Pencils refer to all drawing and sketching media that consist of pigment, charcoal or graphite mixed with a binder and contained within a wooden or plastic barrel. This section includes charcoal pencils and mechanical, clutch and traditional graphite pencils as well as colour pencils.
What is a lead pencil? This is a misnomer that refers any regular pencil that contains graphite. When graphite was first discovered, it was thought to be lead and, as its true chemical make-up was not unlocked for well over a century, the name ‘lead pencil’ stuck. They have never actually contained lead but graphite rods are still referred to as ‘leads’.
What is a mechanical pencil? A mechanical pencil takes the form of a pen that houses and feeds through graphite leads by depressing the end of the pencil. These pencils are offered in a number of different lead diameters and each diameter comes in a selection of graphite grades.
What is meant by pencil grade? The grade of a pencil refers to the softness or hardness of the graphite depending on the amount of binder that has been mixed with it. B stands for soft or black and has more graphite than binder allowing more graphite to be transferred to a surface for a blacker mark. H stands for hard and has more binder so the graphite that is transferred is less giving a lighter mark. The higher the number that is in front of the B or H, the softer or harder the pencil will be.