Mechanical or wood? The pros and cons of pencils

Though there are pros and cons to both types of pencil, there is one clear winner.


Michael Catanesi, Reporter

Every person that has ever gone to school knows what pencils are. They are simple supplies, as you can use many different types, but there are two certain pencils that are used more than others. Those two would be the mechanical pencil and the wood pencil. Everybody has been using these all throughout their school lives but many lean to one side and use 1 pencil over the other.

Why people do this, I don’t know, but what I can do is show you the pros and cons of each pencil. 

Sharpening Frequency

A wooden pencil is made of wood (go figure) which means when the end becomes blunt you need to sharpen the pencil to start writing again. 

On the other hand mechanical pencils are more advanced because they have lead. Lead is precise with no need for sharpening and you can get right back to work with the push of a button.

Environmental Impact

Mechanical pencils are better for the environment because they are reusable and last longer than wood pencils. 

Wooden pencils are not as good for the environment as mechanical pencils are because you have to replace them after some time and to make wooden pencils you need to cut down trees.


Mechanical pencils cost more than wooden pencils. Which means losing a wooden pencil is no big deal, while losing a mechanical pencil would be a lot worse.

User-Friendliness and Consistency 

Artists, designers, and students prefer mechanical pencils over wooden pencils because of consistency. So when you sharpen wooden pencils they get smaller and lighter making the weight inconsistent, which is a problem you will never have with mechanical pencils.


Safety? Pencils? Yeah I know, but mechanical pencils are not as sharp as wooden pencils and being stabbed by a wooden pencil can leave a mark for years. So if you were looking for safety in a pencil, mechanical is the way to go.


Mechanical pencils last longer than wooden pencils without a doubt but there can be problems. Because of the lead used, the wooden pencil can break easily. Since mechanical pencils don’t need sharpened they can last longer and not break as easily. Though sometimes mechanical pencils can break, but it’s not as often as wooden pencils.


Without a doubt the best features in mechanical pencils are their precision and how well they stay together after a while. The shade that the lead gives off never changes unless you apply different pressure, the good grip on them, and how you can change the width of your lead length are all positive qualities. With all of this you also do not have to worry about your lead getting dull or sharpening your pencil. Writing with a wood pencil can become harder to read after time because the lead does change and it is not as precise as mechanical pencils.

The Final Verdict

Choosing between the mechanical and wooden pencils would depend on your budget, needs, and personal preference. Each has their own pros and cons but realistically mechanical pencils are the better choice, the only downside is the price. Wooden pencils fall short in every category as they are a thing of the past.