Cased Pencils – Best for Painting

Ticonderoga Wood-Cased Pencils


  • Dimensions: ‎7.67 x 3.76 x 2.52 inches.
  • Color: Yellow.
  • Number of Items: 96.

Product’s Highlight

My favorite thing about Ticonderoga Wood-Cased Pencils is the proprietary formula graphite core. This core provides exceptionally high performance.

It also has a relatively smooth surface. Thanks to these advantages, I have had an impressive painting experience with Ticonderoga Wood-Cased.

I love drawing with this pen. However, given my drawing frequency, I used up one pencil in four days. It is quite a big drawback as some products from other brands can last for 2-3 weeks.

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Today’s Best Deal:

Ticonderoga Wood-Cased Pencils, Unsharpened, #2 HB Soft, Yellow, 96 Count
  • Exclusive #2 graphite formula provides extra smooth...
  • Top quality, latex-free eraser provides easy, clean...
  • Made with premium wood from responsibly managed forests
  • Satin smooth finish enhances writing comfort, PMA certified...
  • Includes 96 pencils comprised of 8 boxes of 12 pencils each

What We Like

  • Smooth surface.
  • Ideal for painting and sketching.
  • The eraser supports easy editing.
  • Get certified non-toxic PMA.
  • High-performance proprietary core.

Things To Consider

  • Short usage time.

6. Ticonderoga Wood-Cased Pre-Sharpened – Best for Editing Pencils

Ticonderoga Wood-Cased Pre-Sharpened


  • Dimensions: ‎2.16 x 4.08 x 8.5 inches.
  • Color: Yellow.
  • Number of Items: ‎72.

Product’s Highlight

Students, when taking tests or taking notes, often edit a lot. One of the most significant troubles when editing with a pencil is smudged and unsightly text. With Ticonderoga Wood-Cased Pre-Sharpened, students will no longer face this problem.

This pencil model still impresses me with its graphite core for smooth performance. Yet, what I appreciate most about it is the latex-free eraser head.

Not many products at the same price point have an eraser head that can be edited as clearly and quickly as the Ticonderoga pencil.

I am satisfied with the quality of this ideal pencil for drawing and sketching. My only complaint is that the pencils that come to me are less sharp than advertised. However, this is not a big deal.

Today’s Best Deal:

Ticonderoga Wood-Cased Pencils, Pre-Sharpened, 2 HB Soft, Yellow, 72 Count
  • EXCLUSIVE #2 GRAPHITE FORMULA: Proprietary graphite formula...
  • PREMIUM WOOD: Harvested from responsibly managed forests,...
  • LATEX-FREE ERASER: Superior, latex-free eraser removes marks...
  • SAFE FOR KIDS: PMA certified non-toxic so you have the...
  • TRUSTED BRAND: Ticonderoga is part of the Dixon Ticonderoga...

What We Like

  • Smooth performance graphite core.
  • The wooden case is of clear origin.
  • Good quality in the price range.
  • The eraser head is latex-free and effectively erases.
  • Ideal for heavily edited sketches.

Things To Consider

  • The tip is less sharp than expected.

7. BIC Xtra-Precision Mechanical Pencils – Best for Sketching

BIC Xtra-Precision Mechanical Pencils With Erasers


  • Dimensions: ‎4.1 x 1.3 x 7.5 inches.
  • Color: Multicolor.
  • Number of Items: ‎24.

Product’s Highlight

Students have an excellent need for sketching and taking notes. And any student must have had at least one headache with lead stains on their hands.

Understanding the above problem, BIC brought you Xtra-Precision Mechanical, a top-quality sketching pencil. This pencil model made a strong impression on me in its first use. With just one click, I’m ready to write and draw precise lines.

The lead quality is high, and the eraser head cleans entirely without leaving any streaks the whole time I use the product. Few pencil models can keep the user’s hands as clean as the BIC.

I love the BIC Xtra-Precision Mechanical and would recommend it to any student who frequently sketches. However, its lead is not very thick, so it is quite brittle in many cases.

Today’s Best Deal:

BIC Xtra-Precision Mechanical Pencil, Metallic Barrel, Fine Point (0.5mm), 24-Count, Doesn't Smudge and Erases Cleanly
  • One 24-count pack of BIC Xtra-Precision Mechanical Pencils...
  • Advance the dependable 0.5mm lead on these pencils with a...
  • Pencils with high-quality lead that erases cleanly and...
  • Ideal pencils for standardized tests and writing activities...
  • Perfect for use as sketching pencils or even as a mechanical...

What We Like

  • Easy to use.
  • High-quality lead.
  • Clean cleaning head.
  • Leaves no stains
  • Ideal for sketching and taking notes.

Things To Consider

  • The lead is easy to break.

8. Paper Mate Mechanical Pencils – Best for Compactness

Paper Mate Mechanical Pencils, SharpWriter Pencils


  • Dimensions: ‎2.87 x 4.18 x 5.62 inches.
  • Color: Yellow.
  • Number of Items: ‎36.

Product’s Highlight

One trouble that students often face with pencils is the fragile tip during the journey from home to school. Yet, Paper Mate is one of the exceptions.

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This mechanical pencil model is supplemented with shock-absorbing foam. Choose Paper Mate Mechanical, and you’ll have a seamless and uninterrupted writing experience.

In addition to the impressive advantages, this mechanical pencil model also possesses many other special attractive features. Some examples are comfortable gripping and smudge-free erasing to meet different usage needs.

Another unique feature is that its screw design is quite innovative. However, I do not consider this an advantage. The twist at the top to move the lead up instead of pressing like the traditional way surprises many students.

Today’s Best Deal:

Paper Mate SharpWriter Mechanical Pencils | 0.7 mm #2 Pencil | Pencils for School Supplies, Yellow, 36 Count
  • Mechanical pencil features shock-absorbing tip to reduce...
  • Twistable tip eliminates the need to stop and sharpen
  • #2 lead is perfect for standardized tests
  • Pink eraser makes do-overs easy
  • Includes 36, #2 mechanical pencils, 0.7mm

What We Like

  • Creative design.
  • Comfortable grip feeling.
  • Suitable for writing and drawing
  • High-quality and smudge-free eraser head to use.
  • Shock-absorbing foam reduces lead breakage.

Things To Consider

  • Only a few students are used to using pencils by twisting.

9. Paper Mate EverStrong #2 Pencils – Best for Budget

Paper Mate EverStrong #2 Pencils


  • Dimensions: ‎8.88 x 4.31 x 0.89 inches.
  • Color: Yellow.
  • Number of Items: ‎24.

Product’s Highlight

The Paper Mate EverStrong is a good choice for the budget. With a reasonably low price, it’s surprising that I have a pretty impressive user experience.

One of the advantages I appreciate most about it is the meticulously reinforced lead head. With this effort, the manufacturer has brought a robust anti-break pencil model.

This advantage also helps to increase its lifespan, allowing me to use it for quite a long time. Of course, you can find more pencils with better quality and design than the Paper Mate EverStrong.

However, with a fairly reasonable price, this pencil model is still an excellent choice to consider.

Today’s Best Deal:

Paper Mate EverStrong #2 Pencils, Reinforced, Break-Resistant Lead When Writing, 24 Pack
  • Reinforced, break-resistant lead when writing
  • Less sharpening means longer-lasting pencil
  • Woodcase pencils
  • 100% latex-free eraser
  • Includes 24 pencils

What We Like

  • Reasonable prices.
  • Good fracture resistance.
  • It can be available for a long time.
  • The lead part is meticulously reinforced
  • It does not require frequent pencil sharpening

Things To Consider

  • The design could be more prominent.

10. Ticonderoga Pre-Sharpened #2 Soft Lead – Best for Safety

Ticonderoga Pencils, Pre-Sharpened, #2 Soft Lead


  • Dimensions: ‎2.75 x 0.63 x 7.75 inches.
  • Color: Yellow.
  • Number of Items: ‎12.

Product’s Highlight

What I noticed most about the Ticonderoga Pre-Sharpened #2 Soft Lead is that it has received PMA certification. It is proof that this pencil model is entirely safe, even for small children.

In addition to being a reliable choice for health, Ticonderoga Pre-Sharpened #2 Soft Lead also possesses other advantages worth considering.

It features an exclusive graphite core for smooth performance. The manufacturer also pre-sharpened the pen to get me ready to use.

The trouble only appeared when I needed to sharpen the pencil after a while of use. I had to use the X-acto knife instead of the standard pencil sharpeners.

Today’s Best Deal:

Ticonderoga Wood-Cased Pencils, Pre-Sharpened, 2 HB Soft, Yellow, 12 Count
  • EXCLUSIVE #2 GRAPHITE FORMULA: Proprietary graphite formula...
  • PREMIUM WOOD: Harvested from responsibly managed forests,...
  • LATEX-FREE ERASER: Superior, latex-free eraser removes marks...
  • SAFE FOR KIDS: PMA certified non-toxic so you have the...
  • TRUSTED BRAND: Ticonderoga is part of the Dixon Ticonderoga...

What We Like

  • Anti-fracture lead.
  • Proprietary graphite core.
  • The lead is pre-sharpened.
  • Obtained PMA certification.

Things To Consider

  • Pencil sharpening is quite complicated.

Buying Guide

Affordability or durability

Wooden pencils are now a familiar choice for students. This pen is relatively cheap and has impressive durability. It is also very suitable for small students because of its good bearing capacity and durability.

Pick a mechanical pencil for convenience.

Mechanical pencils do not require the user to sharpen. You can refill the pencil and use it at any time. This pen is also a good choice for tests with small gaps.

The only downside to this pen is the high price tag. Yet, this pencil is still quite an investment worth considering due to the feature that allows you to use a replacement lead.

Consider the HB lead (#2) for daily use

HB is the symbol that indicates that the pencil you choose has a medium hardness. It is also the ideal hardness to complete tasks such as taking notes, drawing, and tests.

Buy an ergonomic pencil.

The ergonomic pencil will provide the most comfortable use. You will not face problems like cramps when using this pencil for a long time.


Which pencil is the softest?

9B is the softest pencil available today. However, for everyday use, 4B is already the right softness.

What is pencil drawing called?

Drawing pencils can be called illustration or pen-and-ink.

Which pencil is best for shading?

B-rated pencils are the best choice for shading. Because compared to the stiffer H pencil models, the B pencil is softer and suitable for quick shading.

When were pencils first used?

Pencils were first produced in 1795 by Nicholas-Jacques Conte.

What is pencil thickness?

The thickest pencil size is 2.00 mm (0.079 in), which is also the standard.


BIC Xtra-Smooth Mechanical Pencils are the ideal choice for taking notes. Meanwhile, Ticonderoga Wood-Cased is an excellent pen for drawing.

Whatever your needs are, you can find a suitable product by referring to the list above. Thank you for reading!